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February 21, 2014

Samsung the Silly

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Recently, Google and Samsung sat down to talk. Samsung is the largest supplier of Android devices in the world, both phones and tablets. Obviously Google would have a lot to lose if Samsung decided to create their own operating system. They’re halfway there already.

I like Android. I like stock Android, such as what’s found on the Nexus tablets and phones. It’s pure.

Samsung, on the other hand, likes to load up their devices with a lot of Samsung-specific software. They have hubs, apps, widgets, and all sorts of crazy things installed on their phones. Some of it is genius, but most of it is tepid and half-baked.

For example, the Samsung Note app presents itself as a wistful notepad upon which you can record the events of your life. It’s beautiful to look at, and has a tranquil tone, but it’s ultimately useless. It has a rather limited storage capacity and while running it completely dominates the screen. It looks more like a movie trailer than a useful app. It’s not the only app that presents itself that way.

Overall, Samsung’s suite of phone and tablet apps lack a cohesion that you’ll find on many of Google’s apps or apps from Amazon or other sources. Samsung is trying to create an exciting community, but it keeps building on sand.

For example, I tried to get into the whole Samsung “hub” mentality on the old Galaxy Tab 10.1. So I joined the Social Hub and the Movie Hub and the Media Hub. After a few weeks, Samsung revised all the Hub apps. My old account was gone — as were the movies I purchased and other items I set for myself. That’s hardly an incentive to continue doing things the Samsung way.

Further, phoning Samsung support was useless: They had no idea what I was talking about and were unable to refund my money. That was, logically, my last attempt to do anything with a Samsung Hub. I was probably not alone.

Today Samsung continues to seemingly spin off random and uncoordinated apps, trying to create some type of digital community, but without a solid commitment or end game it means nothing.

Now for Google’s part, they could simply be afraid that their largest partner is about to split away and do their own thing. That may be true, but in the bigger picture, Google may be concerned that Samsung is lacking a focus and direction that may hurt both partners in the long run.

From what I gather, Google was able to convince Samsung to stick with more stock Android ways of doing things. For example, Samsung’s web browser is basically a gussied-up version of Google’s Chrome. That’s fine! Their other apps could also be based on stock Android, which I feel would help both companies.

I do enjoy Samsung stuff. They make good gizmos and occasionally they outshine Apple, I don’t see them yet capturing the concept of “cool.” In the long run, they definitely need to embrace a vision and stick to it. Otherwise the random and tepid apps are going to turn away their fans.

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