Samsung Mobile has started a sort of outreach initiative for the members of the influential XDA Developers forum. The forum has been a hotbed of activity of late vis-à-vis Samsung, particularly since we’re nearly one year passed the release of Android 2.2 (Froyo) and it’s still not available on the Verizon Wireless variant of the Galaxy S, the Fascinate.
The outreach program (I suppose you’d call this an outreach program) looks to heal some of the wounds that have developed between the forum’s members and Samsung Mobile. SamsungJohn is the point-man, and this is how it starts:
OK, this is the beginning stages. Right now as we speak, I’m working side by side with our research and development teams and other departments on what I can provide to you guys. As I said before, I am here for you guys, I know you will give most influential feedback to help better our products. So, with that being said I want to setup up a voting poll in a new thread. This poll will be looked at by just about everyone who plays a vital role in devices. In the meantime, what I need from you guys first is the BEST technical questions. Please don’t ask questions about any future release dates of hardware and software questions. Those questions are already at the top of the list for the starting of the poll. I will give you guys by the end of today to respond.
As mentioned a minute ago, one of the bigger sticking points between the community and Samsung Mobile surrounds the release of Froyo for the Fascinate. Someone—somehow—leaked an image of Froyo for the Fascinate a few weeks ago, and the community there has worked out most of the kinks (nearest I can tell). They’ve already worked out a de-bloated version of the build. So if you’re handy with Android, you could be rocking a clean build of Froyo right now.
Questions being asked by the forum members include things like “why is the GPS radio so rubbish?” and “why did it take you guys to so long to talk to us?”
That’s probably the biggest lesson to learn here, that in 2011 it absolutely behooves companies to have boots on the ground. You need people on message board, you need people on Twitter talking to your customers. Look at Crytek. A few days after its most important game was leaked more than one month before its release date, you had the CEO of the company reassuring people that, while the leak was lame, it’s still committed to the PC platform, thus allaying fears that it would use the leak as an “excuse” to abandon said platform.
Hopefully something positive comes out of dialogue.