Ditto creator says Samsung phones are "crammed with complexity and redundant features"

Ditto creator says Samsung phones are
Parallel to the launch process of Ditto, the simplest notifications wearable device there is, its product designer Bob Olodort opened up about his small-time gig as a consulting designer at Samsung. He told VentureBeat that he'd pay the Korean chaebol a visit four times a year and show them "elegant, innovative phone designs" - each one "optimized to provide an ideal set of features for a [...] target customer" and an example of "simplicity and elegance". So why are our faithful Samsung phones the exact feature-stuffed opposite of this fine concept? 

Olodort has the blunt answer: “They would louse it up by putting in everything — that’s their style at Samsung. A few young Samsung engineering managers would each add their own pet features. Later, the carriers Samsung sold to would insist on another set of features. Pretty soon the phones would be crammed with complexity and redundant features." Unsurprisingly, the simplicity-obsessed Oledorf left to do his own thing. And now, his company, Simple Matters, is about to release Ditto - a $30 tiny plastic pod/statement of simplicity that vibrates in different patterns on notifications, calls, and other smartphone-related events. The device is a "no-brainer" to use and can be worn anywhere - it even clips to a bra strap. 

Ditto is designed by an obviously smart man and we hope there's more to it than being a $30 Bluetooth-connected vibrat... let's say "oscillator". You can learn more about it on Kickstarter, and in regards to the fundraiser, Olodort says Ditto will happen regardless of how the Kickstarter goes through. Meanwhile, we're trying to picture his designs for Samsung in our heads. Do you support Olodort's vision and sentiments for Samsung phones?

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55 Comments

1. Denco

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yes, I agree with Olodort. Samsung should learn to be receptive to the idea of SIMPLICITY. Minimalism has its beauty. The simpler life is (even on a smartphone), the finer it is. Truth is, you can be simple and still differentiate your brand. Samsung, listen and change your cumbersome ways. 2015 will be your last chance (starting with Galaxy S6) to show that you listen and recover your groove.

5. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL......its a phone not a lifestyle 'simpler life, the finer it is' Some people use several features some don't THAT'S IT. The ones who don't simply call them as 'gimmick' and feel it shouldn't be there in the first place. Yet they forget that then can easily ignore the feature which they don't use. SIMPLESSSSS.....

20. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Ignoring would have been easier if all these added bulk of features did not affect the performance. Sadly they do. I have an S4 (exynos version) and it lags more than it should Having said that, it's OK if Samsung tends to bloat up the phones with features. If someone does not want bloat, dont buy Samsung and go for Moto or whatever suits your need. Samsung has tasted success with bloat and I guess it works for them.

23. phljcnth

Posts: 556; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

While I agree that one can simply ignore the features, there's no denying it collectively makes the whole skin heavy. I'm not sure if it causes the occasional hiccups or it's the poor optimizations given 2GB RAM is actually more than enough to run Android. Nevertheless Samsung could have conserved storage and CPU usage for other things to help the user experience become faster and seamless as it should be. Touchwiz is Samsung's big asset but could equally be a disadvantage if not implemented correctly. As a Galaxy S5 user, I wish Samsung would give users prerogative to free and install apps on a whim. Some would appreciate them putting many things on the table but some would see them as clutter.

7. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Almost everyone i know who has a Galaxy phone, has made the decision to go with a Samsung phone simply because it is rich with features. People keep on nagging about the same point over and over again, and ironically all OEMs are "borrowing" these gimmicky features from Samsung.

34. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Half of my friends have samsung phones and none of them has ever used a single feature made by samsung. They just use them to call, text, facebook and play games. I have a friend whos into cycling, gym and what so ever and he has NEVER touched the heart rate sensor other than at parties to impress people. People dont buy samsung phones cause of the features but because samsung has the largest marketing machine in the phones world. Just in 2013 they spent almost 10bil on marketing while apple the second largest in marketing spent 2.4bil. (google it)

40. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Guess what Samsung promote for in their commercials?? Those features that you are complaining about, and if you are admitting that commercials were the reason your friends bought a Galaxy phone, this means that they bought it mainly because of those features. It seems that you lacked the sense in your pointless comment.

45. jopancy

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 25, 2012

You are funny. Really. "Half of my friends have Samsung phones and none of them has ever used a single feature made by Samsung." - Half of your friends are either morons or you have no friends at all. Why did you buy a smartphone and not a 'simple' feature phone? And why did half your friends choose Samsung? "I have a friend whos into cycling, gym and what so ever and he has NEVER touched the heart rate sensor other than at parties to impress people." - How could he impress people if he doesn't touch the thing? and then he impresses people with something he found useless? "People dont buy samsung phones cause of the features" - Really? You just go to the store and ask: "hey there fellow, who is the largest phone maker in the world? - Samsung? Oh, ok give me a samsung phone then." Like I said, You are funny...

55. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Reason why people might be buying Samsung - 1. They wanna use all that bloat (Probability - Low). They might make good use of a couple of added features but i dont see them using most of it 2. It would be good if everyone is buying it (Probability - Extremely High) - Samsung took an early lead in the Android game (so did hTc but could not maintain momentum) and starting the S2 they got a sort of a following that just spread like wildfire. There would be hell of a lot of people out there who dont care about specifics and just want the regular job done. They decide to go with Sammy coz that's what they 'hear' is the best and safest option (*marketing*) 3. Screen - Talking about high end phones, general public tends to like the punchy colors Samsung throws in with the AMOLEDs. I am also a sucker for them. Very few major OEMs have traditionally offered AMOLEDs 4. Flexibility with Storage and Battery - Samsung and LG were the ones who stuck with removable batteries. And Samsung always has microSD slots There might be other reasons as well but im lazy right now

49. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I don't know your friends, but everyone I know with a Samsung does use some of the Samsung features, including me. I always use Smart Stay because it's brilliant and works perfectly. I also use Direct Dial, palm swipe for screen capture, turn over to silence, multi window and more. And with my Note 4 note,i use it's best feature, the S-Pen. At the same time,.I also immediately disable S-Voice (Google Now is superior).

51. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

things you mentioned your friends do, sound pretty much like iphone users instead of samsung(or any android oem) user.. bcoz usually I have seen ppl with iphone doing nothing with the phone except holding it in their hand rather than keeping it in the pocket or using creatively

8. rockers123

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 08, 2013

hey dumb, its a phone, not a lifestyle

15. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Most of the people people don't like samsung's design as much as the other oems', samsung depends on those extra features and marketing. Most of the regular customers don't know much about OEM skins/ stock android....when they notice that touchwiz is not very smooth/responsive, they think that it's android's fault. But OEM skins are important because if there are no OEM skins, every android phone will have the same look, same features(just like ios and windows phones), there won't be any competition(because even google gets to learn a lot from the oems' software).

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Didn't you people say the S5 was Samsung's last chance this year? Still appears they're still the #1 OEM in the world in my books.

17. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Exactly. And we'll keep reading the same crap over and over again. According to the Analysts (i like to call them fanboys) who comment on every Samsung article, the Optimus G was supposed to be the Galaxy S series killer, then it was the One x, then the Z and the M8. And the Z ultra and the G Pro were the end of the Note series domination. And i can only laugh at them for their very, very poor judgment, and yet they are always optimistic if Samsung didn't fail this yeat then it is the next for sure.

18. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Don't even get me started on how the Z series fails to make a dent in the Galaxy S line of sales lol.

27. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL.....Exactly ! +1 Like it or not Samsung and Apple are not going anywhere anytime soon.

35. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Who said that? A mighty company like samsung cant fall down easily. NOKIA didnt go down in just a year. It was 8 years of mistakes that brought NOKIA down. And this is the first year that samsung is loosing it. They have had 75% less profits and not a single flagship device this year did better than last year. No they aint goin down in a single year, But they are definitely going down generally. Xiaomi is kicking sammys ass in asia. LG is getting better in EU/USA. And the list goes on. Not to mention iphone 6 and plus have overshadowed anything that samsung has put out. Note 4 sold 500.000 less units in same period of time than last years Note 3.

41. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The difference is that Samsung weren't as stupid as Nokia to ditch Android for WP. Note 4 sold 500k units less than the Note 3 since it was only released in SK and China in that month compared to the Note 3 worldwide release in it's first month. Seems like you're very optimistic and setting your dreams very high on the fail of a company(what a loser if you ask me), but i ll tell you this, keep on dreaming, because a company as rich and successful as Samsung, cannot be compared to Nokia, because i can't recall the last Nokia TV i saw, or a Nokia car, fridge, medical equipment or any home equipment you can ask for, they simply don't rely on their cell phone department.

52. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

@ martin_cooper comment 35 A totally nonsensical statement and shows that you can start with baseless comment and descend from even that low point re Nokia from hero to zero simply because Symbian Nokias Operating System proved near impossible to be coded for touch screens which is where phone evolved to. Not Nokias fault as you mistakenly believe (NOKIA via Symbian own a sizable chunk of patents and all phone suppliers pay Nokia Royalties Apple before it went after Samsung were sued by Nokia for patent infringement . Before Nokia V Apple went to trial Apple conceded defeat to Nokia. Apple pays Nokia (MS) for every device that runs IOS as an authorised licensee Samsung profits are down due to retention of smartphone for longer periods 4G LTE being the latest feature there is no need to regularly upgrade your phone Wifi 3G earlier features Samsung from a RECORD HIGH, Samsung profits are down ( e.g. upgrade from a NOTE 3 to a NOTE 4 .. er no ) Xiaomi are NOT selling top of the range products that are comparable to Samsung Xiaomi phones whilst being mid-range now would have been premium phone 2 or 3 years ago, people are happy with mid-range specs, which do NOT typically include memory expansion! LG are doing better simply because it "copied" Samsung ("G" how blatant is that) or put another way added 1) memory expansion, and 2) removable battery which ALL Samsung flagship include The LG G3 is the LG G2 withQHD display with the above item restored and ker ching! NOTHING ELSE, major http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=5543&idPhone2=6294 Comment 45 jopancy "You are funny. Really" and I agree. Overshadowed? First why would you even mention Apple iPhones to 'prove’ a point. Apple are not in the same league, or even the same era, as the Sony, Samsung, LG Apple and have essentially given up on adding features of merit to iPhoneshttp://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Apple-iPhone-5,Apple-iPhone-6,Apple-iPhone-6-Plus/phones/7378,8346,8908 EVERYBODY / ANYBODY who knows how to use the phone comparison tool, the iPhone 6 and 6 are 'slavish' copies of the iPhone5, a minor tweaked with a larger display. The IPhone 6 a larger display iPhone 5 that adds Apple pay (2 years separate the iPhone5 & iPhone6 / 6+) Who says innovation needs more than 730 days knows nothing. But hey of the limited features that the "originally” released in 2012" iPhone5 has, comparable to the Note 4….er no Apple have stated there will be NO upgrade of NFC profile, the 1 profile supportS Apple pay 4G LTE 5.5" 8Mp Camera. Samsung 2012 N7100 aka NOTE 2 Every time Usain bolt races he does NOT break his own record (I mention Usain 2012 @ Maherk Nokia would just be another fish in a big Android pond. Nokia were so dominant a player it has taken years for combined Android phone phones to surpass Symbian, which was great for numeric keypad ONLY

50. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

ok The Oracle get a life. 2015 will be Sammy's last chance? What are you munching there? You criticize Sammy for its packed-to-the-brim feature set but I bet you are just one of those guys who will stand in line criticizing them even if they remove features saying that their phones have become less functional. Truth is every company has their style and this is Sammy's. Don't like it...there are plenty of options. As for me I love the feature-packed Note series and what exactly is the point of Ditto when I have a smartphone? Why would I want this accessory? An the opinion about Sammy is just this person's opinion ....it aint universal.

54. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Samsung doesn't have to do this. If it was a problem they would have sold 350M smartphones last year while Apple only sold 150M. In fact last year Samsung sold more phones than all the Android OEM's combined

2. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Smartphones now are matured and oversaturate, any features add on it will the pain in the @ss today, Pricing is the core innovation when it comes to android, followed by big screen with big battery life. No others put

53. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I have to agree with you. Android user are getting more price sensitive than iOS user. Fortunately, Samsung is aware of that and had adjusted their price. I just bought their Galaxy S 8.4 LTE to replace my Galaxy Tab 7.7. When I asked for the price I was a bit taken back. Its basically half the price I pay for my 7.7 Good!!

3. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Although I would agree with his statement until last but Samsung has learned from its mistake and not done that with GS5 or Note 4. In comparison to its previous Galaxy/Note releases very few over the top feature that were added in GS5. But very meaningful at the same time like, UPSM, 0.3 fast autofocus, HDR in video, etc to name a few. Infact, the very first thing they said in this year's unpack event of GS5 was to add 'meaning' innovation suggesting that they've learned from their past mistakes. None of the features added in the year's flagship can be classified as redundant feature except the heart rate monitor. Even that can now be substituted as a camera button.

21. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I was one of those who criticized the addition of the heart rate monitor on the S5, forgetting that everyone of us is different and have different needs. I am saying that, because my mom found out lately that she suffers from a sudden increase in her heart beats and i immediately showed her the feature on my S5 and how can she check her heart beats rate on my phone and she felt in love with it. That's why i got her the Galaxy Alpha 4 days ago, my only take on the Alpha's sensor is that it lacks the SpO2 monitor found on the Note 4.

25. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I wrote that not because its not useful but because there was no need for a heart rate sensor to actually check your BPM. What I mean to say is, you can download an app from playstore and check your heart rate through the phone's flash anyway. You don't need an independent 'heart rate sensor'.

36. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Thats a feature just to show off. The people who actually need it medically are a tiny fraction of samsung's customers. Most pointless feature they added in years.

42. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The same was said about the gear watches when Samsung released them, and their built in heart rate monitors. And now every OEM is jumping on the smartwatch wagon and making sure they equip it with a heart rate monitor.

4. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

Yeah, we all know. Just pull down that notification bar in any Samsung phone, pretty much sums it up.

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