Android is fragmented at the hardware level [UPDATED]

Why so many different configurations?

Yesterday, all the excitement surrounded the Google Nexus S for those who even knew about it. For others, it was another instance to reflect on Android. John Gruber, resident genius and blogger at Daring Fireball, made note that there are multiple keypad layouts at the bottom of Android smartphones (see here). Gruber comments, This is the sort of thing that epitomizes the difference between iOS and Android. Design is about making decisions.” He was linking back to a gentleman by the name of Ben Gracewood, who initially pointed out the layout difference between Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone line (T-Mobile’s Vibrant, AT&T’s Captivate, Verizon’s Fascinate, and Sprint’s Epic 4G) and the Nexus S, which is also a Galaxy S smartphone at heart. He writes, Lots of people call me an Android hater. I have my reasons. Chief among them is Google’s utter disrespect for consistency and user experience.”

Readers have since taken the liberty to comment on that post, including Andrew Wood, who created a composite image showing all the different configurations on more popular Android smartphones (see here). The story here does not end at the fact that people are starting to notice, it is becoming apparent that Google’s Android OS is fragmented in more ways than one. From the fact that software role outs are relegated to back pages on Google blogs to the fact that hardware manufacturers are given the ability to change something as important to the end user as the location of the search button. Either way, Google needs to decide at some point how important this operating system is to them and start policing some of these glaring missteps in user interface design.

UPDATE: It is possible that Google is not to blame for this disparity, but once again, the end user comes to a point where Google must take responsibility for its operating system. Taking the stance of here is the code, do what you will with it” is not acceptable for a company that wanted to create a personal technology device, especially when half the reason there is software fragmentation is due to the fact that the carriers and manufacturers can’t decide on what crapware to use on the phones.

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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.