Okay I have to first say that I am an ordinary user and have had lots of personal electronics of all kinds for years(as well as managing a large retail electronics chain for almost 20 years). So needless to say I have a lot of general experience with hardware and software...
I bought a Razr Maxx earlier this year and quickly learned to love a lot of the features and ease of use running under Gingerbread. I was moderately intrigued when news of the ICS update started rolling out and was thinking how great it would be to have even more functionality and features. Little did I know how wrong I would be. I really wish a large warning had popped up before installing the new update warning me that I can NOT return to the GB OS, because had I known that, I may have waited on the update.
Since I cannot revert back to what I feel was a better performing OS, here is my list of items that really need to be addressed to restore some of the greater functionality of the phone.
NOTE TO ALL PROGRAMMERS: IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!
I say that because there were many changes that occured from gingerbread to ics that were completely unnecessary and actually reduced the functionality of the phone.
Here is a breakdown of some of the changes. Please add to this list if you know of something that worked better BEFORE ICS:
The unlock screen:
This actually added a little more functionality to the phone in that it reduced a keystroke for people wanting to text or call someone. No big deal here but no great benefit either.
Auto-correct/word suggest list:
Unfortunately this was ruined by ICS and it's almost completely unusable now. Under GB OS, I was able to type a couple of letters and around 10-12 words would come up in a row above the keyboard. I was able to quickly type out almost entire sentences with just a few keystrokes. Now under ICS, the developers seemed to feel that spacing was more important and reduced the auto-word list to 3 words (and a lot of wasted space). Of course I can press on the center word with the "..." and pull up a more "complete" list of words to choose from, but this is very inefficient and annoying and I have resorted to typing out most words. This needs to be returned back to what it was capable of during Gingerbread. I have talked to many actual users and everyone I have spoken to has complained about this issue.
Smart actions not working/unreliable:
This capability is great when it works, but after ICS, it seems to have a mind of it's own on when it is or isn't going to work. I have several custom actions (for example disabling all sounds when I am at church on Sunday morning or during the night between 12am and 5am) that had worked flawlessly under GB. Now for some reason, the "triggers" seem to have no effect at times and the programmed actions fail to engage. The only recourse that I have found so far for this issue is to reboot the phone. This resolves the issue until the next time when it decides "at will" when to not work again. This really sucks when actions like your battery extender fail to engage....
Favorites list changes:
Again, I'm not sure why they felt the need to change this because it worked PERFECT under GB. First off, the green text icon is the wrong icon for the new function which is email (the email icon on the phone is a white envelope with an @ symbol on it everywhere else) Under GB, that icon would take me immediately to a new chat bubble for a text message. When I was using the new feature for the first time (again thinking it was text based on the icon), it came up with a list of options, one was for text messaging and the other for emailing. There was also a check box to set either action as default. So I clicked on the text msg option, hit default and closed the screen. BIG mistake! That screen is apparently a ONE TIME only accessible setting option as I have taken the phone into verizon to change it and even they have been unable to fix it. Now when I hit that button (the green text button) under my favorites, it opens a new window for text, but limits my emails to 140 characters like it would for a text message. Of course I can get around this by going directly to my email or text message buttons, or I can hit the tiny white text chat button next to the mobile number that comes up in the list. The other function that appears to have been lost is the default phone number. I know that it really hasn't changed the number of keystrokes for calling someone, I just liked the cleaner look and ease of having a single button to push (to a defaulted number) without the clutter of sometimes 3 or 4 other phone numbers.
Voice activation/auto type:
This worked flawlessly for me under GB so I don't know why they make you hit a button when you stop talking. It worked just fine before ICS and would stop automatically, so why do I have to push a button to tell it to stop now?
I couldn't believe it when they messed with this. Before ICS, when my alarm went off in the morning, all I had to do was touch ANYWHERE on the screen for the snooze function. If I wanted to dismiss the alarm altogether, I had to slide a red button at the bottom of the screen or push the power button on the side of the phone. Now under ICS, I have a small square box in the middle of the screen broken into 2/3 and 1/3. The 2/3 top part of the box is the snooze button and the bottom 1/3 is the dismiss. This absolutely SUCKS when you are fumbling around still half asleep and accidentally touch the dismiss instead of the snooze. I'm still scratching my head on why they felt the need to change this (and make it worse in the process).
One additional change that should be made is the ability to set your own length of snooze time. My previous samsung phone had this and it should be a feature of android as well.
Inconsistant menus/slow refresh:
I would have to assume these are oversights but they are worth mentioning. The first annoyance is my text message list. When I hit the text message icon and it takes me into my recent text exchanges, many times all I see is the phone number. Once I scroll down the screen and come back to the top, then it finally updates (refreshes?) and replaces the cell number with the contacts name. I don't know why it lags so badly on this screen but it didn't have that problem before ICS.
Why can't I access my contacts from inside the phone icon now? I have dialer/recent/favorites but no contacts tab like I did before ICS. I can get there in a roundabout way but really?...
The manage apps function from the home screen has 3 tabs (internal storage, running, and all), but the only way you can switch between them is to actually touch the tab. In every other menu where tabs are involved you can slide between them. I'm guessing this was an oversight and is a minor issue but still an annoyance.
Last but not least, Music:
I've read and spoken to a lot of people that their music folders, specifically the albums and album art, were totally screwed after the update. I found this to be true as well. I have around 1200 songs in over 100 albums stored on my sd card. After ICS updated, it completely ignored all album information and lumped all my songs into to 2 unknown albums (one with ~1100 songs and the other with ~100). This was really annoying. I am planning on pulling it all off and redoing it, but I simply haven't had the time to mess with it. I shouldn't have to even deal with this and screwing something up as simple as mp3 music albums shows a clear lack of quality control.
Well, that is my basic list. I apologize if this is in the wrong place since this is my first time posting. I have read of various other issues that people have had (battery life, video quality, etc) but I can't really say anything on these issues as of yet. I will say that my battery life has seemed to improve since ICS.
I know that there are various apps available out there to overcome some of these issues, I just feel that if the OS and software included with it from the providers worked like it is supposed to the first time, people wouldn't need to root phones and install 3rd party apps. That of course, would make for much happier customers and ease of use.
If you know of other changes that in your opinion reduced functionality of your phone, please add to the list. Hopefully some of the developers will take notice of this posting and convey the message on to others and fix some of these annoying issues.