Open Letter to Google: Fix Android Now

Open Letter to Google: Fix Android Now

Dear Google,

I love Android.  Ever since Judie gave me my G1 I was in love.  You had an OS that was pretty good then, even better now and getting better all the time.  So I don’t have too many problems with your OS.  However, the problems that remain are ones that are bad enough to want me to consider buying an iPhone.  Yes they are that bad.

First my complaints about the OS.  I know it’s not entirely your fault, but the current state of updates on different devices is crazy.  Here we are almost 4 months into the new year and 5 months since Android 4.0 and the Galaxy Nexus came on the scene and there is only one phone and a handful of tablets running Android 4.0.  There’s been a lot of excuses, but this is really inexcusable if you ask me.  There should be more handsets with this available by now I would hope.  The current state of Android has me worried.  I stood up for you Google.  I said Android has choice, not fragmentation and I stand by that today.  However you are not doing anything to make this feel more like choice and less like fragmentation.  Also, my Droid 2 which is running a stock rom seems to still have issues with random reboots.  My G1 had this as well.  My Asus Transformer running Android 4 ALSO has this.  Why is this happening?  Noone seems to know but I see it all over the forums.  It’s not enough to make me switch, but it may soon be.

Also, it kind of frustrates me that you have moved away from USB Mass Storage.  My Droid 2 is so easy to get stuff on and off of thanks to this.  Plug my tablet in and the only way I seem to be able to get stuff on and off the device is via Media Transfer Protocol which only seems to be well supported by Windows.  My phone works great with Linux but with my tablet I have to use some other way to load up video and media on the internal storage or the MicroSD.

Finally is your brand new store.  Google Play isn’t the best of names, but that aside it’s still far from perfect technically.  I heard that Temple Run had finally hit Android.  So I visit the Google Play store using my browser running on the desktop – which is my favorite way to use the store – and search for Temple Run but was unable to find it.  This isn’t the first time search has failed for me on your store.  It’s getting to the point where I halfway expect to not find what I am looking for.  Google you make the best search engine for searching the web.  Why can’t you seem to get this right in your store?  It’s frustrating.

While I like your stuff Google, it’s frustrating to see the trend continue.  I stand up for Android.  Just ask anyone on the Gear Diary team.  As an Android user, I implore you: Fix it.  If you don’t, you may lose one of your strongest supporters.  You already lost my friend, Carly.  You may lose me.

Respectfully Yours,


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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

12 Comments on "Open Letter to Google: Fix Android Now"

  1. The storage is a huge thing for me.  With my Droid 4 I simply plug and go and it works on all of my PCs and Macs.  But the Samsung Galaxy SII is a multi-step process, and with my work security it is completely blocked!

  2. Francis Scardino | March 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

    Have not experienced MTP yet but not looking forward to it. Even my Evo View does not use MTP running Honeycomb. Since MTP is native Windows then those running XP/Vista/7 should not have any issues but those with Linux and MAC OSX will need some third party. I think MTP can be good just not the way I’ve seen it so far. The best part is that it allows you to mount your storage on both the phone and the computer at the same time. I think support will improve since it’s a new USB type standard. Let’s hope sooner than later. 

    As far as updates Joel I really don’t know what to say. I think Google needs to do something but what that is I certainly don’t know. Today Android dropped 4.0.4 to the a bunch of devices which means carriers/mfg’s had it for a while. My suggestion is to go Nexus if don’t want to root and do it yourself. I think both carriers and Manufacturers need to ramp up development to help them stay ahead, and Google should demand more of it from them. 

  3. One of my frustrations with Android has been the non-linear application storage model. The phone itself has only a specific amount of storage for user apps, with a separate area for storage/SD card. And while they added the ability to store apps on SD, that’s a kludge, as the apps are unavailable if you mount the SD card to a computer (and you cannot install widgets from SD-installed apps on any homescreens, as the launcher gets drawn before the SD storage is available at boot.)

    So I kind of like the idea of a single storage model that isn’t the kludgy Gingerbread/Froyo model.

    As others have pointed out, if you want OS updates, even Nexus devices on CDMA carriers is not help – the Sprint Nexus S still has no ICS update. That said, I really wonder how valuable these updates are to most users? What does ICS add that GB doesn’t have? Particularly to non-technical oriented users, who are just looking for a phone that runs some games and social network apps and browse the web, take photos, etc., what are GB users missing that ICS brings them? (Besides my first paragraph above…)

    • By that token, what does Windows 7 have that non-techies would care about over WinXP, or iOS 5 over iOS 3 or anything over anything else?

      If these were dumb phones, that would be one thing – buy it and forget it. But they are NOT. These are smartphones that cost a ton of money, have constantly changes needs and applications and so on.

      Google has come out and stated that they want to fight fragmentation, and that users are reasonable to expect a device to be updated for the life of their contract … but of course they take no accountability for anything anyway so their word is worthless – which they have demonstrated, sadly

  4. William Hawbold | March 30, 2012 at 5:31 am |

    3G came to my part of Alaska last year,and I updated my IOS to 5.something and boom,now it’s switched to 4G.Would I consider unlocking it? Nope.  

    I’ve been a PC user for decades..I’ve built my own computers,ran a small business building and repairing PCs…but for certain applications on the IOS platform,I do love my iPhone 4S.I upgraded to it from the iPhone 3G. I have 3 pcs (desktop,laptop and netbook) and I’ve been considering a tablet (one of the $100 ones through walmart) but with the Android OS,I don’t know what version and even if I were to buy one,would it be upgradeable? 

    That is the nice thing about Apple switching to Intel based processors in their desktop line. Suddenly the world got bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger in that more hardware has been supporting Intel,therefore coding applications to run on a Mac got a little bit easier and smaller because Apple doesn’t have proprietary processors anymore..but their OS is. Did that last paragraph confuse anyone? 

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