Android Usability Disaster, Part II

Posted 2011-10-01

Trying to get Skype video calling running on the Galaxy Tab of my mother-in-law, it took me multiple hours to get the fucking Samsung “Kies” software running on my Mac, which is needed for the Gingerbread update, which in turn is needed for video calling.

This endeavor included—but was not limited to—funny stuff like:

  • Setting up a Virtual Machine with Windows XP, because apparently Samsung doesn’t like Mac OS X Lion. Hell yes, I understand, your phones go like hotcakes! Your customers probably don’t use software upgrades—they just buy new hotcake.
  • Trying out some hack to get Mac Kies running on 10.7, because the Tablet is not found by the virtual Windows. Only to find out, that: “This device is not supported by this software.” Hotcakes.
  • Finding out, just a second before I was going to throw this thing against the wall, that you have to turn off USB debugging, if you want to connect your device to a computer. Because that is what makes the most sense!
  • Oh, yeah, computers. Did I mention that you need a freakin’ computer to update the tablet you bought as a replacement for a … computer?

The update then took about two hours(!), and finished (after telling me that it was unable to pull the videos that have been on the device through) with a nice and clean Android 2.2.1 installation.

That’s right, folks: FroYo. The software didn’t even bother to tell me beforehand that I’m wasting my time with this shit, and that the last nine months did in fact not suffice for Samsung to offer an upgrade to Gingerbread for the Wi-Fi models of the Galaxy Tab. I guess, I should have known this from the firmware version I upgraded to: PDA:KM2 / CSC:KM2 (DBT). Clearly Android 2.2.1. So, no video calling. 

This is why people buy Apple products.