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Smartphones and The New Universal Incompatibility

Posted on the 15 March 2018 by Joe Martin @SexAndBloodShow
Smartphones and The New Universal IncompatibilitySmartphones have most definitely been an eye opener. Things I'm used to on a Windows computer are vastly different, largely due to size differences, or just simply not being there. If you have a Windows computer or laptop you have basics like Textpad and Wordpad built in among other basic programs that make it usable right out of the box. Then along comes Android.
Being based on Linux, Android has adopted Linux's most universal feature; a lack of user friendliness. Linux itself is not an operating system but a kernel upon which other open source software is used to build a system. Red Hat, Ubuntu, MEPIS, Fedora, and SUSE are operating systems or distros of Linux. There are hundreds of distros of Linux, most can be downloaded for free to install as an OS, and they vary widely by their bits and pieces included which make up the distro.
Android uses a modified Linux kernel with bits and pieces added to it to make up the OS. What's standard for those bits and pieces I don't know, but apparently the ability to natively edit text files is not. I'm sure Google has a service online you can use to edit text files and documents, which would fit with what seems to be their philosophy (I don't speak for them) of keeping you connected to them so you don't stray. Certainly Android exemplifies this philosophy as about the only thing guaranteed to be included in Android are ways to connect you to Google.
Google is simply a monopoly and they intend to keep it this way as any successful monopoly would. This is not news to anybody. Monopolies will always exist despite the best efforts of some to break them up. This is part and parcel of societies raised on monotheistic theology. We are raised from the time we can utter a word to accept a singular authority. Monotheism was never about any god but was instituted as a way to keep people under greater control. The proliferation of monopolies like Walmart and Google is a result of this as we unconsciously flock to whomever is number one, without reason or rationale.
Android is what it is. It is a shrewd marketing ploy on Google's part that allows others, due to profit for them by using a free OS for their devices, to automatically create shrines with an instant connection to Google. Greed has a tendency to override reason and phone providers have freely optioned to stick with using their phones as Google shrines and as a result we're stuck with either the poor operating system that Android is or the other shrine that is iOS. Both are too freely controlled by their respective and intrusive motherships.
Poor operating system? Android reminds me more and more of Windows 3.1 every time I use it, with the exception that Windows 3.1 was friendlier and better. A lack of multi-tasking, a lack of basic features such as multiple file selection when doing a copy and paste, and no guarantee that you can open a simple text file without having to install software for it. Sure, there are online forums where you could probably go to find a workaround for such issues, but the overriding important part to that is it's not consumer friendly; it should not be up to you to make your phone more usable but to the provider of the phone.
There are apps available for Android that can be used to read and edit text files. Ted Text Editor and Jota Text Editor are among the best choices as they lack the BS so prevalent in Android apps such as ads and are basic and small apps that are easy to run without hogging system resources. And yes, some providers include a note taking app that may allow you to at least read if not edit a plain text file.
What brought about this rant over a lack of a universal way to read and edit plain text files in Android out of the box? I've been involved in a conversation about how we should distribute the bulletin for the indie film site and what file format to use. I found myself asking about the compatibility of certain files with Android and what apps are available to read them. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one file format that you can be guaranteed to be able to read on Android or any smartphone, Android or not, and that is an HTML file. Every smartphone has a web browser.
It should be an embarrassment to Google that Android does not by default have a way to read and write plain, emphasis on 'plain', text files. This hearkens back to the days of 8-bit computers in the early 1980s when even something like a basic text editor was a separate program you had to load from a floppy disk.
Oh sheesh, Google! Really? Your shrines don't even have the friendliness of Windows 3.1? And this is an advancement... how?
As I said, it is what it is and we're stuck with Android if you want an affordable, to be read a 'cheap', smartphone or tablet. With adding apps, and one has to be very careful about those, you can get a lot of use out of an Android device. There's a lot of pure BS out there in the Android marketplace, more than I've ever seen in any one place on the internet outside of a warez site, but there are some genuine and useful nuggets to be found if you don't mind the stench of the trek.
Once again my smartphone consciousness has been upgraded and something I had come to assume with my desktop experience doesn't apply to smartphones. I sometimes do interviews via email and have traditionally sent out questions in RTF format, my preferred document file, so the interviewee can just type in their answers, save it and send it back to me. The assumption was that RTF files were compatible with the basic editor on any computer...
Ooops!
If Android is included in that equation it suddenly changes. Another realization on my part and I have to adjust the way I do things to more accommodate smartphone users. I have never been one to ever suggest someone install software. If I send out a document I want it to be as universal as possible. Adapting to smartphones unfortunately means that file format has to change to HTML and I have to adjust my interviewing to be even more basic allowing the use of the email text itself and even DMs on social media.
Thanks for making that possible, Google (sarcasm).

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