I’ll just cut to the chase and list all the problems I’ve had—me, personally, not other people, although other people have definitely had some of these same issues and more…
Perhaps Google’s biggest problem is a fragmented Android ecosystem, which is open source software. The manufacturers all make little modifications to the operating system, and they all have different agreements with Google so updates all come at different times.
When I bought my phone, it had Android 2.1 on it—meanwhile, other phones like the HTC Incredible were already running 2.2. It was a long time before I finally got the update to 2.2.
The day it upgraded, my phone stopped working altogether. I had to trade it in for a new phone already installed with 2.2. This was the second time I had to set up my Galaxy S (download apps, organize windows, choose user settings, sync to my emails, et cetera). The second phone had trouble booting when I turned it off and on, right up to this morning.
This morning, I got my 2.35 update. It didn’t take well. I had to factory reset and redo everything again—for the third time.
Almost immediately after buying my first Galaxy S, I had to remove the Facebook app that came installed on it because it kept locking the phone up. (Yes, an app already installed on the phone at the factory locked the phone up.)
After that, I noticed that Android apps don’t always work for the OS version on the phone. In my experience, I’d say one in three don’t accommodate the latest version.
Which is a huge issue with a fragmented ecosystem—apps don’t work well if manufacturers have mucked with the OS, and app designers have to accommodate multiple active operating systems. It’s a mess.
I usually get my emails a few hours after they actually reach my Yahoo! account. Even if the phone searches for them, it doesn’t always find them. Gmail works better.
I also get weird notifications for nothing. I’ll get a notification and look at my phone and there aren’t any texts or calls or emails or anything. It must be a gremlin.
The notifications I do get (all the time) are notifications for updates to the apps on my phone. Except they’re not updates, it’s Google trying to get me to download new apps.
No kidding. The phone will tell me I have six updates available, and four of them are for apps I don’t have. So evidently, my phone is a medium for Google to sell me Android Market apps.
There are other things, but those are the main things. It seems fairly obvious to me that Google hasn’t worked out all the kinks in Android and is basically using these first few generations as betas on consumers.
Bottom line: it just doesn’t work as well as it should.
Next June I get my renew-every-two. I’m giving Google one more shot at this with Android 2.35, but after that, all bets are off.
So six months, Google. If this latest version of Android isn’t significantly (and I mean significantly) better, I’m gonna do what loads of other Android users are already doing…I’m gonna get an iPhone.