Playing Catch (22) with My Android

Error MessageNo, I’m not writing about some law or principle or behavioral description of Ar Too Dee Too (R2 D2 to his friends) or any other of the Star Wars cybernetic clan. I’m here to tell you about my Motorola Droid MAXX, which betrayed me last night.

I went to send a text message, but before I could do so, a message popped up across the screen: “Unfortunately Google Keyboard Has Stopped.” It wasn’t kidding, either. Was the keyboard ever stopped! I was invited to select either “Report” or “OK.” Sounds easy, right? But no–if I touched “OK,” the program dumped me back on the same screen. If I touched “Report,” the screen popped up the keyboard so I could report the problem. And when I touched the keyboard it gave me (you guessed it) the selfsame “Unfortunately Google keyboard Has Stopped. I had three thoughts at this point. One was unprintable; the second was “if you’re going to warn a former English teacher, please don’t capitalize every word in a sentence and while you’re out, go by the article store and buy yourself a “the,” and then make your way to the punctuation store and pick out a nice comma to put after the opening adverb in the sentence. They’re all on sale this week, so you can make your sentence read, “Unfortunately, THE Google keyboard has stopped.” The third was I couldn’t see any way out of this Catch-22 situation.

I tried to move very very quickly and punch in my report, but I couldn’t move my stubby fingers fast enough. Paying no attention to the dictum that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is a working definition of insanity, I persisted until I was thoroughly frustrated. I had a vision of the future and I didn’t like it one bit.

I checked the internet for solutions and other than trashing my phone and getting a new one (too expensive), I had a couple of choices.

1: I could do a “soft reset” which did not require the use of the keyboard. I simply had to press the buttons on the side and the phone would restart like a computer (because it is a computer, strangely enough. And a camera. And a pedometer. And a notebook. You know). I did this, and soon was back at the same illiterate screen. Must. Try. Other. Option. Or. Buy. New. Phone.

2. I could do a “hard reset” which was indeed hard. This method saved some of my data like names, numbers and files, but it erased my pictures and videos. I had saved some to my computer, but I lost about 50 files. I didn’t want to do this, but I didn’t want to buy a new phone either, so I did the deed. Soon I was back looking at the introductory screen. And I do mean introductory. I had to go through all the setup screens and reload some of my apps. I know, it’s a First World Problem, but it was the only one I had at the time.

So, the good news was that I did not have to buy a new phone and the bad news was that I lost some pictures and had to set up my phone again. On the whole, I think I came out ahead. And I learned never to fill up my phone’s memory with videos of people reading poetry again. Get someone else to do it or buy a video camera. You’ll come out ahead just like me.

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