For me, my smartphone experience revolves around the software on board. And that’s why I am so puzzled, so frustrated by Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean announcement today. One of my biggest gripes with Android just got even worse.
As a longtime iPhone 3GS owner, I have been amazed with the support that Apple has given to the device. In the three years that I have owned the device, I have received two major operating systems in iOS 4 and iOS 5 and if I were to keep my iPhone 3GS, I would also get bits and pieces of Apple’s latest software, iOS 6.
Again, this is for a phone that I bought three years ago. That kind of support does not exist in the world of Android. At least not yet.
Today at Google I/O, Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which will be rolling out to users starting in July. It will be replacing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which was released back in December.
Problem is, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t available on a majority of Android smartphones. Just ask owners of the Samsung Epic 4G Touch or the HTC Rezound how they feel about today’s Jelly Bean announcement and I guarantee that they don’t feel good about it. I wouldn’t either if I didn’t even have Ice Cream Sandwich.
Fortunately, I do have Ice Cream Sandwich. I have it on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus for Verizon. Unfortunately, Google will be rolling out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the unlocked HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus in July.
No word yet on when or better yet, if my Verizon Galaxy Nexus will get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. So much for owning a Nexus device.
So again, I’m sucked into the world of waiting for Android updates. a world where there is no schedule, little communication, and often times, delays. It’s not a pleasant world and unfortunately, it’s reality.
The Android PDK that was announced today at Google I/O is a step in the right direction, sure. Google gave the PDK to select manufacturers prior to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but we don’t even know who they are and there is no telling whether it will actually improve wait times for updates.
Pinch me when there is actual evidence of change.
Quite frankly, today’s announcement has pretty much sealed the deal for me as far as my next smartphone is concerned. Why? The above for one and two, I assume that Google is going to be releasing a new Nexus smartphone later on this year that might be running another version of Android, possibly Android 5.0.
No thanks. I’d rather buy into a platform where my phone is regularly updated with new software and is done so on time without a bunch of smoke and mirrors and promises and roll out timelines and moronic answers from support teams on Twitter.
And if that’s the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, which it appears to be, then so be it.