Android: some awesome interspersed with gigantic piles of fail

So, I somehow forgot to mention that I got a new shiny: it's an AT&T Tilt 2. Odd choice since it's an American phone and there are several versions available in Canada, you may think, but there's a method to my madness: it has the exact frequencies required to work on 3G networks in both Canada and Europe. This is a fairly rare situation, and doesn't apply to any of the Touch Pro 2 variants you can actually buy from Canadian carriers. The only other decent phones I could find that do it are the Acer Liquid and the LG IQ. The LG runs Windows Mobile without HTC's Manila interface (ugh) and the Acer doesn't have a keyboard and is, well, an Acer phone? Come on. So the Tilt 2 it was.

It's fine. I have it running a third party ROM (EnergyROM) with Windows Mobile 6.5.5 and the latest version of Manila (HTC Sense 2.5). It does everything I need it to, pretty much, and Manila's a nice UI. But still, Windows Mobile ain't that cool these days, y'know.

So I'm tinkering with the Android port that's available for it. It's impressive stuff; most basic things work now - calls, SMS, 3G data, most bits of Android itself including the Marketplace. Sound outside of calls, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth aren't working and power management is dicey, so it's nowhere near done, but it's certainly tinker-with-able.

Most of my frustrations with it are nothing to do with the highly bleeding edge nature of the port, but with Android itself being bloody fucking stupid in places. No-one would take this shit from Microsoft, but since it's Google we're apparently supposed to not care and just feel the love.

Stupid stupid frustration #1: if you want to synchronize with a Google account, that Google account has to have Gmail enabled. Never mind that I have absolutely no use in the world for Gmail and just want to sync my contacts and calendar with an account that exists solely for that purpose. Nope, I need to have Gmail. I can't even set up a dummy Gmail as the primary account and then synchronize contacts and calendar from my real account as a second account; Android lets me add an account with no Gmail as a secondary account, but refuses to sync anything with it.

Google - why? Just why? Why would you consider this remotely not evil? I do not want Gmail. I do not need it. By doing this you are not convincing me to use Gmail, you are just hugely fucking pissing me off. There is no justification in the world for this. If you claim you need an email address for me for some bizarre reason, like to email me about the Marketplace or whatever - fine. Ask me for an email address and verify that it's mine. There is no reason in the world it needs to be a Gmail account. Just quit this stupidity, pronto.

Stupid stupid frustration #2: Google's email client is totally broken. It cannot parse perfectly standard IMAP folder hierarchies. As someone on the bug has pointed out, every other IMAP client in the known universe - including Microsoft's, for God's sake - manages this perfectly well. This has been broken since Android first showed up a year and a half ago and the bug has received not a single word of response from Google. All they've done is reclassify it as a feature request (duh, what?)

Even the IMAP prefix option seems broken for me. Whether I set it when creating an account or after having created one, whether I set it to INBOX or INBOX. (note the period), it just doesn't seem to work.

Grah. Google. Stop being a bunch of doofuses and fix this crap already. Much of Android is nice, but this sort of idiocy just leaves a really icky taste in my mouth. Someone, please, do me a Maemo port...


woogie wrote on 2010-02-03 14:58:
Have you tried the K-9 email client? It solved my frustrations with the default Android one. Not sure if it would fix your specific issue.
adamw wrote on 2010-02-03 20:30:
I should've done a follow up: yup, I found K-9, and yup, it does folders properly. Thankfully. Much better than the inbuilt email app, indeed - it's very nice.