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Jan 19, 2017


Bill Fane

I agree. My wife & I recently had to buy a new Android tablet because automatic updates had caused the old one to pretty much stop functioning. The automatically-updated apps, and updates to Android itself, had become so large that our tablet didn't have enough memory to run the apps. Unfortunately they don't tell you this until after the updates have installed, and once installed there didn't seem to be any way to uninstall & go back to the previous version.
The worst of it is that most of the "updates" simply involve fancier, more-complicated graphic interfaces and have little to do with the basic functionality.
Wait a minute: it's that deja vu thing all over again. Can you say "Windows?"


I would happily forget 99 cents or $1.99 and cheerfully pay $99 for an app that would guarantee me phone would stay the same and quit updating.

It's now pretty much impossible to ignore or avoid an Android update - I just recently took a battery-draining hit to my S7 with "Nougat", which has the usual "battery management improvement" along with the usual real-world battery-draining effect updates always have.

Remember how if your screen was too bright at night you could slide down the top menu, then slide the brightness control down a bit? You still can... except now you how to slide the menu all the way to the bottom of the screen, meaning you just dazzled the bejeezus out of yourself with a huge white screen, while trying to avoid dazzling yourself.

Of course you could always use the auto brightness, which is fantastic if you enjoy a dead battery in the afternoon.

The next improvement, on the same slide-down menu, was to move all the familiar icons around to different places, make them much smaller and tiny, and some smarty-pants figured that light gray against a dazzling white background was the best possible combination for usability.

Want to find something in that dark room? Dazzling the living heck out of yourself, trying to find the 2mm light gray torch icon on a 5 inch white screen - or just turn the phone around and use that stupidly bright screen as the torch. It's probably brighter.

Talking of dazzling me with a white screen, their next updated and enhanced improvement was to forgo that silly black background that enabled me to see the full, rich vibrant colors of the great camera shots. No, they improved it, by making the photo background BRIGHT WHITE, because nothing says 1000 words quite like a picture you have to squint at.

Suitably dazzled? Great, now the background will go black again, like it used to be in first place, because reasons.

One of the great things about smart phones is that smart idea of using icons, you know, just like desktop computers did decades ago, as a fast and easy way to recognize your apps and software. Instantly, in a split-second, you can recognize that familiar shape and color. That's the entire point of an icon, isn't it?

So naturally, for this improved and enhanced update, they changed all the icons. You know, for usability.

I can't be the only grumpy old man getting sick of this, not to mention how the "updates" invariably cripple older phones, forcing you to buy a newer one.

In fact that's my next plan - I'm going to stop buying flagship phones. My next phone will be some lower to mid-range cheap thing, probably Chinese. Something that won't be 'enhanced' with the next big update. Besides, if I don't enjoy using my phone any more, and I don't, why pay a large sum of money for one?

If I wanted a phone that would irritate and annoy me I could have got one for 1/10th the price I paid for this S7.

Ralph Grabowski

I know what you mean. My first Android, a Samsung, had that wonderful brightness control; a more recent one lost it. Dunno why Google didn't add it as a standard feature in Android.

I too am going the way of Chinese-branded phones (via eBay) that cost $200 but have the functions of $800 Samsungs and Apples -- and run unadorned Android.

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