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Author Topic: Planned Obsolescence  (Read 527 times)

Offline D2Disciple

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Planned Obsolescence
« on: August 24, 2017, 06:23:29 PM »
So I'm thinking I might be a victim of planned obsolescence... I've been using an unlocked Lenovo Moto G4 Plus for a little over a year, which other than a unit suddenly bricking (replaced for free under warranty), has been a phenomenal phone at a ridiculously low price ($250 when new). Great screen, good performance, bone stock Android with only a couple of (helpful!) modifications, and a mostly decent camera.

But recently I've begun to encounter a lot of general quality of life issues with the phone, including crashing, rebooting, and soft-locking, even after a recent backup and factory reset (done only to keep the file system and OS squeaky clean). After some time, I realized... It's always Chrome and Google Now. Seemingly at random - launch a new tab, crash. Download a file, crash. Follow a link - crash. Make a search on Google Now - no results until I reboot. Force close and reopen Chrome - no results from the address bar until I reboot.

The question is... Why would Chrome and Now, two of the core apps designed for basic Android OS functionality, start giving me grief? I mean, I'm "only" one generation of OS behind (7.0 instead of 7.1). Is it because Android is near stock and it thinks it's "out of date?" It seems... Strange. Especially when every other app on the phone seems to perform nearly flawlessly all day, every day.

I've tried to remedy this by moving from the Google Now launcher to Microsoft's (yes, really) Arrow UI, which understandably uses Bing. Additionally, I've set up Opera Mini as my browser - one I've long considered superior to Chrome but am too lazy to setup on all my devices - and set the search to Google. That gives me easier access to two different search engines, and I'm now using a better, more intuitive browser. So far, so good! The added bonus is that I prefer the cleaner look of Arrow, though time will tell if stability becomes an issue.

What do you think? Planned device death or just a fluke?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 06:26:42 PM by D2Disciple »
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Hunter

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Re: Planned Obsolescence
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 06:44:45 PM »
Planned or at the very least eventual obsolescence is definitely a thing and it's found in nearly all modern technology. It's not just the performance of these devices that gradually degrades at ever accelerating rates; it's the ability to diagnose, repair them or simply have a look under the hood. Remember the time you could unscrew or open something, and have a stab at fixing it? Nope - Can't do that anymore without a sledge hammer. Do you want to repair your 800 dollar smartphone screen at the local phone shop? Nope, you've gotta take it to specialist or a so called 'genius' and shell out hundreds of dollars for a piece of plastic screen that cracks if you so much as look at it the wrong way.

But that doesn't mean they are all that way. It's just the culture of convenience has really taken over here and is unfortunately the prevailing method. I must be the only person on the train with a smartphone older than 3 years..

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: Planned Obsolescence
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 02:14:40 AM »
You're not the only one to keep an older phone, Hunter - I broke a screen on an LG G3 a year or two back when I had the thing for ~18 months, and popped the SIM back into a Samsung Galaxy S3 and did a factory reset on it. To this day, it's still the most solidly-performing phone I own, even though it's Android version is something like 5 or 6. Maybe it's just 7 and later that's stupidly buggy... Who knows.  :P
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Scyphi

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Re: Planned Obsolescence
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 12:22:01 PM »
It could easily be the version of the program is just unstable, as I've seen that happen before. Makes me think of Corel WordPerfect...back in the mid to late 90s, it was my word processor of choice, with WordPerfect 8 being the all-time favorite (man, I miss that program to this day, but it won't run on modern machines anymore  :'(). But then WordPerfect 9 and then later, 10, came along, and both were fraught with bugs and instability issues, rendering the program very...frustrating...to use, in ways not unlike what D2Disciple describes for his phone's browser. As I understand it, that's part of what caused WordPerfect to fall out of favor as a leading word processing program.

So this version 7 being unstable out of the box (as it were) is certainly a possibility...though not a guarantee. Other things could explain it too, obsolescence being one of them too.

Beyond that, I can't really contribute much knowledge on the matter--my phone is a flip-top dumbphone that all of your phones could run circles around.  :P
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Offline D2Disciple

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Re: Planned Obsolescence
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 03:09:02 PM »
Beyond that, I can't really contribute much knowledge on the matter--my phone is a flip-top dumbphone that all of your phones could run circles around.  :P

Hey, don't ever take a dig at old cell phone technology. I once went on a camping trip in a wilderness reserve with a guy who brought his very early generation Motorola brick phone (about the size of a VHS tape) with a pull-out attenna as long as a naval destroyer.

Guess who was the only one with cell service in case we got into a situation...  :P
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

 

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