Android Option Letdown

Google has let me down. Well maybe not just Google, but certainly the whole Open Handset Alliance. I'm not asking for too-delete much really, but apparently it's still too much for them to deliver.

Let me back up. I'm 18 months into my contract with AT&T, which means I'm eligible for an early upgrade. My iPhone 4 is starting to show it's age. It's like it's got arthritis. Just slowing down from the weight of iOS 6 on it's old bones A4 processor.

The thing is, I'm not really a big fan of iOS. I find it constrictive and simplistic. The notification system is still ham-fisted and annoying. The new maps app is embarrassingly bad from a data point of view, and had we had actually followed it, would taking us off course at least a half dozen times on our trip last month. If I never have to see another strip of grey linen again it'll be too soon.

Why is it on iOS that when I get a tweet notification and it shows me the tweet in the notification, but when I open the twitter app to reply, it knows nothing of the tweet that notifications has just shown me and downloads it all over again? Same in Facebook. Just annoying. There's a similar issue with email. If you go into Mail and there is message there, it shows you the first couple lines in preview, but when you click on it  the phone tells you that the message is not yet downloaded. Well then how the hell was it just showing me the first couple of lines? Why can't it show me at least that much while I wait? Infuriating.

I'm a big Google user. email is hosted in Google Apps, I use Google Calendar with my partner, Google Drive to coordinate the podcast, and Google maps are the gold standard. Gmail app on Android is glorious. Gmail app on iOS is a wrapper around the web app essentially. I really hope the Sparrow team gets things moving over there. If I could get good Gmail and Google Maps apps on iOS, I'd feel much less trapped.

What I want is an Android phone you say? Well yes, I do. I had a Motorola Droid before this iPhone. What I want is an Android phone with state-of-the-art CPU, IPS display, LTE, a really great camera, and stock JellyBean. And do you know what? It doesn't exist. The new Nexus 4 has no LTE, which as an AT&T user in NYC means that would barely be able to check my email on 3G, just like I can barely do now. Most of the other hot phones have problems too. LG Optimus uses a custom skin and has a locked boot loader. The Samsung S111 has an AMOLED display. Maybe the HTC ONE+? Ya, I was looking at that one and went to play with all of the above at the store the other day. They're all HUGE. I mean enormous. I'm fine with a 4" screen, so don't need a phone that feels like a small tablet. Unfortunately, that's the direction all of the Android manufacturers have gone. Way too big for me.

So here I am with an iPhone 5 on order from AT&T, because I didn't have a better option. You had your chance Google. I was ready to switch back. Apple, love the hardware, but can't stand the OS. What I want is Apple hardware running stock Android and that ain't gonna happen...yet anyway.