AT&T/Google/LG, please get your act together

I am diving into my new Android phone and there is a lot to like about it. I am not prepared to say it is huge winner on the battery life front, but I have hope there. But man the device really demonstrates the problems with the OEM model for product delivery.

  • There is a ton of crapware from LG and ATT on the phone. that you have to shove off into a corner. ATT has like 12 apps alone, including their own app reco engine which is super sluggish. and either ATT or LG put something on here called “browser” and made it the default internet browser.
  • Either LG or ATT decided to remove the Google search box from the homepage. and replace it with a weather widget. Awesome, thanks guys.
  • There are like 9 places to put app shortcuts. It might be on your home screen. Or the notification bar that drops from the top that has some apps, and you can put more there. There are some app buttons jammed onto the lock screen that you can configure. ATT slams some sort of browser bar into some apps (I think this is ATT). there is some overlay of apps that comes up when you drag from the bottom of the display — is this android or lg or att or ? This is giving the Microsoft tile/menu/ribbon/charm morass a run for the money.
  • Obviously google apps has to be in one of these places right? No. It is not anywhere on the phone. There is something called Polaris Office that ATT or LG jammed on that I don’t want.
  • oh that is right, google renamed it google drive, so that must be on the phone! Uh, no. It is not. It is in the app store tho, and I can download it, and it seems to work fine. Why the f^&k isn’t it on the phone in the first place??
  • @bradsilverberg mentioned that his new android phone doesn’t have visual voicemail and that verizon wants $3 a month to turn it on. I looked around my phone to figure out where voicemail is. Hmm, no voicemail button, nothing in the dialer about voicemail. So I call myself from another line and leave a voicemail. Notification arrives saying I have voicemail and that I have to dial some number to get it, and I do so and I am back in 1985 interacting with voicemail menus. Wow, is this really the experience??? So a quick web search and I find an “AT&T Visual Voicemail for Android” app that is free, from AT&T. I install it and it works fine. WHY THE F%^K IS THIS NOT INSTALLED BY DEFAULT???? Especially when AT&T slams on 10 other apps by default including their own browser, their own messaging app, their own mapping, etc…

I mean the parts are all there for a great out-of-box experience but as @bsilverberg said to me, someone needs to ride herd on this thing and clean all this crap up. It is just stupid to ship the phone this way.

4 thoughts to “AT&T/Google/LG, please get your act together”

  1. You start by saying, “there is a lot to like about it” and then proceed to list nothing but complaints. What is there to like about it?

  2. As a developer I need to have phones of both stripes (sorry, MFST, yep I said “both”) and on the Android side I bought the Nexus 4. And from all that I have heard, thank God that I did. Pretty much crapware-free. But yeah, Google needs to provide some tough carrot/stick incentives to the handset OEMs, it’s a worse train wreck than even Windows shovelware for sure.

  3. Sounds like the good old days when OEMs like Conpaq were turning the Windows desktop into a junkyard.
    And seems that’s why Cyanogen got $7M from Benchmark and RedPoint. I wonder whether ChromeOS is going to flatten all that.

  4. Yes, Rob and Christophe it certainly feels like the good old days of Windows Shovelware. I should have titled this post “AT&T and LG, have some pride in your work”. Google left the door open, but AT&T and LG didn’t have to rush through.

    My daughter’s fiance makes hand-crafted wood furniture. She takes great pride in her work, it is great work. When she is done with a piece, she doesn’t immediately slap bumperstickers all over it.

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