All the talk this week has been about the Microsoft Surface and how it’s already killed the iPad, the MacBook Air, and the entire starting lineup of Phil Schiller’s favorite hockey team, the San Jose Sharks. But let’s not neglect the iPhone-killing Android devices of the world.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is the next in a long line of total iPhone killers, so let’s check in on how all the iPhone killing is going.
Huh. Well, that doesn’t sound so killy. How could that have happened?
Turns out, funny story, the user experience isn’t that great. Wait, user experience? But it’s got a bigger screen than the iPhone! That’s what people want, right?! COME ON!
The most I could get S Voice to do was say, “Hi, nice to meet you,” when I said, “Hi, Galaxy,” to either phone. If I said, “Hello, Galaxy,” it would respond with, “I’m not sure what you mean by ‘Hello Galaxy.’”
Well, admittedly, “hello” is a lot more, uh, complicated than “hi.”
Every other request or command I spoke to S Voice was met with, “Network error. Please try again,” on both handsets, despite seeing full service bars and being connected to Wi-Fi.
So, it seems that once again Samsung has taken cues from Apple’s lead. Perhaps a little too well this time.
(Psst, guys! You’re not supposed to copy that part!)
Samsung has also needlessly altered Google’s built-in Android features. Google has developed an Android-to-Android sharing system called Android Beam that allows two NFC-equipped Android phones to share files when the two devices are tapped together. The S III arrives with that feature intact, but Samsung also has added its own NFC sharing system called S Beam, which does the same thing, but only works with Galaxy S III phones.
That’s the power of “open”! It’s completely open for the carriers to screw up the user experience!
But as a whole package, the S III simply doesn’t feel like a finished product. It could use more polish, more thought, and a more elegant user experience.