Why I will never ever buy Samsung Mobiles again

I’ve owned nearly 200 mobiles in the last 10 years. Since two years I’m a huge fan of Android and 3 months ago I started to love Samsung.

I’m really impressed by the Samsung Galaxy S and even more by the Galaxy Tab.

But yesterday I’ve tried to update both. At first I thought I can do it via over-the-air (OTA), as you can do it with many other Android devices (and as given Android standard procedure). Then I learnt I need to install a client software called ‘Kies’ to upgrade. I searched for a Kies Apple OSX and Linux version, but didn’t found any. I very soon recognized that there’s only a Windows Kies version available. So I installed this Kies version (2.0) on a VMware version of Windows XP (under OSX and Linux – I only own these operating systems at the moment).

At first I had to upgrade VMware, because there’s has been a bug in VMware concerning Samsung USB devices, but after I’ve installed the VMware patch, I could connect my Samsung device with Kies.

Now I started the update process and after a while it crashed. I repeated this process for five times, always with the same result and after all I stopped any further attempts.

Today I borrowed the Windows laptop of my father and tried to upgrade again, and this time it worked, for the Galaxy Tab and the S, without any problems.

So finally it means: You NEED a native Windows PC, if you want to manage your Samsung devices. No other OS is possible, no virtualization and even the OTA functionality has been removed from the Samsung Android OS.

And none of these requirements have been stated on the package or on the product web site, when I bought the devices.

Would I have known this before, I would never ever have bought Samsung Mobiles – for sure, I and will never ever do again in the future, as long as these circumstances still exist.

Test Your Android Device – Multitouch with Nexus

If would like to test your Android device or compare its performance with other devices, there are some useful apps in the Android market to get hold of:

And if you want to know, if your Nexus includes a working multitouch functionality, just download this little app.

Point you Android browser to the link above and try to wipe around with two fingers. If the colored cycles will follow your fingers, everything is fine. If not, it isn’t, but don’t be scared too much.

Mine isn’t working either, but when do you really need this? :-)

The Google Nexus could be the best Smartphone ever, if…

…there wouldn’t be the issue with its connectivity.

I’ve tested the Nexus now for 12 hours and I never had a smartphone that was so fast, had such a brilliant display, a perfect usability and such a very flexible and modern operating system.
And I had or have them all: iPhone 3G, Magic, Dream, Droid, some Blackberrys and many Nokias.

But yesterday I also tested the connectivity of the Nexus in two large German cities and compared it to the Motorola Droid .
I drove with my car through the streets both handsets connected with the same provider.

And the result was: The Droid often offered HSDPA or 3G while the Nexus was only connected via 3G or EDGE.

Most of the time the Droid operated on one connectivity level better than the Nexus, and I’ve installed the given 3G Nexus Android patch before.

Due to the fact we are talking about smartphones whose nature is being permanently connected to the internet these results are, in my eyes, very important.

But I don’t believe (as the link above documents as well) this issue is related to Android or Google. It’s a hardware issue and thus a problem of HTC (the reason why the Nexus 2 might become Motorola device, who knows?)

If Apple had built Buzz

… I guess we would have seen brilliant working, stable, fully integrated and tested clients in every Apple layer.

Google has surprised us with a brilliant idea, but with a bit confusing, instable and heterogeneous clients (especially for the mobile), but Buzz is free for all and available for almost every operation system and mobile.

Google created Android, but in many cases I have the impression Google is still missing the feeling for the mobile business, many things they do in this space (App Store, Nexus, Wave and now Buzz) is, in the beginning, a kind of immature and sluggish business and  technology.

That’s the difference between Apple and Google, I love both companies, and it’s good to see both alive and kicking here on earth. They are so different, but both very successful in how they do things and thus important for our further development.

The difference between 12 months iPhone and 12 months Android

It’s just that easy:

Read this related blog post and you know what I mean.

One year back we started with the HTC Android G1, and to be honest, it’s a good phone, but not comparable to the iPhone.
Now, 12 months later, have a look at the Top Five Android phones, and if you own the G1, the Apple iPhone, the Motorola Droid and the HTC Google Nexus, as I do, you will follow my thoughts.

And what has happened the same time in the iPhone space, the last 12 months? Almost nothing!

That’s the difference when things are free and lot of creative people can play around with them…

When the Apple iPad will fail

I own two MacBooks and an iMac7. I’m buying Apple since 1978, so I’m indeed no one trying to bash Apple.

But besides the fact that the tablet architecture in general isn’t a suitable model for me and my use cases, because if I have the space for a tablet, I prefer my MacBook Air, the iPad seems to be, at this stage, too close for me.

It adapts the closed iPhone app store business model, which is acceptable for me on a smartphone, but if I have something in size like the iPad, I want the freedom of a laptop – I’m used to since years.

If I can only run and install apps, that will come thru the app store powered by only one carrier then I definetly prefer my laptop, where I can choose how to power and how to install apps.

It’s that easy…

The Google Consultant

Many things have changed in the last 12-24 months. Google is extending and has widely extended its services.

As many news already have summarized: 2010 will be the year of Google.

So why shouldn’t we create a new job profile, a new job specialization?

Somebody, who knows all the services and solutions of Google and thus can advice and implement in this broad area of Google. Starting with some kind of SEO, selecting useful Google Apps, building an development environment with the Google App Engine, developing some apps, introducing ChromeOS, Chrome, Mail, Calendar, choosing and selecting helpful Chrome extensions, extending company channels with Android and so on and so forth…

Much more than SEO with Google was in the past – comparable to the SAP consultant or other specialists in similar tech areas.

And if you believe such a new job profile makes sense, then you should also think about professional Google education and consultancies.

I believe, especially for small and mid size companies, it might be an interesting model to rely on the many (cloud) services and solutions of Google and these, of course, need advice how to profit from these.

And last but not least:  Google Consultant somehow sounds sexy…

That’s what I expected Google to offer with the Android start

That’s what I expected Google to offer since the start of Android. Now a new company from Finland created with the app Dazzboard something, what we Android users are heavily requesting:

The desktop client to sync apps, music and videos with your Android device, at this stage only for Windows users, but Mac OSX will follow.

Dazzboard works as Browser Plugin for the Internet Explorer and Firefox.

I really don’t know, why Google has launched a new mobile platform without desktop based sync and shop system. Did they never use and analyze the iPhone? In my eyes this kind of software is a very important piece of the whole mobile business ecosystem and an important one to make money.

Maybe there are two reasons (besides others) for Google to wait:

They will integrate the Android desktop client in ChromeOS to make this new OS more attraktive and/or they let others start with this kind of desktop client to take the fear away of Google’s Android dominance.

Google Nexus One – the missing Puzzle of the Android Picture

Maybe we will learn something with the Nexus One launch (5th of January 2010) what most of us haven’t yet taken into a account and what will, in my eyes, compensate the biggest problem of the Android platform – the missing, native Android client for my home PC.

Maybe Google will offer a new software architecture with the start of Nexus. A client, which can download Android apps, music and movies and stream those to the Android handset. A client, that backups my apps and maybe a client, that runs my Android apps on my desktop or laptop.

Then Android fans will have something comparable to the successful iTunes (and even more), this will be the missing puzzle of the Android big picture.

And with the help of the Nexus One Google can package a native client with the Nexus box and also preinstalled on the Nexus handset. Something, Google didn’t do and couldn’t do with Motorola, Verizon, T-Mobile and all the others in the Android space in the past.

I’m curious about it!

The Biggest Google Mistake 2009

Google is, no doubt, a, if not the winner of 2009, but, in my eyes, they did one huge mistake:

Their Android Appstore is isolated to the Android platform, at the moment, there’s even no client for the desktop clients.

If I had been Google I have had chosen to buy Sun, have had made Standard Java the platform for Android and have had built an Appstore like the Sun Java Appstore.

Then I would have had an Appstore client for the desktop and the Android phones, and I have had apps, that run on the desktop and the mobile.

I know, you always have to consider screen size, hardware interfaces etc., but Apple will do so, I’m sure.
And they have a huge advantage, again – their iTunes.

The Appstore is one the winner of 2009, like Google is, too, but the importance of the Appstore business model has been undervalued by Google, at least in 2009.

Why to mobile fight? Think of the App Identity!

In the last days there is breaking out a fight among developers (and others) again.

Which is the best approach to develop mobile apps? Web or Rich Client (native apps)?

I say: Take the best of both and develop Hybid Mobile Apps, which look like rich clients, behave and will be installed like Rich Clients, but which largely depend  on a web based SOA backend and/or integrated web pages.

Why?

The Rich Client is the only one, which creates, im my eyes, the important app identity.

The user searches for (in the app store), loads and installs something, which resides automatically (with icon) on his phone (almost on one of the home screens). This creates the app identity and thus the willingness to spend money for these kind of apps. Pure web apps are anonymous, there’s no store, no download, no installation, no icon (if I don’t do it on my own), no splash screen…These are just links like many others, and the user is used to get those for free (like he did in the internet before and for years).

The Rich Client can integrate much more easier with other apps and functionality on the phone (think of the intent technology in the Android space or think of your beloved twitter app, which can send links from your browser or pictures from your camera).

The Rich Client – today – is faster, can create better GUIs, can work offline, has it’s own storage, although these advantages maybe will fade away will HTML5, new Javascript technologies and modern browsers.

The web SOA background and integrated web pages give you all the advantages, why we all love this kind of development (and to be honest, prefer). Nothing has to be deployed or installed to/on the handset. You develop once and can use these results for many handsets. You don’t waste resources on the handset (battery, CPU etc.).

So don’t fight and combine the best of both, and in the end it will be an incremental approach.The better the browser gets, the more you can port app responsibility to it.

But don’t forget about the user’s app identity and your target: You want to earn money! Or don’t you?

The Mobile App can bring Peace to the Content Gaza Strip

Sounds crazy, do you think?

Maybe, but it could work, because the Internet doesn’t have to change their current models.

Content in the Internet remains free and Google, every search engine works as usual.

Paid content will be delivered by paid (mobile) apps. The user is used to pay for content in the mobile space, and that differs from the ordinary internet.

In order to find the paid content Google or other search engines only find headlines or summaries and the found entries link to suitable app stores (Apple, Android, Ovi and others).

If the mobile model works, and I guess it can, then this model can be extended to desktop Java or Flash driven app stores. In the Java space we have already one.

Nobody has to change existing systems or behaviour with one exception:

The search engines link to content summaries and app stores, either mobile or desktop ones, instead of full articles.

I guess you can do it today already, without having to change search engines technology…

Who is afraid of Virginia Google?

I’m a huge fan of Google, especially in the last two years and the last months with Android, Chrome, Chrome OS and many other creations of the viable Think Tank Google.

In the beginning it was just a Search Company for me and a welcomed antithesis to the powerhorse Microsoft, but now Google is the IT inventor of the world, and I do not see any company being able – anylonger – to follow the innovation speed of Google.

Google is dominating the internet world by spitting out one trend after another.

Yesterday, for example, Google has launched again two new services in parallel!
One the one hand the new mobile (Android) app called Goggles , an argumented reality mobile search engine, and on the other hand the QR barcode system ‘Google Favorite Places‘.

goggles_landmark

With both Google connects reality with the internet world. Both, are in my eyes, again brilliant approaches, but, as Google is doing with other new services either, it makes us costumers more and dependent upon Google and it destroys other companys and smaller, in my eyes needed Think Tanks.

In the space of QR and augmented search I can count more than a handful, who are directly affected.

We, customers, are always happy about new Google services, due to these are almost free of charge, but what, if finally anything I do within the internet and my computer/mobile is dependent upon Google?

  1. ChromeOS as OS
  2. Chrome as browser
  3. Google Mail
  4. Android for mobiles
  5. Wave for social software & collaboration
  6. Maps for LBS and navigation
  7. …and so many others

One basic strategy of Google is to build everything they depend on on their own. Where does this strategy end?

Did you hear about the new Google DNS in the last days?

What, if finally there’s is only Google out there? In the nineties it was Microsoft, and now we are happy things have changed, but we haven’t won anything, if Google will become the next Microsoft for the coming 100 years…or more.

Germany misses the Mobile App Train

The mobile app train has started. No, to be honest, it even has received remarkable speed – in my eyes.
2010 will be the year of the mobile business app, but the Germans aren’t on the train yet.

At least I don’t see many or any apps of the largest 30 companies (DAX companies) in the android or iPhone market yet.
These companies still believe the mobile web is the only approach to the mobile user.

And maybe it’s because of the bad experience we’ve all made with the mobile app technologies before the iphone and the android market (e.g. J2ME).
This defensive trend is still out here in Germany and if you’ve heard about the lastest MobileMonday Kudos champions like the Deutsche Post with their app you’ll soon share my mind.

The usecases in this app are clearly usecases for an app, at least for an hybrid app, but this app is not an mobile app, it’s a mobile web page with it’s, based on the nature of the mobile web,  reduced usability.

And the other 29 are not doing better, or does somebody know more than I?

When Google Wave will fail

I like the Google wave idea, really!

But in these days and within the Web 2.0 space if you launch a new service you need a working mobile client (in my eyes), at least a service that works on new smartphones (like the iPhone or Android) and/or with 3 G speed.

Web 2.0 (or Mobile 2.0) users get used (and love) to have their popular apps and services on many platforms, and one, in the meantime very important is the mobile device.

New mobile technology make us more flexible – in time and space – without having to reduce our Web 2.0 service consumption.

Wave doesn’t really work on the handset and also doesn’t work really sufficient enough with 3G speed, even if you’ve connected your laptop with your 3G stick.
OK, a two person’s wave with no pictures, links, videos will make no problem, but if you open your wave to many people with a lot of rich content wave becomes less or not usable.

And as long as Google wave is only fun on a Apple iMac27 with broadband access it isn’t a service for me, because then wave reduces my new freedom which I’ve received – in the last years/months – with new technologies in the mobile space.

And even communication services, and wave is of course one, must have mobile connectivity!

And in the moment I can’t see any Google approach to transform Google wave to the mobile platforms or to make it usable with lesser bandwidth. Does anybody else?

To be honest: I my eyes it be will a hard task for Google to bring the ‘real-time-rich-content-many-users-chat-email-machine’ to something like the iPhone or Milestone.
And if they really reduce wave for mobile usage it’s, maybe, in the end not more than a better Gmail client… who knows?

96 hours Android Milestone Droid

I own/owned 236 handsets till today.
I have/had all iPhones.
I have/had nearly every Android Device, some BlackBerrys and Windows Mobile Handsets.

The Motorola Milestone is, in my eyes, the best smartphone you can buy – today.

Nothing more needs to be said… sorry, if I compare the milestone with the today’s possibilities I can’t find anything to criticize.

And to be honest, I thought Motorola is dying, but they did the right thing. They opened their minds…

Das Mobile Internet ist tot

Nein, ist es natürlich nicht, aber hättet Ihr diesen Satz gelesen ohne diese brilliante, wissenschaftlich fundierte Headline?

Aber so richtig leben, so wie heute auf dem Desktop oder dem Laptop tut es meines Erachtens auch nicht, noch nicht…immer noch nicht?

Eigentlich werden die Handsets immer besser, die Displays immer größer, wir haben Flatrates und höhere Zugriffgeschwindigkeiten (alles, was wir immer wollten), trotzdem boomt etwas noch mehr, als die mobilen Webseiten:

Die mobilen Apps.

Ich, z.b., besitze jetzt mit meinem Motorola Milestone die wahrscheinlich beste Mobile Surfmaschine seit es Mobile Surfmaschinen  und bestimmt seit es Schokolade gibt (+800px Breite, sauschnell), zur Zeit und vielleicht für 2-3 Monate,  und trotzdem bevorzuge ich bei der täglichen Nutzung Apps, vor allem, wenn es um direkte Interaktion geht.

Ja, statischen Content, ein paar mobile Webseiten oder Blogs, lese ich natürlich über den Browser, obwohl ich natürlich auch mein RSS-Feed und meine Twitter-App habe, aber wenn jemand von mir verlangt, dass ich mit Webseite ausgiebiger interagiere, dann weiche ich auf einen Applikations Markt aus und suche die App Alternative.

Und wenn ich meine Tochter frage, ob sie auf Ihrem Magic Mobiles Internet hat, dann behauptet sie doch glatt: “Nein, nur Apps!”. Sie nimmt  es garnicht mehr wahr, wenn sie aus ihrer mobilen Facebook App einen Link im Browser öffnet.

Ja, das mobile Internet, so wie wir es kennen, ist tot, bzw. hat nie so richtig gelebt, die Frage ist, ob es bereits alle gemerkt haben?

Wenn ich mir so die Mobilen Marketing Themen anschaue, dann vermute ich, dass Viele immer noch glauben, den Erfolg des stationären Internets auf das Handy übertragen zu können…

Mein Handy gibt mir Freiheit (zurück)

Viele werden bei dieser Überschrift jetzt kommentieren: “Der spinnt, der Alte”.

Ja, vielleicht und sicherlich hat das Handy zuallererst neue Abhängigkeiten erzeugt bzw. erzeugt diese noch heute. “Unfreiheiten”, welche es vor der “Handyzeit” nicht gab.

Ich tätige diese Aussage aber in einem anderen Kontext: Wenn ich davon ausgehe, dass wir Handys, PCs und Internet haben, und eine Abschaffung dieser Technologien keine Alternative zur “Freiheitsrückgewinnung” darstellt, dann behaupte ich, dass jede neue Handygeneration einem ein kleines Stückchen Freiheit (der vorher durch Handy und Internet verlorenen) zurück gibt.

Die Freiheit, sich vom PC, vom festen Standort zu lösen und sich wieder freier in Raum und Zeit zu bewegen. Ich muss nicht mehr zu Hause sein, vor dem PC hocken, um Dinge zu tun, die ich tun möchte oder muss, sondern kann diese dann und dort tun, wo ich gerade bin.

Ich kann also den freien Willen einer Ortsbestimmung mit der notwendigen Aufgabe, der/einer eventuellen Sucht nach Internet verbinden.

Und mit jedem neuen Handset wird diese Freiheit größer. Das iPhone war/ist sicherlich ein Katalysator, Android und jetzt das Motorola Milestone mit seinem 800er, “normalbrowserfähigem” Display beschleunigen diesen Trend nur noch.

Interessant ist heute zu beobachten, wie neue Internet-User zuerst einmal Ihre Zeit- und Ortsfreiheit verlieren:

Beobachte ich z.B. meinen Vater (73J), dann hockt dieser inzwischen noch viele Stunden in seinem Keller vor dem PC, um Emails zu lesen oder via Google Unterricht vorzubereiten :-) . Das man Vieles inzwischen nicht mehr am PC machen muss, ist bei ihm noch nicht angekommen (auch wenn ich es schon dreimal erklärt habe, aber auch für das Internet habe ich bei ihm 5 Jahre gebraucht).

Somit hockt er nun im Keller, und ich schreibe hier, unterwegs natürlich, über ihn :-) .

Wer ist freier?

eplus 0.5 Beta

Nein, ich bleibe guter Kunde von eplus, und ich weiß auch, dass andere Provider bessere Zugriffsraten und Verfügbarkeiten bieten.

Deswegen bin ich auch nicht bei eplus.

Und ja, ich verstehe auch ein wenig von Webentwicklung, Mobility und Kundenbetreuung.

Und deswegen finde ich, dass ich das Recht habe, eplus hier zu kritisieren:

eplus “zwingt” den Kunden durch seine Tarifgestaltung auf ihre Onlineplattform, soweit so gut, kann ich verstehen und nachvollziehen, nur funktionieren müsste diese dann auch gut und besser.

Nicht nur, dass seit Tagen die Verfügbarkeit von eplus mangelhaft ist, auch die Services, die hier angeboten werden, sind teilweise mehr als fragwürdig.

Z.B. das Feature Cost Control. Dieses ist so fehlerhaft und verwirrend, dass ein Nichtvorhandensein dieser Funktion einen deutlichen Kundenvorteil bedeuten würde. In meinem Fall, ich habe drei Verträge bei eplus (neben anderen bei anderen Providern), zeigt dieses Instrument nahezu nur fehlerhafte Werte an. Im Vergleich zum tatsächlichen Verbrauch bzw. der anschliessenden Rechnung könnte man schon fast von Grimms Märchen sprechen. Keinerlei spezialisierte Tarifmerkmale (und welcher eplus Vertrag kommt ohne aus) wird in der Anzeige für Kosten und Verbrauch (Cost Control) berücksichtigt.

Und wie gefährlich fehlerhafte Instrumentenanzeigen sein können, wissen wir z.b. auch aus dem Flugzeugbau. Dann lieber ohne Instrumente und mit den eigenen Augen fliegen…

Ich würde eplus in diesem Fall empfehlen: Weniger ist mehr! Weglassen!

Und wenn, dann nur gut getestete und funktionierende Software. Das kann man doch von einem Grosskonzern, wie eplus, durchaus erwarten, oder?

Ach, und wenn ich mir dann noch etwas wünschen darf: Schick wäre es, wenn ich nicht bei jedem dritten Klick einen 503er HTTP Returncode erhalte.

Oder ist dieses “Onlinechaos” am Ende des Tages kein Technologieproblem, sondern entschiedene Business Strategie?

Soll ich Kunde besser die sehr teure Hotline anrufen?

Wer weiß das schon? Ich weiss nur: Onlineplattformen kann man deutlich besser und kundenorientierter gestalten.

Dafür von mir und heute ein 0.5 Beta für eplus!

Lokationsabhängige Providerwahl für Mobilfunk (Web) Nutzer

Nun fahre ich schon eine Weile die Strecke Bonn/Düsseldorf mit der Deutschen Bundesbahn. Genau für diesen Zweck habe ich mir einen Vodafone UMTS-Stick inklusive Flatrate (für 29,95 im Monat) zugelegt.

Spasseshalber und weil man sonst nichts in der Bahn zu tun hat, habe ich begonnen, diese Strecke, in Bezug auf Online-Verfügbarkeit, zu testen und habe hierbei, abwechselnd , meinen Vodafone-Zugriff und meine “alte” EPlus-Flatrate (für 10,- /Monat) in der Bahn und auf dieser Strecke benutzt.

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