Monday, July 9, 2012

The Verizon lockdown

     So here we are once again...  As you all know by now, Verizon has decided that their pristine network cant handle the few of us that like to flash ROMs, install CM and other custom ROMs, and generally use our phones in a manner in which we see fit after paying for the device.
     After blaming Samsung earlier (how stupid considering the circumstances), they put out this clarifying statement:

Verizon Wireless has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices and customer service. There is an expectation that if a customer has a question, they can call Verizon Wireless for answers that help them maximize their enjoyment and use of their wireless phone. Depending on the device, an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. It is always a delicate balance for any company to manage the technology choices we make for our branded devices and the requests of a few who may want a different device experience. We always review our technology choices to ensure that we provide the best solution for as many customers as possible.


      This line of thinking is so screwed up its not even funny.  You have a Nexus.  Its unlocked.  People all over have custom ROMs on their Nexus.  Is your network failing  because of it?  How does this make sense?  You have a Nexus, yet decide to lock down the SGS3?  

      Another silly bit of reading in this statement is the fact they claim that a boot loader unlock is at the request of a few...  If that is the case, why bother locking it?  Verizon has bought themselves a post on most major tech blogs, all the Android blogs, and this little insignificant one...  And in ALL cases, the hundreds of comments, the vast majority of comments on twitter and Facebook, are about 99% negative.    Is all this continuing negative press worth it??  Because it's not just "the few" that read those articles.

     Every single carrier worldwide, including ATT, TMO, Sprint and US Cellular here in the US, have the SGS3 with an unlocked boot loader.  All of them.  Except Verizon because the tiny little 1% of us are going to damage their pristine network because we install a custom ROM on the device?  Not only do you choose to lock down the SGS3 for "the few", but you also insult their intelligence by that statement.  The above statement is aimed at the average consumer, not at the people who are complaining about the boot loaders.

     Finally, by now, Verizon should now realize that Android devs are WAY smarter than Verizon techs will ever be (see the Motorola lockdowns).   In spite of that stupid decision, the idiotic statement, and your stance, root was achieved in less than 24 hrs.  How does that feel?  You spent how much paying so call techs to come up with a locking solution, only to have it cracked in less than 24 hrs?  And you have to realize that the bootloader will be cracked.  And CM10 and custom ROMs WILL be flashed on that SGS3... By "the few" of us who enjoy that.

     Just seems idiotic that I can buy a $700 phone, and when I get it, I can take it home, write on it.  I can scratch it.  I can throw it against the wall.  I can void its warranty if I choose and tear it apart.  I can even drop it on the floor and stomp on it with my feet if I wish.  Why?  Because its MINE...  But I cant flash a custom ROM.  And oh I can hear some of you now saying that "well, it's THEIR network".  LOL  Really?  What if I want to use it on wifi only?  How about if I just want to buy an SGS3, root it, flash CM10 and use it wifi only.  No, I cant even do that.  

     Well, I can.  From any other carrier in the world.

     And I guess that is the answer.  Verizon has proven to be a VERY unfriendly carrier for people who like to play with their phones.  So dont be surprised when those people leave for other carriers.  Dont try to be friendly and "address their concerns".  You can't.

     Unless you wish to make things right and provide an unlocking solution to "the few".

     

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Apple-Google battle goes on....

      So today, the article at www.todaysiphone.com titled "5 reasons why i'll never switch to Android"  (Here is the link: Article ) came to my attention.  I must say, this is the first time I feel compelled to write about any type of article about this subject.  And it comes from the ridiculous nature of the article.  Seriously, according to the article, how can anyone like Android?  With its many handsets with different specs, lack of iTunes, and such??  Lets break this down...

#1.  Upgrades.
     This has been a major point for the apple fanboys.  Apple announces a new version, and boom.  Available for all handsets right away.  The problem is that available doesnt mean its automagically on all handsets.  Lets start by the fact that only until recently, have over the air updates become available for iOS.  Something (like a lot of features) that has been available on Android since it came out several years ago with the G1.
So now we have 3GS, 4 and 4S handsets running a variety of versions of iOS... Some sets are even running 3.x.  Does it matter that it's the consumer that is not upgrading?  Or that it's the OEM not providing the upgrade? The end result is identical.  Consumers running several different versions of an OS, able to do only certain things that other sets cant.  Wait.  Isnt that about 80% of the world?  Can we say Windows?  As I sit here, my desktop PC has Win7, and my work laptop has Win XP.  And guess what?  My desktop can run some apps that my work PC with XP can't...  Imagine that...  And yes, Microsoft makes the upgrade available to all sets. And yes, there are minimum requirements so that some older PCs will not be able to upgrade.  The horror!!!!!

#2.   Since before the G1, Google has stated that their business is ad revenue, and Android is just a way to get that into mobile.  You mad bro?  lol  Google gives away all its services to the consumer and makes billions.  Seems like a great business model to me.

#3.  The ecosystem.
       First line is about how when you buy something in iTunes on the Mac, it's automatically on the iPad and iPhone.  Welcome to 2 years ago.  That is just like what I do with the Play store.  Whats the difference?  Ahhh yes...  If I buy a song, its automatically on my Nexus, my Galaxy Tab, and I can also access it from ANY PC, and yes even any Mac, from anywhere in the world.  iOS users on the other hand, can only access it from your iOS devices.  I am not here to debate the pros and cons of that.  Just saying that this article is making this statement like I can't do this on Android.  Books, movies, songs.  Even apps.  I can log in on ANY PC in the world, go to the play store on the web, and install any app on any of my devices remotely.  Can I do that on iOS?  Hmmm  No.  If I am not on my iOS device or my iTunes, I am out of luck.  I travel overseas.  You know how nice and convenient it is for me to go to the web, get an app, and when I land in the US, turn my phone on, it's automatically installed... It just works.
     Now let's give an example of iOS.  Yesterday I was playing with a new iPad, and I wanted to check out a HD movie.  Bought Avatar.  Guess what?  "This movie can't be synced...."  Oh yeah, I had to go get the cable and hook it up to iTunes to sync.  What happened to iCloud?  Wifi sync?  Anything?  Nope.
     Not even going to get into the last paragraph there, since it's all personal preference.  I could say the same about iTunes, since I am used to the Play store.  I find iTunes cluttered and hard to find apps, but hey, personal preference right?

#4.  No uniform experience.
     I can't think of one point that is more useless than this one.   Seriously?  You want everything to be the same?  How about we let Ford dictate how a car should be, or Toyota.  You can only buy a Camry.  Period.  You cant customize it after you buy it either.   They will all be white or black, and all options will be the same.  You are only allowed to chose a few things like the radio stations you listen to.  How about houses?  You want to live in a neighborhood where all the houses look the same?  How about your appliances?  Your clothes?
    People love choice.  People love to choose their own style.  Car, housing, clothes, TV, DVD, Blu Ray, which movie they like, type of music.   Its called choice.  Competition.  Believe it or not,  there are people who actually LOVE Blackberry.  And Web OS.  Some even buy Windows Phones.   Choice.  I love it.

#5.  Specs.
    All I have to say about this is that if specs don't matter, why does the 4S have more than the 4?  Why not just work on the software?  Isn't it magical enough?  Why bother putting an LTE chip in the iPad?

     Specs do matter.   If they didn't, the next iPhone would be exactly like this one.  Just with newer software.  No new processor, no new screen, nothing.
     Specs matter in all consumer products.  Why 3D TV?  Why Blu Ray?  Why the fancy new washing machine?  

     Part of this argument from Apple and the one above about uniformity, is that Apple users don't think about other consumer stuff when they put forward this argument.  Only about their iPhones and iPads.  Its ok to have specs and choice in TVs and cars... Just not on my Apple product.  Really?

Now here comes the disclaimer.  I had a 2nd gen iPod, an iPod touch, and I bought an iPhone 4S when it came out.  My wife wanted to try it.  And yes, I also bought a new iPad.  64Gb white.  My wife is using it and I have played with it extensively.  The iPhone was a nightmare.  It lasted 6 weeks, and even though my wife is not a techy person, she found out that her Thunderbolt was much easier to use, faster, and just better.  The iPhone was sold 6 weeks later.  She is now rocking a Galaxy Nexus.
     She has tried different tablets, and now she is using an iPad 3rd gen.  Yes its pretty.  But, same limitations of the OS.  Things that I can't understand how difficult it is to get around on iOS, and how easy we have it on Android.  

     I will be writing an article on the 10 reasons I will not buy an iOS device for me.  Here is a teaser...  Today at dinner, my wife was browsing the Youtube iPad app looking for a video.  When she found it, I asked her "Are you going to share it on Facebook?"  She looked up at me, and she realized the obvious.  She said "I can't, can I?".

No, you can't.  You hit the share button on the youtube app and you get Twitter and email.    She said "I will do it from my phone".

Why can't things just work on iOS as easily as on Android?


 






Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Galaxy Nexus

Have not posted in a while... But this will be my next phone... :-)


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Zapmix Light Blue for CM7 RC1

I will be adding more devices in the next few days... Nexus S first

This is still a work in progress like CM7...  Enjoy!

UPDATE:  All the below devices are now available...

Zapmix for Nexus S
Zapmix for Nexus One
Zapmix for Evo
Zapmix for G2
Zapmix for MT4G



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An open letter to TMO executives

Why?

Its a difficult question to answer.  Most of the time.  Usually, its because we all know the answer, but the person answering just doesn't know how to say it.
And I suspect that this is why TMO has not ever commented on the concerns of power users.

Or simply, T-Mobile just doesnt get it.

As most of you know, I am now 99% sure that I will leave TMO this year.  Its a sad, and angry moment.  Sad because I have been with TMO since the Voice Stream days.  Its going on 10 years.
Angry because I am now forced to break that relationship, pay a lot more money, and switch my 5 lines of service to Verizon.  And of course, other will follow...

Its been a long time coming.  Those of you who follow on Twitter have seen the rants since last year about why TMO cant release a device that is 4.3", Android and in the super phone category.
It started around spring last year after the announcement of the EVO.  Friends of mine pointed me to the upcoming release of the G2.  I thought that this may be the redemption.  A worthy successor to the original.
Turns out, I, and many others were wrong.  The G2 was a huge disapointment.  First with the specs, then with the lock down, non root mentality, which was worthless as it was rooted anyway.
Ahhh, but there is hope my friends said... There is the MT4G coming... Great!  I thought...  Maybe that one will be worthy... 4.3", super phone, worthy successor of the MT3G...
Again... Huge disappointment.
And then there is the Vibrant.  Great phone, but still 4", and of course, saddled with the slow updates from Samsung.
Then there was CES...  There is hope I thought.
And TMO released..... the Cliq2... Wow... Another mediocre, 3.8" phone.

For those of you reading this far, you must understand that this is written from the point of view of a power user.  I have 5 lines, and most of my 10 yr TMO stay I have paid dearly for phones and service.  It wasnt until TMO went with the EMP plans that I can say my plan is affordable.  Just since the G1, I have purchased 10 Android smartphones, about 12 feature texting phones for my other lines, all at FULL price.
In that same period, most TMO users have purchased about 1 phone per line, under contract.  This is the kind of user I am.

And sadly, TMO has finally convinced me that T-Mobile does not want, or care about users like me.

I have waited for over a year for TMO to convince me otherwise, while I watch other power users leave TMO for the same reason...  My friend @breakthecycle2 being a good example.  My twitter stream in the last few days is filled with about 50 lines of service that are fed up also and willing to leave in the next couple of months.

CES was the straw that broke the camels back.  Even ATT announced 3 super phones, 4", 4.3", dual cores, even a 4.5" Samsung.  VZW also went heavy, with Bionic, Thunderbolt, Revolution, and the i520.  T-Mobile went with 4G speeds and the Cliq2.  Im still laughing about that... The Cliq 2.  Im sure its a great phone.  But its a great phone for some soccer mom on a 2 yr contract.  What about users like me?

Want to see what the reception of the Cliq2 has been?  Go look at the forums on TMO.  Lots of love there huh?

Half the problem is of course that I love TMO and the service that they provide for me at an affordable price.  Maybe if I didnt care it would be easier... Just shut up and leave for another carrier.

So, dear T-Mobile... WHY?

Why cant you keep your "value", and "family", and "affordable", and yet give your power users one or 2 truly leading edge, high end, 4.3"+ devices?
Verizon seems to do it right the other way around.  They seem to cater to the high end, while keeping an extensive line up of value, cheap android smartphones.
So why cant you do the opposite?  Cater to the value, family line and still have a CHOICE for your power users?

I know the Optimus 2X is coming to TMO, but basically, here we go again, with another 4" device...  Yes, dual core, etc, but really... Another 4" device.  One.  I have 4 to choose from on Verizon.  All with WAY better specs...

People tell me to wait... Wait some more... Maybe TMO will have one...

I have been waiting since the EVO was announced.  How much longer do I have to wait.

The wait is almost over.

But I would still like an answer.

Why?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gingerbread theme for CM 6.1 on G2 and Evo!!!

Same issues as Nexus below...

EVO:  Get it here

G2:  Get it here

Gingerbread theme for Nexus One CM 6.1

Here you go people...

First edition...  

One minor inconvenience... Menu item lettering is still dark so you cant read it when the menu is up unless its highlighted.

Working on fix, but this will do if you can stand that little annoyance...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ZapmixN 2.3 for Nexus One CM 6.1RC2

The old classic returns for RC2...

The deep dark blue theme that you always loved...
You MUST use Amon Ra 2.0 or Clockwork to flash.  It is NOT signed

Get it here!