State of Android

Fri Nov 1, 2013

Google released Kit Kat today, their latest iteration of Android, along with the Nexus 5. As a flagship nexus device, the 5 looks awesome, but I’m still not sold on LG as a manufacturer.

Let’s talk about the software side first. I must admit, I was disappointed when HTC stopped supporting upgrades for my HTC One S a mere 15 months after its release. But today Google revealed that it is on an 18-month obsolescence cycle, which isn’t much better I guess. Given that ¬†contracts are now two years in Canada, that means nexus users will be left out in the cold for about 6 months. But that’s only if you get the phone at launch.

In lieu of a full OS upgrade, I’d love to see a “Google Experience” launcher for all Android devices. Launchers are gaining some serious traction. And no, I’m not talking about the lame Facebook launcher (they had the right idea though - control the entire UI). Launchers that offer vast customization such as¬†Themer, which is still in Beta right now, look pretty exciting. Right now, the Kit Kat launcher is for the nexus only, but bringing Google Now to everybody’s homescreen would be a big win.

On the hardware side of things, we’re still waiting for the next generation of the nexus 10. I’m seriously looking at jumping into the tablet market, so am comparing all the latest offerings right now. I’ll write something up when I’ve made my final decision.

Android can be messy, but is still the most fun you can have on a phone right now. I’m still digging mine, even though I’m stuck on 4.1.1. When the time comes to upgrade (at the end of 2015 unfortunately), I’ll be looking seriously at the nexus line instead of HTC. Even though it only buys me an extra three months.

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