Over the past year I had been trying to convince my current mobile carrier that their silly task bar; designed for WAP sites, on old generation mobile phones, is useless to me and should not be appearing on my phone, especially when I am using an iPhone.
They insist that this task bar is there to “enhance my surfing experience”, which I consider to be wasting valuable screen real estate for content of the web pages I visit. I told them that I did not signup to their service knowing that this task bar will be obscuring my surfing experience, and I believe that I should have the rights to remove this task bar from the web pages that I visit through their network (EDGE, HSDPA, etc.).
Recently this annoying task bar became larger; it doubled in height, occupying even more of the limited screen real estate on my phone.
Take for example the well designed Google Calendar. First let’s look at the Week view of my calendar displayed on my iPhone.
The screen shot on the left is my Google Calendar accessed via WiFi connection. You can see that with Google’s current design I can see about 4 events across three days. If there were more events on Nov. 6th I may get up to 6 events on the first fold of the iPhone browser.
The screen shot on the right, is the same Google Calendar Week view accessed via Smartone-Vodafone’s EDGE network. You can see the presence of the useless Smartone-Vodafone so called “value added task bar”. I have no idea what the two ions on the task bar are for, my guess is that the second icon is to allow the user to save the current web page into the user’s Smartone-Vodafone bookmark on their server. Of course I do not need that, since all my bookmarks on my iPhone are synchronized with the Safari browser on my Macintosh (for Windows iPhone users, their bookmarks would be synchronized with their IE browser on their Windows OS computer).
This time looking at Google Calendar’s Event view. The screen shot on the left is one of my Google Calendar event accessed via WiFi. i do not have much information in this event, what is missing are additional notes, contacts details, location or a long event title. If I did, the screen shot on the right will have wasted much of the valuable screen real estate both at the top and bottom of the page.
I had always say to everyone I know in Hong Kong, Smartone-Vodafone is not the mobile carrier with the best connection, the best price or the best customer service. What they are, is the only Hong Kong mobile carrier that make an effort to serve their customers the best they can and make their customers believe that they want to deliver the best services possible. I hope this stubbornness is not a sign that they are loosing their edge and becoming like the rest of the carriers in Hong Kong who only care to gauge as much money from their customers as possible.
I do not want to prevent or ask Smartone-Vodafone to stop “innovating”. All I am asking for, is to allow the customer, the one they are trying to serve, the choice in receive these “features” on their mobile phones.
I urge for all smartphone, iPhone, soon Google G1 and Blackberry Thunder users on the Smartone-Vodafone network to complain to them, and make a request to allow us the option to remove this useless task bar that no mobile users of these categories of mobile phones will ever use.