The Secret Language of Phones

Google is coming out with a new phone…sort of, I think (not an endorsement). If you aren’t a complete tech insider, someone who knows the buzzwords and all technical aspects of phones, if you don’t drool and get aroused by the mention of “Marshmallow”  in relation to phones (what you do with the actual physical food is on your time), then you would have no idea that anything is different about the phone other than its name. Don’t run! This isn’t a techy post! Quite the opposite.

Image Source
Image Source

I am looking for a new phone (bragger) and wanted to look into the new Google phone. The problem is, there’s not one person who works for the Google phone devision who can even fathom of thinking like a person not in the tech industry. Which is bizarre for a major company looking to sell to a large swath of humanity.

The first thing they tell you is that the phone runs the Android 6.0 Marshmallow. And that means what to anybody not in the know? Aren’t the majority of people not aware of the idiotic names of operating systems? Wouldn’t it be better to tell us what that operating system can do versus the previous system?

Maybe I’m overreacting, let’s see what colors it comes in, that should be easy, right? Oh, it comes in “Carbon, Quartz and Ice.” Huh. Well, I uh, describe my first car as Carbon colored–WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?! Those aren’t colors, they’re elements, sort of! It would be like saying “my love, your eyes are the color of Tungsten, Germanium and Dysprosium.” Thank you, CEO of Crayola, that’s devoid of all meaning.

Image Source
Image Source

This is not the lamentation of a disgruntled end-user without basis. I was a technical writer, I know a little bit about taking technical jargon from the crafters of insider information and translating it to the layman. Sometimes the technically-minded lose sight that not everyone/the wider audience doesn’t understand all of the acronyms and jargon they are steeped in everyday.

Maybe I’m wrong, let’s look at the network specs, maybe that will tell me what I need to know about roaming and what it means regarding wifi vs. network downloading. Let’s see, it says under “Network” that: GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
UMTS/WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/8
CDMA: BC0/1/10
LTE (FDD): B1/2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/20/25/26/29
LTE (TDD): B41
LTE CA DL: B2-B2, B2-B4, B2-B5, B2-B12, B2-B13, B2-B17, B2-B29, B4-B4, B4-B5, B4-B7, B4-B12, B4-B13, B4-B17, B4-B29, B41-B41

OOOoooOooooOooh That makes total not sense at all. I get that there are sections of phone specs that are specifically for tech nerds but maybe add an addendum that’ll give a cursory explanation to n00bs or simply, “the majority of people who will purchase your product you elitist dicks.”

Have you tried educating people instead of condescending?
Have you tried educating people instead of condescending?

I like that there are people out there who are really knowledgable. I like that there are hobbyists who are hyper-erudite about mobile technology. You people are great! Thank you, you are what keeps tech moving forward! I acknowledge and appreciate that not everything is for me, it’s for a segment of people who know a lot more than me. But when researching a product meant for purchase by dumb-dumbs like me, there needs to be a little gentle nursing to get to foster understanding. I’m not asking you to dumb down, but to give us the tiniest carrot on the stick so that we can educate ourselves without intimidation. Or, you know, cater to both ends of the spectrum. At least give us colors that are understandable! Something on the ROYGBIV spectrum, maybe.  “Carbon”!?! You’re just being silly, Google. Stop being a bunch of silly heads you silly heads.


Add yours →

  1. All this tech talk is giving me a headache. I’m going to run to Starbucks and get some coffee.

    Surely, coffee has to be one area of our lives devoid of elitist insider talk, right?


  2. Just when I thought I escaped my husband trying to talk nerd to me!


  3. I… I’m not sure what I just read. There’s more to IT than turning something off, counting to 10, and turning it back on??




  4. It’s too much for me. I’ve never been able to figure out how to make a video with my phone and put it online. I also can’t take photos with it.



  5. I feel like this about all phones. I don’t understand what all the lingo means, so I just keep getting an Iphone. It’s not that it’s better, it’s just what I understand, even if I don’t like everything about it.


  6. It comes with marshmallows?? That’s quite a marketing strategy! Also, I want a pink iphone. I already have an iphone 6. I just want a pink one now. Damn you and your hold on me, apple.


  7. abeerfortheshower October 5, 2015 — 8:29 am

    Sadly, I understand all of this crap, but I learned it because I wanted to know what I was buying. Really, it’s like learning another language. I’m fluent in cellphone, and it’s only useful once every 2 years when my contract is up and I’m buying a new phone. Maybe I should have learned Spanish instead.


  8. This is one of my first stops on Monday mornings.

    The fact that you had nothing new for me to read today is ruining my week already.

    I’m like a squirrel that tears up your screen door if you’re not out there with peanuts at the same time every day.

    Is there a complaints department?


  9. Thank you. Whenever I have a computer problem, I lecture the person on the other end. I explain that I’m basically a normal person and not a tech nerd, so they need to dumb down the conversation. Then they continue in their tech talk, I continue in increased frustration, and if they weren’t in India they’d need to hide for their lives. It’s maddening. And nobody, and I mean nobody, should mention marshmallow in the absence of chocolate and graham cracker/s.


  10. Is it too late to go back to the rotary? Sure it was mildly annoying when you’d mess up on the 6th number and have to start all over but still…


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