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Why I’ll never go back to a non-Google Experience device

I have been an Android user for my mobile phone for over two years now and using their tablets almost as frequently. I started with the HTC EVO 4G, and have possessed more than ten (no seriously) Android tablets, phones and devices since then. I can (and do) root everything I own, installing custom ROMs and using root only applications to keep my devices synced and ensure continuity of user experience. However, I am no longer just going to wait on developers to ensure this service, I will hereforth abstain from non-Google Experience devices.

As Google I/O kicks off today, and they likely unveil their first Nexus Tablet (which at $200, we all know I’ll buy), pay attention to discussions of “Jelly Bean ETA” and how Google plans to ensure non-fragmentation. There are so many forms of Google’s Android OS that it would be silly to list them – but when only seven percent of all devices are on the version (Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0.x) released back in November and they ready a new release (Jelly Bean, Android 4.1.x), Google has to control device manufacturers to ensure continuity of user experience.

But, I digress. After two years of using Android devices, I have made a decision, I will only purchase devices direct from Google, only GSM phones unlocked to any carrier. When Google releases the next Nexus smartphone, I will purchase it as well, but only from them. So, when paying attention to Google I/O, make sure to see who is promising to get rid of their OEM skin, and to remain allied with Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

Today, I use a modified version of the AOSP on all my devices (AOKP). They take directly from AOSP and tweak it a little (adding amazing customization options). Thus, I am able to maintain   a constant  experience and know the options. While there are 30+ devices supported by AOKP, it is not all of them, not even close. However, every single Google Experience device is supported, as well many others are.

I am sick of counting on OEMs to deliver timely updates. I am tired of crappy OEM skins – TouchWiz, Sense, Blur, etc. I want my Android, and I want it clean. Google is still offering the Galaxy Nexus GSM for only $399 on the Play Store.  While it’s not as powerful as the HTC One X or the Samsung Galaxy SIII in pure horsepower or benchmarks, it has the strongest developer base in Google (as well the third-party developer community).

When Google offers the Galaxy Nexus GSM plus the allegedly forthcoming Asus 7″ tablet, you’ll be able to get a full tablet and smartphone experience for $600, roughly the cost of any other major smartphone without network discount.  While I’ll probably lose out on some pretty awesome devices (Galaxy Notes, Asus Transformer), I want the real Android experience, and will not settle for anything less. Join my movement, and stick only to Google Experience devices from here on out.

This post by was first published at CTOvision.com.

Read the original blog entry...

About Bob Gourley
Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com

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