Android – web browsing still not fit for purpose!

I have been using Android on various devices since version 1.5 (HTC Hero phone). I’d consider myself a techy, power user.

Even with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with the huge screen and fast CPU, Android still fails miserably with web browsing. I hate the experience and often end up giving up using it. Why? Read on…

Ok, try this on an average Android phone. Use v4 or v5 of the OS, it will result in the same frustration! Go into your browser and open the desktop version of Facebook. Not the mobile version. Good luck with that. Firstly, some browsers completely fail to open the desktop version, no matter what you do. Others open it and then begin to struggle.

Assuming you have managed to get the desktop version open, now try opening a private message. Using Firefox, Chrome, Puffin or the native browser results in the dialog box rendering on screen and then jumping around while the page updates. If I try seeing the whole conversation, the zoom levels force half the conversation off the page. If you bring up the on screen keyboard, it is even worse! The page updates are incredibly slow, so when you tap on an icon on screen, it won’t be registered until the next page refresh, by which time you end up actually tapping on something completely different.

Rinse and repeat. These results are fairly similar and typical across all the browsers I have tried.

I absolutely despise web browsing on Android! It isn’t all Android’s fault, but the OS doesn’t help. So, why am I not using the mobile version of the sites like Facebook? Because they invariably have far less functionality and/or a completely different layout. In that case, I have to learn where everything is in both versions of the site for when I’m on my laptop or on my mobile. Why should I? I don’t have the time or energy.

Now, try logging out of Facebook. Hint: the downward pointing arrow for the menu you need is in the far top right of the page. To tap it, you need to zoom in…however, zooming in often results in the arrow disappearing. Either because the page refresh doesn’t complete loading the page or because once zoomed in, you can’t seem to move the page around any more.

I have only used Facebook as an example, but this is common on sites with lots of on screen icons or menus. Static pages you find on sites like Wikipedia seem to be fine, yet with HTML5, Ajax calls and the sophistication of the likes of Javascript and dynamic pages, these simple, text heavy pages are becoming rarer.

Google and the app devs really need to sort this mess out. Even on a tablet with quad cores, navigating sites like Facebook is an absolute nightmare. I generally quit in disgust more than half the time I attempt to use the Internet on Android.

Here are the browsers I have tried:

Firefox, Chrome, Puffin, Samsung native, Opera, Dolphin – all the big names. Some work slightly better than others, but none are even close to being as consistent, fast or reliable as the actual desktop PC or laptop.


UK Politicians – Sack the lot!

I wonder…let’s say I decided to put in a claim for tax relief on something to which I’m not entitled. Or, how about something that doesn’t exist? Better still, what about if I submitted an expenses claim to my employer for say £10 that was for something which doesn’t exist or for something I actually paid £5 for? What would happen if I claimed hundreds or thousands of pounds in benefits to which I was not entitled? Let us supposed I was subsequently caught for any of the above? What would happen? Could I expect to be let off? Would the police be called in to investigate me for fraud? I doubt I’d walk away from something like that, and quite rightly so. Yet, those people we elected to run this country have done essentially the very same thing in principle, and have the nerve to say sorry and walk away. Or, in at least one case, stated that if it weren’t for the pesky Freedom of Information Act, us peasants wouldn’t have our sticky mits on the incriminating evidence of their very wrongdoing! Arrogant bastards! They ALL deserve to be dragged through the mud. Every last one of them. If they weren’t complicit, they at least knew the system was rigged and had an ethical duty to put a stop to it from the inside. NO excuses are good enough. That is what we pay them for. That is why we elect them!

Imagine all those scenarios above, where I was in reciept of money each month or even just once when I really shouldn’t have been. Firstly, I’d have to be exceptionally wealthy NOT to notice such large sums being deposited into my bank or to NOT notice and question them! I think I would probably notice if I was still claiming money for a mortgage which no longer exists. I wonder how many of you wouldn’t take note of the date upon which your mortgage is paid off? Probably none, I’m willing to bet! Yet, our beloved politicians have done exactly that. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t notice the few hundred quid entering my bank account each month. Silly me! So sorry. Let’s just forget about it eh?”.

Every single politician who made a claim for expenses they were NOT entitled to, should be made to pay it back, apologise to their electorate (and the rest of us) and be sacked immediately. In any other sector, they would be held accountable for committing gross misconduct at the very least and possibly even fraud.

To clarify that point, let me quote the definition of the word “fraud” from Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
“Deception deliberately practiced with a view to gaining an unlawful or unfair advantage”

I wonder how closely that definition fits?

It was reported today that poor old Gordon Brown admitted to having a tough time of it recently. So sad, isn’t it? The poor fellow is getting up to go to work every day and finding it all a bit stressful. I wonder why? Could it be that he and his cabinet are NOT up to the job of running this country? The cracks are certainly getting much wider. Are the conservatives any better? Nope. Few of the UK’s politicians deserve to have jobs at all right now. At least some of them had the decency to bugger off to find gainful employment elsewhere! I wonder how long they’d get away with claiming expenses like that in their new private sector roles? Five minutes at most, and they’d be out on their arse. Says it all really!


More crazy political correctness!

The BBC have posted another story about some organisation taking political correctness to the limit and way beyond.

Bookstart, a charity who promote reading with children, has had the lyrics to “What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?” rewritten in a new book project, funded by our beloved government. So, the song we all know and loved singing as children is now “What Shall We Do With the Grumpy Pirate?”. Other lyrics have also been removed which refer to alcohol.

Protecting kids from harmful things is perfectly acceptable, and as a parent I’m all for it. However, this is just ridiculous PC gone mad as usual. I remember singing this song all through my Primary School years. Did it turn me into an alcoholic, reprobate, criminal, sociopathic, drug dealing granny basher or anything else untoward? Nope, and I suspect I’m far from being alone in that one.

This is just another to add to the long list of nonsense we have to put up with in this over-sensitive society. The article also mentions the 2006 fiasco where Oxfordshire kids were expected to sing “Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep”. I mean, come on. Why can’t we say black??? Who’s ever seen a f**king rainbow coloured sheep, which is really black? Talk about confusing the children. They’ll grow up unable to utter perfectly normal words because some prick has deemed them non-PC or abusive or whatever bullshit reason they dream up. It infuriates me.

I personally know a number of black people. Yep, put me in jail for saying it. Black people. There, I said it again. Some of them are light brown, some very dark. None are really black. In all my life, I have yet to have a friend or acquaintance with darker skin than my “white” who balk at the use of the word “black” when referring to their colour. The same as I couldn’t care less if someone calls me white. I’m no more white than they are black. They are just words. People really need to get their head from up their arse and see the world for how it really is. Now, using words like nigger and coon are very offensive and understandably upsetting to all. Yet, to prevent everyone (except black people, presumably!) from saying that B word is getting tired and old.

Who are these cretins who lie awake at night worrying about offending sheep of that “darker” colour than “normal”, “white” sheep? Who are you people? Why are you so anally retentive? Don’t you understand that to avoid using the word black, you are making more of an issue about colour differences than the rest of us? You are the racist ones. You are the ones with the problem. Why is it even relevant and why bother making it into such an issue? People are people. Some have one colour skin, some have another. So frigging what? Does it mean anything? No!

This white man is going to shut up now before his blood pressure rises any more. As far as I’m concerned, positive discrimination is as bad as, if not worse than negative. The same goes for political correctness in what they shout from the rooftops is now a “multi-cultural society”. If it’s multi-cultural and that means some people look, behave, speak or think in a different way, so bloody what? That’s got to be a good thing, right? So, why keep avoiding mentioning it?

All the best, whatever colour your skin is,