Just wanted to jump in here to thank you for posting your thoughts. I don’t think I have all of the context (you mentioned the issues you’re having with the replacement device), but can speak to some of the feedback you provided.
I got your brand new Photon out of the sealed box and plugged it into the USB cable on my laptop. Turned on my Android app and went through the steps.
Nothing… it won’t connect. Just sit’s there blinking blue.
I’m sorry this setup process didn’t work for you. Wireless setup is the most challenging piece of engineering for nearly every single IoT device on the market–we’ve invested a lot of time into making our mobile setup experience easy and reliable but won’t claim that it works 100% of the time. There are too many factors, including variations between app performance on the huge number of Android devices, network configuration, encryption schemas, network architecture, and yes, firmware bugs, than can result in a failed setup.
We’re always looking to improve here, though, and every failure is an opportunity for us to improve. If you’d be willing to share details about your network, Photon, and phone, we’ll make sure it gets filed as an issue for our Android app and investigated.
What I do find interesting is the amount of documentation and ninja node.js programs you have on your website for when it doesn’t work! Sounds like the rule and not the exception.
If the mobile app did not work for you, we provide other tools, including our command line interface, that can help you complete setup in a pinch. We’re constantly trying to make these tools easier to use, and released a command line installer for Windows which significantly decreases the barrier to using our software. I’d be happy to give you more information about alternate ways to get your device up and running.
I’m a huge fan of the design and layout of the Photon, but your Firmware team is letting you (everyone) down. This thing should be bullet proof!
It is very challenging to build so much functionality into the low cost, resource-constrained hardware on our development kits. There are known issues in our firmware stack (in fact, you can see all of them, here), but we’re very proud to be developing firmware that is leading the industry with respect to the IoT development for resource-constrained devices.
We do 100% testing on all of our hardware, and can assure you that no device leaves our factory without testing. We stand by the quality of our hardware, and will always replace units that are not performing as intended. If you’ve encountered issues with the firmware, I sincerely hope you report them–we’re always working to fix known issues and it would be very helpful to us.
Let us know if there’s anything else we can do at this point to eliminate the bad taste in your mouth. Our support agents are always willing to help at support.particle.io!