Where is the phone that always works? [Opinion]

Mobiles are better than they have ever been. Much has been improved in terms of both hardware and software, with powerful components and fully-fledged operating systems. At the same time, it happens that mobile phones are in trouble.

Maybe it’s partly a pampering over how good phones have become, higher expectations, which created a desire that everything in a mobile should always just work. For the most part, it actually does. But all too often, something gets stuck, whether in an app or in the device’s built-in functionality.

From time to time, quality control falters. Manufacturers have sent out updates that are such a masterpiece that they can be canceled, most recently Samsung and OnePlus. Instead of looking forward to a new major update, an OTA may raise concerns: “What will stop working this time around”?

The more “power user” someone is, the more bugs the person may encounter, because the mobile or app used in a way the developer has not tested as much. Basic functionality rarely interferes. Google apps are not spared but may rather be some of the most problematic.

Google Photos is a fantastic app in many ways, but the app has had dozens of serious bugs over the years – even on Google’s own mobiles. Google Fit is another example, at least a few years ago, while Gmail, Calendar, Translate and Drive are among the more stable and reliable of Google’s apps.

It is virtually impossible to release a smartphone or program an advanced app that is completely hassle-free. Because the app runs on a huge variety of phones with different components and on different Android versions with different interfaces, and some use apps in unexpected ways, it is not possible to predict every scenario that may occur.

Some bugs are difficult to recreate and therefore difficult to fix, but that does not make them less annoying to those who encounter them. Google’s support forums are full of bug reports and discussions about issues. A problem can be googled and lead to a long forum post with dozens of people who have experienced exactly the same bug – and the problem has still not been fixed even though years have passed.

Sometimes, however, applications have peculiarities that are so obvious that one may wonder if the developers even used the app themselves. HBO Max is a recent example. That subtitles are often placed far too high up, that sections the user has clearly been listed under “keep watching”, and that the web app does not hide the mouse pointer in Windows during playback are three problems that one might think should be easy to both detect and fix.

Now that our mobiles have become so powerful, perhaps more focus should be placed on pure quality control. Screen, battery life, cameras and interfaces are no longer the highest priority – give us a completely reliable smartphone that always works as intended.

Do you think today’s smartphones are reliable enough, and a question for you who run both Android and iOS – which platform do you think offers the best stability overall?

Source: Swedroid by swedroid.se.

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