The Droid X comes loaded with several nonstandard applications for Google’s Android, most of which cannot be removed.
Among the phone’s so-called junkware is a Blockbuster video app and a demo for an Electronic Arts game called Need for Speed: Shift.
And because the droid is “open”, it cannot be removed.
The software—a discordant melange of the not-so-fresh Android 2.1 and various bits of the Blur “social networking” interface from Motorola’s lower-end Android phones—is the shudder-inducing poster child for the horrors that can occur when most hardware companies try to make software. It’s ugly, scattershot, and confusing. It feels almost malicious.
The creeping feeling that Android is the new Windows becomes an overwhelming sensation the first time you boot up Droid X. Seven sprawling desktop screens, littered with widgets, oodles of little programs—the vast majority of which you probably don’t want or need. It’s overwhelming and utterly incomprehensible if you’re not the kind of person who’s seen at least two non-JJ Abrams Star Trek movies. The minutes lost to clearing them to get to a reasonably clean desktop, one press-and-hold-and-swipe gesture at a time, brought me back to the sullen days of removing crapware from whiny relatives’ Sony Vaios. Breathtaking hardware, filled to the brim with crap. Why would Motorola make this the first impression of its phone? Stuttering and confusion?
Software kneecaps this phone at nearly every corner. It makes the sizzling hardware look bad in the process. Watching this phone sputter, which it does occasionally for the even most menial of tasks, like opening the apps menu, feels more egregiously tortuous than normal, given its prodigious size and weight. It’s brain-stabbingly maddening if you actually know what’s inside of all that. (Verizon and Motorola would no doubt like me to you remind the build I’ve been using is not quite final, so performance could improve, but it seems like a systemic issue with Android 2.1. Android 2.2, with its massive speed boost and other perks, won’t be available for this phone until “late summer.”)
For a while, leading Republicans posed as stern foes of federal red ink. Two weeks ago, in the official G.O.P. response to President Obama’s weekly radio address, Senator Saxby Chambliss devoted his entire time to the evils of government debt, “one of the most dangerous threats confronting America today.” He went on, “At some point we have to say ‘enough is enough.’ ”
But this past Monday Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, was asked the obvious question: if deficits are so worrisome, what about the budgetary cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which the Obama administration wants to let expire but Republicans want to make permanent? What should replace $650 billion or more in lost revenue over the next decade?
His answer was breathtaking: “You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.” So $30 billion in aid to the unemployed is unaffordable, but 20 times that much in tax cuts for the rich doesn’t count.
An overwhelming proportion of Americans are familiar with Twitter, the online information-sharing network. Perhaps more surprisingly, a large majority also knows that children who are born to illegal immigrants in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens.
Yet the public continues to struggle in identifying political figures, foreign leaders and even knowing facts about key government policies. Only about a third of Americans (34%) know that the government’s bailout of banks and financial institutions was enacted under the Bush administration. Nearly half (47%) incorrectly say that the Troubled Asset Relief Program – widely known as TARP – was signed into law by President Obama.
Reporters who attended the “Antennagate” presser today in Cupertino were invited to tour the company’s “$100 million antenna designing and test facilities.” They’re blinding us with science! Bonus: When I right-clicked to save this jpeg from the Apple website, I noticed that the original file name included the words “Stargate Chamber.” The hell with your free bumpers, Mr. Jobs, I want one of these suckers!
The Apple page with the “porn” is here.
(oh, and Apple posted video of the press conference, omitting the Q&A section)