Kies (in its defense) is not just a phone patching program. It's a phone management program. You can use it to back up all the phone's data (phone numbers and addresses, applications, programs, data, pictures, etc.) and you can use it to import/export addresses and appointments from/to your PC.
In spite of its klunkiness, it did work and I used it regularly for a while. The motivator to change was that phone manufacturers (exception is Apple) don't regularly provide updated software. I wanted to take advantage of the latest Android features. To do so I had to load generic Android, overlaying Samsung Android. Kies wouldn't talk to generic Android and that was the end of Kies.
When you call customer support, you get a relatively untrained person - doesn't matter what country they are in - who must follow a 'solution tree' to help you troubleshoot your product (phone, computer, digital watch). They have to start at "We're very sorry you're having this problem", followed by "is it turned on?" and then based on your answers, may or may not find a solution. By the time I call, I have exhausted whatever patience I started with and am not receptive to "please shut-down, remove the battery and reboot". Well, yeah, I'm pretty sure this will solve the problem of an irate customer seeing as it the only phone I have and I'm talking on it! As hand-held devices combine more and more functions, the probability that they will do all of them well diminishes. Can't wait until my bionic knee and defibrillator are all combined with my phone, camera, TV remote and car starter. That should make for some real intersting conversations with my friend "Ralph" with the Indian accent.
"If builders built houses like programmers wrote programs, the first termite would have destroyed civilization." Don't know who to attribute this to but its accuracy can't be denied. Different companies have vastly different validation methods to prove software upgrades. Samsung has tried to minimize 'time to market' while accepting some bugs and they apparently rely on Kies to fix them by making periodic upgrades. In my mind this is the wrong model and based on reputation I will not purchase a Samsung product.
Like the article authur stated, I frequently wonder how normal people handle stuff like this when it happens. I mean, we're engineers and super-geeks and still run into crazy problems that we have trouble with. How does the butcher or the baker deal with problems like this when they happen?
I was recently surprised to listen in on a conversation with my in-laws and their elderly friends, discussing that they often took their computers to a service to have them "cleaned up" when they ran slowly. It's like having a pet that you need to take to a vet!
I suppose I take it for granted the amount of technology related items that I handle myself.
In the long run, TJ, you're paying quite a premium for a phone that is not from a service company. The cost of the phone is subsidized by the service fees. So if you buy a phone outside a service company you're subsidizing other people's phones without the benefit getting your own "free" phone.
Service provided while you are buying any new product is top class. But its not the same when we want to contact customer support to resolve any issue. Our call is being transferred over and over again from person to person, and having to repeat the issue each time. Most of the time it takes too long to resolve the issue.
Mike, I think yours may not be an exceptional case. Am using Samsung Smartphone and regularly getting updates through Kies. Many times, while downloading phone got hanged or interrupted, but so far it works fine.
The USA collectively is hooked on the false premise that your phone is free with a 2-year contract. Robert Heinlein's TANSTAAFL acronym covers that - nothing is free.
Since your service provider has given you a "free" phone, they want to personalize that AT&T or Virgin Mobile or Verizon Experience - they ALL have the phone manufacturer customize the operating system.
A Samsung Galaxy III in Europe has a completely different OS from that in the USA.
Purchasing a clean phone NOT from a service provider will get you a stock OS. These are much more likely to successfully upgrade than one from the cell service company.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.