Some of you know already, but due to Microsoft’s lack of innovation in the late 90’s and almost ALL of the years up to 2010, I gave up using a Windows-based mobile operating system. It was a painful decision, but based on what I saw from Microsoft, the decision had to be made. I could take up pages writing that story, however, this post is more about my Android Jelly Bean installation experience which I hope may help more of you than are willing to admit. Based on the myITforum traffic numbers, there are a quite a few of you that use an Android mobile OS to access the site. iOS is still king, but, based on the stats, Android is catching up quickly, with the Microsoft mobile OS scratching and clawing not to fall off the top 10 and the Blackberry…well…what’s Blackberry?
Anyway, I finally received my Jelly Bean upgrade availability on my Motorola Xoom yesterday. Every hour or so, for two days, I did a manual “check for updates” function on the tablet, anticipating my scheduled update rotation. Finally. It showed up late evening on July 30th, 2012. Watching the Internet reports, I was pretty excited to get it. Folks had been talking about the new features and the new speed functions.
The download was around 80MB and once downloaded, the installation was QUICK! From download to full installation (or what I thought was a full installation) it took a little under 10 minutes. That’s amazing. Yes, yes, it’s just a tablet, not a complex OS like Windows with hundreds of apps, drivers, personality settings – oh wait. It’s just like a Windows OS, just not as complex, I guess?
So, once installed I wanted to jump straight into using it to experience the new features and the blazing new speed that everyone had been talking about. So, then, what the wha—? Jelly Bean had turned my extremely useful Android tablet into an excruciatingly slow, unusable piece of techno-trash. I was upset, frustrated, and already attempting to figure out how to go back to the previous Android OS version.
Fortunately, other things cropped up that I had to take care of, so the tablet sat alone for an hour or so before I was able to come back to it. During that hour away of solitude the OS righted itself, almost as if it had heard my frustrations and like a bad puppy tried to make amends. I’ve not seen this reported anywhere else, but apparently, the OS had to “bake” a bit. During the initial upgrade there were several processes that had to take place to ensure proper installation and I’m positive now that those process continue running even after the “logon” screen becomes available. You may think that the upgrade is complete, but it’s obviously not. So, if Jelly Bean seems to degrade your tablet’s performance, give it a bit. Let it bake. Or better yet, plan ahead and start the upgrade and walk away for an hour or so.
OK. So, what do I think of Jelly Bean now that the upgrade has been completed (fully completed)? I can’t say it’s much better – just different in a few spots. The speed definitely seems improved, but that could simply be all appearance since app switching has new transition effects. There are some nuances that will take some getting used to. For example, there’s a new “clear all” notification option that I just figured out this morning (the old method utilized and “X”, the new method uses a “stacked notification” icon), and when a calendar notification comes up and you click on it, you are now whisked away directly to your calendar each time instead of a pop-up screen for your appointment list (not sure I like this). Google Now cards are kind of neat, but I’ve not done enough with the tablet since the upgrade for my card list to show anything more than the weather. Voice search is amazing – and much better. I think I’m going to have to use this more. Google’s Chrome mobile browser is still a work in progress as it’s still the slowest Android browser in a stack of browsers. Anytime I have to hit the web using Chrome, I clench my teeth a bit because I know I’ll be waiting around for a bit. It’s 2012 and I’m an impatient man.
I’m still playing with it, but I’m no longer completely frustrated with it – which is the best part.