As many of you know, I have been a vocal supporter of the Google Android platform. While my support for Android remains stable, it is, regretably, showing signs of stress.
Since picking up my first Android device nearly a year ago, I have noticed, and read about, a number of little buggy things cropping up with the Android operating system. Now, we are beginning to see Android-based tablets coming to market. First was the Samsung Galaxy Tab, running Android 2.2. Today, people can pick up the Motorola XOOM. In the lead up to the launch of the XOOM, Google gave quite a song-and-dance about the tweaks to Android for tablet computers, in the form of the latest operating system release — Honeycomb. Like many techies, I was anxious to see the improvements and, admittedly, have viable alternatives to the iPad. (I think good options from Apple, Google, HP and Microsoft makes the entire device category better.)
Sadly, the comments in nearly every article, blog and video, say the same thing about Honeycomb. “It’s nice, but not quite ready.” What the…?! Check out this unboxing video by Kevin Tofel at the tech site GigoOm.
I cannot imagine for a minute that Apple would release a product that wasn’t ready for primtime. Well…ok…notwithstanding the whole iPhone 4 antenna design issue. You get what I’m saying. I want Google to succeed with Android.
Basically, though, it’s as if Google is content with releasing software in Beta form. That has been the company’s M.O. for some time with its web-based applications, where nearly everything is in a perpetual Beta state. However, for an operating system that powers mobile devices and tablets to be so shaky out of the box? That’s unacceptable. Look, I understand that no technological product will be perfect out of the box; but how about delivering something near the mark? Motorola and the other device manufacturers should demand more from Google. Unfortunately, in the race to catch, or beat, Apple, companies are willing to make compromises and cut corners just to have a product on the shelf. When you’re asking consumers to plunk down $800 for a tablet computer, it had better be more than an experiment, where end users are merely Beta testers.
Come on Google…do better!