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2018-08-02 12:05 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 131 references Ignore this thread
Jesus Google, REALLY?
[Comments enabled]

I filed a bug on this, but want to share it WIDELY as well.

Android "O", which is now showing up on basically all new phones and being retrofit back to older ones, changed the behavior of notifications quite significantly.

Notifications are those little pop-up things that tell you that you have a new text message, for example.

One of the problems historically is that certain app writers have been rather abusive in their use of these.  They'll spam incessantly with them, and some make it very hard or even impossible to stop it without uninstalling the app.  One of the worst abuses was the refusal to honor "shut the **** up" (e.g. do not make noise) requests without putting the entire phone in "total silence" mode; that is, the app writer set a sound for each of their "events" and gave you no way to override or stop it.

Oreo changed this; in order to post a notification from an app you must first set up a notification channel in your app code.  Once you do that the app cannot change it, and the user has control over whether it is on, off, whether the LED flashes, the vibrator motor goes, what sound (if any) is played when a notification is posted under it, whether it can override the "do not disturb setting", etc.  This is, in general, a very good thing in that irrespective of what the app writer tries to do you, rather than they, have control over whether said notification does whatever you want it to do.  It's an especially good change for those apps that formerly allowed nothing to be set by the user in that regard at all.

Well, sort of.

But Google left two things that are not exposed in that user settings area: The color of the LED that is flashed, if you have one on your device and the pattern of the vibration, if that's enabled.  (The vibration can be a "one shot" or a "pattern"; it can be set to any series of "on" and "off" pulses in milliseconds.)  In other words I can turn the LED flashing on or off (likewise with the vibration) as the user but I cannot change the color or the vibrating pattern.

The problem is this: If you have multiple apps on your device, and everyone does, you probably want to set the color of the LED notification if your phone is capable of it differently for each app you use frequently.

Your desired color may change from time to time as well; you might install a new app and that one might not let you choose at all, but may define a color and not have any way to override it.  Google themselves is guilty of this with apps like the built-in text message application (which insists on being "blue")!

The only way to work around this as an app writer is to refuse to allow any notifications to post (that is, do not create the channels at all) until the user chooses a color from your settings.  But once he does choose it he can't change it without destroying all the stored data or uninstalling the app because that's the only way to get rid of the "stickyness" of those channel settings, which in the case of an app that stores something hard or impossible to retrieve is a serious pain in the ass (e.g. lose all your stored high scores for a game, as an example) and for any app it means destroying whatever settings and credentials the user may have previously set.

This is an outrageously stupid thing for Google to have done.  Their developer documentation claims you can destroy the channel and re-create it in your program but even if you do that the settings will not change; the system remembers the old ones and refuses to allow you to overwrite them.

I don't know what sort of ****wit came up with this crap for Oreo but it's just another example of how this codebase is in fact "1,000 monkeys" and not some grand "innovation."  What possible reason is there to not allow the app to change the color of the LED or the pattern of the vibration?  If the user turned it off then it's off!  If you're not going to let the app change the color then a color picker has to be in the app's system settings -- unless you have the IQ of a box-o-rocks or think screwing users is amusing.

You really have to be a special brand of stupid, in short, to screw users like this -- or maybe, just maybe, Google is trying to softly "force" you into allowing their "voice assistant" to run...... and oh by the way the switch to shut that off is quite-well hidden.  I found it in the latest OS versions but it took quite a while.

Gee, they wouldn't do that so your mic is on all the time, would they?

"Don't be evil" my ass.

PS: If I missed a way to do this someone is free to comment here and show me a working code snippet.  Good luck; I've spent quite a bit of time going through Google's docs which claims you can do it via a delete/create in the app although doing so will log it on the user's settings screens so they can see that you did so, but no, you in fact can't.

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User Info Jesus Google, REALLY? in forum [Market-Ticker]
Wa9jml
Posts: 188
Incept: 2017-04-29

DeKalb, Illinois
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This is why I kept my Blackberry 9650 when I bought my Classic. The Classic's battery has seen better days, and when it dies, I will activate my old Blackberry. And, now that I have retired, I won't need to have e-mail on it. And since I figured out how to use the GPS in my 2014 Toyota, I won't need the GPS app. I bought an extended battery for the old clunker, and keep it charged. I will use it for voice and texting, but since the browser doesn't work all that well any more, I probably won't need a data plan.

Happiness!
Cobra2411
Posts: 11880
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
Philly P.a.
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To turn off the assistant click the google app, then the hamburger stack menu, settings, google assistant settings, phone, then you can turn off the assistant.

It's sad that BBRY stopped developing BB10. I just assume I'm being monetized and try to do what I can to minimize or obfuscate that.

One of my bitches with android is all the boops, beeps, dings, dongs, etc. The phone is a tool, not a toy and I really appreciated the simplicity of BB10. I guess if your phone is a toy then toys should beep and boop all the time...

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Government: A device that allows you to get blind ass drunk and your children die from alcohol poisoning.
Tdurden
Posts: 660
Incept: 2015-01-29

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Is Blackberry even trying to license out BB10 to anyone? *******n them if they aren't. The key1 is an okay phone, but I'm tired of this google crap. And it will be a cold day in hell before I own anything with that half-eaten fruit on the back of it.

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"I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next 10 generations that some favors come with too high of a price." -Vir Cotto Babylon 5
Tickerguy
Posts: 153863
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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@Tdurden - not that I'm aware of.

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Winding it down.
Themortgagedude
Posts: 10743
Incept: 2007-12-17

saint louis
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I'm on the phone with Apple currently. They're telling me that I must pay $79 to get a battery replacement and that they are throttling my phone. My word not theirs. Other phones are covered under the $29 replacement plan but not mine.

I'm done with them. I will never use an Iphone again.

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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Tickerguy
Posts: 153863
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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I still like the V20; you can still find them damn-near-new for about $200, the battery is *replaceable* and they are getting Oreo (the Sprint ones already are getting it *now* as are the units over in Asia.) Not that Nougat is bad, mind you -- because it's not.

I like the Essential too, but not at the current price (at $250 though it was a good deal), and pay attention to my review points on it with regard to parts - specifically, there are NONE. The V20 has parts available, with the most important of course being the battery, which on that phone is user-accessible.

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Winding it down.
Themortgagedude
Posts: 10743
Incept: 2007-12-17

saint louis
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I may just drag my Moto E out of the desk and use it. FYI Sprint has a bring your own phone and the first year is free deal going on.

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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Tickerguy
Posts: 153863
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Considering how ****ty their service is in general it ought to be free forever.

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Winding it down.
Burya_rubenstein
Posts: 1379
Incept: 2007-08-08

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I have a Blackberry 9650. Its main use for the past couple of years has been as a terminal for my Raspberry Pi. It's a nice machine, but the battery life has sucked - as in a few minutes of active use - even with an ostensibly new battery. This was acceptable most of the time, as I was able to supply external power to it most of the time.

The last time I tried to use it, however, which was about a week ago, it kept spontaniously resetting itself for no good reason.
Ckaminski
Posts: 4780
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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TMD: I never use the Apple battery service. I use iFixit.com. I haven't replaced a battery in anything iphone 7+, so I don't know if this is still possible.

I'm looking at an iPad3 battery replacement soon. I won't be calling Apple.
Radiosity
Posts: 140
Incept: 2009-03-05

Sunny UK
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Bit late to the party, but:

"I don't know what sort of ****wit came up with this crap"

This is what happens when you fire competent employers like Damore and hire based on skin colour instead of merit. We can expect Google, Youtube, and the rest to continue progressively (hah) getting worse as time goes on and they replace more of the actual talent that's still there.
Bodhi
Posts: 511
Incept: 2008-02-23

Georgia
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Quote:
We can expect Google, Youtube, and the rest to continue progressively (hah) getting worse as time goes on and they replace more of the actual talent that's still there.


Because those with talent tend to think they live in a merit based world. Regardless of the volume of their contributions they will be sacrificed on the altar of social justice at the first opportunity.
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