Having taken in all that Google had to offer through two days worth of keynotes, I’m left with one standout thought, stock Nexus devices are the only way to go these days. That’s not to say that Sense or TouchWiz aren’t good, on the contrary, but if there are any concerns over future updates, stock Android and Nexus is the only way to play. So here’s my take, Google announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and while it’s more evolutionary, than revolutionary, it’s packing enough features that it’s a desirable upgrade for any Android smartphone owner. Which leads me to my concern and what I’m betting is the same concern as many of you, when will we get it on our smartphone? For Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S owners, that question has already been answered, mid-July. Unless of course you want to go the hacking route and install it now, but that’s a story for another day.
The bottom line is that while there is a lot to love about Android, perhaps the single most disappointing aspect of Android ownership is the unknown update timetable. With every Android purchase these days, I can’t help but feel I’m going to sit there wanting, waiting and hoping the next update comes and in a timeframe that doesn’t make me weep like a baby.
So, I’ve made a decision, from this moment forward, I’m only buying stock Android devices, which will likely be those that carry the “Nexus” name. HTC, Samsung, LG, and Motorola are not disavowed in my world, except they’ll just have to make the aforementioned Nexus device I’ll buy. One of the reasons I’ve kept an iPhone by my side is the certainty that I’ll get an upgrade at the same time everyone else does. Sure, I may lose some features depending on the age of my device, but when the upgrade drops for one, it drops for all iOS devices.
My one disclaimer is that a job as a tech blogger affords me the opportunity to try multiple devices so of course I’ll experiment with all sorts of Android skins in the future. However, any devices that I actually buy, from my pocket, will only be those in the Nexus line. Still, none of this changes my aggravation and frustration with Android updates and that I’m already wondering just how long it will take my Galaxy S III to receive Jelly Bean. This device is just over 10 days old and I’m already questioning if I’ll receive Jelly Bean before year’s end. Is that a tad bit dramatic? Sure, it hopefully won’t take till 2013 to get Jelly Bean on Samsung’s flagship device, but the fact that I can even raise that as a concern is leading me straight into a Nexus-only Android lifestyle. I hear the weather in Nexus-ville is beautiful year-round.