Thanks for the memories, CyanogenMod


DSC_0556

I don't know if it's just my experience with CyanogenMod, but while I was at first enjoying the new interface and speed of my phone, there soon emerged some fatal flaws that, sure, didn't mean the end of the world, but still was quite troublesome. Unfortunately I think all these problems I've had with both Samsung and various Android versions so far has me ready to jump the ship as soon as I have the money too and as soon as I get off my contract next year.

It's been a fun experiment and all and I did love the large screen on the n7000, but I'm ready for software and hardware that works fairly well, and better customer support when it doesn't. For that, I'm happy to take a downsize in screen size. Perhaps you need to be more technical than I am to really get the most out of Android.

I got 99 problems and this phone certainly is one

Problems? I got many, but I probably haven't found all of them either. I thought I was installing a stable release anyway.

  • Unable to connect to WiFi. In fact, WiFi won't even turn on, let alone connect. This worked fine in the beginning, but all of a sudden stopped working and has not worked since. I've avoided trying to upload photos from my phone now.
  • Which brings me to my second point — any images I've tried to send from my phone to Twitter have not posted in a long time. I don't know when this stopped working either, since as far as I can remember it used to work as well. Photos upload fine to Dropbox, however.
  • I also haven't been able to turn on my portable hotspot lately, although this worked alright in the beginning also. Slowly, problems began to appear, such as when attempting to turn on the hotspot, it would simply state 'Error' and remain off.
  • The keyboard is terrible, as it does not intelligently remember the words you have used and you have to tap them to save, and tap again to confirm the word before it is saved to the dictionary. When I'm in a hurry to reply to a message, I don't save these phrases and ironically it takes longer to type the message because of the corrections I need to make. Of course you can install new keyboards, but since this is the alternative to Swype now.. no, I can't really.
  • The camera is terrible because it doesn't do focusing in the way most devices do, therefore I'm never sure if it has focused or not. By that I mean there is no proper indication if it has happened if you're going to be stickler for details — and my phone can focus properly. All my images look blurry on the phone. Sometimes after I've managed to extract them from my phone, I realise they're actually quite sharp, but I can never really tell beforehand.

And perhaps this isn't CyanogenMod's fault, per se, but...

  • The Gmail app will allow adding of only one inbox. For someone who has multiple inboxes for multiple purposes, that means I have to instead default to the web browser and access through the mobile interface.

It apparently wasn't necessarily the OS' fault that my phone was constantly crashing or 'whiting out' either, since my phone still does that regularly with CyanogenMod installed.

But there are some bonuses

It's not all bad news, though the list above seems somewhat damning to me. But it could be an isolated incident on my part — perhaps I didn't install the OS the way I should have. There have been things I enjoyed though:

  • Bluetooth tethering now works, however. With my phone on Ice Cream Sandwich before, this feature never seemed to do anything and never worked. So this was alright as a substitute for the portable hotspot not working.
  • I can now properly and instantaneously access my phone's internals from my MacBook, whereas it would constantly just disconnect without warning before.
  • The interface is a lot nicer, and a lot cleaner without the useless applications bundled in, and with the addition of 'folders' so icons aren't just scattered all over your screens.

Even just these three points making my life easier is enough to get me continuing to use it for now, however I may attempt to install it again in the future now that I better understand the process, or try out a new mod instead. I can only imagine what being unable to connect to the wireless could do to my phone bill.