Some days, I wish I was a journalist. Or still a journalist. Or something that would make me feel as though I was contributing to a vocation that I’m starting to get really worried about.
The aftermath of the problems I had last week with Verizon Wireless Customer Service was that I replaced my Droid with a shiny new Galaxy Nexus, albeit with some more customer service stupidity thrown in. And because there’s still a big piece of computer geek floating around inside me (and I had stuff to transfer from my Droid to the Galaxy Nexus SmartPhone), I spent some time playing over the weekend.
Remember, computers are too hard. Turns out, as they become more and more like computers, SmartPhones are becoming too hard, too.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus (and to be fair, I’m specifically talking about the CDMA/LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus being sold by Verizon Wireless), is a very cool device. Android 4.0 is simply better than what came before it. And the phone is really fast, and it moves data around at a speed that’s actually a bit hard to believe—as long as you have 4G coverage.
And the Galaxy Nexus is broken. I can’t believe that with all the reviews of the Nexus that have been written in the last couple of months as Google’s new baby has come to market as “the it phone” of the moment that nobody’s dug deep enough to point out a flaw that is almost too awful to overlook.
On the Galaxy Nexus, there’s no good way to move files to and from the phone.
Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus comes with 32 GB of internal storage. There’s no SD Card slot or any other way of easily adding or removing files, though, so you need to hook the Galaxy Nexus to a computer to drag and drop files from one to the other. No big deal, right?
Except, it doesn’t work. Or at least not reliably. I’m on my second Galaxy Nexus SmartPhone, and I’ve spoken not only with Verizon technical support but also to technical support at Samsung, and what looks like a simple thing is just plain broken.
No big deal, under most circumstances. How often do you need to move files from your phone to your computer or the other way around, right? Well, here’s the problem:
The reason the Galaxy Nexus has so much memory on board (aside from “because it can”) is that it shoots high-definition video. High-def video files take up a lot of room. And if you want to get that video off your phone, you need an easy way to move it. If there’s no SD card to pop out of the phone and also no way to move the files through a wire, you’re stuck.
Sure there are work-arounds, and I’ve found a couple of them. But they’re too hard even for me, and I’m a geek. Regular people are hosed.
Oh and by the way: if you’re the kind of person who believes in doing back-ups, this problem affects you there, too. Google’s automatic backup is nowhere near complete, and anything you want to do manually is going to run into the no-SD-card-and-no-reliable-wire-based-transfer problem.
And the point of this article wasn’t even to pick on Samsung for building the Galaxy Nexus without removable storage or writing a driver that actually works.
This piece is about the demise of journalism. “Back in the day” those of us who practiced technology journalism did so in a way that was thorough enough to make the things we wrote say something. Yes, the Galaxy Nexus is very cool, and it’s a relief to finally be able to take screen shots like the one you see above. And The Nexus is fast. And it looks great. Android version 4.0 rocks. Woo-Hoo!
But the design of the Galaxy Nexus and the software it comes with are flawed. Period. And in the dozens of reviews I’ve read, nobody has said that.
Why? Because even if blog networks are the new journalists, the business changes that surround that reality have led to another one: the people writing these blogs just aren’t very good.
So go ahead: buy a 4G phone like the Galaxy Nexus with lots of storage and fast data transfer. Download more and better Apps. Take care to get a data plan that you can live with—and keep an eye on that meter if you don’t have unlimited data.
And get ready to spend a lot of time fixing the problems that Samsung should have designed around and your favorite
journalist blogger should have warned you about.
The Computer Answer Guy awaits your call.