Hans D. Baumeister

Hans D. Baumeister

Samsung Kies - Just not Apple Quality!

The connectivity software Samsung supplies (“Kies” - who thought of that name??? In German it means either “Pebbles” or “Money”) looks quite nice from the GUI but turned out to be a complete disaster.
There are two Mac versions you can download from the website: if you go to the direct download on the support site, you’ll get a version 3.0.1.14012_5 which shows a copyright of 2012 in the loading splash window and a copyright of 2011 in the “About” window. I hope product management does a better job with the hardware than with the software.
After several tries and finally doing a Tools -> Reinstall Driver (whatever that is supposed to do), I got the phone to connect. Connection is flakey - sometimes it doesn’t see the phone even though the phone itself shows that it is connected via USB, then you unplug and plug back in and it connects to the software. Weird.
The first thing I wanted to do is back up the phone, something the software seems to make extremely simple (just select “Backup all” and click on “Backup” and off it goes), unfortunately it just didn’t do anything.
You get a spinning symbol on the first item to be backed up, but no data transfers; not even after waiting for a good 15 minutes. The software isn’t hung up, however, as it is possible to cancel the backup, after which the software informs you that everything backed up (it didn’t). Deselecting the first item that is backed up (which isn’t the first item in the list, mind you) doesn’t change anything - the same issue crops up with the next item in the list.
Trying to select a Podcast then ended up crashing my Mac in a manner that was so fierce, the poor GPU didn’t even have time to clear the screen: the restart information got written over the display! The system forced an fsck and found a load of orphaned files and directories, which really made me nervous. Also, my desktop picture was changed to the Mavericks standard...! Crazy!
I tried the Podcast subscription again and the system stayed stable; Kies, however, didn’t do squat with the Podcast - the subscription wasn’t registered. Crap!
If you look in the download - files section of the website, you are presented with a version 2.x of the software, and a clear statement that the software is only available for MacOS 10.5 - 10.7! I send an email to Samsung support in Germany, asking wether this was a negligence on part of the web admin or if the software really wasn’t made for any Mac OS junger than two years old.
I quote from Samsung’s reply:
Derzeitig wird Kies, wie angegeben, nur für Mac OS 10.5 bis 10.7 unterstützt. Leider liegen uns keine Informationen über ein geplantes Update vor.
Translated, this means that the software really is only compatible with 10.5 to 10.7 and there apparently are no plans to update the software to run on current Macs!
So I fired up Windows 7 in a VM and installed the Windows version of Kies. It’s a workaround I can live with, since I would only use the software to back up the phone and update it to a new version of Android.
Unfortunately, the freshly downloaded Windows version of the software seems to be similar crap to the Mac version: while the download actually did start moving some data across the USB cable (veeeery slowly, mind), it stopped at the third item with the same effect as on the Mac: it just kept the rotating symbol on that item and would probably still be there now, hadn’t I stopped the software after about an hour.
2014-01-22 - Kies Windows

Interesting is also, that after stopping, the software correctly indicates that finishing the sync was interrupted; incorrect is the statement that the data was successfully stored (“erfolgreich gesichert”).
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