Excuses No More
Many of you who have seen me in the past few months have noticed that I’ve been using a variety of Android phones. These phones have invariably been running Ice Cream Sandwich, and more recently, Jelly Bean, most often through a series of open source projects, most notably Cyanogenmod, which allow Android users to load phones with newer version of Android than their own phone makers are bothering to support. So it was fair to say that, despite the fact that I had many complaints about the seeming instability of Android, or over this battery life problem or that camera crash, it could easily be blamed on unstable and novice implementations.
Recently, however, I have been using a Nexus S, one of Google’s own halo phones, running an official version of their newest Android variant, 4.1 aka Jelly Bean (JB). I was excited- here I was finally going to be able to experience Android in its most ideal situation- on hardware that Google developed (with Samsung) running software Google itself created. Of course, it wasn’t going to make miracles happen, such as speed up a phone that chokes on the (absurdly) high RAM requirements of Android 4.x, but surely I would at least find the Android experience so many users seem to be choosing.
Instead, I find myself after just a couple weeks using the phone, stuck in a perfect storm of calamities. Having seen the phone be stable for a week in Seattle, I decided to bring only this one phone with me for my trip to India, in which I would be relying on my phone as effectively my only communications device. Upon arriving here, I’ve suddenly been experiencing a series of Google and Android service crashes. These crashes have crippled my one absolute need from a phone- Gmail. Having tried to follow along with online tutorials, I’ve tried resetting setting x and clearing cache y, but to no avail. Instead, I’m left with a catch-22 of needing to hard reset my phone to (possibly) fix my Gmail experience, but requiring a boatload of (expensive) connectivity time to be able to sync my content and contacts back on. So I’m left with a choice- email or phone- that even my crippled Blackberry never forced upon me.
Forget transit directions or tethering or all the rest- I just want my damned email.