With no solid business productivity apps, as well as continually perpetuating the 'toxic hellstew', Google's mobile OS is still missing from my personal tech stable two years after I abandoned it. But there's some hope for it yet.
Prior to this development, my ZDNet colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' "Toxic Hellstew" was simply a spicy broth that might give an unfortunate diner a bad case of heartburn. A particularly potent Bún bò Huế, if one was to use a culinary analogy.
As I had explained, both of my Android smartphones turned out to be victims of carrier and manufacturer abandonment.
The Motorola Droid Bionic, which I had waxed rhapsodical and was so hopeful about back in September 2011, took an eternity to get upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich (the great unifying Android release) from Gingerbread, and didn't get Jelly Bean until April 2013, a full 10 months after that version's release.
OK, so maybe buying a Motorola product and hoping it would get timely updates from Google, which had only just purchased the company, was wishful thinking. In reality, it ended up being completely hopeless. And we all know what happened with Motorola.
In 2014, I'm now on my third generation of iPhone purchases and my second generation of Windows Phone. I also ditched Verizon like a bad habit, but that's a different story.
And that Google Nexus 10 tablet? Yeah, well, when it finally got Kit Kat (4.2) it was missing features that other tablets got in their own Kit Kat builds, because it turned out the SoC that it and Samsung chose for it was underpowered.
Oops. Guess what: The Kit Kat upgrade made it slower. Oh, and a next-generation large-format Nexus tablet? Google hasn't released one yet. The future for Android is smaller tablets and bigger phones, it seems.
So it's not like I tossed Android out in the cold overnight. It worked extremely hard at making me reject it wholeheartedly, which is a tough thing to do, considering the fact that I have always considered myself a technology gourmand who keeps a mix of hardware and software around for educational and recreational purposes.
But I also have to use the tech, so it can't be strictly a toy. I've got a certain amount of discretionary income that I can spend on stuff for research purposes, but it isn't unlimited. And I'm not in the business of reviewing mobile devices like my colleagues Matthew Miller and James Kendrick, so OEMs aren't lending me equipment constantly.
Most, if not all, of the apps and services for Android exist on iOS and also on Windows. And in the case of iOS relative to Android, the apps are better quality and the hardware is simply faster and better engineered.
In terms of entertainment apps, there's no contest between an Android tablet device and an iPad. We can argue about the UX and what Google is doing with material design in Lollipop until we are blue in the face, but if the game or app I use doesn't run better on an Android tablet, it doesn't matter.
And in terms of Google's own services, I'm not seeing a lot of value add-on for Android relative to what they write for iOS. In fact, I would say that Google's iOS apps, overall, are as good as their Android equivalents, the only exception to that possibly being Gmail. But even its new Inbox app is functionally equivalent.
Aside from all of this, one of the biggest reasons I stopped using Android was that for real business productivity, it was useless, and integrated poorly with enterprise messaging and authentication systems like Exchange and Active Directory (and, yes, even Lotus Notes when I was an IBMer).
How do I know, if I spend $400 on a Nexus 9 with Lollipop or whatever top-end Samsung tablet device that's out there today, that I won't end up with another hemorrhoid hellstew of software upgrades again? Presumably, when Mallowmar, Mars Bar, or whatever comes up, a year from now?
Yeah, I've got my enterprise issues with iPads. That's well documented. But Android? I have fundamental issues with how Google and the OEMs support their products after they sell them.
Until that problem is solved, I'm going to be extremely reluctant to spend my hard-earned money on Android tablets, let alone smartphones.
Were your Android software upgrades by Google and your device vendor long awaited and painful? Talk back and let me know.