Google, don't make me hate you!

As a Moto G user that recently upgraded to Marshmallow 6.0 (bad, bad decision!) I'm thinking about the ever close relation of people with their devices.

Here's the problem: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!mydiscussions/nexus/rb9LAD5gTi8

Essentially the mobile now emits an audible and vibratory notification every time you need to "Sign-in to Wifi". This means that:

  • Every time I walk through a store front having Wifi my mobile vibrates and beeps
  • Every time a bus drives next to me (them having free Wifi) my mobile vibrates and beeps (bonus points if you're standing in a major thoroughfare for busses and some 10 busses go through you before yours get there)
  • Every time I get to work my mobile vibrates and beeps because there's an "I agree" button that needs to be clicked before getting to Wifi.

It doesn't matter if you want or care to use Wifi at that moment. You will get bugged. And of course it can't be silenced unless through very convoluted ways.

This breaks fundamental usability principles.

  • It's not something urgent like a phone call (and you can silence those)
  • It's not even moderately requiring attention like a twitter or Fb notification (you can also shut those up if needed)
  • Had I not manifested the need to use Wifi (thanks Google, my 3G is on) then the fact there's an open Wifi network I can sign on to is the least of my concerns and does not require urgent action
  • I am the device owner, I decide when and how to use it

Now thousands of users are subject to this arbitrary decision that essentially turned their phones into a nagging machine. What kind of impact this has on the brand image and future trust on products of that brand is left as an exercise to the reader.

As devices and services increase the time and interactions they have with their customers it's important to remind that frustrating experiences usually terminate sooner than later.

Edit: some clarifications. No, this isn't the fault of a 3rd-party app. No, it isn't because "Network Notification" (Notify whenever a public network is available) is On, it is Off. This happens when a known network connects automatically but requires a click on a Captive Portal. There's the option of turning Wifi off (then having to re-enable it whenever it does connect without a portal) or forgetting the SSIDs, neither option is user friendly.

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