Bean There, Done That: Android Jelly Bean Announcements

It was a year ago this month that, inspired by Karl Fife and growing frustrated with my G2, I ordered a Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus. Google was not yet selling the handset directly so I ordered it from an online deals web site. I paid just over $500 for the handset, which would sell for just $350 just eight weeks later when Google began to offer it direct.

Of course, the Galaxy Nexus arrived running the newly minted Ice Cream Sandwich flavor of the Android OS. It wasn’t until Q4 that it received the Jelly Bean update. The aged G2 was upgraded from Froyo to ICS , but that’s where it’s path ended.

The leap from Gingerbread on the G2 to Jelly bean on the Galaxy Nexus was considerable. ICS was clearly better than it’s predecessor, but Jelly Bean was vastly better than ICS. The Galaxy Nexus experience inspired the purchase of the Nexus 7 when it became available, but that is around nine months ago.

I am constantly befuddled by the steady parade of announcements proclaiming device XYZ is getting Jelly Bean. I was reminded of this today when a customer told me that his Droid Bionic just received Jelly Bean.

Really, Jelly Bean just now? That’s Incredible…and Bionic…and RAZR…and MAXX…and various other ‘droids as well!

It simply amazes me how long it takes for vendors and carriers to roll out Android updates. Motorola isn’t the only laggard. HTC, Sony and others exhibit similar behavior.

This fact alone has me convinced of the wisdom of staying with the Nexus series of devices. If you’re choosing the Android experience then you might as well choose the current Android experience, without any bloatware from the carrier. You’ll get the latest OS on day one, and fastest access to the updates as they become available. It just makes so much sense.

  • Lifespeed

    I agree completely and intend to stick with Nexus devices. Unfortunately, those of us who live in the SF Bay Area, where Verizon >> AT&T, are more limited in our choices.

  • MalcolmR

    Yikes! Jelly Bean on my Bionic will break FoxFi/PDAnet support of WiFi hotspot without root. Jelly Bean patches the method used by FoxFi to provide the hotspot feature AFAIK

    • Sean Harlow

      Use an AOSP ROM and you won’t have to deal with any of those silly things. Android has built-in tethering, why people put up with such hassles to run a carrier-neutered ROM I really don’t understand.

      My ancient Evo 4G runs 4.2.2 and has never had a tethering issue since I ditched the “Sense” garbage HTC puked all over it from the factory.

      Agreed with Michael overall, when you have the choice Nexus devices are the best because you’re guaranteed AOSP support. Don’t buy an Android device without it.