I Came Crawling Back [What I Use]

I had been meaning to write a post for a few weeks now about how Verizon had been negligent in pushing updates to seemingly flagship devices.  After getting bait-n-switched as a Droid Bionic user, I went with the Galaxy S4 in large part that I wanted a flagship device that was seemly going to get some love when it came to system updates.  In all the time I waited for the Bionic updates, I blamed Motorola for their haste – but now I’m convinced that it’s really Verizon that’s the problem. They’re too busy loading all their crapware into these phones to be able to push out timely updates and ultimately were the last ones at the “Galaxy S4 KitKat” party.  However last Friday I finally got the update pushed to my phone and… it failed.

A support chat and a complete restore (from the software, not just a factory reset),my S4 was able to receive the KitKat update, but it appears that any semblance of my phone’s previous configuration was gone.  As far as the Play Store was concerned, my phone was a different device.

For most of my purchased apps that I restored; this wasn’t a problem. However, one app – EasyMoney – which I bought back in 2009 – wouldn’t work. I’ve used EasyMoney to track our expenses for the last five years, putting A LOT of data into it.  Back when I bought it, you would install the trial version and then buy an upgrade key on-line (which was $10 – lot in the early days of mainstream Android).  They serial number uses the phone’s ID to generate itself, which is how the key is tied to the phone. When I got my Bionic I got a new key from support, then got another one when I switched to my S4.  Now that I have my refreshed S4, I’ve exhausted the limit of only having 2 replacement keys. I’ll have to buy the app again.

I was pretty pissed. Any app you buy through the Play Store doesn’t have this problem.  I’m not sure whether Google implements a device limit on app purchases, but I’ve rebuilt my tablet so much and have never had a problem – yet HandyApps, EasyMoney’s developer has a draconian policy of 2 replacement keys?!?  My third replacement wasn’t even going to be a true replacement since it was on the same device.  I was pissed and while I should admit that I did not contact support (which I’m sure would have helped me) I wanted to protest the principle of the matter and take my expense tracking elsewhere.

I then went on a expense-tracking frenzy, downloading apps from the likes of AndroMoney, Expense Manager, CWMoney Expense Track, Coinkeeper, and easyBudget.  A lot of these apps packed some great features that EasyMoney didn’t have like cloud backup and sync, as well as having a nicer interface, which looks great until you start entering expenses into your expense-tracking app. A lot of these were a huge pain in the ass that would drive you nuts if you had to enter more than 3 expenses.  A lot of those apps wouldn’t have a field for a payee – which makes absolutely no sense for an expense-tracking app. Don’t you want to know where you spend your money?

Two hours and six apps later, with my tail between my legs, I was paying the $10 to buy the Play Store version of EasyMoney.  I’d like to think that I’m not too rigid to move away from an older app, but I can’t be the only one who wants some of these obvious things when using an expense-tracking app for your finances.

So yes, whether I’m happy about it or not, I’m using EasyMoney – which I liked so much that I bought it twice.

Goodbye Motorola

Nearly four years ago I entered the world of Android with the original Motorola Droid. Two years later, I was eager to upgrade to one of the most early anticipated Android phones: the Droid Bionic.  Like many, I was led to believe that this was going to be Motorola’s next flagship phone, ushering an error of dual-core processors and 4G LTE.  After months of delays, I stood in an (albeit small) line on release day to get the phone, only to find out that this wasn’t the flagship device I was looking for. 


A month later Motorola released their revamped Razr line, a phone that learned all of the lessons from the mistakes that caused the Bionic to become so delayed.  As quickly as the Bionic flashed onto the scene, the phone seemed to have fizzled out from Motorola’s roadmap.  Soon it became apparent that I bet on the wrong horse, that this phone was the red-headed step-child that Motorola conveniently ignored.  The device had some pretty gaping holes, from a crappy camera to unstable Bluetooth.  I realize that every phone has its problems, there isn’t a perfect one out there – but the issue came with how Motorola addressed Bionic problems: they ignored them.

The phone shipped with Gingerbread installed, with a promise to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich soon.  As the months passed, the promises of the upgrade grew more ambiguous, as we watched more and more phones released after the Bionic get upgraded.  Over a year after its release, with Jelly Bean on the horizon, Motorola and Verizon finally gave us our coveted upgrade.  Again more empty promises were made about the Jelly Bean upgrade, and of course the Bionic’s younger cousins got first dibs on the new bits, with the Bionic not being updated until last month.

Don’t think Bionic owners got a raw deal? Just ask Motorola’s VP of Product: he admitted as much last September.  Nothing changed however, Motorola has got bigger problems to deal with.  Google has all but cast them out from the product party, there doesn’t seem to be any worthwhile products in their pipeline.  The rumored “X Phone” is all but vaporware, with Google reportedly pulling out of the device’s development.

Here we are in May, when I become eligible for an upgrade, and not only has Motorola not given me any incentive to stay, but they’ve justified my resentment of their products, to the point where I won’t even own a Motorola device ever again.  Now that the Galaxy S4 is out, I’m more than happy to buy a product from a company that hasn’t ignored their products the way Motorola does.  Thanks for introducing me to the world of Android, Motorola – but I’m happy to leave you for greener pastures.