All These Years And Mobile OS’s Still Suck?


Okay, so a little known secret is that I’ve actually been using the same mobile phone since either 1999 or 2000. I forget exactly when I got it, but it was a long time ago. It’s a Samsung 3500, a phone that was popular back in the day before things like (gasp!) color screens, let alone fancy features like cameraphones.

my ancient phone

It’s not quite as bad as it sounds… The day the first Danger Hiptop/T-Mobile Sidekick came out I got that, and continued to use that as a data only device, until even that seemed old and pretty beat up.

Last year, Sunnia got me a PPC 6700 through a discount at work, but I couldn’t transfer my phone number to it until today. I’ve been using that as a data device only… and while there were a few annoyances, I didn’t pay much attention since it wasn’t really “my phone.” Earlier this week, however, I switched the number over… and realized I would need to enter all the phone numbers in from the old phone. I never expected them to be transferable, but I did expect that I’d somehow be able to type them in on my computer and transfer to the phone.

No such luck… unless you’re using Microsoft Outlook, which I don’t use and don’t have on this computer. In fact, every time I now plug the PPC 6700 into my computer it complains to me that my default email client is not Outlook and tells me I need to fix that and then serves up the ever friendly “OK” button (no other choices). Thing is, it’s not okay. I don’t want to use Outlook, and yet here I’m being told I need to. (Not that they seem to care any more, but it seems like this is exactly the sort of thing that the Justice Department was looking for when claiming Microsoft leveraged its monopoly position in forcing people to use other apps…)

So, instead, I’m killing my evening typing in each of the numbers and names by hand on the little keyboard on the PPC 6700… and, again, I’m discovering some idiotic decisions made by Microsoft. If I click on the part of the contact info that is for a phone number, why can’t it recognize that I’m probably typing a number, rather than relying on me to press the “red dot” button to let it know that I’m writing a number (on the PPC, the top row of letters, QWERTY…, have the numbers as the secondary option, which only work if you press down that red button).

You would think that, over the past 8 or so years that they’ve had to perfect this stuff they would have worked out a few of these kinks already…