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More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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I am not the only person with these complaints, and I believe that the Verizon answers to some of these complaints to be lacking. I'm not saying that the Verizon answers are wrong, but in many cases they are providing an explanation that does not actually resolve the complaint, but rather tries to state that the complaint is not something to really complain about, and in nearly every case I believe the Verizon people are completely missing the point. Then, later, I see those same Verizon people stating that other apps (not pre-installed) that have the same behaviors as the pre-installed apps, well those other apps are poorly coded. Well, I say that the pre-installed applications ALSO are poorly coded. There are many, built-in, APPLICATIONS that should NOT autostart. Alarm Clock, Voice Dialer, Email and Corporate Calendar are just a few that I can think of right now. Each of these apps should, at the minimum, have menu settings that allow you to disable them completely. I do not, YET, have an Exchange server to hook my Corporate email into, so why in the heck do I need that application to continue to load?? The Alarm Clock, same issue. Look, when I want to turn on the Alarm Clock, I should be able to activate it, and then when I no longer want it, I should be able to have it not loading itself into memory. WHY do I need to PAY for a 3rd party application (Startup Auditor) to stop the unwanted, built-in, applications from running?? Further, and while I have not done this, yet, why do I need to ROOT my own phone in order to gain all the control possible?? Verizon, you may think it is okay that these apps are running, but have you ever heard the axiom, "the customer is always right"? Even if this comes down to just a matter of aesthetics, having people like how their phone runs and works is also important. Listen up Verizon and Google, instead of trying to justify why things are the way they are when people don't like it, why don't you instead figure out how to actually, at a minimum, provide people with a mechanism to actually control what they want running on their phone and when they want it running?? Maybe there are some people who do not want to receive any messages during work hours? Maybe people would like the browser to always open new windows with the page already zoomed in... Heck, when it comes to the browser, maybe we'd like more Firefox add-on like functionality (like Ad Block plus and NoScript!) I don't want the MARKET to check for updates on my apps until I want it to check (perhaps I would like it to wait until I am at home on my WIFI network.) It is this essential LACK OF CONTROL that is a problem and that needs to be addressed as much with the FREE, BUILT-IN, applications as much as it needs to be addressed with those apps in the marketplace. Every time one of those apps loads it uses power, unnecessarily. If I am using too many apps and those apps unload to free up space and then they reload, despite not wanting them, they use power, again, unnecessarily. The MARKET app and even other network based apps that I don't want running over the 3G network (unless I specifically trigger them) are using my bandwidth. I have WIFI at home, I should have the option to keep those apps offline until I am at a WIFI location where I can use that bandwidth and not my 3G bandwidth. And then there is just the simple matter of security. Every app that is running is a potential security hole, while there may not be any present known vulnerabilities with these apps, I am sure it is only a matter of time before some are found. I should be able to limit my exposure and future vulnerability by controlling what runs and when. And the final matter that it bothers me is the aesthetics point, and that has a security bend to it. When I use task killer to end applications, like some games and other apps which do not have a clean exit option, I see those other apps running. WHENEVER I look at the apps loaded, I should only see the applications I choose to load. I do not know if my phone has been compromised when I see applications running that I did not choose to load, because the OS is loading applications for no good reason and I have no ability to control that, which also means I have far less ability to determine when my phone has been compromised. I have now listed several ways by which I have been adversely affected by the built-in applications starting up when they are unwanted and unneeded. And worst of all, there really is no reason that every one of these problems cannot be quickly addressed and corrected. "Half of control during battle comes from the commander's avoiding useless expenditure of the physical resources of his men while taking action to break the hold of fear." Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall, The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of the Nation, 1980
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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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I did use enters and had it nicely formatted.  This site is mucking up (this is the second time I am writing this because of the site mucking up) and it unformatted my text and did not allow me to fix it afterward.  I was as annoyed as you are.

 

Like most of the defenders, you completely misunderstood what I stated.

 

A number of the pre-installed applications (and I listed some of them) on the Android are poorly coded and run when they are not only not needed but also not wanted.  The impact of that is that it costs power, bandwidth and poses a security risk.  The resolution is simple, provide controls to constrain those applications.  As is, you can buy an app (again noted by my first post) that helps, but that should not be necessary.

 

Verizon and Motorola have been making and selling cell phones for years, this lack of control is not a new issue but rather a common issue that takes months, and sometimes years before Verizon gets around to allowing a proper resolution.  At present, the Droid is becoming the Edsel of cell phones.  (And I am not even referring to the lousy camera, inaccurate touchscreen or the horrible keyboard ergonomics.)

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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Well first off, you should try to use the enter button, and perhaps a few indentions so that we can read properly -- instead of being owned by a wall of text (It crits for over 9000!).

 

Either way, from what I've gathered from your essay your largest problem is the way that Android works and the way that certain applications run in correspondance with the 3G network or how it is constantly getting information period.

 

There has been large dispute with the issues on data plans, and such -- however this is a first on how the way that Android actually works. Let me try to start off by saying that Android's OS is based around feeding and gathering information to the user, you. It does this remarkably. For example, the popular Twitter client, can send you notifications when you recieve new tweets. Your Gmail account does this natively. If you have GPS on it'll always run, this is bare bones Android and the way it will always run.

 

It's not an iPhone, where it completely exits out a program when you hit the home screen (Which doesn't help them regardless for their network a la everything that's been happening with "YOU GUYS ARE USING TOO MUCH DATA"). You need to chose what you want to stop.

 

That being said, only six applications run at the same time. 10 Applications may seem like they are running, but only six are actively using Android's system to consistently gather information. The rest are on standby.

 

At the end of the day your argument isn't really an argument, it's just a rant about how the phone functions. Unless it's effecting your performance (hint:It shouldn't), bothering you with the asthmatic "DROIIIIDDDD" sound (hint:You can stop that), or saving the world on it's own (hint: you should be happy), then there's nothing to be complaining about.

 

Most phones don't even offer the function to do that -- it's not a big deal that you should have to exit out of applications (I don't even have to do that much now), or even download the app for it.

 

However my question to you, is why didn't you do the research on this phone prior to buying it? Why is it a problem that the phone caters to you? Why don't you just get an iPhone if this matters to you so much?

 

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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I did use enters and had it nicely formatted.  This site is mucking up (this is the second time I am writing this because of the site mucking up) and it unformatted my text and did not allow me to fix it afterward.  I was as annoyed as you are.

 

Like most of the defenders, you completely misunderstood what I stated.

 

A number of the pre-installed applications (and I listed some of them) on the Android are poorly coded and run when they are not only not needed but also not wanted.  The impact of that is that it costs power, bandwidth and poses a security risk.  The resolution is simple, provide controls to constrain those applications.  As is, you can buy an app (again noted by my first post) that helps, but that should not be necessary.

 

Verizon and Motorola have been making and selling cell phones for years, this lack of control is not a new issue but rather a common issue that takes months, and sometimes years before Verizon gets around to allowing a proper resolution.  At present, the Droid is becoming the Edsel of cell phones.  (And I am not even referring to the lousy camera, inaccurate touchscreen or the horrible keyboard ergonomics.)

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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DarkHorseSki wrote:

I did use enters and had it nicely formatted.  This site is mucking up (this is the second time I am writing this because of the site mucking up) and it unformatted my text and did not allow me to fix it afterward.  I was as annoyed as you are.

 

Like most of the defenders, you completely misunderstood what I stated.

 

A number of the pre-installed applications (and I listed some of them) on the Android are poorly coded and run when they are not only not needed but also not wanted.  The impact of that is that it costs power, bandwidth and poses a security risk.  The resolution is simple, provide controls to constrain those applications.  As is, you can buy an app (again noted by my first post) that helps, but that should not be necessary.

 

Verizon and Motorola have been making and selling cell phones for years, this lack of control is not a new issue but rather a common issue that takes months, and sometimes years before Verizon gets around to allowing a proper resolution.  At present, the Droid is becoming the Edsel of cell phones.  (And I am not even referring to the lousy camera, inaccurate touchscreen or the horrible keyboard ergonomics.)


 

 

Thought I might help with one item.  Your complaint about the browser not opening in zoomed mode... Open the browser, click on menu -- More -- Settings, and clear the checkbox that says "Open pages in overview"  Also I think opening in a new window that you want would be to simply check the box to "open window behind current" - Not sure if that will do what you want or not, but you might try it there.

 

As to the installed apps, the Droid is pretty stock Android, and the program associations were picked (I would guess) to allow for a seamless experience for most users.  Yes, it would be nice to have the ability to remove those that are not absolutely necessary, and hopefully that will come with future versions of Android as the system develops.  If you want to see lots of "fluff-ware" running, check out the running apps that default on the Eris, or any other HTC Sense system such as the Hero, and to top it off, Sprint has the NFL and NASCAR apps that are constantly trying to start up at various times with no way to uninstall (without rooting, anyway)

 

 

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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DarkHorseSki wrote:

I did use enters and had it nicely formatted.  This site is mucking up (this is the second time I am writing this because of the site mucking up) and it unformatted my text and did not allow me to fix it afterward.  I was as annoyed as you are.

 

Like most of the defenders, you completely misunderstood what I stated.

 

A number of the pre-installed applications (and I listed some of them) on the Android are poorly coded and run when they are not only not needed but also not wanted.  The impact of that is that it costs power, bandwidth and poses a security risk.  The resolution is simple, provide controls to constrain those applications.  As is, you can buy an app (again noted by my first post) that helps, but that should not be necessary.

 

Verizon and Motorola have been making and selling cell phones for years, this lack of control is not a new issue but rather a common issue that takes months, and sometimes years before Verizon gets around to allowing a proper resolution.  At present, the Droid is becoming the Edsel of cell phones.  (And I am not even referring to the lousy camera, inaccurate touchscreen or the horrible keyboard ergonomics.)


When you say "poorly coded" you say it as if there are loop holes in the coding to where it's just free to roam anywhere it wants. That's not the case. You take a look at the base foundation of Android OS and you would know that applications running (Whether it be really running or just on standby) is a natural thing that happens.

 

Why would you be concerned with bandwidth when you are supposed to have the unlimited data regardless?

What security reason are you speaking about? The last time I checked, Corporate Calendar or Alarm Clock doesn't gather calls, personal information, or anything else then what it's supposed to be.

 

For example I have right now well over 10 applicaitons running. That doesn't mean all 10 are. It doesn't really strain the battery as much as you think it does,

 

You may just have a defective device, if you think that the touchscreen is terribad and the camera is lousy (Hint: see the camera fix'd threads).

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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By poorly coded I mean they are behaving either not as intended by the original design specs or apps that do not have all the necessary controls coded into the menu.

 

And bandwidth is an issue because there are actual limits on the "unlimited" plans (from what I can tell that is about 5GB right now per month)

 

As for security, your comments display your ignorance.  Word and Excel don't gather that kind of data either, yet they have provided many avenues by which outsiders have been able to take over the local computer.  If somebody manages to infect these apps and they continue to autolaunch then that would be a very easy avenue by which they can propagate.

 

When it comes to power usage, the statistics are becoming pretty clear.  People who have rooted their Droids and removed some of the built in stupidity and who have been able to replace the bad pre-installed apps with the capable 3rd party applications have demonstrated battery life improvements of up to 20% and they have only begun to tweak.

 

And, given that the problems I have reported have already been reported other times by other people in these very forums, as well as the Motorola forums (and Motorola acknowledges these behaviors occur), plus given that all 3 people who have the Motorola Droid in my office have all seen these very behaviors, that makes it very clear to me that it is not just a defective device on my part.

 

Verizon needs to use its leverage with Motorola and Google to address the lack of control with the built-in widgits and apps.

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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DarkHorseSki wrote:

By poorly coded I mean they are behaving either not as intended by the original design specs or apps that do not have all the necessary controls coded into the menu.


There are little to no applications right now that allow you to fully close out of it. Why? Because they usually still run (again, I say on standby most of the time) in the background so that when you do open it up, it's already there. There are games that say "exit." But whether if they really do or not, I can't say.

 


 And bandwidth is an issue because there are actual limits on the "unlimited" plans (from what I can tell that is about 5GB right now per month)

Cite to me an official document that says it and I'll give that point to you.

 


As for security, your comments display your ignorance.  Word and Excel don't gather that kind of data either, yet they have provided many avenues by which outsiders have been able to take over the local computer.  If somebody manages to infect these apps and they continue to autolaunch then that would be a very easy avenue by which they can propagate.

You're comparing programs that take up gigabytes to applications on a phone that take up megabytes. That's not even a remotely fair comparison, and, if you cared enough about what these applications are using for your 'security' then you should look in:

 

Menu>Settings>Applications>Menu>Filter All> Sort through the applications to find which ones scare you.

 

And not only that, the way that the OS operates, based off of Linux wouldn't let any information get out anywho.

 


 When it comes to power usage, the statistics are becoming pretty clear.  People who have rooted their Droids and removed some of the built in stupidity and who have been able to replace the bad pre-installed apps with the capable 3rd party applications have demonstrated battery life improvements of up to 20% and they have only begun to tweak. 

Do me a favor, go into your phone, and check which process is taking the most of your battery and stop it. You're complaining that Android doesn't have a built in task manager, and hypothetically had no one created a task manager you wouldn't be able to end that specific process. That's why there's Advanced Task Manager. Task Killer, etc. There are ways to control your phone that doesn't always resolve in rooting (because if you could believe it, I've done it to all Android phones).

 


 

And, given that the problems I have reported have already been reported other times by other people in these very forums, as well as the Motorola forums (and Motorola acknowledges these behaviors occur), plus given that all 3 people who have the Motorola Droid in my office have all seen these very behaviors, that makes it very clear to me that it is not just a defective device on my part.

 

Verizon needs to use its leverage with Motorola and Google to address the lack of control with the built-in widgits and apps.


We aren't talking first generation BB's here that last about two days without charging. Android is always gathering information to you, ready to serve you. iPhones, the newer models of BB's don't last a full day either. I don't see why everyone has a ubiquitous complaint about how their phones don't last a full day when either A)They can remedy the problem themselves or B)They might have a defective phone.

 

Look, all I'm saying is: I have my credit card information in my phone so I can make purchases, I also wake up at 9-10 o'clock in the morning, and have my battery last until the wee hours late at night without charging. I haven't had any Android phone (except maybe the Cliq) shut down on me, and I haven't had any of my information stolen/copped yet.

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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Well, I can say.  Using the Task apps it is very easy to tell which ones properly exit and which do not.

 

As for the 5GB thing, I am going by looking at my bill online which then sends me to the broadband plans and that also shows 5GB for the top plan.

 

As far as security goes, you do realize that virus like programs have been running and do continue to run and infect applications which are mere kilobytes in size, and they have been doing so since the mid 80's.  Linux is far from immune, in fact Linux based vulnerabilities are very common, they just also happen to get addressed quickly too.

 

As for killing the apps which are using the battery life, it isn't that simple because THESE APPS KEEP RESTARTING THEMSELVES NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU KILL THEM AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE ANY ACTUAL WANT OR NEED FOR THEM.  You are right in noting that the Droid can be expected to need charging daily, that only serves to highlight my argument that it is necessary to control what can be controlled when it comes to power use and having apps that startup unnecessarily actually eat into that already minimal up time on the phone.

 

When my computer begins acting up or my car begins to behave poorly, I identify and address the problem as quickly as possible.  I don't need to wait for my brakes to fail or for my computer to crash before I act.  Same idea here with the Droid.  I'd much rather these problems get fixed BEFORE something expensive happens.  Why would you want to wait until your credit card info was stolen before you worked to fix all the possible access points through which that info may have slipped out?

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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DarkHorseSki wrote:

Well, I can say.  Using the Task apps it is very easy to tell which ones properly exit and which do not.


Press and hold the home button. Then go to your task manager to tell you how many apps that 'show' it running versus how much the OS is actually pushing.

 


As for the 5GB thing, I am going by looking at my bill online which then sends me to the broadband plans and that also shows 5GB for the top plan.


You were supposed to have the unlimited plan.

 


As far as security goes, you do realize that virus like programs have been running and do continue to run and infect applications which are mere kilobytes in size, and they have been doing so since the mid 80's.  Linux is far from immune, in fact Linux based vulnerabilities are very common, they just also happen to get addressed quickly too.


Have you studied the structure of the OS before you even posted? Had you, you would have realized that it works in a sandbox format, where it basically closes out a program and anything that is associated with it including any virus's. There have been, no accounts so far of someone having their information stolen, or jepoardized through this phone thus far.

 


 As for killing the apps which are using the battery life, it isn't that simple because THESE APPS KEEP RESTARTING THEMSELVES NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU KILL THEM AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE ANY ACTUAL WANT OR NEED FOR THEM.  You are right in noting that the Droid can be expected to need charging daily, that only serves to highlight my argument that it is necessary to control what can be controlled when it comes to power use and having apps that startup unnecessarily actually eat into that already minimal up time on the phone.

It's a phone, did you not to expect it to be charged daily? The iPhone needs to be charged daily. The BB Storm needs to be charged daily, the Palm Pre, Hero, MyTouch, G1, practically any smartphone that can do anything needs to be charged on a day to day basis.

 

Again, I digress, go to your settings and see what is taking the lot of your battery power and get back to me with the solution that you assumed and see if it helped.

 

I have not had any problems on my phone when it comes to battery life, and that's because I watch what I need to.

 


 When my computer begins acting up or my car begins to behave poorly, I identify and address the problem as quickly as possible.  I don't need to wait for my brakes to fail or for my computer to crash before I act.  Same idea here with the Droid.  I'd much rather these problems get fixed BEFORE something expensive happens.  Why would you want to wait until your credit card info was stolen before you worked to fix all the possible access points through which that info may have slipped out?


I see your point. However, there isn't a real 'problem' aside from your battery. And that can be attributed to practically anything in the phone -- saying that apps take up the most power (Which you can find out yourself) is just the easiest route.

 

You could have a problem with the battery.

You could have a problem with the battery dock.

It could be something you can't even see on the exterior of the phone.

It could be a software problem.

 

These things happen.

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Re: More control is needed for the pre-installed apps on the Motorola Droid.

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Security wise, you do realize that even a sandbox approach is not beatable.  As I stated previously, it is not necessary for me to wait until there is an actual successful, in the wild, malware to compromise my data to realize that the vulnerabilities exist.

 

As to charging daily, no I did not expect to have to charge it daily.  Given the size of the phone and the increased size of the battery along with the advances in battery technology that have increased energy density, I certainly expected to go at least up to a few days before requiring a charge.  My old Razr could go that long with it's several year old tired battery (in the beginning I could go a week).  By any stretch of the imagination it is not unreasonable to expect to at least get the same amount of actual usage time as previous generations of phones.

 

And the security vulnerability IS the biggest concern.  Cell phone virii have existed even before the phones could run Java and they have only become more prominent as the phones capacity has increased.  Android, being an open OS, is a double edged sword when it comes to this business.  I am willing to bet every dollar I own that if the challenge was laid down before the Black Hat conference that by the time of the conference there would be multiple successful strategies for penetrating the Droid phone.  And I bet many of those attacks would be successful in under 60 seconds.  If Verizon doesn't believe me then they should put up the bounty and try it.  They'll have to pay out (typically about 10-20k at last check) but they will gain the benefit of knowing exactly how the attack worked and could then work to have those vulnerabilites patched plus they might be able to discern how other applications make them vulnerable.

 

And even if the bandwidth is unlimited now, that doesn't mean it will be free of limits forever.  Heck, even Comcast started putting caps on the amount of bandwidth some of their customers can download, and if I recall correctly similar happened on some of Verizons other, previously unlimited, broadband plans.

 

I have directly identified several apps which are problematic.  There may well be OTHER problems, but for right now I'd like to see these obvious application issues addressed first.  I'm not asking the apps be removed, I am simply asking that the owner of the phone be able to control which applications are running on his or her phone.  That is far from unreasonable.

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