Are we in the post-PC era or aren’t we? A tipster sent in this Verizon “quick tip” that suggests the best way to keep your smartphone fresh and fun is to reboot it once a day.
Your phone has capabilities that make it almost as powerful as a computer, so like a computer, for optimal performance, give it a fresh start by rebooting it once a day. Turn it off for one minute, then restart it. Rebooting refreshes your phone software and your connection to the nearest cell tower. It can also help extend your battery life.
Now this is wrong on many levels, the least of which is technical. The smartphone is not “a computer,” it is a mobile device and, as such, it should be designed to run unhindered for days if not months at a time. To suggest that it needs to be “refreshed” with a reboot is to admit that the software consistently fails on a daily basis.
Android, for example, runs a Linux variant at its core. The garbage collection, process handling, and storage control features should run seamlessly and without complaint. If Verizon is suggesting their products – and I’m pointing to both Android and iPhone devices here – are unable to perform in this regard, then they are essentially admitting they are selling junk.
Why am I harping on this point? Well, considering it’s an actual Verizon/Motorola suggestion – and one that their sales representatives may cite when someone comes in to complain about a device – it shows a wildly irresponsible level of ignorance and a certain disrespect of the consumer. Suggesting that your phone needs a good hard reset every day is akin to admitting that all of the problems associated with various smartphones – random reboots, overheating, battery run-down – aren’t the manufacturer’s fault (or even Verizon’s fault) – they’re your fault.
I’ve heard – and experienced – far too many phone horror stories to accept that the manufacturers aren’t to blame. They rush undifferentiated, untested garbage to market, depend on untested builds of an OS, and then blame us for their failures. Then frustrated users get to hear bored techs mumble something about “rebooting your phone” and, although there is something wrong at the core of these devices, consumers accept their fate.
In a post-PC era, we should be able to trust our mobile devices. A PC, in theory, shouldn’t be rebooted every day and a cellphone should never be rebooted unless you’re replacing a SIM card or a battery. For Verizon to suggest this is like a Geek Squad hack sucking his teeth for a minute and then saying “Well, we need to reinstall Windows if you’re getting a memory error.” It allows the manufacturer to fob off claims of failure with the age-old tech support technique of “rebooting the damn thing.”