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The seedy underbelly of mobile apps.

So last night someone decides to randomly spam my phone by calling and texting me repeatedly at ungodly hours of the night.  This prompts me, being the vindictive dick that I am about my sleep, to sign their phone number up for various spam websites and seek out autodialer software to bug the ever-loving shit out of this person who was unfortunate enough to ignite my ire.  Needless to say they’ll be receiving calls at 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 am for every morning for the next 6 months as a wake-up call reminding them not to screw with me.  Thank you open source telemarketing software.  But this did lead me to a conclusion about what I miss about windows mobile and admire about Android, and that’s slightly amoral, and somewhat illegal autodialing software.  Something I could easily find on winmo but is not at all possible with the stringent standards of windows phone.

Now it’s not like the need to spam irritating prank callers is at the top of everyone’s list when making their mobile telecommunications decisions, in fact it is probably a pretty rare thing for most people to need, but I always enjoy owning a product for several months or even years on end, only to find that it has some sort of latent functionality that I was unaware of.  Like these pants I had in high school.  I had these things for like 8 months until I realized there was a stash pocket sewn into the upper thigh area.  Now I don’t roll around carrying all sorts of drugs and other illegal material, but it’d be nice to smuggle candy bars into movie theaters and whatnot.  I do find an interesting surprise, on occasion, with my good ol’ windows phone though.

There is this one spot on my couch where signal for at&t and verizon both drop out momentarily, and it just so happens to be my favorite spot on said couch.  So I’m sitting here playing Brink (awesome title when it’s not lagging like an epileptic with a stutter) and sending a few text messages.  By now everyone with a windows phone has experienced the smiley face on the text messages tile grow increasingly more excited the more text messages you get.  Well on the flip side of this, if you have a text message that cannot be sent then face on the tile begins to frown. Not really additional functionality, but a nice touch to the OS’s animations.  It’s like having a car with a really nice interior, that doesn’t really have shit to do with functionality.

This however does not really make up for a lack of available auto dialing software, present in several variations on the android market though.  For all its problems and need to yank successive fishing apps and other crap from their market, its supposed “openness” is a big win for the OS.  Now I could also attribute this functionality, not to the openness of the market but the ability to side load applications via a direct usb connection or even from the memory card.  Windows Mobile did not have an open market but it’s ability to side load apps did open up a world of third party software through about a dozen different marketplaces that were not directly policed by Redmond.

Point is, I miss side loading.  I know I can unlock my phone and do it anyway but it’s a giant pain in the ass.  With android (unless you have a newer AT&T phone that hasn’t been unlocked by them yet) there isn’t really anything to do.  It’s basically an app free-for-all.  I’d also like the functionality of a flash drive built into the Windows OS.  Why they don’t or can’t sandbox a portion of the phones memory for use as mass storage is beyond me.  It wouldn’t harm the functionality of the phone, but yes they would have to create a file explorer of some sorts, in order to view the files directly from the phone, but even that is not truly “necessary”.  If I have files stored on an actual flash drive, I can’t view the files without plugging into a computer.  My old Fuze gave me the option whenever I decided it was time to plug the bitch in, between active-sync, mass storage, and some other non-sense not worth remembering because that brick is long gone, but it was a good method of handling this whole conundrum.  It’s not a make or break thing, but again, finding out that a product you purchased several months in the past has somehow snuck in some additional functionality, or unadvertised feature as companies like calling it, is a good boost for consumer confidence and experience.  It’s the little things.