It’s still unclear what, exactly, Samsung is up to over at XDA, but one thing at the very least is obvious. Samsung wants to hear from you! That is, if you want to say stuff they want to say! You can ask your questions over at the Communicate with Samsung page. As any good publicity manager does, though, Samsung has opted to screen your questions. From the page:
Example of good questions:
What’s the difference between Super AMOLED Plus and Super AMOLED?
Why did Samsung name its flagship phones “Galaxy S” … what is the significance of “S”?
What determines whether Samsung upgrades a phone to the next version of Android?
Examples of bad questions:
Where is my Froyo update?
What is the release date for the Galaxy S II in the US?
Why does Samsung have great/horrible customer service?
So, to summarize: if you would like an answer about the most burning question you have about your Galaxy S phone, can it. If you are eager to buy any of Samsung’s products and would like information about when you can get them, you can stuff it. If you are frustrated by Samsung’s customer service, this is not the venue to complain. This is, instead, the place to ask questions about topics that a Google search can answer faster. This is the place to ask questions few people care to know the answer to.
Perhaps Samsung is up to something a little more elaborate than a glorified Q&A with the most elite members of the development community that have managed to bring the newest, most innovative features of Android, both from within Google and from without, to Samsung’s devices faster than Samsung themselves can. We’ll be keeping a close eye on it to see what happens. Until then, if you’d like to go ask your approved questions of Samsung, have at it over at XDA.
It doesn’t mean much of anything right now, but if you’ve ever rooted your phone, chances are you’ve been to XDA. And even if you haven’t, you still have reasons to pay attention to the things those folks develop. And now you have one more. A user going by the name of SamsungJohn, who sources say does, in fact, work for Samsung, has been dropping hints that the owners of XDA and Samsung have been in talks recently.
About what is anyone’s guess at this point. It wouldn’t be the first time a major corporation worked with the community. And any time the major players in the market get along with the major players in the developer community, it’s good for everyone.
We hear that there’s an announcement coming “soon” from the heads of XDA. When that happens, rest assured Autistic Disdain will be right there, ready and willing to make fun of the new deal/partnership/project/grudge match/showdown/LAN party/date night as it develops.
Hey, maybe Samsung will even ask XDA for advice on getting Froyo to their U.S. handsets while they’re at it.
As everyone who’s left their house in the last decade is no doubt aware, the market for personal MP3-playing devices is totally, 100% up in the air. There are no clear winners yet. Despite overwhelming demand for an easy-to-use, versatile, robust media playing device, no such device exists. At least, not to Samsung’s knowledge. Which is why they’ve cleverly decided to take the Android platform and make a handheld, non-phone device. This is brilliant! You can do stuff with it! Like apps! And I’m pretty sure it plays music. I think Android has a built-in music player, right?
This should serve as a warning sign to all of the other device manufacturers out there to get it in gear. Pun intended*. In the near-decade since Napster made people aware that all music is free forever, there has not been a single device, gadget, or pod that has come along to fill the hole that Samsung is about to fill. Frankly, they could take the market if someone else doesn’t step up.
Of course, Samsung would have a much harder time of it if a.) Android weren’t known primarily, if not solely for their robust multimedia applications, 2.) there were another device on the market that was already synonymous with personal multimedia playback, and d.) this device didn’t have that gorgeous AMOLED screen that’s become the Galaxy series’ trademark.
What’s that? It has a Super Clear LCD screen instead? Ah. Well. Two out of three ain’t bad, right?
*- I’m so….so sorry.
Samsung’s Galaxy S line is already kind of confusing. They have different form factors, different materials, different carriers. The few things they have in common is they’re all called Galaxy S. They all run Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. And they’re all notoriously slow to get updates, with most U.S. handsets still sitting pretty with Android 2.1. This well after the announcement of Android 2.3, and even after the promised deadline of “by the end of November.” But there is some good news: the Samsung Intercept (on Sprint anyway) is getting the 2.2 treatment right now. Why? Because Samsung hates you.
There’s no other explanation, really. The Galaxy S line launched in the U.S. in July with the Captivate on AT&T. July 18th, to be exact. The Intercept, a far cheaper, far less capable, far less popular phone was launched one week earlier on a somewhat less popular carrier. It has now received the update sooner than most other Galaxy S phones.
Samsung has also announced they intend to bring Froyo to the Samsung Anycall Ultra S S7350H Elegant Edition, Samsung S9110 watch phone, and the Samsung Moment before any more Galaxy S phones. Though, the latter announcement is simply because the Moment likes to be teased.
When asked if the U.S. Captivate would ever see an update to Froyo, or possibly Gingerbread, the Samsung rep we spoke to laughed for a solid minute into the phone before hanging up on us.
In all frankness, I don’t think I’ve seen a laundry list of Stuff Wrong With A Phone this long since the Backflip. Alphabetically:
Bing: I’m curious if Samsung has seen the numbers from their Galaxy S phones in a specific light, but from where I’m sitting, the Fascinate, the one Galaxy S phone that doesn’t come with Google preloaded as the default search engine, was widely regarded as the suckiest Galaxy S phone. Samsung responded to public outcry with the response that you would be able to reset Google as the default search engine with the advent of Froyo. Like a child without his security blanket for the first time, Samsung just couldn’t leave that sans-Google-handset hole empty for long.
Eclair: Word on the street is that Samsung is working on the nigh-legendary Nexus Two which is said to be the flagship device for Gingerbread as the N1 was for Eclair (and to a lesser extent, Froyo). Needless to say, when Samsung set aside a date solely for a new Android device, and so shortly after the Gingerbread man showed up at Google HQ (usually an unmistakable sign of a new Android version), it was widely expected that this phone would bring some Gingerbread-y goodness. Or at the very least, whatever it was would ship with Froyo. Something the Galaxy S line has been lacking. No. You will have an Eclair and you will like it!
Second Screen: One has to wonder why, if it’s not the mythical Nexus Two, Samsung decided to host a special event just for this phone. Well, it turns out, this is a unique phone. It has a special addition that no other phone before it has had. A second little screen! You know, for notifications and stuff. And as we all know, if there’s one thing that Android sucks at, if there’s one thing that Android could use a second screen to help fix, it’s their notification management syst-oh. No. Wait. That’s entirely false. This little screen is all but pointless. Well, unless you like to idly check stock prices while you’re watching a full-screen movie on your device. And if that’s the kind of usage you want from your device, boy have you come to the right place, because the 3.4″ screen (smaller than the Evo, smaller than all other Galaxy S phones, smaller than the bloody iPhone for chrissakes) is the perfect size for squinting at movies while squinting harder at text!
Vanity: The biggest problem with the Continuum? It gets its own event. Why. No, there’s not a question mark at the end of that sentence. That implies there’s an answer. There is no good answer for why this average-specced, Bing-ed up, miniscule, outdated, mutant clusterf!#k of a device got it’s own special media event for its announcement.
Interestingly enough, the Continuum was accidentally revealed via the company’s official Twitter channel just prior to the event’s beginning. Much more fitting. Too bad they’d already paid the deposit on the caterer.