John Galea's Blog

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Google’s account stupidity on Android (a RANT)

When you first start working with your Android phone you give it a google account to sign in with. This Google account becomes integral to the device (a fact that they do not tell you). This account can not be deleted (without a factory reset) and on some devices can not even have it’s password changed. Your kidding right? Nope. Now maybe this is specific to my device a Samsung Capitvate Glide running Android 2.3.5 but there was absolutely no way to get around this. I changed my password on the web for Gmail and not a chance I could get the password updated on Android. The Sync simply said Sync Error, Gtalk informed me an authentication problem (with no way to fix it), Playstore reported some silly error number etc. You have got to be kidding right? Well 2 hours of Googling, trying everything under the sun. Every fix that worked for others, and finally I gave up and factory reset my device. And there is absolutely no way on the device to change the password either. You can’t delete the account from the phone without a factory reset. No way to change the password back to the old password (Google does not allow this). You can’t add a different account to the phone and move the primary account for the phone. Anyway you can think around this doesn’t work. Now if you happen to get lucky as some people do, the phone will ask for a new password. But not on mine.

Now the lesson here is to create a dummy account on google that you use for nothing. Make this the account you initially setup the phone with, and then add a additional accounts. The Play store will allow you to change back to your normal account. This will allow you to delete the account from the phone if you need to in the future. Unbelievable. And if you google Android Google Password change you find a lot of people have bumped into this little problem. Come on Google. What are you telling us? Never change your password? Sheesh. There’s 3 hours I will never get back.

On my tablet a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 plus running Android 3.2 things are a little better. There still does not appear to be a way to change the password once entered. And I was never able to get it come up and ask for a new password. Not in the market place and not in the account sync area either. Both just report an error with no hint that it was related to the password change (or let you update it). The solution was to delete the account and re add it. At least it was not tied to the device requiring a hard reset like it was on the phone. Still not a pretty solution. I mean you really ought to be updating your password once every couple months, but given this hassle this is surely not likely.

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June 9, 2012 - Posted by | Android

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