I have often expressed my skepticism of cloud computing as the answer to life, the universe, and everything. (See Note.)
Nevertheless, Google’s cloud saved my bacon today. I felt that it was only fair to tell the story.
My Android G1 is broken. Specifically, the touch screen no longer works. I was able to use it with the hardware keyboard, but missed the convenience. So I took it to the local T-Mobile store; the clerk suggested a reset to default. That bricked the phone; the first time it comes on, it displays a message, “Touch the Android to continue.” There is no way to get past that screen with the hardware keyboard.
(Stuff breaks; a new phone is being expressed to me and I have a loaner in the meantime.)
This morning I got a phone message from someone who has been important in my life; the caller sounded extremely upset. I deleted the voicemail (my default choice is to delete voicemails unless they contain information I might need later). I did not realize that it contained information I might need later.
Then I went to return the call and discovered the caller’s new phone number was not in the SIM card memory in my SIM card in the loaner, but, instead, was over there in the G1 Anbrick.
I checked my address books (paper and electronic). I had not updated them to the caller’s new phone number. (Updates pending, lesson learned.)
Then I remembered that the default contacts list in the G1 syncs to the Gmail account I had to create when I first set up the phone.
Viola! I logged into Gmail, checked my contacts, returned the phone call, and saved my bacon.
The warranty replacement arrived today about 6:00 p. m. I did pay extra for express shipping, because I miss my Android.
The T-Mobile tech support guy promised that it would arrive within three days, but said–no promises–it might arrive in two. It arrived in one.
I haven’t fired it up yet. Having supper and going for a walk on a lovely Virginia evening took precedence.
My warranty replacement phone is working and 90% set up; the other 10% is stuff I’ll get a round tuit. I’ve installed most of the apps that I used regularly on the old phone (there are a couple I haven’t gotten to yet). In the process, I learned a few of things;
- Android Market remembered the apps that I had paid for and I could download them again at no extra charge. (There were two paid apps that I had on the old phone. I’m restoring only one of them, Documents To Go, which is worth every penny if you need access to MS format docs on a smartphone.)
- Opera Link functioned worked perfectly. I installed the Opera Mini browser, signed on to Opera Link, and in a few seconds had my bookmarks and speed dial configuration back.
- The Google Map search information is stored locally on the phone, not on Google’s servers. When I fired up Google Maps and pushed the “Search” button, there were no remembered searches.
- Cox Internet POP3 email is quirky to configure and their help pages pale as compared to Comcast’s. I knew that, but this reminded me. This applies to both phones and computers.
- My saved SD card worked perfectly in the new phone and all my data (ebooks, documents, pictures, ringtones, voice recordings, and the like) are functional; I did not have to restore from the backup I made to my computer hard drive.
It was less than 36 hours ago that I arranged for the warranty replacement. Now I’m back up and running. I really couldn’t ask for more than that.
Well, I could.
Only the largest T-Mobile stores are empowered to replace a phone under warranty right then and there; it’s a corporate policy inventory management thing. It would have been nice to get a new G1 placed in my hands 36 hours ago. But the policy is not the fault of any of the individuals with whom I dealt, all of whom treated me courteously and did everything they could for me. And I did get a free loaner in the meantime.
I made my displeasure at the in-store replacement policy quite clear to the Tech Support guy and he took the complaint courteously and with no double-talk.
I wore a headset for eight years, and I was good. I couldn’t have done better than he did with a customer who opened the call with
Before we start, I want to warn you that, for the first time since I’ve been using your employer’s services, I am irate . . . .