A Norwegian girl, living abroad, enabled "auto upload my pictures to Google+" on her phone and for some reason they end up in a Norwegian IT journalists Google+. Everything from full passport details to regular photos are uploaded. The journalist can see Geo location etc as well. Google keep stating it is not possible and the journalist are experiencing problems contacting Google.
The mindset that something "isn't possible" is dangerous as a developer.
You should never deny the evidence. When you say "It's not possible", something in your understanding is obviously mistaken. Maybe your understanding of the evidence, maybe your understanding of the problem, but somewhere you're wrong. Your job now is to find out where you're wrong.
The correct response in such situations is "What am I wrong about?"
I've lost count of how many times I've seen the Can't Happen mindset delay resolution of an issue. It's a genuine problem.
The first job of the respondent is to validate the input so that the right problem gets solved.
> I've lost count of how many times I've seen the Can't Happen mindset delay resolution of an issue. It's a genuine problem.
> When you say "It's not possible", something in your understanding is obviously mistaken.
Not necessarily. Bear in mind that the "error" data itself can be wrong too, for many reasons -- some benign, some not so much. People can and do lie and make mistakes.
In the public sphere things are even more fraught. There are people who loathe $COMPANY and would love to see their services discredited. On the other hand, $COMPANY's legitimate success depends to some extent on people's perception of their reliability, so they have a right to defend themselves.
I think a reasonable response from $COMPANY in this case is "1) That's impossible", to reassure skittish customers, and "2) We'll work directly with the person having the problem and report back, stay tuned" to show respect and responsiveness (and potentially humility later).
If you were running your own company, paying the salaries of your employees and serving your investors, would you do otherwise?
I think that your "What am I wrong about?" approach is going too far in the opposite direction.
I usually use "That shouldn't be possible" - whether it is possible or if it's user error then often depends on the maturity of the system.
On a new system pretty much anything is possible. On a system battle-tested for years by thousands of users the possibility of encountering program bugs drops dramatically.
This is where good supporters become very valuable. They will be able to learn the solutions to common problems that users face and determine if it´s user error, other errors like OS problems or if it's something new that should be investigated by the developers.
Of course if the bug is reproducible then it's a different matter. But any developer who doesn't take a well-described and reproducible bug report seriously should probable find a different job.
"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair" – D. Adams.
I have two Android phones (ICS and Jelly Bean) and this has not been my experience at all.
The first time you start the Google+ app, it will ask you if you want to enable Instant Upload (which uploads to a private album from which you can publish). Prior to that it doesn't do anything with your photos.
Same for me - but I noticed that it suddenly started syncing to Google+ too a few weeks ago (not sure why it started doing this, either there was an update or it was because I logged into Google+ using the default Android Google+ app and it enabled it then). Either way, I wasn't particularly happy about it, though I believe it uploaded them but did not make them public. I turned it off as soon as I noticed as I don't need my photos synced to two places and I already had photos synced to DropBox.
Both Google/Gmail account and Google Apps account.
I may not be correct about 'any' android phone though. I've only used stock and several custom ROM on Galaxy Nexus ranging from version 4.0.4 to 4.2.2. After you add a Google/gapps account you'll see this in sync setting- http://s24.postimg.org/fxbv98s05/Screenshot_2013_04_28_23_42... . I've found 'Google Photos' always checked by default. First time this feature was introduced, I didn't notice and my G+ filled up with random images from my mobile gallery. Since then I consciously turn this off everytime I flash a ROM.
Edit: so you don't necessarily need Google+ app installed for this to happen.
It isn't true. By default -- including on a brand-new Nexus 4 -- it will notify you that photos are ready to be uploaded, and if you follow-through it gives you the option of automatically uploading from then forward.
Indeed, happened to my very privacy sensitive colleague while setting up his new S3 (he had no prior G+ account, so he got a new one). This may depend on what type of account you have and what terms you have agreed to.
How did you confirm that? Google+ on my Galaxy S III asked me whether I wanted to allow it to upload pictures on first launch (not surprising as it runs the same G+ app as every other device). Of course most people will simply do what nnnnni stated, which is a "sure whatever" clickpast (which Google knows and takes advantage of), and forever more declare it unwanted, mysterious behavior.
1. buy new note2 from att, register google account, skip samsung and att setup.
2. buy new s3 from amazon unlocked, register google account, skip samsung setup.
3. never even open G+ app on both phones
4. take a picture
5. wait an hour
6. you get a notification "pictures you took are ready for sharing" i.e. they are already uploaded against your will and out of your knowledge.
I used the Nexus 4 as an example of the most extensive Google integration. However my other devices are a GS 3, GS 2, Galaxy Glide, and Nexus 7s. Given that Google+ is an app (and is actually the same app on all of them), the same behavior was true on all of them.