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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life with a DroidX: Avoiding Spam

Life with a DroidX has been much richer, easier, more fun.  Ever since I got one I have been so much more organized that I can't actually believe that I ever got along without one.  But it is also a great deal more spammy  (I absolutely hate Ad Mob).

One thing that has always confounded me is that the Apple iPhone commercials declare that you can multitask as you use the phone as a phone to talk.  But I have been doing this with my Android device as well, so I fail to see why Apple makes it seem like they are the only smart phone to offer this, and why Google allows this misconception.  Is there something you can't do while using your phone as a phone on the Android platform?  If so, tell me what it is.  I'd like to know.  I'm confused, my DroidX multitasks well.

I have downloaded quite a few applications for the android.  Many of them I like.  Some I check out and delete. 

Because I have downloaded so many apps, it seems that I actually do have to reboot the phone once a day.  Otherwise, it may reboot itself.  I would think that this would be the result of a memory leak, so I have to review what is always running on my phone.  One of these background apps must be causing a problem.  The DroidX was very reliable before I started piling all the apps on.

The thing is, I now have so many apps that it's hard to tell which ones to get rid of first.  I do try and keep them all updated, but I am actually quite sick of free apps that originate as ad-free apps requiring a manual update because they now want to show advertising.  I hate spam.  I will pay for a good app because I like to support developers who do a good job as long as the price is reasonable.  But when free stuff starts showing ads I quite honestly get pissed at the developer for spamming me at all.

It's one thing to provide an ad supported version of a paid app for free, but it is totally another situation when you provide a free application that suddenly starts showing ads that are smashed against some often used button that you access a great deal within the program.  With touchscreen technology, my big clubby fingers are constantly just barely missing the nav button I need and seeing an advertisement for something I don't need.  Furthermore, some advertisements are downright sickening or even pornographic. 

This brings-up an interesting fact, that I would not dare give my son a DroidX (or any other Android device) because the advertising is often extremely offensive to me, and believe me, I can cuss like a drunken sailor if I can get away with it when my vim is riled up.

I am a graphic designer, web designer, brand expert, and online marketer.  I do a little bit of affiliate marketing as well (not much, but I do keep my hand in it in case anything ever takes off).  You would think that I understand everyone wanting to advertise, since I am essentially a glorified ad man.  But I find it intrusive and insulting.  I think the ads are deceptive and the PPC is accidental based on my own affinity for the spam.  So it's real hard for me to understand why anyone would advertise on a little smart phone.

Despite all the spam, I am finding great enjoyment with my DroidX since I am deleting all the ad supported crap as soon as I see it.  But I have downloaded so many apps that I haven't actually even run all of them once, either.  Life interupts.  Things happen and then it takes a while for me to get back to it.

My best time killers are paper toss and the angry bird games.  But I don't usually get the opportunity to play games, only when waiting for my son to get out of school or finish his sports or swimming lessons. 

Don't ever expect the advertising crap to stop anytime soon, though.  Google is an advertising company that invests in marketing platforms.  Blogger is a marketing platform for Google.  Google is a search engine only in disguise because actually it is just a platform to show ads.  In fact, this very means of ad delivery is what corrupts Google's search algorithm, because it needs to accommodate its ad network.  Even Google Groups, Google Sites, GMail, Blogger and YouTube, all Google properties, are just ad delivery platforms.

I honestly haven't seen this spam problem with the iPhone.  Maybe there is no such problem, as Apple isn't an advertising platform.  Yet, the Apple has a whole set of other issues due to the fact that the iOS on which it is based is a closed proprietary platform, and Apple takes a huge cut of everything which drives up costs significantly.  Although its interface is exceptional, the cost is prohibitive and the control that Apple excersizes over the platform is exclusive and absolute. 

So, I guess if anyone wants to avoid all the advertising, they will want to avoid the Android platform altogether.  And this then does disqualify the youth from having these devices because the ads are so offensive and devious.  Furthermore, even though advertising partners can block ads and advertisers can block the displaying of ads on specific sites, absolutely no one has the ability to block specific advertisers, which is actually extremely inappropriate oversight by Google considering that anyone with an android has to have a dang google account in the first place.

And yet, there is one exception.  You can root the phone and install an ad blocker.  The problem here is that rooting the phone will void your warranty.  But no more spam?  That might be a good trade.  Even though I delete almost all the adware apps I get and pay for or register the exceptional stuff that I find, I still loathe seeing any kind of spam, even as a glimpse by accident.  I know that I am going to consider it, for sure. 

I'll probably wait just a bit before I do it, though.  When you root an Android phone, you wind-up losing all your apps and data on it.  Which means I have to be absolutely sure that absolutely everything on it is backed-up before I go though that process.  And it may take a bit to research all that I need to do to make sure that's done (done completely and done right). 

I now depend on this little DroidX for almost everything having to do with my time, calendar, even the little tools I need to get through the day.  I couldn't bear to lose it.  I'm absolutely hooked.  I'm an android addict.  ;)