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August 28, 2017

My New Samsung S8

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

I’m pleased with my new phone, but the purchase has also reminded me of something: The ordeal everyone goes through for a new phone. Because these devices are so integral to our lives, the upgrade isn’t the smooth and easy transition it once was.

I was in and out of the Verizon Store in less than 10 minutes. A record. The salesdude was pleasant and knew that I was a no-nonsense customer. I traded in my old Galaxy S6, got a credit, paid for the new phone, a Galaxy S8 shown in Figure 1. The service as activated and I was on my way. Simple.

Figure 1. My Samsung Galaxy S8, not a very sexy photo, but I had to use my tablet to take the picture and its camera sucks.

Then came the ordeal.

Normally, Google re-installs all your active apps when you get a new device and sign-in with your Google account. That didn’t happen for my new S8, so I had to review the apps and install them manually. Worse: I had a great home screen pattern for my apps on the old phone and I toiled to re-create it on the new one.

The Samsung S8 features a larger screen than the S6, and you can customize the icon grid. I have more room (a whole ‘nuther row and column) for apps. Fortunately, I saved a screenshot of my old phone’s home screen. I spent a good hour downloading apps and re-creating my home screen arrangement and all the folders.

For some apps, I had to log in again. I had to configure things just so and confirm that a new device was activated for my accounts.

The worst update — and totally unanticipated — was my VIP Access app. I need that app to log into various online accounts, but when I traded in the old phone, I didn’t deactivate its key. Because of this oversight, I had to phone various financial institutions to get access back to my accounts. That sucked, and it’s something I must remember to do next time I get a new phone.

I had to recreate all my notification sounds, ringtones, and wallpapers. These were saved on the old phone, but in my haste to get the new phone, I didn’t think to save them all on Google Drive or Dropbox or someplace where I could easily re-install them.

This morning, when an email notification came in at 5:40, I remembered that I didn’t configure the Do Not Disturb feature.

Another thing I noticed: Samsung is getting aggressive with their own way of doing things and their own apps. Many of the standard Android apps are rebranded under Samsung’s logo and you must use Samsung’s app store to get updates. This annoyance is minor, however. The main issue with Samsung that I avoid is signing up for their feeble social networking attempts.

Samsung requires that you sign-in to your Samsung account to activate certain services. But I don’t want those services! For example, to use their voice assistant, Bixby, you must agree to their terms, one of which is that you want to insanely share music and pictures with other unfortunate Samsung users who are duped into doing the same thing.

No. Thank you.

So I’ve yet to see how Bixby works. I’ll cover it later, and mention other new and fun features as well, as I continue to explore the phone.

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