I’ve owned three Motorola Linux phones so far (and I am going for a fourth one soon, mark my words). But these EZX phones should have seen a level of “fixing” in the 4 years of their existance, but only small fixes and additions have been seen so far. In fact, as I have said in the past in this blog, all the EZX phones we have seen from Motorola so far are all re-hashes of the same hardware design (different form factor, but largely unchanged inside) and very small software upgrades in terms of optimizations or software additions. So, here are a few hints for our Asian Motorola engineers who are (obviously) banging their heads against the wall as they seem to be understaffed and without direction:
* Battery capacity is not precisely measured. It only shows 100%, 50% and 25% of battery capacity left. Other phones (e.g. Sony Ericsson, PocketPCs) are very precise down to 5% of precision.
* Real Player drops frames on all kinds of videos and resolutions. Serious optimization must be in order. Even Sony Ericsson phones that run at 80 Mhz perform better in multimedia than these Linux EZX phones at 312 Mhz.
* The system font looks like crap. It is too big by default, and it is in bold too. This has an impact in the Opera browser because fonts are bigger than they should be. And unfortunately, that version of Opera does not have a “font size” option, but instead only “zooming” which is not what I want (the zooming thing also shrinks down images you see and so it makes *mobile* pages look like crap). The normal font size in Opera should not be bigger than what you get at Opera’s 90% zoom when the current system font settings are set to “small”. We ain’t blind you see.
* Add XviD, OGG, WMA, h.264, WMV support.
* Make all phones EDGE and Quad-band capable. Add Wi-Fi to the more expensive models.
* Add VoIP SIP support and make sure it works with various wifi router models and SIP services like Gizmo, Ekiga, VoipBuster, FWD etc.
* Fix A2DP’s sound quality which currently sucks goats (over-compressed stream).
* Add FAT32 and SDHC support up to 8 GB.
* Make the softkey font smaller and with a softer/ligher bg color than the current gradients. Many java apps’ softkey menus don’t fit currently and their text is truncated.
* Add support for scrolling menus. For example, if you click on the main menu of the IM+ application, the menu entries are overlapping because its long menu doesn’t scroll up/down.
* Make it possible when you are in the main screen to navigate to the 4-5 main buttons on the top of the screen.
* Fix the main screen which looks like crap, it’s slow to scroll, and it flickers like hell when you do so.
* The contacts pictures are not keeping aspect ratio and makes the heads of the people you love look like elves. More optimizations should be available in terms of how to fit better the information in the main contacts screen.
* Add many keyboard layouts that the user can set as selectable. E.g. it only takes a few KBs per keyboard layout/font and that could help the phone become more internationally accepted and easier bought in retail.
* The IM application does not work with the YamiGO service. A real IM app would have been better though (with support for Y!, MSN, AIM, ICQ, GTalk and Jabber).
* Fix your java implementation to support Bluetooth, camera and GPS hooks, so apps like Opera Mini and GPS Java apps can work. And make sure Gmail-j2me works.
* Add support for automatic email retrieval (pull) and add support for Pop3 Gmail.
* Retrieve the current time from the network.
* Able to sort Contacts by “company”.
* Make the stylus to snap on a hidge around the camera mirror and then be flexible. This way, you add the ability for the phone to have a flexible “kickstand” for acceptable movie viewing.
* Add mpkg support so people can install third party apps.
* Adding a terminal or ssh/telnet app would be a nice thing, maybe as a third party mpkg (for Linux-fanatics that happen to be admins).
* And of course, FREE THE SDK.