I thought I’d give Fring a try after seeing some favorable reviews on other sites. If you haven’t previously heard of Fring, the following blurb from their website might be helpful:

Using your handset’s internet connection, you can interact with friends on all your favourite social networks including Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo! and AIM. You can listen to music with your Last.fm friends, check out what each other are up to on Facebook, receive alerts of new Google Mail and tailor make your very own fring by adding more cool experiences from fringAdd-ons

Sounds great, right? To use any of these services, you need a Fring account. When you first launch the Fring application on your Android phone, it will prompt you to either provide your existing credentials or set up a new account.

I haven’t previously used Fring so I needed to set up a new acount. I selected a username, alias, and password, provided my email, and then clicked on “Register”, and Fring said:

Password contains invalid characters.

What, that’s it? How about a few hints? Or better yet, how about you tell me what your stupid password requirements are before you complain about them? Seriously, guys, have you hired monkeys to handle your authentication mechanisms? Or have you simply decided to ignore decades of best practices concerning password selection? I have some suggestions for you:

  • If you have password character class limitations, state them up front.
  • Don’t have character class limitations. Let me type whatever the heck I want.
  • Don’t set weird arbitrary limits on maximum password lengths. Storage is not that expensive.
  • Adjust complexity requirements with the length of my password. A 20 character password is secure even if it only contains letters.

Fring is the current winner of the “shortest lifetime on my phone” award, and because it was so bad it doesn’t even get a QR code. Bad app. Not for you.

Edit: Removed punctuation from my password. Now Fring tells me, “Password too long.” Ha!