Result of inconsistent Android updates: I no longer care

Summary:After years of complaining about my Android devices not getting the latest updates, I realize I no longer care. I don't think that's what the Android folks intended.

Owning an Android device has always been the same when it comes to major OS updates. Whether the fault of OEMS or carriers, most device owners don't get major Android updates when they roll out. Heck, many don't get them at all.

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Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

That's the situation I have with my two Android devices. I've owned them longer than most gadgets, and neither have the latest version of Android, aka KitKat. The inconsistent Android update situation has led me to realize I no longer care about them.

That's a serious realization as I am a gadget freak and a tech addict. Normally I want the latest and greatest technology which includes both hardware and software. I like knowing that my gear is state-of-the-art tech-wise. Except when it comes to Android.

The abysmal situation has led me to totally lose interest in Android updates, and whether or not I get them.

My lack of interest is a direct result of the way Android works. Most device owners don't get new versions of Android when they roll out, and many never get them at all. The only sure way to get the current version, which is now KitKat, is to buy a new device that ships with it.

That's not always a certainty as many new devices don't ship with the latest. It means buyers have to do a lot of homework just to make sure they get the current version of Android.

Sure you can root your device and put an unofficial version of Android on it, but that's not the way things should be. That means you lose any official updates that happen to roll out for your device, latest version of Android or not.

I've owned a lot of Android devices since the beginning, and I've rarely had the latest version of the OS on them. This situation has directly led me to not care anymore about them. It's no longer important to me to have the latest version, and that's not really what the OEMs nor Google should want. My lack of interest means I have no intention of buying a new Android device to replace my phone nor my tablet, just to have the latest OS.

I just keep on using my Galaxy Note 2 phone and my Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet, each with its old version of Android. I know I likely will never get KitKat for them, or if I do it will be after the next version comes out. Like most Android device owners, I will always be behind.

This has led me to totally lose interest in Android updates, and whether or not I get them. My lack of interest is why I couldn't tell you a single feature in KitKat, nor what is expected in the next update to come.

That is opposite how I feel about all the other platforms. I keep an eye on information about them and how improvements will help me. That's because on other platforms I know I will get the updates.

I look forward to OS updates on iOS and Windows 8 as I know I'll get better use out of my devices that run them. That's the way it should be, especially for a tech addict like me.

That's what makes my lack of interest in Android so significant. The Android system has killed my enthusiasm for future versions of the OS and what they might bring. I can't have them anyway so why should I care?

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Smartphones, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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