Froyo Killed My Phone

I can't guarantee my phone will look like this much longer, you know, all in one piece and everything

Ever since I got my Samsung Epic back in November, I’ve had something of a love-hate relationship with it. Up until the day I started using it, I was a hard-core Blackberry fan and I’m fairly sure I always will be. The Epic appealed to the hardcore nerd in me with the glow of its AMOLED screen and the processing power under the hood.

And when Blackberry released the substandard specs for their next phone, well, I couldn’t defend them any more.

I’ve gone through the growing pains of adapting to a touch screen device. The initial switch was eased by the pull out QWERTY keypad but I found myself using it less and less often and began to adapt to the touchscreen keypad and actually found myself typing faster than I had with my Blackberry.

I quickly found and began using apps that made my phone more of a workhorse than it was out of the box. I began to rely on the Epic as much as I had on my Blackberry for appointment reminders, on the go edits of documents, and the various other things I could do without being at my PC.

I’m using the “stock” Android OS that came with the phone. Two attempts to upgrade to an unofficial release of 2.2 ended in abysmal failure and I preferred to have a device that functioned correctly and performed what I needed it to do without issue and so, I simply nodded my head when friends told me I could upgrade without waiting for Samsung to push the software update.

Then, this morning, my phone shut off for no apparent reason.

I powered the device back on when I noticed it and found that it was unpacking a software update. I hadn’t authorized the update in any way but I was pleased to see the update as I’d been hearing the Froyo update was coming.

When my phone powered on and finished the update, however, my pleasure quickly turned into a seething anger. This isn’t the phone I had yesterday…

I want to stress that I have no custom packages on my phone aside from ADWLauncher, a UI overlay. I’ve been running the stock software and after the failed attempts to use unofficial Froyo packages, I rolled my phone back to the stock settings. Many people who have Android phones may find this odd but honestly, I learned to “drive” in the stock software and I didn’t find any reason to do anything fancy.

But here’s the myriad of troubles I faced once the update was complete, most of which are minor, some of which completely changed the behavior of my phone.

Alarm Clock: This isn’t a big deal. They just removed the alarm clock and replaced it with an app called “Clock”. The minor irritation comes in when I have to redo the three alarm settings I had originally put on my phone. Why it couldn’t pull the old settings to the new app, I have no idea. Severity: Minor

ADWLauncher: The layout is hosed. Icons were missing, widgets were non-functional, the whole layout I had customized for my Epic was reduced to shambles. Attempting to merely relocate icons and widgets resulted in the same flaky behavior. I had to uninstall ADWLauncher and rework my layouts and widgets. I consider this to be a bit more impacting. Severity: Medium

Emails: Two of my email accounts were completely useless. Various messages regarding my password for the accounts came up and regardless of how carefully I re-input the passwords, I was told they were incorrect. I typed the passwords into a notepad to insure I wasn’t fat fingering them and then copied and pasted them into the password field. No joy. During the period when I had uninstalled ADWLauncher, I tried re-inputting the passwords, no luck. Whatever setting was causing the behavior was inherent to the email program, not my launcher. I had to delete the accounts and set them up from scratch… at which point, I received notifications that all of the email in the accounts was “new” and “unread”. Severity: Medium

Alerts: I’m still trying to puzzle this one out, reading forums and seeing if other users are having the issue I am experiencing. All of my alerts, email, texts, voicemail, etc. are showing up as one all-encompassing alert. As I am writing this, I have still been unable to change this setting as the menu option for “Notifications” appears to have disappeared. Severity: Irritating

Texts: This one is a doozy… As I’ve said, the only interface modification I have made is to add ADWLauncher to my phone. As I sit here, I stare angrily at my phone and wonder why it suddenly hates me.

The convenient auto correct feature that made life easier for me when I fat fingered shorter words which I generally type more quickly has been a life saver where adapting to my phone is concerned. At this time, auto-correct is inactive, the suggestions offered by spell check are capitalized in every case (whether I am in the middle of a sentence or the beginning), and the suggestions made are useless (almost always names from my contact list) and nothing like what was made prior to the release of the Froyo update.

Checking the settings for the behavior of my text messaging shows no settings have changed. Checking the input settings reveal no changes either. Changing anything in the settings for the input “devices” results in having to use the sliding keypad with no means to type on the screen. Only a reboot resets this behavior. Changing settings while ADWLauncher was uninstalled resulted in the same behavior. As it is now, I would have to relearn to type on my phone from scratch. Severity: Major

I am currently in the process of removing ADWLauncher, rolling back to factory presets on the phone, and attempting to reinstall Froyo before doing anything else. I will update this article should the attempt to restore functionality to my phone succeeds.

Until then, I may just be staring at my phone and wishing it had a throat so I could strangle it.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

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