I recently got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Mozilla to do some testing of our browser. The bonus of course is that I have a tablet I get to use everyday at no expense to me. So I quickly went into the market and started installing all of my usual apps that I normally have on my phone. This includes Amazon’s Kindle app. I’ve never actually bought anything from the Amazon store, but I have purchased a couple of books from O’Reilly before and I wanted to transfer those to my tablet.
So I innocently plugged in my tablet to my laptop via the provided USB cable. First thing that immediately jumped out at me is that my tablet wasn’t charging (WTF! Samsung). After a few choice words I had for that, I tried to get over it and just transfer my books. There’s no icon on my desktop. Hmmm…okay. Lets mess with the USB settings since my phone has different modes, maybe this does to. Nada. Now this is getting frustrating. Lets do a quick Google search to see if anyone has found an easy way around this that I’m not figuring out on my own. I saw two different things come up. One was download the Android File Transfer application. This seems unnecessary, but okay let me download this thing and see if it works. Nope. Really. Come to find out there is quite a number of people that have this issue. So then I came across a piece of information that if I turn on USB debugging (Applications->Development->USB Debugging), then I should be able to mount my tablet with the Android SDK tookit in Eclipse (in Eclipse Windows->Open Perspective->Other…->DDMS). Sure enough this actually works.
Being a developer who writes software everyday I can do this, but that isn’t really my point. Who’s the person over at Samsung decided this product should ship without this capability? Do you really expect the average user to go through this process? Because they most certainly will not. What they will do is return their tab and go buy an iPad 2. And when they plug it in, it’ll just work. When you plug a device into your USB port there is an expectation for it to do two things: 1) charge and 2) be automatically mounted as a storage device. The latter can also be done as a setting if it’s not the default, as long as it’s easy to find. I would think that this would be a non-issue to release as part of a software update. As far as Samsung is concerned, the sooner the better.