Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Not Your Mother's Flip Phone

I'm sold on smartphones, particularly my new Samsung Captivate.


There's always a "but" isn't there?

Smartphone users obviously benefit from the tremendous capabilities of their new phones (really a handheld computer). The latest smartphones have powerful Internet access, applications, still and video cameras, etc.

But they aren't as capable phones as they used to be.

I came across this blog post that got me to thinking.

This poster mentioned his three "biggies:"
  1. Blackberry Messenger
  2. BB Holster Magnet
  3. Security
I hadn't enumerated my "biggies" but my experiences recently inspired me to write this.

The battery cable came lose on my car and reset my radio so I had to find and enter the radio's security code. That isn't a phone issue except that it triggered havoc with my Samsung Captivate.

I put the security code in and thought I was done. Ok. That's "easy." I set the input to "Aux" to get the signal from my BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway. Then I fired up Car Cast to resume listening to my podcast.

But wait, that's where I got the Android equivalent of a Blue Screen of Death. It said that the Car Cast app had been Forced Closed. Ok. That's "easy." Just go to the home screen and restart it.

But wait, it crashed again. And I noticed an alert in the notifications area. Ok, That's "easy." Just pull it down and it said that the external microSD card was now unmounted. I hadn't done anything with the menus and hadn't dropped or bumped the phone. I opened the back of the phone and removed and reinserted the microSD card.

But wait, that got me a message that the "mount point was invalid." I wouldn't call that very user friendly. Ok, that's "easy." So I powered the phone down and rebooted it. That got the microSD recognized. And now Car Cast would run.

But wait, now the phone wasn't connected to the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway's Bluetooth. Ok. That's "easy." Navigate on the phone to "Setting," "Wireless and network," and "Bluetooth settings."

But wait, there were NO Bluetooth devices listed. Ok. That's "easy." Click on "Scan devices."

But wait, it didn't see the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway. Ok. That's "easy." Just turn off "Bluetooth" and turn it back on then "Scan devices" again.

But wait, the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway shows "Paired but not connected." Ok. That's "easy." Click on the device entry for BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway and in a few seconds it connects.

Try explaining that to your mother.

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