XDA has posted a nice essay on how various Android OEMs have let down their customers so far this year. We’ll start with the story described above.
Ads in HTC’s Keyboard
XDA actually doesn’t have the entire story here; for that we can thank Android Police. What happened is that HTC licensed a third-party keyboard called TouchPal for some of their devices. TouchPal makes money by charging their users an annual subscription fee, without which you’d probably end up seeing ads on your keyboard at some point. I’m fairly certain that neither HTC nor TouchPal ever intended these ads to appear on licensed-to-HTC keyboards; it’s likely just a matter of a software update being pushed out to the wrong channel.
Motorola’s Shrinking Battery
It’s not just Motorola that’s guilty of this, but XDA rightly points an accusing finger at them for replacing the 3,510 mAh battery on the Z Play with a significantly smaller 3,000 mAh battery on the Z2 Play—entirely missing the point of what made the old model so successful. Is there seriously anyone reading this who would rather have an impossibly-thin phone than one with a decent-sized battery?
OnePlus 5’s Upside-Down Display
Apparently other OEMs are also guilty of this, but XDA didn’t explicitly mention which ones. Suffice to say that the Shenzhen startup’s 2017 flagship killer will forever be known as the one with the upside-down screen. And in case you were wondering, it was indeed a deliberate design choice!
Samsung’s Bixby Button
I suppose you can’t fault Samsung for pushing its own “AI” assistant, but you most certainly can fault them for dedicating a hardware button to it on their Galaxy S8 models, and actively blocking the remapping of said button to another function. The Verge goes so far as to call it hardware bloat; haven’t heard that one before!