All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 18-11-2005, 04:57 PM
Jaffa The Cake Jaffa The Cake is offline
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Angry Orange Software (homescreen) - A letter to orange

I'm sick to pieces of "Orange Software", their modified standby screen. I've sent them this message, I'll post any replies I receive here.

--------
“Orange Software”

My sister recently downloaded a malicious program onto her computer which changed the home page of the browser. It wouldn’t let her change the homepage through the normal menu and there was no way provided to uninstall this malicious software. Thankfully, because it was malicious, a virus checker picked it up and removed it.

Why have Orange added this kind of software to my Nokia 6680?

A different standby screen is pasted over the top of the standard Nokia one, which I don’t need and more importantly don’t want. There isn’t an option provided to disable this “add-on”, why?

I called Orange and was told that tests had shown that users find this piece of software useful and intuitive. I am a user, I find it annoying, counter intuitive, confusing and visually tacky. I’m not alone here, see this google search for “6680 orange homescreen” http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=668...hl=en&safe=off.

I go into the themes option on my phone and make a change to the “wallpaper”, yet the wallpaper of the standby mode does not change because it’s overridden by Orange Software, is this intuitive? In the “settings” section I change the action of the directional pad in the “Standby Screen” section, however this no longer effects the standby screen, in which way is this intuitive? Making options on a phone ineffective can not be considered “useful” or “easy to use”. It’s confusing.

People have gone as far to develop a ‘hack’ called HSKiller which tries to disable the Orange Software, however it is not reliable. This is mainly because the orange software is coded into the firmware of the device so it can not be simply closed down. Who on earth thought this was a good idea? Are you aware that Microsoft got sued because of similar actions with Internet Explorer?

I want this software removed from my phone promptly and in future versions of “Orange Software” I recommend you add the option to disable it as it’s no different to the types of malware I described in my first paragraph.

I’m in the town of Middlesbrough, I understand that the Carphone Warehouse here have the means to update the firmware on my phone. I suggest you arrange and authorise for them to flash the STANDARD nokia firmware onto my phone, so I can use my phone without the burden of “Orange Software”.

Regards,
Jake.

  #2  
Old 19-11-2005, 02:53 PM
AndyMX9 AndyMX9 is offline
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Hi Jake,

I must admit I have to agree, I have a 6630 on Orange and I don't see why I should be forced to have their background, as you say it should be optional. I look forward to hearing what Orange have to say.

Andy

  #3  
Old 19-11-2005, 07:16 PM
behemot behemot is offline
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Hi,

I had to pay 25 euros to a Nokia center, in order to get rid of the Orange France homescreen. It looks to me like pure robbery - I didn't even know this homescreen can't be removed when I bought the phone...

  #4  
Old 22-11-2005, 01:24 PM
Jaffa The Cake Jaffa The Cake is offline
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Dear Jake

Thank you for your mail about your handset.

We are sorry to hear that you do not like our software. The Orange branded 6680 comes with our own software pre-installed and unfortunately we are unable to remove this for you.

I trust this answers your enquiry.

Kind regards

Katie
Orange Customer Services
------------------------------------
And my reply:

You say that you are "unable" to remove this software, do you actually mean "unwilling"?

I have seen a 6680 running perfectly fine (in fact, faster and easier to use) without Orange Software. I have spoken to Nokia service operators who tell me it is perfectly feasible to have the firmware on the phone replaced with the default Nokia firmware. I am confused at why you are "unable" to do this as the equipment required to remove the Orange Homescreen from a phone is exactly the same as the equipment used to put it on there in the first place.

Further more, I now find out that Orange have removed "Active Standby" from my phone, one of the praised features of the 6680. I was not told about this when I bought the phone and contract. This is akin to being sold a car where the passenger seat is replaced with a patio garden chair, without the dealer informing me prior to sale.

You are able, and it is possible, to put default Nokia software onto a 6680. I was not informed that features were to be removed from my phone, and I want them put back. My local Carphone Warehouse has the equipment and trained staff to handle this. Orange should authorise and pay for this, as I expect the Nokia 6680 I bought to contain all of the features of a 6680 as I wasn't informed otherwise.

If bureaucracy is in the way, I have access to changelogs between my current firmware and the latest Nokia firmware. From this a list of 'faults' with my phone can be created that can be fixed with the new firmware. Faults should be fixed free of charge as they are covered by the warranties I have with Orange and Nokia.

Nokia spend an awful lot of money on the interface and usability of their phones, far more than Orange and it shows. I'd like to use Nokia's more developed and customisable interface please, as those are the features of the phone I purchased.

I am extremely dissatisfied with Orange Customer service and the misinformation I have been given. Only yesterday I called to enquire about the terms of the 3 months free internet usage I had been informed about upon registration. I was told by two separate operators that I only had free access to certain Orange sites, and "no customers in Orange get free internet, it doesn't happen" (repeat about 8 times). In a third call I was trying to find out how much of a bill I had accumulated while using what I thought was free access, and seek compensation. I was told that I DO have free internet access for 3 months, to ANY part of the internet. Another operator also told me there are no bundles for picture messaging, I now find out that is not the case.

1 out of 5 people on your helpdesks are well informed, yet the vast majority are dishing out misinformation.

If you refuse to update the software on my phone, please help me work out the legality of this by highlighting the part of my contract that states that I will receive a 6680 with features removed.

Regards,
Jake.

  #5  
Old 22-11-2005, 03:32 PM
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In the future the Home Screen will be a removable option (on version 2.0). I know Ornage has listened on this, but I guess these things take a while.
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  #6  
Old 22-11-2005, 04:06 PM
Jaffa The Cake Jaffa The Cake is offline
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Yes, but I'm almost certain they won't let you re-enable Active Standby. They'll see their software as a replacement for that.

  #7  
Old 25-11-2005, 01:29 PM
Jaffa The Cake Jaffa The Cake is offline
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Ha! I've just found out they've also messed up my number transfer from my T-mobile account.

Not only is this an inconvenience but it's cost me an extra months line rental on my old account. They've given me 14 days free line rental as compensation, which doesn't at all pay for the damage.

Never EVER get an account with Orange. This is just one problem after another. Never have I delt with a company so incompetent.

1. Told about the incorrect deals before purchase
2. Purchase delayed because Orange systems refused to recognise my NUS number
3. Orange have removed software from my phone and refuse to put it back on, without telling me at point of sale
4. Orange lie to me by telling me that it is physically impossible to change firmware on my phone
5. Orange can't decide if I have 3 months free internet or not
6. Orange mess up the transfer of my number from a previous contract, costing me money and I have to carry 2 phones around with me for another week

That's almost a problem for every day I've been with Orange so far. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

  #8  
Old 25-11-2005, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffa The Cake
... I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
Vodafone?

Heh, sorry, couldn't resist. On a more serious note I hope your woes get sorted soon. With regards the Orange HomeScreen, I was under the impression that Nokia Service Centres would update/re-flash the firmware on new phones (less than 12 months old) for free as it is classed as warranty work. Could you not visit a NSC and ask them to update the firmware on your phone to a generic Nokia version as opposed to an Orange flavoured one?

I remember years ago getting my 7110 firmware updated at a NSC and it didn't cost me a bean.

S.
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  #9  
Old 25-11-2005, 04:59 PM
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The main thing is, Orange and Nokia have an agreement where Nokia will allow them to use their own firmware on the phones. If you wish to have a non orange phone, buy sim free.

  #10  
Old 27-11-2005, 08:08 PM
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i have just finished writing a similar letter to orange but the difference is that the Homescreen prevents the voice dial feature to work on my 3230 even though orange clearly stated that it has this function. i see the only way to get my phone to work as described is to remove this software.

ps, has everyone voted in my polls?
vote here and here

Last edited by Rich_uk; 27-11-2005 at 08:22 PM.

  #11  
Old 27-11-2005, 11:03 PM
Utenteanonimo64 Utenteanonimo64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3gsm
The main thing is, Orange and Nokia have an agreement where Nokia will allow them to use their own firmware on the phones. If you wish to have a non orange phone, buy sim free.
The fact is that Nokia should complain to Orange if their software disables functions in the phone since the end user will experience a non-working Nokia phone. But.... do you think Nokia (or any other phone manufacturer) will be willing to ruin their relationship with network operators to stand by their end customer. The reality is that network operators want to decide what runs or what doesn't run on our phones and the subsidised phone mechanism plays at their advantage.

UA

  #12  
Old 28-11-2005, 04:40 PM
Jaffa The Cake Jaffa The Cake is offline
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A reply from orange:

-----
Dear Mr Archbald,

Further to your email dated 22 November, I am writing to clarify the situation.

We do offer customers the option of purchasing phones without our software as they can purchase 'generic' phones from independent dealers, however, the majority of 'generic' phones are not covered by Care and customers would need to purchase Insurance from an independent company - they would still be covered by the Manufacturer for their warranty.
We do not consider that our software hinders the use of our phones and as such would not offer to remove it. If a customer wishes to do this at their own cost then they can do so but this may affect their warranty if it is found that the removal has damaged the phone.

I am concerned that you have received conflicting information from our Customer Service Representatives and I apologise for the frustration this has caused. I have passed your feedback to our Business Improvement Team, who will in turn forward your comments to the relevant Process Management Groups for their monthly review. If you are able to supply the dates and times you spoke with these Representatives or their extensions numbers, I will also feed this back on an individual level. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to share your views with us. I assure you that they have been included in my report, which the Board of Directors have access to and can view at any stage.

Whilst I appreciate that this may not be the response that you anticipated, I trust that it addresses all of your concerns.
-----

My reply:

Thank you for responding and clarifying the situation.

"We do not consider that our software hinders the use of our phones and as such would not offer to remove it."

I disagree. Please view the following videos:

Receiving a text message on a standard nokia
http://www.....co.uk/orange/nokia.mov

Receiving a text message on an Orange-altered nokia
http://www.....co.uk/orange/orange.mov

That's 5 times as much user interaction needed to view a new message, probably the 2nd, if not most common action with a mobile phone.

To quote your press release located at http://www.orange.com/English/media/...?id=116&bhcp=1

"Orange has developed a series of “Signature” phones, designed to give easy access to advanced mobile services.
...Signature phones, give Orange customers: 1. one-touch access to key services"

In what way is reading a new nessage "one-touch access"? Or are text messages not a key service?

Regards,
Jake.

Thanks to Rich for the vids which I rehosted for the purposes of this email, and for spotting the press release.

  #13  
Old 28-11-2005, 05:52 PM
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Rich_uk Rich_uk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffa The Cake
Thanks to Rich for the vids which I rehosted for the purposes of this email, and for spotting the press release.
no problem.
I've had a play with the vids myself and set up a little web page. (see my sig)

  #14  
Old 30-11-2005, 12:03 AM
Williamoni Williamoni is offline
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I totally agree with Jaffa on this. I find the Orange home screen immensely annoying. Why did they have to tamper with something that was already working extremely well? I make a point of never using the options available on their home screen out of principle. If I'd known that Active Standby was disabled by Orange I definitely would not have gone with them this time. The key word is choice, and the fact that we have none. Useful to see Rich's videos and no prizes for guessing how I voted in his poll!
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  #15  
Old 14-12-2005, 06:00 PM
swahn swahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_perry

I remember years ago getting my 7110 firmware updated at a NSC and it didn't cost me a bean.

S.
I can confirm that this is still possible and under warranty. I did this with my Nokia N70 today, and they will install the standard Nokia firmware. I'll get it back tomorrow, and I assume this will take care of the non-working shortcut keys, wall papers, active desktop etc, and remove the gray homescreen.

I.
 

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