Disgusted and Disappointed
I've written before that I've become bored with Android. As much as I love using it, I need a change.
And iOS is the only real alternative.
As the Apple event looms closer, I've pretty much made up my mind to purchase the next iPhone.
So far, the OS has ticked the majority of my boxes for what I need. Voice turn by turn directions. Better intergration for the limited use of Facebook. I've recently discovered a jailbreak app called Intelliscreen that supplements the use of widgets.
And if rumors hold true, a larger screen.
These things will help stem the lack of certain features I may miss leaving Android.
Which leads me to another of my reasons for leaving: Googles lack of caring. I'll begin with the Nexus.
The Nexus. This is the supposed 'holy' device for the Android purists, right? The one device you can truly, without fail, count on to get timely updates.
Yet....that's no longer true is it?
My Verizon Nexus runs 4.1 right now because I made the 'choice' to void my warranty and put a custom ROM on it. And you know what? It's great! Jelly Bean makes the device a more wonderful experience to use. Google Now, especially with its sports and movie updates, are a pleasure.
But that doesn't erase the bad taste from my mouth.
The inevitable comparison has to be made with the iPhone.
Apple has three different versions of the same phone. A GSM version and two different CDMA versions. Simliar to the Nexus lineup, right?
However, the iPhone receives its updates on time, regardless of carriers or radios, Why?
Well, we know why. It's because Apple actually cares enough to make sure no one is getting left behind. And they've found a way to twist carriers arms to ensure that this happens.
The argument to this is: Well, those updates aren't always complete depending on the device. Some don't get every feature.'
Know what? Who cares. At least those customers are getting something. And doesn't the newest model get the whole update regardless of carrier?
The same cant be said of the Nexus. My Nexus is a true Google experience device. Yet, the Verizon Nexus sits waiting for an update that was released months ago. The Sprint version, released months after the Verizon one, is reportedly getting the update rolling out today or tomorrow. Hooray for the Sprint customers.
This is a reminder to me that Google doesn't actually care. If they did, they would force changes. They have the power of not only the OS but also all the OEMs who back them. If they truly wanted to fix things they could.
For everyone who argues that Google is better than Apple and Microsoft, please explain why they can't get this right. Why Google, the worlds largest mobile OS vendor, can't seem to get things right.
Again, I believe it's because they don't care.
What they care about is their advertisements, services and search. This is their focus. This is where the money is made. And Android is just a means to that end.
They wash their hands of things and allow the blame to drift to the carriers and OEMs. And you know what? The carriers and OEMs are to blame for quite a bit of the problem. Between carriers always wanting to force bloatware and OEMs running amuck with 'skins' that they think add value, they have to take a lions share of the blame. But to absolve Google is wrong as well.
My understanding is that to have access to Google services and the Play Store, you have to abide by certain rules. So, in that sense, Google does get to excercise some control. But they don't enforce any real game changing guidelines. They relinquish control in the name of freedoms and choice.
But who's freedom and choice?
Certainly not us as fans. We really have limited choice.
It makes me laugh now when I see this used as a reason to choose Android. Choice? What choice? Do you mean the choice to get a Nexus? But what if I want a great camera? Get the One X. How about expandable storage? Get the S3. But I don't want hardware buttons. Grab an Atrix. What about timely updates, that's important! Back to a Nexus.
I can't have it all, can I? Sacrifices have to be made. This is what happens when choices no longer are really choices at all.
Sure, with the iPhone I'm only getting to chose between white or black, but guess what? I'm not shoveled some non sense about 'choices' that aren't actually there.
Oh, did I forget the other 'choice', the alternative of simply rooting and slapping a ROM on my 'choice' device? The one where I make the 'choice' to either have a stock device running the newest software without any warrenty should my phone be bricked or accidentally broken with no hope of replacment? Or the choice to keep it they way it was intended?
If you've read to this point, you may have simply written me off as either a traitor or a troll. But that's not the case.
In spite of this glaring flaw, I still think Android is great. The OS is nice to use. If I can, I plan on trying to swing a way to get the next Nexus as well on another network, most likely AT&T.
For me though, at this point in time, I want to try things from the other side of the fence. I don't want to have to worry when or if my device will get updated. I want a chance to relax and know that the device I have isn't going to be left out to dry. Or worry if anyone will create a ROM for my device (Motorola Devour. You ROMless ....).
I hope one day Google 'grows up'. I wish for the day they realize that they have become powerful and influential enough to demand better for us, the consumers. The fans. I want them to excercise their pull.
And not just in regards to updates.
I want a better place to buy apps. When I search for a game, I shouldn't see wallpapers. I want to stop seeing rebadged iOS apps thrown to Android users without regard to design guidelines.
Are we Android users not good enough? Don't we deserve the best?! Because I don't feel as though Google thinks we do. Where's the respect?
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm expecting too much. It could be that my expectations are unreasonably high and that I've clearly lost all touch with the reality of how businesses and the world in general works.
But I don't think so.
When even Microsoft can get a firmer grip on things than Google, it's irriatating and unnerving.
Many Android fans agreed when it was said on The Verge that it was time to stop giving Microsoft a pass when it comes to their lack of an ecosystem, software limitations and such. Well...it's time for us to stop giving Google a pass.
Their high adoption rates, large market share and things of this nature seem to cloud our view at times. The fact is, they haven't done enough for us. They could do more.......they should do more.
Now, I'm not going to hold Apple or Microsoft on a high pedestal. They each have flaws as well. But as an Android fan myself, Im going to focus in on the platform I use the most. I'm going to be critical of the one I love.
If you agree with my rant, cool. If you don't, that's cool too.
This is simply me getting this off my chest and expressing how I feel. I feel disappointed and disgusted.
The same may be true if I give myself over fully to Apple. Or even Microsoft one day. But you know what, I don't think I will. At least not to the same degree.
Thats it for now.
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