Saturday, January 07, 2012

Those Are Standard Aren't They

One of my co-workers came into the office after the holidays with a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S II. As we sat around the table after our meeting I noticed that he had the phone USB connected to his laptop. His previous phone (HTC G1) always needed charging so I asked him if he was charging the new one out of habit. He said no that he was trying to connect the phone to the laptop but couldn't find a driver.

My experience with every smart phone except iPhones is that you didn't need a driver to connect the phone to a PC as a USB drive. He wanted me to show him how I connected so he brought me his USB cable and phone. When I plugged it all in I got a complaint from Windows that it was an "Unrecognized device." Hmmm.

Then I plugged my Captivate in with his cable. Same thing. That invoked the "Those are standard aren't they?"

Well they should be but they aren't.

I recently encountered a similar problem when the OEM charging cable for my Captivate got stepped on. I ordered the first $.99 micro-USB cable I could find. It fit fine into the tight connector on my Captivate and the battery icon changed to charging. But the next morning the battery was only at 70%.

Here's what the charging screen looks like connected to the generic cable.

Notice that it says "Charging(USB)." That's why it was taking so long to charge.

Back to Google and I found a Samsung OEM charging cable on eBay. It came quickly and fixed the problem.

Here's what it looks like connected with the Samsung cable.

Notice that it says "Charging(AC)."

Yeah, USB cables should be standard but obviously they aren't.

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