Smartphone and tablet pet peeves

Are you a douchebag when it comes
to your smartphone? Image: APC
Smartphones and tablets have become common sights in society today. What started out as a premium market thanks to Apple's expensive iPhones and iPads, has now become a market that is much more accessible to the average Joe thanks to more affordable alternatives from the many Android partners. Unfortunately, as more and more people are using mobile devices, I find myself getting more and more irritated with certain habits. I'm sure everyone gets annoyed with people using their phones in the cinema, talking loudly in public or forgetting to put their phone on silent in a quiet environment, but those are not the habits I'm talking about. Those are cellphone habits. The pet peeves I'm talking about are specific to modern smartphones and tablets, post-2007 since the original iPhone was released. So I got this idea to write a post about smartphone and tablet habits that are particularly annoying to me. At first it was supposed to be a Top 5 post, but after listing down my pet peeves, I realised I couldn't limit it to just five.

The default Samsung whistle notification
iOS users are quite restricted when it comes to notification alerts. If you've ever owned an iOS device, you'll know what I mean. Back when I was an iOS user, I even had to argue with my other iOS-using friends because we would have the same notification alerts and get confused when one phone went off, thinking it was ours. Switching to Android solved that problem, as I could easily download apps like Zedge, and download custom ringtones and notification alerts. This is someting every Android user is capable of. So why is it that everywhere I go, I hear that very distinct Samsung whistle? I'm not exaggerating! It has become the most common notification alert that I hear in public. Sure Samsung owns the lions share of the Android market and as a result of that there are bound to be more Samsung devices in public, but why do so many people use the same notification alert?? Are they not aware that it can be changed? Are they too lazy to change it? Sure some may actually like it, but it's just annoying hearing it everywhere I go. 

Tablet photography
Excuse me while I block your
view with my tablet. Image: Google+
Ahhh yes. Using tablets as cameras. One of the most ridiculed and criticised habits of the mobile computing era. There are several reasons why this habit receives the amount of negativity it does. For starters, tablets are big and bulky compared to smartphones, or even dedicated point-and-shoot digital cameras. Imagine taking a picture with a 10.1" tablet. Now imagine doing the same thing, but holding a chopping board. That's what you look like to others. Secondly, because of their size you might end up blocking other people's view if you are at a live event, like a concert or a parade. Holding up your huge tablet to take a picture, while blocking the view of the person behind you isn't cool. Lastly, and this is just a generalisation, most people who own a tablet also own a decent smartphone, and chances are the smartphone will have a better camera than the tablet. Someone I follow on Google+ told the story of how he witnessed first hand someone texting on an iPhone 5, keeping it and taking out an iPad to take a photo. Genius.

Using huge, bulky cases
No. Just, NO. Image: Tumblr
Smartphones are fragile. They are thin, light, and have a glass slab on the front. Dropping them could sometimes cause the screen to crack, dent the frame of the device or in a worst case scenario, break the insides making it unusable. So some people prevent this from happening by putting a protective case on their phones. That's understandable. What's not understandable is why they have to put such huge bulky cases on their phone? When smartphones are designed, they are designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Thin, light and portable. By covering the phone with a big, heavy casing, you are literally undoing all the hard work of the designers and engineers by hiding it from the world. What's the point in buying a beautifully designed device, covering it with a case and not being able to enjoy the design anymore? It's like buying a sexy sports car but never driving it because you're afraid it'll get dirty, or hiding the Mona Lisa away because it's too valuable. You are entitled to protect your phone sure, it did cost you a lot of money. But use a reasonable case. One that isn't too bulky or too heavy. Or maybe you could just buy a phone that is durable? I've dropped my HTC One X (which has been used as a hammer) a few times and it still works fine. No scratches, cracks or dinks anywhere either. And I haven't used a case since I got it one year ago.

Food porn
Thanks to Instagram, everyone thinks they can be good photographers. I have people who only post pictures of food on Facebook. If they were actually good pictures of unique and well presented meals I wouldn't mind too much. But now it's gotten to the point where every meal, even a simple glass of milk and cookies makes it to my news feed. I don't know why some people feel the need to show their friends what they eat on a daily basis. Some people even upload pictures of the same food almost every day. Exciting stuff.

Recording videos in portrait orientation
This is quite self-explanatory. I'll leave you with this image and this video.

The same applies for your laptop and PC monitor. Image: Cheezburger

Mixing up brands, models, and OSes
I have a Nexus 7. But most people who've seen it call it an iPad Mini. I don't blame them, I blame the market. For far too long the general population was led to believe that every tablet is an iPad. I've sort of made it my personal mission to correct this misconception. Other than tablets, people I know often get phones and brands mixed up too. 

"The Samsung Nexus 7!". "LOL, what?"
"The iPhone is much better than Samsung"
"Apple looks nicer than Android"

Get my point?

Social networks vs socialising
I'm sure we've all witnessed and been guilty of this at one time or another. When we are in the presence of our friends, we tend to be more interested in what's happening in our social network feeds than actually socialising with the friends right in front of us. Sure sometimes we stumble across something funny or interesting and show it to our friends, but other times we are all just scrolling away not even looking at our friends who took the time to actually meet with us or go out with us. We do interact with other friends on social networks sure, and that can be technically considered socialising, but our friends right in front of us should take priority. All the mentions, tags and comments can wait. Try having a real conversation for a change.
Image: <img>humour

Assuming all Apple products are the gold standard
Apple were very fortunate to be the first out of the gates when it comes to mobile computing. The iPhone and iPad laid down the foundation for what is now a huge market of smartphones and tablets. Because of this, many people associate Apple with high-quality, premium products. Which is true of course to a certain extent. Everytime I pick up a friend's iPhone 5 I'm still surprised at how thin and light it is. The problem is, that many people still think that Apple are the only ones capable of making high-end premium devices. I've had people ask me about iPads and iPhones. And when I ask them why they want an iOS device, they say because it's Apple. So I ask them if they have looked at any Android devices, and they say no. Why? Because Android devices "aren't as good as Apple devices". Now of course this is subjective. What's good for someone may not be good for someone else. But when people assume that Apple products are superior and they criticise Android products without even giving them a once over, that's when I lose interest. I don't intend on converting iOS users to Android. If they like iOS more then that's their right. What I do want to do however, is make sure people know that there are other alternatives out there to Apple devices. Some of which many people will say are better.

I love mobile technology. I started out with an iPhone 4 in 2011 and since then have slowly taken a keen interest in the industry. The amount of advancements to display technology, processing power and the app ecosystem in the past few years has been amazing. But as with anything in this world, there are always people who take something amazing and make annoying habits out of it. I'm not saying these people should be shot or anything of the sort. These are just personal annoyances I have. Pet peeves. I'm sure you have some too. Feel free to share in the comments.

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