What’s the biggest fail in Android’s history? #androidfeedback

After four and a half years and a track record full of highlights and records, it’s safe to say that Android is off to a great start.  We’ve watched over the years as various carriers and hardware makers entered the mobile space, employing Android at different levels.  Thousand of apps and billions of downloads later, we have an ecosystem that is second to none.  Unfortunately, we’ve had plenty of missteps along the way.  On second thought, there have been a lot of them.  Samsung Behold II, anyone?

We set out these past few days to find out what you think some of the bigger flubs and disasters were from Android’s history.  We tossed a few around here that might be worth adding to the list but don’t want to bias anyone.  OK… Garmin, Dell Aero, and a string of MOTO FLIP series come to mind.

Below is a sampling of your feedback collected from Facebook and Twitter.  Check out what fellow Android users are saying about the biggest fails in the the history of our beloved platform.  Do you agree with them?  Did they completely forget about something?  After you’re done with the feedback, be sure to chime with your own opinions in the comments section.


Android version 1.0-2.2… Otherwise known as the phone operating system versions that you really hope you don’t have when you’re in an emergency and need to call 911 but your “Dialer App” is frozen. – David R.

Taking forever to release software updates for phones. It’s amazing what a tiny percentage of Android phones have Ice Cream Sandwich. It was released almost 6 months ago! – Andrés O.

T-Mobile hands down. Their customer service has gone to sh** on the last year and I’ve been a customer since they were Voicestream. And they lost the Nexus line. – Annette H.
Google “play store” name ….makes the entire OS seem like a kids toy – John D.
#honeycomb – Inasah I.
The oversized phones that are made now! Why the hell do we need a bigger phone? 3,7″ = max screen size imho #devolution – Eric
The Droid Razr and then the Maxx coming out like a month later. That or the bionic being delayed for like a year. – Stephen
Custom interfaces is the biggest fail. Imagine what it would be like if there was pure Android instead of sense, touchwiz etc – Asmir S.
Paid market unavailability (out of the box) in many countries. – Obai
The update partnership announced last year at I/O. We haven’t heard a peep since. Nothing has really improved. – SantoTheWriter
It’s Your Turn!
What do you think is the biggest fail in the history of Android?



  • SpyderMS

    TMO losing the Nexus line hurt pretty bad, but that’s TMO’s fail, not Android.

    Biggest fail in my opinion is slow updates and the lack of tablet/ICS optimized apps.

    • SpyderMS

      Oh also, GoogleTV

  • Android Market/Google Play Store (in general)

  • raymanunique


  • Guest

    by far the biggest fail is the lack of android updates.

    my 3 year old ipod has the latest ios. My < 1yo android phone is not even getting ics.


    • banjoonmyknee

      I don’t know, I tried to install the latest iOS on my two year old iPod Touch and it ground it to a crawl.   It’s an awful experience.     I backed off of it. But in general, I agree with you that the lack of officially sanctioned updates is awful. Good thing I never buy a phone that forces you to wait for official updates (cough, Motorola, cough). I can install ICS on my 2 year old Incredible if I care to (see AOKP ROM), though I personally think it runs much more smoothly with Gingerbread.

  • Justin Marden

    Maybe this one is just me, but Motorola’s delay of the Donut update to the original Cliq and Cliq XT a few years ago always bugged me. They promised Q2, then waited until the last day of June to announce a delay in the update. Scumbag Motorola…

    • David

      I own, for now, a Defy, a feel ya, prob. going back to either Iphone or Blackberry, ENOUGH:)

  • gopmatt

    Mytouch line

  • Michael Taylor

    Custom flavors of of Android – primarily brought into play because the hardware manufacturers felt they could improve the stock experience – caused the most headaches. They are responsible for the majority of upgrade delays and misses.  They are responsible for the bloatware that caused good devices to function poorly.  They are responsible for the deep splintering of the OS base that made good apps get bad reviews because developers had to build in 100 different conditionals to keep up with the nuances of the various UIs.

  • banjoonmyknee

    The original Xoom and the Thunderbolt.   

  • Daniel

    The lack of updates. Y isnt there some sort of universal update in android, something along the lines of windows phone?

  • Cvu525

    The Kyocera Echo. Like really?? One of the most ugliest Android phones ever. It’s the Pontiac Aztek of Androids.

    • Michael Taylor

      I like my Pontiac Aztek. lol

  • The software updates.

    With iOS, Apple announce a date, the OS gets released, everyone can download + install it on their phone/tablet pretty much straight away.

    With Android you have to wait for google to release the OS, the manufacturer to do stuff to it, then your carrier does some other stuff to it, then it finally gets to you at some point. 4 middle men between you and the next version of Google Android. 

    I know things are complicated a bit because of different hardware configurations etc but to wait 6 months is pretty ludicrous. 

    • KC

      That’s cuz Android have  a whole wide range of devices to choose from.  Thus it takes a little longer to cater to all of them.  With your iOS, there is only a model and if you dislike that particular model, you have no other choices.

      • That Guy

        But they, ya know, WORK. If my Mom can send me one email from her Android before the contract goes out, I will smash my iOS devices on the spot. I’m that sure it will not happen.

  • lizardlick

    Trying to compete with the iPhone. Its 2012 and android is still trying to compete with the iPhone 4.

    • Lfpov

      Do you have nothing better to do than go onto an Android blog and troll?

    • KC

      Yeah, your closed system iPhone doesn’t even have an NFC.  What shitty device that is. And some your earlier models dun even allow the devices to become Wifi hotspots.  Really closed system device.

      • Me

        Original Nexus badged as made by Google, who couldn’t make a tangible product with 300,000 nerds combined. That was SHITTY! Try any Samsung screen’s .2 second delay. My first one ended up embedded in a wall.

    • LizardLickIsAFag

      Lizard Likes Liking same sex items.

      • Guest

        You know, I kinda think you can disparage iOS without infantile homophobic remarks.

  • David

    I’ve owned a “smartphone”, of some kind for 3 or more yrs. Googles biggest prob. is itself. Whether it be updating OS, so eveyone, now matter what phone mfg. device they may own,or carrier they use,should all have the latest OS system, if the CPU & RAM can handle it, PUSH IT OUT THERE! At least w/ Apple’s iOS, everyone is uniformally on same page. This makes it easier on developers, consumers & carriers. A consumer should not, and in increasing numbers NOT, having to guess or wonder if or when, there device, they spent hard earned money in will, in short order, be irrelevent. No, Apples, Iphone, is not as “customizable”, but its “solid”, and I know what I’m getting. Its been a few years now,GOOGLE,get it together, or get out of the game.

    • Michael Taylor

      I feel like you don’t understand the SDLC in place here.  Google puts out the OS upgrades in as timely a manner as Apple.  The problem isn’t Google.  That stock code then has to be passed over to the hardware manufacturers and carriers, who then have to create a custom build for no other reason than their own need for identity and sponsorship, which in turn gets passed between them 100 times until it has taken so long that when you finally get your upgrade there is a new Nexus device out with the next version of the OS.  I have been a ‘smartphone’ guy since the original T-Mobile Sidekick back in 2002 (ish), and I have never seen hardware manufacturers drop the ball like they do now.

  • David Rea

    How’s about Airpush?

  • Probably built in things that can’t be removed, just in general. Built in NFL apps or need for speed should at least be removable. Custom UIs should also be just the default option at most, with the vanilla interface and apps (dialer, messaging, email, etc.) available if we choose to use them. Of course these customizations also slow down updates, which is another huge disadvantage. 

  • webslappy

    I forget what it was called but the dual screen Sprint phone was a laughably bad idea. Just brutal.

    • webslappy

      Just looked it up – Kyocera Echo

  • Remopandowsky

    Samsung Galaxy S. The phone with an OS so tweaked Samsung can’t make it update.

  • An Observer

    The failure to negotiate good prepaid 3g packages with the US carriers. As most tablets sold are wifi, and tethering is the done thing, this is limiting the usefulness of most of the hardware being sold. There are millions of tablet sitting in homes acting as glorified coffee table books.

    If android tablets are to sell in mainstream numbers, they need to offer flexibility in use that just does not and is unlikely to exist undet foreseeable conditiobs.

    Perhaps google should have bought one of the carriers, instead of motorola.

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  • Kpennett


  • Nsamrtinez79

    Sprint’s Evo was an awesome phone, but we waited 2 years for wimax 4g that never made it to my area and now they are terminating it? I’m loving my 4g lte with verizon now!!!!

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  • Moose

    1. Although it’s nice to have such a variety of form factors to choose
    from in hardware, Google COULD HAVE set a standard for a docking
    interface.  There are a bunch of 3rd party devices that you can easily
    doc your i(whatever) to.   It’d be a nice convenience to buy that “boom
    box” device of choice where I could easily dock my android device to it
    BECAUSE it has the standard docking port.  Sure I can buy the iDock
    adapter cable, but that defeats the purpose of the dock.

    2.  Google TV  –  Good Concept, bad execution.  Needs more content, and a
    better “WOW” factor.  Hopefully the next generation of the software
    will be stabler.

  • nd5

    Google’s initial sales model for the nexus one.  Only discounted for new activation’s, no upgrades, no family plans.  Or you could just buy it for an arm and a leg.  They really tied t-mobile’s hands on it.  They thought they were smarter than everyone else… but nobody wanted to play Google’s way.  

  • linuxguy

    The thing that made Android launch is the thing with the biggest fail: Dalvik VM. it is the root cause of all lagginess, unresponsiveness, and lack of performance. Period. Those who have done any professional RTOS/embedded development on ARMLinux, ThreadX, etc. will all agree. The motherboard, CPU, GPU, cache, and RAM all have 10 times more power than they need to be, going all the way back to the Nexus One. Unfortunately, Android, you’ve got the hype, the media, and the Apple fanboys on your side for hardware manufacturers to scare consumers into buying the latest hardware every 3 months. Most low level programmers love the openness of Android but hate that Dalvik VM forces all programming efforts to be in Java. This is the real, hard truth that hurts. By the way, if you are not a C/C++/assembler programmer nor have written device drivers or kernel modules then forget trying to understand this post because you’ll honestly never get it.

    • LordHighMocus

      ALL HALE Snotty Assembler Boy!

      I agree with you on the technical principle, but from a business perspective when I can easily port my Java libraries from one device (Android) to another (Nokia – yech) without having to worry about low-level stuff, I’ll make more money by writing more apps, than wasting my time writing low-level stuff for one device.  I get an app done, I move onto the next one.  This is why the concept of RAD was created.   Is it always clean and elegant?  No.  The market as a whole doesn’t care if you are a CODE SNOB.  They just want the latest and greatest app available.  AND As long as your app does what it is supposed to do, and doesn’t crash your phone, and you provide timely updates, they really don’t care what language it is written in. 

      Oh  BTW,  I used to write drivers for printers.   Pretty boring stuff.  

    • Me

      They’re phones, bro. I know that open source folks are geniuses, but at least one thing in life should be friendly and not need tinkering all the time. Just imagine if people who play games religiously, etc. start tinkering with their vehicles and all the lives motoring around them. It’s not that far-fetched of an analogy. Us fan boys don’t have to reset our phones every 2-3 months after they’ve contracted a virus.

  • JLFitzpatrick

    IMHO it’s the lack of compatibility with existing contact lists. Particularly the decision to ignore the Categories field when mapping contacts. I use Outlook and a Blackberry because regardless of what you think of these tools, for us productive folks they just work, every time without fail. I sync the BB via USB and it’s seamless. I use categories extensively and while I was considering switching to a keyboard Android I am so glad I researched this first. If I would have lost the ability to filter my contacts by category like I’ve read horror stories about that would have been a huge problem and a complete waste of time, which I can’t afford to waste. Our company uses GMail and of course the same problem exists not mapping the category field, but fortunately Outlook keeps me productive. Too bad because I like some Android devices, the Motorola Admiral comes to mind as a top pick. But reviews for 3rd Party Apps to keep things truly in sync with Outlook are scary. Either they work great, or are a complete disaster which keeps my BB on the air for now. Other pet peeve, you hold a BB character key and the character is capitalized for you. You hold an Android character key and you get character variations you’ll never use, requiring two handed typing to input the character you really want. Android had the perfect device to copy (BB) and yet they went in another direction. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

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  • That guy

    Yes, Daniel! And when the heck will there be an intuitive way to close running apps on these things? My GAWD, they are obstinate for some basic functions!!

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