Since I have this "community hero" tag I might as well try and use it for the benefit of the community, otherwise it will become more and more of a joke (at least, I'm pretty sure that's how many others see it and I don't really understand what it's supposed to represent).
Things aren't getting better. By this I mean that HMD have recently done a number of things which have had a negative impact on the community. Some are conscious decisions by HMD leadership, others are mistakes.
Wow! I'm surprised that this long rant made it through moderation! For the camera app score I may have been unfair, since I think it's only the Nokia 8 that's a problem case. So 2/10 for the Nokia 8 camera app, 7/10 for the others (based on what I've read).
This forum already works like the Microsoft one, in my experience. On the Microsoft forum there are some users who are identified as experts by badges and they tend to give replies quite quickly (it depends on the subject matter) but it is voluntary. Some MS employees post there but in my experience their replies are not very quick (on the subject of mobile devices anyway). Users are encouraged to mark helpful replies and answers so that other users who have the same question can find answers quickly.
On this Nokia Phones forum the we have people identified as "Tech Wizard" and these people are also very helpful and tend to give answers quickly. These people are also volunteer members of the public with a passion for Nokia phones. The Tech Wizards are not the only people who are helpful though, there are many people who help others without the Tech Wizard badge. We also have the "thumbs up" button and "Mark as Answer" button, but unfortunately people are not using these functions very well in this forum - maybe we need to send reminders to the people who ask the question to come back and say if they got a helpful reply.
The current forum software and structure has made it difficult (with all the phone models) for everyone to keep track of the questions. I hope this layout will change in the near future and we'll being to answer questions and help people quicker.
First of all we are fine with critique written in an appropriate way and yours is, so there was no problem to publish it. Secondly, thanks for it you put a lot of effort and thoughts on it. I’m sure you are aware I’m more in a mediating role, passing on the burning topics to responsible departments. So I can’t really give any input to the Bootloader topic, camera app, source code and software updates. Simply because I don’t know much about it either.
Customer service is another point I can’t comment on that much. I see the topics in here when people say they are unsatisfied. But as you said people with good experience don’t talk about it. All I can see is that in the customer feedback questionnaire, we have good scores.
When it comes to the community forum - thanks for the nice words here. We are aware of that more interaction would be better and by now we are working on a new concept. I hope this new concept will bring a clearer understanding of what the forum is all about and a better overview about the topics as well as more possibilities for users to engage with each other and HMD.
Thank you for finding time out of your schedule to write this up. All well written, if you ask me. You have covered the heating issues. Thank you for justifying your badge :))
Thank you too for caring enough to write it down. Most of the people in the management do not show any interest in interacting with the users when it comes to negative feedback. It's like appreciate the good, ignore the bad. I'll hope to hear from at-least you if you hear anything from the management about bootloader unlocking and kernel sources.
The community's setup still lacks a lot of things, but it has certainly improved. I'll be looking more towards seeing something which is a mixed of modern open source platforms like Discord or NodeBB or Flarum, plus your own in-house additions to it. If you are building this platform from scratch, then maybe that's not needed when we have so many open source platforms already available.
The freshdesk customer support software and its user forum have some technical limitations that remain unsolved since launch.
For example, the way line breaks and paragraphs go missing when posting from the mobile browser discourage me from participating more actively.
The main social difference between what Nokia and Microsoft did previously and this forum is IMO this forum allows discussing hacked and pirated software, including posting direct links to unofficial downloads, and that we are allowed to speculate regarding products and software. - It derails discussions and spoils feedback threads (and I suspect dodgy commercial interests behind such posts).
There are official statements and official replies from support and marketing to be found elsewhere.
What I miss is the occasional comments and statements from technicians who were previously allowed to step in and explain when and why apps or features changed, and confirm when something was broken pending another update or is left as it is. - Such postings are not always popular among users, management and supporters, but I still miss it.
Thanks for your points , Madbilly, I really appreciate your positive presence here !
BOOTLOADER Let's say that I'm a newcomer in the Android world so I still have way to understand how the Android community in general handles topics like bootloaders and code availability; in the meantime it makes no difference to me if bootloaders are unlocked or code released; I understand that how HMD is handling the bootloader question though can represent a violation of the GPL rules , that's why I read some harsh comments here and around .
My 7 Plus is still 1 month old in my hands , I've already set it up to give me as less bothering as possible but as time goes I'm finding it quite comfortable ; it's not the WP approach but I can live with it.
CAMERA One thing I can agree with you is the camera software; I still did not update it as I'm waiting to do it after Pie will be released ; at the moment I can only say there is a LOT of room to improve it, mostly in the optics handling area . I must say that I've tested it in pretty hard conditions (late night, weak lights, lots of people moving around ) and I've got mixed results. I liked how the light is handled in Pro mode but I've also had blurred photos even with device placed on pavement, fixed focus and self shoot (which remembers more of my old lumia 730 which wasn't the best shooter out there)
CUSTOMER SERVICE I hope I will NOT need it apart from when I 'll need a battery replacement. Anyway in the 90s and 2000s what distinguished Nokia from others was a quality service network (and Apple took good lesson from it ) . I still know a couple of chaps here in Rome who where quite good authorised techs. Hope that HMD could try to build it up again.
UPDATES Well myself I'm a lazy updater, meaning I will NOT update if device is working good enough. Also I would not push engineering with fast releases unless they are for bugfixing or security. What could be helping a great deal here would be IMO:
- get in touch with sw developers in forums, share troubleshooting and reporting methods and rules and have a wider testing base with repeated releases in order to test the fixes (quite like Microsoft with Insider Rings : Fast>>Slow>>Release preview )
- provide users with a well thought PC tool for backup/update/restore : that could sound "old" but sometimes you cannot fix a dangerous issue without flashing the device; as I said somewhere else this can also reduce the need for a service center, it helps a lot.
Thanks @madbilly for writing about this. I was expecting something like this for a long time. And I hope all of this important messages and conclusion from you on every topic reaches to concerned authority. And, I hope they act upon this quickly as many customers are losing patience over many of the topics you stated above especially the Bootloaders topic. HMD officials have completely ignored about this topic for a long long time. They either have to come up with really good reason so that most of the customer are convinced on why bootloader unlockling is not a good idea or they have to give some time frame on when this will be available. Staying quite is a very bad decision from HMD.
@madbilly: Thank you community leader! You are a true representative and a good leader! Thus you put forward current point at correct time.
@Laura - Moderator: It is not expected that you should know all jargon related to technology and other things. But it is expected that you should understand topic and judge who will able to answer it, on the half of HMD global. This is, especially for too technical questions, for which even moderator unable to comment anything directly. In term of chemistry moderator should play role of catalyst. That means, without taking part in reaction just accelerate rate of reaction in positive direction. The expectations of Nokia enthusiast is not fulfilled by current version of product forum .
On the other hand, every post get pass through process of moderation is a positive point of forum. Since it ensure prevention of bad contents on the forum.
Although, I expect improvement in process of moderation. Topics for which we expect comments from HMD, we are not getting any response from HMD even after process of moderation. For example: my question on buy back offer in India. It is new idea and tried in a limited region (Source: Nokiapoweruser) .
Link of topic : https://community.phones.nokia.com/support/discussions/topics/7000032183/page/last#post-7000068954
(See topic for details)
At least now, I hope I will get response for it.
When company try new idea for limited region, then help and feedback related to it must manage carefully. Even topic related to it get unnoticed on official product forum by HMD is too casual work.
Mention of moderator in comment should not consider pointing towards a person, rather it is collective responsibility. Moderator is not part time job, but full-time job. May be, it can be full-time by 2 or more persons.
In all, my suggestions for radical changes in product forum are:
1) Role of moderator is mediator between customers and HMD global with smart work rather than, only hard work.
2) Those questions can only be answered by HMD should mark during moderation and get answer by concerned authority of HMD and posted by moderator. It can be reflected by "work for topic is in process by HMD" in that topic status.
3) Fixed response time to get answer of question. For simple question take help of knowledgeable contributors. Consider example of management skills of Google product forum how that forum work with knowledgeable contributor.
4) For experimental idea for limited region, it should consider as priority in this forum and promptly address queries associated with it at the form. Consider to reflect such trial offers with tab in region applicable for that offer. This tap will inform the enthusiast and can address issues associated with it in time.
Good post with some valid criticisms.
I'll add that the camera app needs major work across almost all Nokia devices as users are able to get much better results from third party apps. I also agree that they need to do a better job at QA'ing their app and OS updates. Oreo brought many documented bugs to the Nokia 6 which HMD has yet to fix or acknowledge (broken Dolby support, wifi disconnects, etc).
Threads about this pop up every now and then but I think HMD is also ignoring Nokia's software ecosystem to their determent. Classic Nokia devices were known for their functional and experimental apps and services, it would be good to see this represented again in some way (I doubt HMD can preload but offering them through Google Play would still help).
Just so the thread doesn't get too negative, HMD has done a fantastic job with their hardware. All of their devices are durable, well built, and offerings like OZO audio stand well above offerings from competing manufacturers with far more resources. The fact that a startup was able to grow as quickly as they did (sales, retail reach, partnerships, etc) in a little over a year is also incredible and especially commendable.