Since It’s No Longer Shiny and New

I generally refuse to do any reviews on devices until I’ve had them at least a month. Sure it means I don’t get to be the first out with reviews but it does mean the initial, “Oooohhh shiny” phase has worn off. Well I’m finally at that stage with my Evo 4G and although I love many things about the phone I have a list of major bugs that don’t seem to be getting fixed anytime soon.

As I’m mentioned the biggest bug that bites me in the ass is after installing the Android 2.2 update I can no longer automatically synchronize multiple GMail accounts. It seems I’m not alone. My phone is setup with two GMail accounts. The primary account automatically syncs correctly but the second account only syncs when I go into the GMail app and manually refresh. That’s a pretty big annoyance considering this is supposed to be Sprints flagship 4G phone.

The second problem I have deals with my work calendar. Some time back my work calendar got mucked up on my phone and it refused to continue automatically syncing. Figuring this was a simple sync issue I removed the account and attempted to re-add it. Well it seems that’s no longer an issue as when I tried to re-add the account it was unable to authenticate with our Exchange server. Luckily I had a backup of everything and restored the entire phone which brought Exchange e-mail syncing back at least. Of course there is a new hitch, if I tried to edit my Exchange account’s settings the account settings activity automatically drops me into the add account activity. I can’t add an account because it will fail to authenticate and I can’t edit the current account because the phone wants me to add an account before being able to edit it. Rock meet the hard wall.

What else is wrong? VPN, that’s what. I have a VPN server setup at home which I use to tunnel back when I’m out and about. Even though all my computers can successfully VPN home and even my Palm T|X from yesteryear can connect, my fancy Android phone can not. Looking into the matter it seems practically nobody can get VPN working on their Android phone and haven’t been able to for at least a year. This needs to be fixed.

We aren’t done yet. There is also a rather nasty calendar bug that overwrites the contents of the description field with the contents of the location field. As you can guess that’s pretty fucking annoying as well.

Did I mention that the new Android 2.2 update rendered the client useless? I’m not sure what Google exactly changed in their audio APIs but it prevents from buffering songs that are being downloaded. The app developer has been releasing updates like mad but has been unable to correct this issue. What happens is a song will play on unless a data connection drops. At this point since the song can not be streamed and there is nothing buffered the song stops playing and when the connection reestablishes the next song automatically beings playing. I rather enjoyed driving around streaming my client via Bluetooth into my Bluetooth FM transmitter. That’s no longer possible. Why not use Pandora instead you ask? Because ever since the 2.2 update Pandora’s audio quality sounds like shit. That’s saying something as I can’t tell the difference between a CD or an MP3 but I can tell the Pandora app sounds like complete shit over my Bluetooth transmitter.

And I have one last annoyance. Before the 2.2 update the on screen keyboard had a nice microphone button. When pressed you could speak and the phone would write what you said. The voice recognition was actually pretty decent although it left out punctuation. That button was replaced with a language selection button which is useless to me as I only know English. You can’t restore this functionality either.

The obvious solution would be to return to Android 2.1 right? Well yes but then many new applications won’t work on my phone as Google has been pushing out a lot of 2.2 only apps. Nice catch 22 isn’t it?

The last update for this phone was the upgrade to Android 2.2 which occurred around August 3rd. Since then nothing has been released to fix any of the above mentioned issues nor has any statement been made by Sprint, HTC, or Google. This is a throw back to my days used PDAs where companies would release a new device, support it for roughly six months, and then abandon the device entirely regardless of the bugs still giving users headaches. Frankly I’m rather pissed off. I love so much about the phone but the latest update (which is practically mandatory if you want to use any new applications) has hosed the phone and no fixes appear to be coming in. I’m really starting to think Google’s policy of letting phone manufacturers customize Android was a bad idea.