Thursday, January 14, 2016

Android Lollipop is Incredibly, Unbelievably Bad

Those who know me will attest that it takes a vary serious effort to rattle me to the point where I'd start saying things like "I hate X". I am even more tolerant to the shortcomings of software products. For example, I never shared majority's outspokenly negative view of Windows ME or Windows Vista (Starting with Vista "Start" menu has become moot as search was the quickest way to find and start a program or a document). I could easily deal with problems of those operating systems. In fact, I considered them rather minor, and the reaction of the public overblown. And, I started using computers when MS DOS was the main OS, then I switched to Windows 3.1 and used every version of Windows since then. I spent a few so-so years in the iOS ecosystem and about as much in the Android universe. I have never complained. So now that we've established the baseline of my pain threshold, let me get to the point.

Android Lollipop, you did it. I hate you. My wife does too. In my view, Lollipop is the worst OS, bar none. We used to have Google Nexus 4 phones running Kit Kat smoothly and dutifully. No complaints at all. One day they were "upgraded" to Lollipop, which made our handsets unusable. Not just very slow, but Lollipop terminating and unloading our apps was simply incredible. Podcasts that stop in the middle while running in the background? Check. Phone app that takes 45 seconds to show up while you need to make a call rather urgently? Check. Camera app that shows up a minute after the moment of interest has passed, and then holding your phone hostage for another 30-40 seconds? Oh yeah, all the time! Keyboard that draws letters in the virtual keyboard "button" squares at the rate of one per second? I saw that too.

After tolerating that disaster for a couple of months, we sold Nexus 4 sets on eBay and got LG G2s. It was a great hardware for a value phone, running Kit Kat simply beautifully: not a hitch, very snappy - just a joy to use. Then the terrible day has come - the day of forcible upgrade by LG or whoever is the overlord pushing "upgrades" to our phones. Now our LG G2s are almost as slow and unbearable as Nexus 4s were, except we can't justify buying another hardware less than a year after previous phone purchase. We are stuck in the Lollipop inferno for now.

I understand that this could have been phone manufacturer's fault, but eventually the buck stops with Google. Brief internet search shows that even most recent and expensive hardware is susceptible to the Lollipop slowness curse just as well. Sadly, our exit from Apple ecosystem few years before was precipitated by their very similar software update approach that made the experience of keeping up with hardware miserable.

There is simply no excuse for the Android Lollipop being so incredibly bad. It's really hard to fathom why and how thies disaster of an OS has passed the mesh of Google quality control. I will give Google one more chance with Marshmallow, but if it turns out anything like the experience with the Lollipop, the dreaded switch of the ecosystems might be the only way forward..

For shame, Google.

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