Device Pet Peeves or Annoyances

So this comes out of stuff discussed here, but also personal and work related.

One primary rule though, so it doesn’t turn in to a general purpose gripe fest… The device(s) you cite must be something you own and/or use on a regular basis, so a work provided /required device will qualify.

So to start…

Power Buttons/power on sequence.

Why is this so ■■■■ hard to get right.

One on side you have the Surface Pro’s , Gos, laptops where if you some much as look at the power button they turn on. I can’t count the number of times I’ve pulled my Pro 8 out of the bag only to find that it’s already on and has been for who knows how long.

On the other end of the spectrum is Apple’s iPad Pros. I never have seemed to find the right length of holding the power button down to start them up, but regardless it seems much longer than necessary. So thus I pull it out of my bag, hit the power button thinking it will have started up, but no.

And in the third category, I might not be in the majority on this, but whoever decided that just opening a clamshell laptop automatically turns it on… well, just no. Chromebooks and recent MacBooks are notable for doing this, but I’ve seen in on other OEM devices to such as some but not all Samsung Laptops.

So the one device I have that seems to get it about right is my Samsung Ultra 22 where a good affirmative press turns it one reliably for me. What’s odd though (or maybe not since we are talking Samsung :)) is that the S8 tablets don’t work the same and seem to require a significantly longer press, though not quite to the level of the iPads.

And honestly I can see why different people might prefer different behaviors , but how about making it a preference setting that I can adjust?

PS: Regarding Chromebooks specifically, I actually griped about it to a Google engineer and she told me that the open a lid and it turns on was a deliberate choice made to make a Chromebook feel that much more “responsive” than a Windows laptop.

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The instant on thing on open does feel more responsive, so I get the choice. It does bother me when my wife shuts her computer instead of stopping a video she’s watching, so then, when she opens it again you’re just bombarded with whatever was previously playing, but I think that would happen if you had to press the power button first. IDK, I guess I like this feature overall.

But, speaking of power buttons. The Pixel 6 is a hot mess. The power button shouldn’t even be called the power button. It should be called the screen wake/sleep button. You can’t power off the phone with it. At least, not it alone. Gone are the days of long press to power off/restart. Now, you have to press it AND the volume up button to bring up the menu to either restart or power off. Why? It’s so much more complicated than it needs to be and counterintuitive to how everyone is already used to using their phones.

Also, the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 6 to unlock the phone is super annoying. I loved the scanner on the back of the phone as a screen wake/unlock. Now I have to first double tap to wake, then press the scanner on the front, which also takes longer to register than the rear scanner did. Thanks for adding more steps to do simple things, Google. You’re doing great.

Also, while I’m on phones, this trend of phones getting taller/skinnier with ridiculous aspect ratios like 21:9. I get that it’s easier to scroll/read with a taller phone, but I hate how skimpy keyboards have gotten, even on larger phones. My older “smaller” screen on my LGV20 had a much better keyboard experience than my Pixel 6. And of course, my last phone, a Huawei Mate 20X, had a wonderful large keyboard to type on. When I compare it to my Pixel 6, the Pixel is almost as tall as the Huawei, but it’s just not nearly as wide. And I don’t want to pay nearly 2k for a folding phone. I just want a nice larger display that I can type on easily.

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@James one of my engineers is also a pixel 6 user and while he loves the phone for the most part I’ve heard him swearing at it for the reasons you cite :slight_smile:

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I seem to remember my daughters early MacBook Air also did this, and I kind of like it for quick shut down and start up as if it were more “tablet like.”

I just can’t understand why in this day and age that every now and then, I simply can’t print a document.

Like the printer will be offline, or the status shows that a document is sending/printing but nothing is happening.

And don’t get me started on printer driver utilities and the amount of bloat they can have…

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This. Especially, for me, it’s pairing Windows with my very common Canon inkjet printer. I usually end up having to download the manufacturer’s bloated drivers and manually install. Linux? Mac? Insta-paired every time… oops, this is an OS rant not a device rant. Sorry!

Nope - this IS a device rant, and Windows (as a generic category) is a nightmare for printers…

My biggest device peeve is still chargers for ALL devices. Settle on USB-C for everything and cut ALL the diverse (looking at you iPhone) and proprietary solutions out there.

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Device Pet Peeves or Annoyances

Hey, a thread designed specifically for me! :vb-grin:

  • the lack of power button access on the SLS when in tablet mode
  • the lack of accessible volume buttons on the SLS when in tablet mode
  • the one-touch switch of the Fn-key behavior on the SLS
  • the flippy flappy (“flapple?”) keyboard construction for the iPad Pro 10.5
  • the fixed viewing angle of the flapple keyboard

Hmm, actually not that bad, I was sure I had a hundred of these lined up!

Oh, I’ll add, how frickin’ hard it is to change the brightness on desktop monitors (e.g. my Dell P2720D). FFS, the light level isn’t always the same in my home, why do I have to locate nearly invisible buttons that are hard to press to go through a weird menu and hold them down for what seems an eternity to get the brightness to change?

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+1!!!

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One of the things I like about my cheap 15.6 inch 4K monitor:

A remote control!

Still have to go through some stupid menu steps but at least I’m not trying to find the right button on the rear of the monitor. :+1:

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I also think the inane irony of OEMs to make the thinnest glassiest phones to make claims about size and design aesthetic… only for us consumers to:

  1. add bulk and obscure the design with protective cases to protect the glass/edges
  2. carry power packs to negate the thinness by skimping on battery capacity
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Which is why I’m not all that concerned about the color of the device. Although it does make a difference on resale so I do try to get a neutral color. Might have a harder time selling metallic pink (rose gold). :wink:

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I do try to get the thinnest while still protective case I can. In the case of my Huawei Mate20X, I went with a clear case, because the “Phantom Silver” purple color really was nice. But that was the only phone I’ve done that with. Every other phone I’ve ever had has been black or some variant of.

If we are talking about software, I want to make Edge my primary browser, but there isn’t enough incentive or differentiation from Chrome to make me want to. There needs to be something extra, like way better battery life, to make Edge edge it out. This one is more of a complaint, but I wish the Surface diagnostic tool was a bit more thorough when it comes to checking things out the hardware.

Another peeve is why is it so ■■■■ hard to disable auto contrast. Like on my SP5 I had to use a registry hack every so often to correct it. On my SP7+ I had use a sub-par Intel app from the app store. The first time I played adjusted the various settings in the app it caused the display to go black. It was so bad that even safe mode couldn’t olve it & I had to do a clean install of Windows again. Software shouldn’t be so bad that it allowed me screw up like that. It stinks & Intel sucks. Now a 16-core ARM cpu with AMD Radeon 6000 series gpu, could be interesting & help me forget about intel.

My main grip is the tendency to put all the ports on side.

Case in point nearly the entire Surface Line, and my M1 Macbook Air.

For the purposes of connecting monitors and charging, there are many times where it would be just stupidly convenient if I had another USB-C port on the other side of the device.

Apple does at least seemed to have remedied this with the 14/16 M1 Pro/Max Macbooks which have ports on both sides. Hopefully the rumored M2 Air will retain that.

Right now for work I was given an HP laptop that’s ok, but at some point they are going to be giving me a Surface Laptop Studio. They haven’t done so yet, but as much as I’m looking forward to getting it, I’m also kind of dreading it. The HP Laptop has a nice selection of ports on both sides of the device, and since the startech Docks they supply are garbage, I find myself usually using all 4 USB-ports on the device (2 USB-C, 2 Type A). And since they are on both sides, its very convenient for my use cases. Going down to just two USB-C ports on one side is kind of going to suck for me.

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Yes yes a thousand times yes. I refer to it as “the abomination known as Intel Adaptive Contrast”. HATE it. Worst part is that their control panel (used to?) not correctly show the state of the feature. It would occasionally reactivate, while the toggle in the ‘control center’ would show it as being off. Infuriating.

On my SLS at least the option is no longer buried in some Intel settings app, but included in the Display section of settings. Of course they hid it in a pane that the user has to expand, and they don’t refer to it by name to make sure nobody ever finds it.

image

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Maybe don’t, or if you do, keep an eye at the ever growing list of ‘services’. The constant barrage of helpful popups related to new features got tiresome enough that I switched to Firefox.

From the Edge Privacy section:

Speaking of Edge (the less the better) has MS finally stopped every update resetting Edge to be your default PDF reader - it screwed with my Adobe Acrobat Pro DC setting EVERY TIME patch Tuesday came around…

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So @dstrauss I like Edge and actually use it as primary browser though I agree on the annoyance of PDF handling. Though both Safari and Chrome do the same thing so…

But if you want the "least intrusive " so to speak browser in windows, its actually in an unexpected place and is likely not an option for most, but the version of Edge in Windows 10 LTSC is the least “tracky” of mainstream browsers as it strips a lot of stuff out that various trackers use, in the interests of stability. OTOH, that also means a lot of popular plug ins don’t work either, so that’s a big drawback.

I didn’t notice either Chrome or Safari switching my default PDF viewer like Edge does (did?).

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