The real reason I'm not Flashing Froyo on my Desire

As a rule I tend to break things.  Not break in the bad way, but break things so they work.  Now that can be from region freeing my dvd player to mashing the hell out of my computer to get software on it.

But I’m not going to flash my HTC Desire and put Froyo on it.  And I think at least some of you need not to as well.  Most of my friends with iPhones just go out and jailbreak them.  Why, so they can make the phone work.  But the jailbreak is very like the flashing of an Android Phone, it gives the power user a whole lot more.

And this is the problem all the “experts” have.  They are power users.  They could hack batch files, create yahoo pipes feeds to pull custom RSS and break their phone to sideload apps.  All great things, and things that I often do myself.  But this is not the general audience, yet we are the ones that build for that audience. (Like the Rubiks cube… most people didn’t complete it)

One rule of thumb I have always had when developing software is.. “If I use the shortcuts that I know all the time to get something done, I’ve done it wrong”.  The audience won’t know the shortcuts.  Some may over time learn them and good for those users.  But the average user will never take the time to learn your shortcuts.  Either it will be intuitive for them or chances are they will go elsewhere.

Now I only have one Android phone and I use it all the time to me it is a computer in my hand and not a phone.  Still to most phone users they are buying a phone first and it does some other stuff a very distant second.  I can still heavily tweak my phone (which I’ve done), but at the end of the day the user experience is the same as anyone else who buys one from the store.

This means I can show people things that don’t require them to void the warranty for example, or risk turning the $800 device into a light weight paper holder.

It pays to remember if you are developing Apps for these phones that the chances are your audience is not as smart as you. So always test and retest on their platform, not yours.  Like with browsers, IE still has market share.  Yes make all singing all dancing HTML 5 Canvas apps with only OGG video if you want, but if you want to reach a wider audience stop and think about IE7.

When Froyo comes as on OTA update I will be installing it that day for sure, but until then I will be using my phone for testing and evaluating software the same as everyone else who has it.

Sometimes keeping your tech dumb does make you smarter.

One Response to “The real reason I'm not Flashing Froyo on my Desire”

  1. Agree.

    Whilst I have alternative phones, my mobile is the central hub of my professional life, and whilst it’s fun to do all that other stuff that my Desire does, if it doesn’t make phone calls, it may as well be sitting on my desk at home.

    Reliability trumps all.


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