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Failed and COSTLY Ice Cream Sandwich update and Swype fix (Epic 4G Touch Samsung Galaxy S2)

Highlighted
Journeyman

Failed and COSTLY Ice Cream Sandwich update and Swype fix (Epic 4G Touch Samsung Galaxy S2)

I cannot find words strong enough to express my outrage at the havoc, expense and lost productivity that I have, so far, endured following the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) Android update on my phone.

I have been using a Sprint/Samsung Epic 4G Touch Galaxy S2 since Jan. 2012.  At that time I reluctantly made the transition from a Sprint Windows-Mobile phone that I had used for the previous 5 years, during which I experienced no major data losses nor any significant time/expense lost to system software or firmware bugs.

Yesterday morning, 16Jul12, I was prompted to click "OK" to update my phone's Android system software.  No warning was given to backup the phone's data or apps prior to performing the update.  I naively clicked “OK”.  From that moment forward my workday ground to a halt and I descended through ever-maddening levels of Sprint/Samsung/Google/Android "support" h#ll.

First the facts:

1) Following the ICS “update” the Swype app "disappeared" from my phone.

2) When attempting to do web searches via my phone (the bulk of my web searching) ALL text, in the search box and in results, displayed in a micro/nano font size that was completely, and without the slightest exaggeration, UNREADABLE.  Happily, the Google logo remained in its normal giant font as a searing taunt of my inability to perform ANY web surfing.

3) The update graciously preserved my browser bookmarks (I'm a Luddite that uses the native Google browser).  Less graciously, ALL the folders that I had setup over the last 7 months to organize my bookmarks were GONE, GONE, GONE.  I estimate that my individual bookmarks number well over a hundred and possibly in the multiple hundreds.  To stare, slack-jawed, at a single listing of this number of bookmarks is the definition of "useless".

Next, the single-user impact and costs of this "update" fiasco:

On my windows phone (the preceding 5 years) I used the wonderful NATIVE Win-Mobile handwriting recognition program for all my input.  When I moved to the Android phone I found no handwriting recognition Android software that remotely approached the functionality of the Win-Mobile counterpart, so I quickly adopted Swype as my sole keyboard input app.  In other words, for the past 7 months, my only keyboard input experience with the Android phone has been via Swype.  The loss of Swype following the ICS “update” was excruciating. 

I do much of my business communication via my phone and SMS.  I also do the bulk of my web browsing via my phone.

To suddenly find myself pecking at the Samsung keyboard at the pace of a toddler, while my work, colleagues and clients were moving at normal business warp speed, was dysfunctional.  To, further, find myself trying to surf the web without the use of ANY of my bookmarks was seriously impairing my productivity and effectiveness.  To, additionally, have to attempt to read micro/nano text in my browser's search box and in returned results put the last nail in the coffin of my workday.  After two hours of this outrage, I informed all that I would be taking a personal day to resolve these issues.  I will not detail here the havoc that my bowing out of the workday meant for others- suffice it to say that the cost to others conservatively rises into multiple person-hours of lost productivity.

From noon yesterday untill 1:00 AM today I spent my time:

1) on various phone calls to Samsung and Sprint, and

2) online (via my computer- as my phone was rendered useless):

  a) crawling through the morass of similar nightmarish experiences being related by other Sprint customers through the day and evening, and

  b) attempting, in vain, to gain some insight and/or relief from Sprint, Samsung and Google support.

The “conclusions” and “remedies” offered by Sprint, Samsung and Google following this 13 hour investment on my part were:

1) Google (when speaking with Samsung or Sprint), Samsung (when speaking with Google or Sprint) or Sprint (when speaking with Google or Samsung) were DEFINITELY AND COMPLETELY responsible for this ICS “update” debacle.

2) Google (when speaking with Google) and Samsung (when speaking with Samsung) and Sprint (when speaking with Sprint) were DEFINITELY AND COMPLETELY INNOCENT AND BLAMELESS for the ICS “update” debacle.

3) The sole and only remedy to MY problems with the infarcted update was to reset the phone to its factory defaults.  I was duly warned by all (Samsung, Sprint and Google) that such a reset would result in complete loss of all installed apps and data, and that I would need to spend yet MORE of MY time reinstalling apps and data and restoring my systems' state (bookmarks, home screens, etc.).

After a fitful night, I rose early and made further unsuccessful attempts to restore Swype to my phone- the most promising of which seemed to be downloading the latest beta test version of Swype and using it in place of the native Samsung/Sprint Swype- duly warned by Swype that there "is no support for beta Swype, and it will be deactivated every 6 months for release of a new beta version of Swype", clearly a new flavor of nightmare in the offing.

At 9AM, I cancelled a second work day to, again, attempt finding resolutions to these problems. I then Sprinted (sad pun intended) to my Sprint store for another round of pleading and cajoling.  When I arrived, I found all technicians up to their eyeballs in phones and customers reporting the same or similar problems.  From what I overheard and comments made to me by the technicians, the most expeditious path to a solution for those in line ahead of me was a factory default reset, with concomitant loss of apps and data ("Sorry for the inconvenience").

I awaited my turn at the "desk of despair" and informed the technician that I wished to forego the factory default reset "solution" in favor of finding an alternative keyboard app (end run around the Swype problem) and possibly an alternative browser app (would like to be able to read my browsing activities without having to reserve time on the atomic force microscope).  I “volunteered” to eat the loss of my bookmark folder organization if we could just achieve the preceding two goals.

The technician (Mike, Sprint Store, 266 East Travelers Trail, Burnsville, MN) graciously (under tremendous pressure and managing factory resets on several phones while serving me) offered recommendations on alternative keyboard and browser apps.  More impressively, he asked to look at my phone again to see if he could find the "missing" Swype app.  Within a couple minutes he did just that.  Apparently the ICS “update” inactivated/disabled the Swype app so that when looking under settings/applications/all tab the Swype app was not listed alphabetically in its previous location, but rather, at the bottom of the alphabetic listing of active apps.  No one at Samsung, Google or Sprint thought to have me look here the previous day for the "missing" Swype and, rather, insisted the ONLY way to "recover" Swype was to do the dreaded factory default reset.

Mike reactivated the Swype app and cleared its data and cache (apparently these two steps resolved the issue for customers that could still see Swype after the ICS update) and then attempted to set Swype as the default keyboard/input method under settings/language and input.  Surprisingly, Swype was STILL not listed/available as an input/keyboard option, even after the steps taken above.  We seemed to be back to the factory default reset or pitch-Swype-with-the-bathwater alternatives.  At this point, I thought that, perhaps, a "hard" shutdown (long press of the power button and selecting "Power Off"), and then a restart (long press of the power button until the "4G" screen appeared) might get us over the hump.  Happily, this was the case and, after performing the above, Swype was restored to its former function and glory (sans my personal dictionary- but desperation makes no good deals, and I “volunteered” to also eat the time and inconvenience to redefine my personal dictionary).  Most perplexing, following these operations, the font size displayed by my browser operations returned to normal size.  I'm sure someone can explain this.  I will, however, quote Rhett and say "Frankly my dear, I don't give a dam#!"

So, in review for those who came here for the fix to their Swype/ browser nano-font woes following their ICS “update”, these were the steps that resolved both for my phone:

1) Find a responsive, patient and knowledgeable Sprint technician that has read this post, or, do steps 2-17 below.

2) DO NOT do a factory default reset.

3) Consider backing up your apps & data before proceeding.

4) Find your "missing" Swype app by:

  a) holding menu hard key and then selecting "settings",

  b) scroll to and select "Applications",

  c) select "All" tab at upper right corner,

  d) scroll ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM of the list to find Swype as an "inactive" app,

5) press on "Swype" to open its app info,

6) press the "Enable" button to the right just beneath the Swype version number at the top of the screen,

7) press the "Clear data" button if lit/white under the "Storage" section,

😎 press the "Clear cache" button if lit/white under the "Cache" section,

9) press the back arrow key three times to return to the home screen,

10) perform a "hard" shutdown of the phone (on the Galaxy S2, long press the power button and select "Power Off"),

11) after the "hard" shutdown, wait 30 sec or more, then restart (on the Galaxy S2, long press the power button until the "4G" screen appears),

12) go again to the "Settings" screen (long press the menu key and select "Settings") and scroll to "Language and input" and select it,

13) under "Keyboards and input methods" select "Default",

14) you should now be able to see Swype listed as an option- select it,

15) on being returned to the "Language and input methods" screen you should also see Swype listed under the "Keyboards and input methods" where you can select the "bar-dot slider" icon to the right of "Swype" if you wish to change your Swype settings,

16) press return arrow twice to return to your home screen,

17) open your SMS or browser app and input some text, you should be using Swype by default.  Enjoy!

If you also experienced microscopic browser type size with the ICS “update”, you may be lucky and the procedure above may correct this.  If it does not, I throw my hands skyward and pray for you.  If you also experienced deleted personal Swype dictionary and deleted browser bookmark folders with the ICS “update”, then, like me, you will probably eat the time and labor to restore these.

Some thoughts on the destruction wrought by the Sprint/Samsung/Google ICS "update" debacle (THIS SECTION IS PRIMARILY FOR CLASS ACTION LEGAL PROFESSIONALS TROLLING FOR A LUCRATIVE CASE AND A COLLEGE TUITION OR RETIREMENT ANNUITY):

1) From web traffic and from foot traffic in the one Sprint store that I observed, it is clear that many users lost many hours of productivity, and endured much stress, pain and suffering (I do not editorialize here) due to this botched "update".  A small bit of research and legal discovery process regarding market penetration of the Sprint/Samsung Galaxy S2 phone and reported frequency of these and other ICS "update"-related problems could put a limiting number on the actual total $ of productivity lost and potential $ to be recovered from responsible parties.

2) I have worked 30 years in the medical device, diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries. These are heavily regulated industries in each market/country that they serve.  If companies in these regulated industries released a software or firmware "update" or product that REMOTELY approached the shoddiness, poor quality control and destructiveness of the ICS Android/Samsung/Sprint “update”, all affected products would be immediately reported by users to regulators and all affected products would be immediately recalled and criminal and civil penalties and fines would likely follow in EACH country that the product was marketed in.

3) A cursory examination of the history of regulatory oversight in the food, pharmaceutical and medical device industries is relevant and, perhaps, prescient.  Just over a hundred years ago enough human suffering had resulted from adulterated foods, sham medical devices and poisonous "curative" concoctions that public outcry gave birth to the first governmental agency, the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA, charged with regulating the production and sales of foods, drugs and, later, medical devices.  Every major strengthening of regulatory oversight in these industries in the ensuing century has been the result of some human tragedy that raised awareness that significant additional oversight of industry was needed to protect the public from unscrupulous and/or shoddy business practices.

The results of this regulatory history are: 1) food and health care consumers today have much greater assurance of and confidence in product safety and effectiveness than their counterparts of a century ago, 2) the food and health care products industries today enjoy a much larger and more confident market than would exist had such extensive regulatory oversight not developed over the last century, 3) the "bad apples" of the food and health care products companies today run the very real risk of significant and costly financial, civil and criminal penalties for attempting to foist shoddy, half-a$$ed, harmful and destructive products on an innocent and unsuspecting public, and 4) consumers and ethical food and medical products companies have benefitted tremendously from regulatory pressures that have weeded unethical and incompetent companies out of the marketplace.

4) The mobile computing industry and its consumers are still in their infancies.  I suspect that the mobile computing industry today is no more welcoming of additional regulatory oversight than the food and medical industries were a hundred years ago when they were selling putrified "food", charlatan medical devices and poisonous pills.  I further suspect that any significant improvement in the competency and ethics of today's mobile computing industries must come from consumer outcry and financial, civil and criminal penalties being levied whenever companies subject their users/customers to damaging products and services either as a result of incompetence or unethical practices.  In other words, WAKE UP USERS, CONSUMERS AND CUSTOMERS AND DEMAND THAT YOUR MOBILE COMPUTING VENDORS FOLLOW THE FIRST RULE OF MEDICINE'S MOST SACRED OATH- "FIRST, DO NO HARM"!  Also, class action legal professionals take note: there are HUGE dollars to be made here with hundreds of millions of consumers depending on and paying dearly for mobile computing products and services the world over.

5) As a former, long-time user of a Windows Mobile smart-phone, I am appalled at the pathetic state of software and firmware quality control in the Android world (I have no experience with iphones, so have no opinions to offer regarding that platform).  Microsoft has utterly failed to gain any significant foothold in the world of mobile computing- this will likely be their undoing.  Suffice it to say that I moved to the Android platform reluctantly and with hesitation.  In fairness, until yesterday's botched ICS “update”, I was reasonably happy with my phone, and my confidence in the Android platform was growing steadily.  I leave it to the reader to guess what the last 36 hours has done to my confidence in the Android platform and in all things Samsung and Sprint.  The reader can also infer from the preceding narrative what my reply will be the next time I am prompted to "OK" an Android system "update", assuming I give a rat's rear about Android the next time an "update" is shoved down the throats of consumers.

6) To all culpable parties and all executives at Google, Samsung and Sprint (you know who you are), I ask two simple questions.  Have you no shame?  Have you no pride?  This is the 21st century.  Over-the-air firmware updates are neither rocket science nor brain surgery.  I would go so far as to say that they are not particularly difficult.  Yes, I have professional experience in developing and distributing/installing firmware updates to a widely distributed user base.  The list of ALL that is required to perform a successful firmware update is small indeed.  These are: 1) time, 2) money, 3) competent professionals, 4) firm and demanding leadership, and 5) unyielding quality controls and standards.  There, you can count those on one hand.  You can count them twice on your two hands.  Note that “luck” and “profit” are not on the list.  You make your own luck and profits by attending properly to the handful of items on the list. 

Finally, I offer the ultimate executive/management tool for ensuring a successful OTA firmware update: the output of the 5 requirements listed above must pass the “RFT” test before the update is released to your unsuspecting users.  The “RFT” test, of course, is the “Right First Time”/”Red Face Test”.  That is, it must be done “Right the First Time” or it will NOT pass the “Red Face Test”.  Or, as my mother said so eloquently all my formative years: “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, tell me when you will make time to do it right the second time.”  Should you require further assistance in implementing these requirements for future firmware/software releases I am available to help, for a nominal fee.

7) I am a professional business user and am NOT prone to exaggeration, flaming, ranting or the like.  I rarely use my time to post in product support discussion groups or fora.  In other words, it takes a great deal of inconvenience and damage to inspire me to post this type of comment. Congratulations Google, Samsung and Sprint, you succeeded in getting me to ignore my personal, professional and financial interests for almost two days- long enough to solve the problems you foisted upon me and long enough to pen this missive.  My only question for you is: to whom should I send the bill for recovery of my lost time and wages?

M. E. Collison, Ph.D.
Collison-Carr Consulting, Inc.
Eagan, MN

155 REPLIES 155
Highlighted
Journeyman

T2devsprint,

Thanks for your reply.  I, too, have lost the native browser's auto wrap functionality after the ics update.  I invested (time-boxed it) 1/2-hr in,,

trying to find a setting change that would restore the auto wrap function, including resetting the browser to  factory defaults.  I found no solution so, like you, I am zooming, then scrolling left-right, left-right, ad-nauseum.

You are correct that this bug could have been easily found and eliminated by proper testing on representative devices/configurations.

If you learn of a fix for this bug please post back here.  It seems that we: a) we have had our mobile computers irrevocably altered, and b) we are on our own to restore their functionality as best we can.  There is a better way: holding the mobile computing industry's feet to the fire (regulatory fines, class action law suits, termination of contracts, abandoning platforms, etc.) to discourage/prevent similar malfeasance in the future.

Good luck to you.

Highlighted

I have to agree there is too much rant that is going on with the issues listed (and wasted time). I just could not read "all" of the explanations, etc. There will "always" be the risk of "downloading" and "updating" any software and especially an OTA of the operating system. If you are in the technology industry, why would you think otherwise?

  • I have known that ICS was coming to the Epic 4GT for months (oh - reading the technology forums and this forum). If one is a "power" user of a phone then you need to take the time to be up to date on changes, etc
  • I also know that updates can cause issues with current software/systems (not just on a smartphone but PC, Blueray players, etc). I "prepare" myself to find the time to do the updates (live and learn).
  • I also know (and I am not a technology geek) that this large of an update (changing the actual operating system of a phone) would be risky and I "did not" want to do it OTA (who knows a goose could fly through your connections and "uh oh"). I used my PC, searched to find the correct file, followed the process and guess what - limited problems with Swype (just don't like the new keyboard layout), my PC recognizes my phone (actually separates the internal and external SD card); did not have issues with unable to read email, etc due to font size and the list goes on.

FYI- Use Opera Mobile browser and the text reformats! Rarely use the stock browser anyway and Google browser doesn't work either for Web Outlook for my secure work email (only Opera Mobile does - go figure)

I am not going to deny there shouldn't be improvements in communication, etc - I see this as the way many companies play the game (Sad to say yes).

But I do believe there are more serious concerns with ICS - Battery drain, Intermittent loss of connection on 3g/4g and WiFi that I have experienced (there are a few others but...)

Just my rant

Highlighted
Journeyman

All I can say is.....wow! In my wildest dreams could I only hope to be as articulate as you.

As for the question of the failed update...I do not know whether to consider myself cursed or blessed in regard to this issue. I got my update last Monday Morning. I hit ok, and the udate failed to apply due to a restart failure somwhere in my phone. I have spent several hours researching a resolution to this issue, to no avail. My devise is rooted without clockwork mod, and even several experts on You Tube say that being rooted should not have an influence on the update.

The more and more posts that i have read reporting many problems with the update, the more I am glad that it magically failed.

Highlighted
Journeyman

GalSII:

Thanks very much for your reply, and the time and effort you've invested in this discussion.  Please see my comments to your points in blue, below.

GalSII wrote:

If Swype was the only issue, and it didn't take a user, with the help o of a Tech to resolve it, not that would be bad enough.

There are far worse issue I assume you will soon discover, not the least of which is 1.) pitiful or non-existent reception,

2.) battery life 4-5 hours

3.) intermittent offline/off network operation

4.) SMS failures

5.) Repeated SMS message both sent and received

6.) Push email fails (Microsoft Hotmail app + Seven ) goes offline

And others.

After several days using ICS, I'm relieved to report that I've been spared the more serious flaws in the ICS update. My experience aside, the fact that you, and so many others, have experienced such severe and costly disruption and deradation of your devices' functions is a dam#ing indictment of current product and service launches in this industry. Like you, ALL users of mobile devices should be outraged at this state of affairs.

I too "upgraded" from Windows Mobile (Motorola Q9) 2 years ago, after Sprint essentially stopped selling Windows Mobile phones. I too am in the Medical business, and I too am in App Developoment.

I had the original Epic for less than a year. It had numerous bugs and incompatibilities. After months and months of working with "Tier 3" to helpo them to fix their software, with only the monimal fixes being supplied, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to the SII which I was told by both Sprint and Samsung would NOT have the issues that the Epic had.

You raise an excellent point here: you tranferred some of your personal wealth (your time) and expertise to Sprint/Samsung/Google, free of charge, to "help them to fix their software". Your experience represents yet another cost-shift by this industry to the user. Multiply your "contribution" of wealth by the thousands or millions of others "contributing" their time and expertise in similar fashion to "help" vendors "trouble shoot" mobile hardware and software issues and you have a systemic transfer of a large and significant amount of user wealth to mobile computing corporate coffers. Again, ALL users of mobile devices should be outraged at this state of affairs.
 
It was the "flagship" and would get great support. I took the plunge on the day of release, forfeiting another line upgrade for my caniballistic needs, and paid the upgrade fees.

It had not proven to be any different. Since September, I have repeatedly reported issues and pleaded fo information about when the corrections would be made. I was finally told 2 weeks ago when I threatened Sprint to pull all my lines that ICS would fix my issues. I contacted Samsung, detailed my issues and asked if they all would be addressed. I was assured, yes, every one of them.

False.

The biggest issue I have with the phone is that reception, i.e., the primary function of the "smart" phone, phone,

Excellent point. These are not trivial functions being degraded by the ICS update. They are CORE FUNCTIONS.

has gone from poor to almost non-existent. I live in the "boondocks", you might guess, 9 miles from Tampa International Airport!!!! And although one of my children who gave up on Sprint has a Verizon phone with 4-5 bars in the house, Sprint has almost no service in my neighborhood which has a highway that runs right through the middle of it. I could occasionally get a signal when out doors. Indoors required me to get an Airave.

As of this update,

1.) I no longer have any signal in my neighborhood

2.) Unless I am within about 20 feet of the Airave, I drop to 1 bar. (which eats battery)

3.) Even when 3-5 feet from the Airave, the phone goes offline, with no bars for no apparent reason, numerous times per day, and I get no calls or SMS.

TO add insult to injury, I've been in the process of sending and receiving SMS and they fail, for no reason (other than the phone goes to no bars momentarily) but I do not resend, rather just leave the error. I have had people tell me I resent the failed message 15-20 times, and I get messages repeated from senders as well.

Again, I think most who pay monthly for mobile computing services would deem SMS to be a CORE function of their device/service.

I did find that unless I configure Swype to automatically capitalize, "I" when keyed in the middle of a sentence was no longer capitalized.

This one got me too. I still can't get it to work.

And yes, I too am not at all happy with having lost my Swype dictionary. I too am in the Medical business and lost my very large medical dictionary that took me 9 months to develop.

Some in the discussion have trivialized this bug. They have little to no appreciation for the significant time invested by specialized technical users in defining highly personalized dictionaries. I am tempted to view personal dictionaries as a second-tier core functionality of our mobile computing devices/services.

My main Issues in Gingerbread:

Unresolved: Stock Email Client does not support HTML, rather it is Text only. My NexTel phone from 12 years ago was just as "smart". (this is a "smart phone")

Cannot set third party app as default calendar in calendar (Microsoft + Seven) (this is a "smart phone" ?)

Cannot hear some Voice Mail messages, the volume is too low. (this is a "Smart phone")

GPS is inaccessible, or is/was off by miles. This likely is also related to the reception issues. I cannot say if the second part of this is still the case, because it wasn't able to connect to GPS enough for me to even test it.

I went to the Sprint Store to downgrade, but as of this time, they do not know how to do it. I give them 7 days to resolve this, after which they stop billing me for a phone that does not work due to an update I can't undo, and they loan me another phone.

I applaud the stance you've taken with Sprint and the ultimatum that you've given them. Until more mobile computing users take similar stands the unauthorized, illegitimate and illicit transfer of wealth from users to mobile computing vendors will continue, and possibly accelerate. 

I hope that you get your issues resolved.

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Sprint Employee

I have been testing this phone off, and on since the update and I have not seen any trouble with the phone, it is unfortunate that you’ve had trouble with bookmarks, Swype, and other features, but with this type of update, due to fundamental changes you may see unexpected results because the developers cannot anticipate all available configurations. Unfortunately you may have to clear data & cache for some apps, and in some situations a factory restore may be in order. After changing the browser settings to the same that I use in 2.3 I find the browsing experience to be similar, and we had posted a viable workaround for the problem some users had seen with Swype 7-16, so we have been involved in finding ways to correct problems noticed after updating without factory resetting necessarily, but to cut my post short, the ICS update is not flawed, and not causing adverse affects to a majority of users. Anything that can be duplicated after removing custom data can certainly be reported to the right people.

No longer working Community Response.
Highlighted
Sprint Employee

When you originally got root did you make any software modifications? If you did this would be once of the few reasons that the update cannot apply.

No longer working Community Response.
Highlighted
Sprint Employee

I have connected this phone to windows 7 using MTP over USB, it allows me access to the files stored in SD, and USB storage. Have you changed any of the settings in your phone that pertain to USB, or developer? Which operating system do you use?

No longer working Community Response.
Highlighted
Journeyman

It's easy to blame Sprint.  Because the device may have the word Sprint, does not mean the company is the devil.  Ther fact is for you medicaly adept yet technologically inept, the hardware is made by Samsung, the software and OS (of which ICS is involved) is Google.  Sprint merely provides the cellular voice and data to the device.  The technicians are not the inventor of the google OS, nor the programmers. They are technical support; technical, not emotional.  Not everyone can be responsible for everything.  Google is who you want to cry to.

Highlighted
Journeyman

RC1024,

Thank you for contributing your technical help to the discussion.

Regarding your statements on Sprint policy and business practice questions, please clarify the following so that readers may better weigh your input:

  1. Are you AUTHORIZED, as an OFFICIAL SPRINT SPOKESPERSON, to be communicating THE OFFICIAL RESPONSES from Sprint REGARDING SPRINT BUSINESS POLICY AND PRACTICES?
  2. If “no” to #1, please restrict your comments in this discussion to technical questions/responses.
  3. If "yes" to #1, please email me contact information at Sprint's customer support and/or customer communications departments so that I may verify that you have authority to represent Sprint in this capacity.  I will post Sprint’s response(s) here for the benefit of the other participants of this discussion.
  4. If “yes” to #1, please provide SPRINT’S OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO REPORTS THAT THE EPIC 4G ICS UPDATE HAS BEEN HALTED BY SPRINT, see:

Sprint Community: 7/12 - Samsung Epic 4G Touch Software Update - Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.4) ...

  Re: 7/12 - Samsung Epic 4G Touch Software Update - Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.4) - FF18   

Last evening Sprint senior tech support answered a question I had BEFORE updating to ICS, since it hasn't hit my phone yet. The senior person took three levels to reach. Question I had was if I should do the factory reset & cache wipe before the update or after. They said call Samsung. Samsung guy said my question was moot since they'd halted the update. (my bold/italics, mlb)

Sprint Community: ICS update pulled by sprint.

  • 13 Jul 20, 2012 7:06 PM
    ICS update pulled by sprint.
  • This question is Not Answered.
  • After waiting for my ICS update I decided to call sprint tech support to try and figure out when i would have my update. The tech support official told me that they were not told how or when the update should post on my galaxy sII. So after i was told by him that they had no power of when the update was going to my phone i asked if calling samsung directly would help. He kindly patched me over to samsung tech support were i was told by them that the update was pulled. (my bold/italics, mlb)

Please see my comments below in bold/italic in reponse to your posting:

RC1024 wrote:

I have been testing this phone off, and on since the update and I have not seen any trouble with the phone,

Your assertion is anecdotal.  One would hope that your N=1 testing of the ICS update on a SINGLE PHONE is not the full extent of Sprint's testing prior to the update.  Please REFRAIN FROM POSTING ANECDOTAL ASSERTIONS AND RESPECT YOUR USERS/CUSTOMERS BY PROVIDING ONLY COMPLETE, UNDERSTANDABLE, QUANTITATIVE,  INFORMATIVE AND OFFICIAL SPRINT STATISTICAL DATA ON THE RATES OF BUGS/FLAWS FOR MAJOR, REPRESENTATIVE APPS ON ALL DEVICES AFFECTED BY THE FIRMWARE UPDATE.

Is it Sprint’s OFFICIAL RESPONSE that there have been no serious and widespread flaws or bugs with the ICS update to the Epic 4G/Galaxy SII?  Internet reports would appear to contradict this position.

IF YOU ARE AUTHORIZED, please state here SPRINT’S OFFICIAL POSITION ON WETHER OR NOT THE ICS UPDATE TO THE EPIC 4G/GALAXY SII HAS BEEN HALTED/STOPPED/SUSPENDED, per #4 above.

it is unfortunate that you’ve had trouble with bookmarks, Swype, and other features, but with this type of update, due to fundamental changes you may see unexpected results because the developers cannot anticipate all available configurations.

Please see post #35 for my full responses to this line of argument.  My key counter-arguments are:

  • “For the record, I have spent a large portion of my career defining system design requirements, release tests and quality control standards for complex medical device, diagnostic and chemical measurement systems. I too speak with some technical authority on these matters.”
  • “So, you would argue that sufficient release testing and quality controls need NOT be performed in the mobile computing industry because they are too difficult or costly compared to other industries that are required to perform adequate release and quality control testing? As a long-standing representative of medical technology industries I can assure you, in the strongest possible terms, that such testing and control is far from impossible for the mobile computing industry.”
  • “Given the sheer volume of very significant and dramatic performance issues reported by intelligent users (yes some of us have more than 2 neurons in use at any given time), it was fall-off-a-log child’s play for Sprint’s, Samsung’s and Google’s computer and electronics professionals to identify appropriate testing configurations, procedures and quality control and product release requirements, and the resources needed to adequately generate the same.”
  • “The most ethical, pragmatic and economically viable approach is to define test samples that are representative of a product’s most likely final use configurations, and then to test those configurations with realistic use scenarios to identify significant failure modes, error rates and other performance issues.”
  • “…because product performance testing and quality control is expensive, it is incumbent upon industry, consumers and regulators to define acceptable levels of performance and quality control testing, and their associated costs, and which portion of those costs will be borne by industry and by the consumer.”

Unfortunately you may have to clear data & cache for some apps, and in some situations a factory restore may be in order.

For many or most users, this is not merely an “unfortunate” consequence but, rather, a SIGNIFICANT, AVOIDABLE CONSEQUENCE that costs many users significant time and/or lost productivity.  As I’ve asserted in earlier posts, the time and lost productivity experienced by users and/or their employers, as a result of these consequences, constitutes a REAL COST-SHIFT by Google/Samsung/Sprint to their customers.  Such cost-shifts are unacceptable in any industry and, in particular, in the mobile computing industry that society has become so reliant upon.

After changing the browser settings to the same that I use in 2.3 I find the browsing experience to be similar, and we had posted a viable workaround for the problem some users had seen with Swype 7-16, so we have been involved in finding ways to correct problems noticed after updating without factory resetting necessarily,

As I’ve stated in earlier posts, it is incumbent upon Google, Samsung and, ultimately Sprint (which collects monthly fees from every customer to provide uninterrupted mobile service) to provide adequate testing and redesign on each mobile device platform sold by Sprint to eliminate significant bugs in commonly/widely used apps PRIOR TO LAUNCH OF ANY AND ALL SYSTEM UPDATES.  To rely on the full customer base to conduct beta testing and to identify serious bugs in software updates is unacceptable, unethical and, again, constitutes another cost-shift from Google/Samsung/Sprint to their customers.  Again, Sprint is most/solely responsible to prevent such cost-shifts, owing to the large sums of money collected by Sprint from their customers on an ongoing, MONTHLY basis.

It is clear that Google/Samsung/Sprint failed to conduct adequate pilot testing of the ICS update on a SMALL POPULATION OF REPRESENTATIVE, CONSENTING USERS THAT HAVE BEEN FULLY INFORMED OF THEIR RISKS IN PARTICIPATING IN BETA/PILOT TESTING OF THE UPDATE.  A very clear analogy exists in the pharmaceutical industry for such pilot testing.  Following safety testing (Phase 1 clinical trials, 20 – 80 patients typically) and efficacy testing and clinical trial design (Phase 2 clinical trials, 100-300 patients typically) on relatively small FULLY INFORMED AND CONSENTING patients, a new drug goes through phase 3 clinical trials on a much larger population (1000 – 3000, typically) of INFORMED, CONSENTING patients.  Only AFTER such phase 3 clinical trials is the new drug approved by regulatory agencies and released for sale to the general public.  In the case of many new drugs, after product launch, phase 4 studies are conducted to analyze the experiences of use of the new drug by the general public to delineate such data as the drug's risks, benefits, and optimal use.  See the following link for more on drug clinical trials: Clinical trial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Use of the UNINFORMED, NON-CONSENTING FULL USER/CUSTOMER POPULATION FOR SAFETY/RISK TESTING of software/firmware/hardware releases by the mobile computing industry (equivalent to VERY SMALL, YET REPRESENTATIVE PHASE 1 TRIALS in drug development, and VERY LARGE, FULL PATIENT POPULATION PHASE 4 TRIALS in drug development) is, again, unacceptable and unethical.

but to cut my post short, the ICS update is not flawed, and not causing adverse affects to a majority of users.

From above, “Is it Sprint’s OFFICIAL RESPONSE that there have been no serious and widespread flaws or bugs with the ICS update to the Epic 4G/Galaxy SII?  Internet reports would appear to contradict this position.”

Anything that can be duplicated after removing custom data can certainly be reported to the right people.

From above “To rely on the full customer base to conduct beta testing and to identify serious bugs in software updates is unacceptable, unethical and, again, constitutes another cost-shift from Google/Samsung/Sprint to their customers.  Again, Sprint is most/solely responsible to prevent such cost-shifts, owing to the large sums of money collected by Sprint from their customers on an ongoing, MONTHLY basis.”

Highlighted
Journeyman

Most of these are good points, but there are still some simple things missing:

1. This is hardly the first time that software for this specific phone has been released by Sprint/Samsung/Google with no testing.  How in the world could this phone be sold without a working GPS?  Unless that just wasn't part of the testing, or they just didn't think people would care. 

I am also in software development, and we have extensive testing procedures for all our mission critical software releases.  We would be, literally, out of business if we have Sprint/Samsung/Google's finger pointing and 'it's not our problem' attitude.  They should either fire everyone working in software quality control, or fire management who is possibly burying the quality reports and letting this moronic junk be released to paying customers on a regular basis.

2. People .. read these posts!  Do not whine about how you don't have the update!  You are LUCKY if you don't have the update.  It's obvious that this is a catastrophe, and if you get the update you will just be another victim of this incompetence.

3. And, just wow.  A major upgrade to the Android operating system goes out without testing.  Think about all that means.  They couldn't determine that battery life was going to be slashed because 'there are too many configurations out there'???  Really?  Really, Sprint?  Really Samsung and Google?  They couldn't be bothered tryhing to send a text, just to see if Swype was still working?  They couldn't be bothered to try going to a couple of webites, where they would have seen the reformatting bug?  What do you suppose they actually did test?  Maybe they placed a couple of calls and dusted off their lapels with 'well, that's done.'

Multiple and repeated failures.  I still know not to try to use Google Maps without having several minutes to spare for the approximately 1/4 of the time that there will not be a sync.  I'm not going to be pressuring any tech support ref to help me put on a buggy OS update, and no one else should, either.

Highlighted
Journeyman

Gioia999,

Thanks for your contributions, especially your perspective as a professional programmer.  I find each of your points well made and worthy of serious consideration by the mobile computing community.

Regards

Gioia999 wrote:

Most of these are good points, but there are still some simple things missing:

1. This is hardly the first time that software for this specific phone has been released by Sprint/Samsung/Google with no testing.  How in the world could this phone be sold without a working GPS?  Unless that just wasn't part of the testing, or they just didn't think people would care. 

I am also in software development, and we have extensive testing procedures for all our mission critical software releases.  We would be, literally, out of business if we have Sprint/Samsung/Google's finger pointing and 'it's not our problem' attitude.  They should either fire everyone working in software quality control, or fire management who is possibly burying the quality reports and letting this moronic junk be released to paying customers on a regular basis.

2. People .. read these posts!  Do not whine about how you don't have the update!  You are LUCKY if you don't have the update.  It's obvious that this is a catastrophe, and if you get the update you will just be another victim of this incompetence.

3. And, just wow.  A major upgrade to the Android operating system goes out without testing.  Think about all that means.  They couldn't determine that battery life was going to be slashed because 'there are too many configurations out there'???  Really?  Really, Sprint?  Really Samsung and Google?  They couldn't be bothered tryhing to send a text, just to see if Swype was still working?  They couldn't be bothered to try going to a couple of webites, where they would have seen the reformatting bug?  What do you suppose they actually did test?  Maybe they placed a couple of calls and dusted off their lapels with 'well, that's done.'

Multiple and repeated failures.  I still know not to try to use Google Maps without having several minutes to spare for the approximately 1/4 of the time that there will not be a sync.  I'm not going to be pressuring any tech support ref to help me put on a buggy OS update, and no one else should, either.

Highlighted
Journeyman

Gioia999 wrote:

Most of these are good points, but there are still some simple things missing:

1. This is hardly the first time that software for this specific phone has been released by Sprint/Samsung/Google with no testing.  How in the world could this phone be sold without a working GPS?  Unless that just wasn't part of the testing, or they just didn't think people would care. 

I am also in software development, and we have extensive testing procedures for all our mission critical software releases.  We would be, literally, out of business if we have Sprint/Samsung/Google's finger pointing and 'it's not our problem' attitude.  They should either fire everyone working in software quality control, or fire management who is possibly burying the quality reports and letting this moronic junk be released to paying customers on a regular basis.

2. People .. read these posts!  Do not whine about how you don't have the update!  You are LUCKY if you don't have the update.  It's obvious that this is a catastrophe, and if you get the update you will just be another victim of this incompetence.

3. And, just wow.  A major upgrade to the Android operating system goes out without testing.  Think about all that means.  They couldn't determine that battery life was going to be slashed because 'there are too many configurations out there'???  Really?  Really, Sprint?  Really Samsung and Google?  They couldn't be bothered tryhing to send a text, just to see if Swype was still working?  They couldn't be bothered to try going to a couple of webites, where they would have seen the reformatting bug?  What do you suppose they actually did test?  Maybe they placed a couple of calls and dusted off their lapels with 'well, that's done.'

Multiple and repeated failures.  I still know not to try to use Google Maps without having several minutes to spare for the approximately 1/4 of the time that there will not be a sync.  I'm not going to be pressuring any tech support ref to help me put on a buggy OS update, and no one else should, either.

CAN I GET AN AMEN!!!!!

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