2 February 2016

Smartphone May Not Ship as Described (Rant)

So this is a rant that I had in the works for well over a year now, however I decided to completely rewrite what was going to be added so it would fit in-line with recent events and I also wish to throw some shade at a certain smartphone company as well. Originally Samsung was going to be the victim when I wrote this out just over a year ago but that wouldn't be fair, because there's an indie smartphone company that's just recently emerged who's just gone and fucked everyone over.

First off, let me get my point across - Stop making new mobile operating systems.

Stop making new mobile operating systems and improve upon existing ones.
Stop making new mobile operating systems and improve upon existing ones.
Stop making new mobile operating systems and improve upon existing ones.
Stop making new mobile operating systems and improve upon existing ones.

We clear? Good.

Why am I saying this? Because a new mobile operating means higher compatibility issues which in turn means higher costs for development unless you have the module already. It also means more time wasted on compatibility. This something I'll return to later in this post as I want to shift the focus to a whole new level of cuntery.

A robotics company called Turing Robotics Industries (TRI) is wanting to enter the smartphone market with what is simply called the Turing Phone which is being funded through crowdfunding. Now this phone is controverisal as it is due to its lack of USB port, headphone jack, and requiring users to use WiFi to transfer files between the device and the phone for security reasons which is heavily ironic as wireless transfer is less secure than using a solid wire. With all of this you can tell that these guys are going to go very far in the smartphone industry and will probably even topple the likes of Apple and Samsung... /sarcasm

Anyway, they've obviously decided to add to their controversy by swapping out one of the phone's most important features... the fucking operating system.

TRI decided to swap out the OS - Android to Sailfish. Now I've always been known as having an affinity towards Android, however I'm not an overfanatical fanboy and I do approach competing systems such as iOS with an open mind, but this particular change angers me somewhat simply because they're using an indie OS. I'm all for indie stuff, I'm an indie games developer for fuck's sake, but mobile operating systems is where a clear line is drawn. As I said earlier on more operating systems increases development costs due to having to buy software (such as GameMaker export modules) to export to these new systems. Not only that but it increases development time having to the games (or apps) compatible with the new system and even wastes bandwidth (for those on limited connections) as it means more files potentially need to be put up to cater for the diverse number of systems out there.

These new systems should be discouraged and I personally refuse to cater for these new indie mobile operating systems such as SailfishOS. I dislike Apple for their business practices and forcing developers to buy Macs to develop games for iOS, but if I got into a situation where I'd have to choose developing for SailfishOS or developing for iOS, then iOS would win. Yes SailfishOS is compatible with Android apps, but to what extent? Just because SailfishOS allows Android apps to work outside of their native environment in no way guarantees that they'll work well. Plus they'll need an app store to allow for Android app downloads and with no Google Play you're limited to either sideloading apps or a very limited app store.

The dumbfuckery doesn't even stop there...

This is how I'd react at this point if someone else had written this blog post and I was merely reading it.
So not only have TRI proven to be absolute complete and utter wazzocks in changing the product's spec and giving consumers something they didn't pay for, but they've also gone and mislead their consumers with this statement. Deception or dumbfuckery? You decide.

Here's a part of their latest statement regarding the phone's change to Failfish... whoops sorry, SailfishOS.

Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing. You will not have to worry about performance issues with Turing’s Snapdragon 801 because Sailfish OS has been optimized to run fast on your Turing Phone. The Turing Phone will still be able to run Android Apps on the Sailfish OS without issue. An Android application store will be available for you to download your favorite apps.
The Sailfish OS is an evolved continuation of the Linux MeeGo OS previously developed by an alliance of Nokia and Intel. MeeGo mobile software platform was created through the merging of Moblin and the Maemo OS originally developed by Nokia.
This essentially means you have one of the world’s fastest mobile device running the fastest mobile OS with the capability of running your favorite apps in a secure environment.
The above statement was taken from this Android Authority article. You can read and cringe at the full statement there. Notice that the guys over at Android Authority aren't too happy with the change either and have also pointed out that TRI's statement is full of bullshit.

Phandroid, another Android news site, also proceeded to rip TRI to shreds for this bullshit decision.

Well fucking said Phandroid. This screenshot of their article pretty much summarises what I'm trying to get across here.
First off "SailfishOS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing." Well this I can't comment on as I haven't seen it but the part that gets me when they go ahead and say the device has a Snapdragon 801, a smartphone that don't get me wrong - is still very much a capable chip and was originally designed for flagship devices and has seen airtime on such devices such as the Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy S5, but then they go ahead and say that the SD801 makes the phone the world's fastest.

Right... so they're using a two year old chip that's been superceded by not one, not two, not even three, or four, or even five, but six superior chipsets (SD650, SD652, SD805, SD808, SD810, SD820.) All of those chips have performance that smashes the two year old SD801's performance and that's not even taking into account competition from rival chipset manufacturers such as MediaTek, Samsung (Exynos,) and Intel (yes they make mobile chips too.) The fact that they're claiming that a Snapdragon 801 powered phone is the fastest around when it's two years old and is a 32-bit in the era of 64-bit devices is just idiocy and if you have the balls or lack-of-brain-cells to make such a statement then you shouldn't be in the smartphone industry, or any tech industry for that matter.

The fact that TRI have played around with consumers' money and made spec changes and have had bare fallacies published is the embodiment as to why I treat crowdfunding with extreme caution. Once you've put your money on the table, there's no way you're getting that back unless the project falls short of its goal. People paid good money to make sure that this phone saw the light of day, and now TRI have made it so that the consumers will get something pretty different to what they paid for. I'm fairly sure this is the kind of shit that can be grounds for a dispute and refund through PayPal's dispute system.

When TRI did this they basically said to their backers "haha we've got your money and we're gonna change the spec sheet and give you something different and there's absolutely fuck all you can do about it!"

Shame on you TRI. That's all I have to say.

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