31 days

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 3 min read

31 days ago I ran home from work because a FedEx delivery person had delivered the package I had been anticipating for weeks. I was running because this was a package that required a signature for delivery and they elected not to get that from anyone (ugh) and just left it in the vestibule of my building. The package was my Google Pixel 2.

Now, 31 days later, I’m doing a factory reset on that Pixel 2 because it just has too many issues that just might be addressed by a reset. Here’s what I’m dealing with:

  • Updates are not being pushed to my phone. The November security update never arrived and I had to install the development kit on my Mac to side load the update file. Also, features were being pushed to Pixel phones to enhance photos and Assistant, but I have not seen anything, even weeks after they should have come.
  • The volume indicator no longer dismisses itself without me making it go off screen. This means every time I change the media volume it is a 2 step process: change the volume, and swipe away the indicator. Fantastic.
  • Volume for connected devices (both Bluetooth and wired) resets to about 25% every time I connect something. This is obnoxious because I usually listen at 60-90% (depending on the device I’m using) and I have to reset the volume every time I connect to anything. It’s annoying on my Bluetooth speakers, but it’s maddening on AirPods which I put in 5-10 times per day and have to adjust every time, as well as in the car (via a AUX cable) 1-2 times per day.
  • Vibration is not working. Setting my phone to ring works, and setting it to silent works, but the vibration motor does nothing when it's set to vibrate. This one is especially painful because I simply can't keep up on my notifications how I want. It's either be a shitty office-mate and turn on the ringer, or obsessively check my phone ever 5 minutes to make sure I didn't miss anything.
  • My Twitter DMs simply don’t work. I’ve uninstalled the app as well as cleared cache and data and they still don’t work. This one is bizarre.
  • The Google app (which is on the left of the home screen) crashes regularly. I get a “Google has stopped” notification every few hours nowadays.
  • Photos are randomly not saving to Google Photos. I take the picture in the stock camera app, see them in the bottom right of the app indicating it took the picture, but that photo never appears in my Google Photos library and I don’t see it saved on the device anywhere. Photos not saving is a particularly unforgivable sin.

There is probably more, but that’s what’s bugging me at this exact moment. For each of these instances, I’ve had people suggest I reset my device and start over. I resisted up until now because this is supposed to be the premier version of Android and should be the most stable and user-friendly out there. No normal person should be expected to reset their device and have that be considered “no big deal,” but at this point I want to throw this phone against a wall a couple times a day. There is no one terrible thing this phone does that drives me crazy, but there is a long list of little things that are not decisions Google has made as to how Android should work, but actual bugs in the system that make it difficult to use.

I should note here that I am not running beta software or any apps downloaded from outside the Google Play Store. I’ve treated this phone incredibly conservatively from a software perspective, but sadly these issues remain. I’ll see you on the other side.

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