Back in my late teens/early twenties I owned a 1978 Chevy Monza. Not a well maintained, 8 cylinder example, but a poorly maintained hand-me-down from my sister with a rebuilt 4 cylinder engine and a Jerry-rigged radiator. The plastic was crumbling on the interior. The carpet had water damage from the windows being left open. The tires were mostly bald. And this is how I got the car when it was new to me. The car, quite often, would randomly stall on occasion, randomly not start on occasion and randomly make odd unidentifiable sounds that could lead to the other two random aforementioned issues. It was a deathtrap with a horror show with bad paint with a radio that was not nearly loud enough to drown out the “issues”.
There is no surprise turn here where I say “But I LOVED it.” and you pat me on the back for being almost pithy. No, it was stressful and not fun. I did not realize how stressful and not fun it was till my next car: a 1982 Honda Civic – the little tank that was more reliable than I realized a car could be. And that is the point full of the pith. It is with life’s variances we realize things are better or, in this case, worse.
What I originally hoped this blog would become is a journey of happy discovery within the Android platform and the huge benefits of a free phone service. My hopes were to have recommendations of how one would get the most out of any Android phone. What this blog had become is a sounding board for me to complain about how absolutely inconsistent the phone and service are for me. I will no longer be writing posts at freepophtcevo.blogspot.com because even I grow tired of the repetition. So, one last waltz, if you please.
The FreedomPop HTC EVO Design beta test is a failure. Why? Read on.
The HTC EVO Design is so underpowered, the clock on the phone will stop working if over-taxed. This is not a small problem. I cannot understand this in 2014 or in 2011 when the phone came out or 2003 or 1995. This phone’s clock stops. There are, at times, not enough processor power for the CLOCK to work, but, I don’t know when those times are because the CLOCK stops. My first cell phone from 2003 did not have this problem. Crap free phones, cheap pay-as-you-go phones and old iPhones NEVER did this. My Commodore 128 never has this problem. This phone has this problem.
The FreedomPop service, which I still maintain is revolutionary, hinges on two well meaning but poorly executed things. Thing one is Sprint’s 4G data. I have lived in 2 major metro areas and have found the idea of Sprints 4G very enticing, what I have not found was consistent service, at least not if I am moving faster than 2 miles per hour. I would guess the quality would be good sitting under a Sprint 4G tower, unfortunately, I don’t live or work there.
Thing two is the FreedomPop Messaging app. Here is what I know, what I don’t know and what I am guessing at. I know that when activated, the Messaging app will use so much power that I will have a dead phone in 5 hours. I don’t know when this will be fixed, though there was some major and minor improvement with updates, I must leave my phone plugged in when this app is running. I am guessing that the Messaging app is based of some version of CSipSimple which I understand to be a great piece of mature open-source software that FreedomPop, let’s say, remade in its own image, poorly.
So, for fun, here’s a situation wrought with peril: this phone is my alarm clock. (Side-note: here is a very good recommendation, Timely, this app is not only terribly useful and configurable, it is also very beautiful – my sincerest compliments to Bitspin.) But, when you have a phone that, doesn’t keep proper time, and at times, though you don’t know when, will run out of juice if not constantly plugged in, the situation comes back to stress. It is stressful when you can’t rely on your clock to be a clock.
And when you can’t rely on your phone to be a phone, to be the thing that it looks like, to be the thing it says it is on the box, and it is dead or it can’t make a connection or it is on 3G, not 4G, or its app that you depend on all this to work is just not working for whatever reason – it is not the thing it says is. It is stressful. It is useless.