Sunday, September 22, 2013

Samsung isn't Great

I was all excited about the Samsung infrastructure, but I see some big cracks. I've got the Galaxy NoteII and the Galaxy Note 10.1. My wife also has the Galaxy NoteII. Don't get me wrong, Samsung builds great hardware.

Samsung software is not so great! They go a real strong 90% of what someone needs. I think as long as you stay in the Samsung family, things get along. Once outside, well, that is when the trouble starts. I've never signed up for any of the Samsung services, since I was already signed up for the Google services that meet my needs.

Things like Peel, gosh what a great little app for knowing what is happening on the TV networks. Easy to program and easy to get all setup. They sent out an update (I didn't think it needed it, but I took the update, and then the IR didn't work so well on one TV. I reset up that TV, and then it worked again, but why did the update break things???

The other feature of the Notes, are the pens. Wow, how cool is that. There have been no updates to the SNote software since I got the units, and the software is almost there. The text recognition is wonderful, no training, and it was recognizing my chicken scratches almost perfect. My problem is with the text boxes. Why can't the text boxes be more automatic. They come up small, and aren't easy to resize, and don't always put spaces between words. That makes the software, close to unusable.

I use the SNotes to take written notes, and don't bother to convert to text. That removes the search capability. I say I'll get to converting the written text to either a blog post or a wiki entry for my work documents. But that will add work, and may not help long term.

I feel Samsung pollutes the systems with crapware too. The AllShareCast dongle app is probably really useful if you have an AllShareCast dongle, but I don't. Why can't they make that an optional app instead of requiring it on all devices. ChatOn, SamsungLink and SamsungPushService all seem benign, but I need to keep those things up to date, in case there are exploits in the current version. (If you want a laugh, look in the playstore for reviews of SamsungLink). Why don't they make their services compelling, rather than same or worse than what I have today.

So now Samsung releases Gear. What a bad joke! It only works with the newest Samsung devices (for now??). The NoteIII and the newest Note 10.1. Dang you mean I need to update all my hardware to use a watch that might work for a day? I don't think so. This silly watch can't be very useful, since it has a tiny screen, and can't really talk to the outside world without a tablet or phone. Battery life of 25hours, well, hmmm... I better not spend the night at a friends house unless I brought a charger. And why not a wireless charger?

Now Samsung wants to start a whole new infrastructure. They want people to look at Tizen as a replacement for Android. Cool! their apps are so good, why not have me looking at devices based on Tizen, they will be better than...a sharp stick in the eye, I guess. (where is that sarcasm tag??)

No, I think my next device will NOT be Samsung. They don't have to do much to fix things in the next year, they only need to make what they have usable. Going for the next big thing is great, if they did it great. They haven't done anything great so far, and I don't seem 'em going that way. They will continue to do things that look like they could do things great, and will continue to disappoint. Unless they actually do great things, they will start being another mediocre phone company.

Samsung will need to support current devices, and make improvements. The Note line is clearly different than any other phone/tablet available, and they can build on that by fixing the software! Samsung has a reputation of crapifying phones, and if they quit doing that going forward that would help their reputation. By removing the crap, they may have an incentive to make their apps compelling, and people will want them, and actually install them. Today, all the owners of Samsung devices are forced to have the crap preloaded, and all we want to do is remove it!

It is up to you Samsung!

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