I’ve been a diehard Android fanboy since the beginning of time, while i’d like to say that I’ve been an Android user since the G1, sadly I can’t. My very first Android device was the Samsung Moment, a candy bar slider running “Cupcake” that Samsung end of life’d after only about a 6 month sales period. Then “Eclair” and “Gingerbread” came out and I was very excited to get all these new features only to have my hopes dashed by Samsung and Sprint’s decision to let the phone die. Granted it was crappy hardware that had no business being in any sort of device but I spent my hard earned $200 on the thing and wanted to use it a lot longer than 6 freaking months! I don’t remember what the new hotness was after that but I soon got a HTC Evo then the Evo 4G, followed by the HTC One M7 then the One Plus One. I loved all those phones but one thing kept annoying me, updates or lack there of.
Every geek knows that the hardware will change faster than the software that runs on it but the premise of computing has always been that if you by good enough hardware you can usually use it for two or even three generations of software. Desktop operating systems have been the biggest demonstration of that. For example if you bought a computer during the fiasco that was Windows Vista ( which wasn’t as bad as people claimed btw) you can still install Windows 10 in July when it is released, granted you may not get all the features like secure boot and the overall experience may not be excellent but you’d still have a perfectly serviceable computer. So why on earth after I spent my hard earned money do companies simply abandon hardware or take their sweet time to release software updates? Now I admit there is no single person to blame in the flaming wreck of an ecosystem called Android. In fact I blame everyone involved from Google, to the Oems and especially the greedy ass cell phone carriers the world over. If I paid for something that has an expected life time of 2 to three years I expect it to be 100% supported for that entire length of time. If this was a business to business transaction this kind of bull would never fly. When you purchase a product, whether it is software or hardware, in enterprise there is usually a service level agreement along with a support period, support is such a big deal that there are companies that entire income is based on software support services. Considering how often us consumers purchase products we should get the same level of commitment to continuous updates for the entire supported period for that device.
Enter Apple and the iPhone, I don’t consider myself to be an Apple fanboy, granted I own at least one item in their entire hardware product line. Not because I’m in the camp that Tim Cook and company know best, but because their stuff just tends to work and work well. I left Windows behind for the most part not because I think that OS X is the best thing to grace a personal computing device but because as a power user I appreciate the fact that simple things like an SSH client is built in by default and if I ever need to compile some source code it usually just matter of installing the Xcode command line tools and running “make” then “make install”, again even in that situation where I had to take an extra step it “just works.” I remember when I was learning Rails Development I had a seriously frustrating time trying to get certain ruby gems to work on Windows, before the smart asses around you say something like install Cygwin note that that is not the point it just doesn’t just work I need to spend considerable effort to get Cygwin set up properly and even after that it’s by no means a sure thing that everything I need will work without expending more time and energy.
OK so that entire paragraph basically turned into one giant tangential rant, but hopefully you get my point. Now to finish off this post let me just say that I love Android! I think it’s the best mobile operating system currently on the market and yes I’ve tried Windows Phone. I love the fact that Android makes no assumptions about it’s user base, you are free to use it as is or modify the hell out of it. At one point in my life I frequently indulged in personalizing my phones but as I got older and time became another precious resource, I stopped making too many changes. For me having a reliable device that works is what’s important. Also most important is knowing that for the entire supported life span of my iPhone 6 Plus I will get every software fix that Apple releases day and date as the rest of the world without waiting for “ carrier testing” or whatever other lame ass excuse Oems and carriers use for why they abandon their customers, flagrantly giving them the finger while they move on to their next money making scheme like a meth addict suffering from ADD.