So I’ve had the Samsung Wave (S8500) for the better part of a year, and I will admit I do still love the phone. But after a year, I’m quite discouraged by its App store – and I really, really think they could have owned the market (or at least broken into the market) somewhat better if they had introduced a free data bundle plan – ala Research In Motion (BlackBerry users). Smart phones, on average, seem quite chatty in nature, and while I haven’t found the Wave to be over chatty, if you’re using your social networks often, I can see how it would raise the bar for data downloads.
The App store, which has been open for around a year, still lacks a lot of social networking integration, and the Samsung Wave’s internal social networking apps don’t appear to have been updated since I received the phone (and might have been updated in the firmware update - but read more about that below). There hasn’t been much adoption from third parties, and there’s nothing in terms of geolocation-based apps ala FourSquare etc. (or I just haven’t seen them on the App store?).
More alarming, although perhaps because I received the phone from the Samsung Bada developer conference last year, is that I’m unable to update the firmware of the Bada operating system up to 1.2 through the Samsung Kies suite – basically the software you install to access your phone from your computer. It always complains there are no updates available – and I really don’t want to go through the whole process of manually attempting to update the firmware without the use of Kies in case something goes wrong.
Kies in itself is a whole other ball game, and I have no idea why Samsung thought it would be “hip and cool” to provide another “desktop” in which to access my phone’s information. Even worse, the way it wants to install new components at every step of the way, for simple things like viewing your SMS’s or even your contacts – surely you should be able to access your own propriatory resources without having to install additional codecs and interfaces… in your own application suite?! It just doesn’t make sense! I often wonder what these developers were thinking when they wrote the software (although more often than not, it’s not the developer’s fault but rather management’s fault)…
Somehow I think Samsung needs to step up it’s game here. If I recall from their developer network, all apps that make use of data are required for that data to come from Samsung’s servers (so you have a kind of proxy between them) – which when you think about it, is the same model that RIM uses. So you think that providing free data bundles would be fairly trivial?
Then again, I am using the mobile through a pay-as-you-go service, so I don’t know if it would make much more of a difference…