Why I Hate Jellybean (Android 4.1), Also Known as WTF!

There are certain things one comes to expect from technology; that Apple will always create ultra desirable expensive products, that there is always a new addictive Angry Birds round the corner (Fruit Ninja/ Draw Something) and that updates are going to be good, with a raft of new features and exciting possibilities.

I’ve just been forced to update to the latest version of Android on my Galaxy Nexus – 4.1.1 according to my smartphone’s settings, and I’m less than impressed.

To start with, I had no desire to update at all. I’d followed the court case between Apple and Samsung with interest and the general consensus seemed to be that Apple were forcing Samsung to backwards update their new Android release, taking away some of the things that made the phone so great. The main issue in court was around the ‘Quick Search Box’ on the Nexus which lets you search phone and web, and Google decided to disable this on phones with the latest update to appease Apple – thanks Google!

Fairly obstinately I refused to partake in this, but then I was getting around 30 pop-ups a day trying to get me to update, and I’m the kind of person who checks voicemail just to get rid of that annoying icon.

So I updated, expecting little, and receiving so much crap in return. Some of my grievances are based on purely aesthetic reasons, and some are based on the new interface and ease of use. I’m not averse to change, but feel that an update should be for good, not one that’s going to annoy the heck out of users expecting something swisher, shinier and overall better.

Let me start with the home screen. Rather than just swipe to unlock I now have to look at a stupid starburst which randomly plays little orb like pixels over the screen. Necessary? No. Does it add anything to using it? No. Sure, it means I can now rotate my thumb and auto launch the camera or browser straight away (as well as unlock phone) but logistically that involves rotating your thumb in an unnatural manner so it’s actually quicker and simpler just to unlock and then one click open either service. Could I spend some time playing with the settings and change this? Yes, but why should I? I don’t expect an update to involve configuration work on my part; I want smooth out of the box better than the last version and this is not what I’m getting. My phone also crashes a LOT now which isn’t ideal either.

The next thing that you’ll notice is that the font size and style has changed. I can’t pinpoint exactly what, but the script has got more cursive and larger and it seems to take the eyes a little longer to adjust to the new size.

The notifications bar has also changedbut not for the better. It used to be that you’d get updated with missed calls and emails; but now the settings have changed so you get updated with absolutely everything, from things you want to those that just clog up your screen and make you feel like you’re drowning in a wave of unhappy yet to be updated apps. I simply don’t need that much information at my fingertips- it looks cluttered and feels overwhelming.

The biggest problem I have with Jellybean, is the settings it uses when I’m opening applications within an application – to clarify; I’m in Gmail and want to open an attachment. Up floats a pop up, would I like to use the Gallery or Pixlr-o-matic? I opt for the Gallery, but I can only choose ‘Always’ or ‘Not now’, which I have to input every freaking time (as long as I’m not an Always). Always is too much commitment for me, but I resent these pop ups happening every time I open an image – what happened to ‘ask me later’ or ‘ask me again in a week’. I’m paraphrasing here as a smartphone menu has an amazing way of disappearing from your mind once the next version gets installed, but I KNOW it didn’t used to be like this.

There are a few NEW things with Jellybean that aren’t terrible but that doesn’t really make them sound all too appetizing. Jellybean is potentially a microsecond faster than Ice Cream sandwich, but I haven’t noticed this whilst using it and it also has a Siri like voice search but in all honesty, who actually bothers using this? After the initial ten minutes laughing as it gets questions wrong, or mistakes you saying ‘murder; instead of ‘puppies’ I just gave up on it, as it doesn’t really add anything to the way that I search online.

So here you have it- I’m overall pretty unhappy about being forced into an update I didn’t want, which offers me features I don’t use and has taken away usability.

To clarify: This is NOT an in depth review of Jellybean, this is a personal rant against an inferior update.

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  1. wow, what a load of crap, you have no business having an android, you need an iphone, because its simple. nothing that you are complaining about is a problem for a competent android phone user and yes, google now and project butter are amazing. sigh…

  2. your a prick, the update is amazing crapple release shitty update swith features nicked from Android!

  3. i assume a lot of this is OVERLY exaggerated. jelly bean is way better then ics visually and “under the hood” if you didnt want to upgrade you shouldnt have, its your choice. by your negativity toward android and positiveness toward apple id say your just bashing android/google like every other apple lover. as for larger font it usually makes it easier to read but in your case i guess not. I felt as though i read a big complaint not an informational blog. Some facts on why jellybean isn’t good would have been better rather then have read about bickering on a lockscreen or choosing between “always” or “just once”. Most of this sounded like pure laziness. .

  4. I also HATE this update!!!. My phone battery only lasts a fraction of what it used too, amoung many other issues i have with this update.

  5. Don’t use a task killer! And the pop up that allows you to either set an app as default or not has been present since at least eclair. It’ll pop up if you have multiple browsers, gallery apps, apps that can open instagram links, sometimes twitter apps cause it for twitter-related links, etc. I have ics and can change the font and font size in settings. Might wanna try that.

  6. Any article regarding Android that doesn’t reflect your opinions is not “paid by Apple”. Stop being dump and grow up.

  7. I also hate this update. Adding visual garbage to the slide lock, making the Google search box useless and More bright/visable is just silly. New keyboard? No please. I’ve been in UI design for years. This is a great example of people trying to be innovative when they do not have the skills.

  8. I don’t mind the looks of 4.1, what I hate so much is the massive bug since the update to 4.1.1 where my phone just is not working anymore!!!!! I sent bug reports, had the Galaxy Nexus replaced, factory reset and all, yet at one point, you cannot make or receive calls 🙁 With 4.0 I had no issues, 4.1 is just not ready, it should have stayed BETA. My phone is so bugged now that I will need to change to competition.

  9. The pulling of the search bar is Samsung, not Google FYI. AOSP (based off of Android’s open source code) search bars work just fine…
    I will grant that the application chooser redesign is a poor choice… before it was 1 click, 2 if you wanted always, now it’s 2 clicks…

  10. Why don’t you just root it. There’s some very cool roms out there. If your scared to root check craigslist in your area. Dallas area has several companies that will root & load a custom rom so you can have your phone just the way you want it and leaving out all the bloatware. Only cost 30 bucks here to have it done. Seems 30 dollars would be cheaper than the million dollar headache you seem to have.

  11. Obviously android is not for you. Android is too advanced and too open for you. You’ll be better off with an iPhone. Where you don’t have to make choices because the choice has been made for you by default.

  12. Thank you! JB on my Galaxy Nexus has
    reverted me to ALL of the same crappy issues I was experiencing with
    FROYO. ICS 4.0.4 was sooooo rock solid
    and it worked with everything I used. I
    blame the ID10TS that cannot back out (close) apps properly on their phones.
    WTF! Do you think your phone can read your mind.? The old omage “a computer is only as
    dumb as the person operating it”, well JB has fixed that, this OS is just
    plain stupid->junk! Take it
    back! I lasted two weeks before my
    update would popup every five or so minutes.
    I had been able to log 1000 hours of runtime without reboot on my device
    during the good old days of ICS and all I get from support now is “have
    you rebooted your phone? That always works on my phone”, may I remind you
    that support at my local store apparently has no one working there or in the
    area that has a Galaxy Nexus. I waited
    for ICS to come out. I then waited for
    the Galaxy Nexus to come out. NO
    BLOATWARE! Then JB strikes. I’m tempted to go back to my Samscum
    A-90. All of my phones have been Samsung
    by some strange coincidence, they make a decent product. ICS just kept chugging
    along, this Project Butter in JB, from what I have read has tweaked the
    hardware to “run soooo much faster (hareware accelerators)”. Big mistake.
    Running so fast the OS is tripping over its own feet. Way to go devs. Did thay even get this past
    the alpha testing phase before they pushed it to all of us? I have to admit 4.0.1 was a bit buggy, but
    not enough to go from 4.0.4 to having 4.1.1 crammed so far up our rears some
    Chinaman can use us as hand puppets.

  13. Android lets you make it how you want it. Want the old Google Quick Search Bar? Download it and replace the new one. Or go third party. Want a different Spotlight? Sorry, third party isn’t allowed. Kind of like a controlling significant other who is so scared someone is better, they won’t let you even talk to the opposite sex. Is that REALLY you, Apple? How about if you want a better launcher? There are many out there. On Android, that is. Not Apple. On Android, you could even make your Android look and behave just like an iPhone in look and feel but better. I have. Because I loved my iPhones…until they became stale and inbred and stopped moving forward at the same speed as the rest of the smartphone world.

    I will give it to Apple, they have made a good choice for most users, by default. But forcing it to be your only choice, well, it works for most, but others want to be free. I like my apps to freely do much more than the closed dictatorship that Apple will allow. The whole world create out of the box ideas on Android. On Apple, it is only within a closed system that a single corporation will allow. No single corporation can think as big as the whole world. I appreciate Apple for creating the smartphone revolution. I have had the first five generations of iPhone and I still appreciate their sensibility for making it elegantly easy not just for the masses, but for everyone. I admit I spend hours customizing my Android and there are many who won’t do that. BUT, I love that my Android is a superphone. All my iPhones that I still own, they are just locked down smartphones.

    Dear Apple, the closed ecosystem worked when you were the only great smartphone in town. You invented the smartphone. You are proud of that past. It’s the past. None of us would accept a closed ecosystem on a computer, which is why OS X on Mac is not closed and you know you can’t get away with making it that way. Guess what? Smartphones are the new pocket computer, and closed doesn’t work anymore. Let me repeat that. CLOSED DOESN’T WORK ANYMORE. Adapt, expand, evolve the model, and come back and compete. Repeat, come back and COMPETE. We welcome a new phase of competition from Apple to keep the innovation rolling forward. The old closed model is dead. DEAD. Don’t be stuck in your ways like RIM/Blackberry, because you know what happened to them. Right now, only months after the iPhone 5 launch, more Galaxy S3’s are being sold than iPhone… and it’s almost whole year of new Android releases before the iPhone 6 comes out… Want 2013 to be a repeat of 2012? No. This is your time to hunker down, rethink, and go big. Think different. Remember that? Open up, open more, open up big! Things change. The smartphone scene is no longer 2008, so wake up to 2013. Promote developer challenges. Innovation workshops. Manifestos on the Apple experience. New API’s. New licensing to promote economic diversity on your platform, rather than disallowing business models your minds didn’t think of because you’re only one corporation. Multiple models and sizes of your top selling device (yes, Mr. Cook, that’s the … iPhone!!!) — you have multiple models and sizes of iPad, MacBook, and iPod, which are NOT your top selling device. Hello?!?! SLAP! is anybody HOME?!?!

    Android is superior, but for now, mostly, only superior for esoteric people who hack and customize and are technically on top of their game… You can still take your advantages, and bring competition with Apple simplicity and elegance. Get a committee of ex-patriot CTO iPhone people who are all on S3’s, Nexuses, and Note 2’s, to brainstorm what they want in the iPhone 6. Go guns blazing in Fall 2013, or lose ground you may never regain. This is it, this the defining year of Apple coming on strong or slipping away. Come on, you can read blogs. You can see the criticism. No matter how many arrogant billions are in the bank, you can pony up, use your billions, hire, create, follow the principles that got you here. You can do this.

    For now, and until then, no turning back. Android. Open. Superior. More powerful. More diverse. The whole world contributing without handcuffs. The entire world innovating freely more new ideas than any single corporation can come up with on its own. Ideas that aren’t possible on iOS.

    An iOS developer who wishes he was an Android developer.


  14. I hate leaving comments without constructive criticism, but I just read this and am late for something. So I will cut to the chase.

    The author of this article is a complete idiot, and yes, is ranting his own personal opinion, but it’s an opinion of an idiot who thinks everything has to be his way.

    One thing I am going to refer to is where he writes

    “Rather than just swipe to unlock I now have to look at a stupid starburst which randomly plays little orb like pixels over the screen. Necessary? No.

    Could I spend some time playing with the settings and change this? Yes, but why should I?”

    If you are going to complain about the change of homescreen “straight out of the box”, and then begin to ask why you should have to “painstakingly” change the settings, WHILST USING AN ANDROID PHONE, then you just shouldn’t write articles, and go post this rant on some forums.

    I’d love to dive into my response deeper, but time alludes me and I am late.

  15. I don’t like that you have to download each reply in a group message now and that just moves it to the “group conversation” that you also have to open. Is there a way to fix that?
    My battery dies in half the time after the upgrade.
    It seems to hate Facebook now. If I try to upload a photo, it either uploads it twice or it gets stuck uploading. Which means I have to turn my phone off and start over (generally about 3 times to get the upload to work).
    It also forces me to use WiFi if it is available. I sit on the top floor of my building and there is a Verizon tower on the top of the building so I know I have a good signal. But, my phone will say no internet connection.
    These are things that come to mind immediately.
    I love Droids. I’ve never had an Apple. If I am doing something wrong on my phone, I would be happy to change it. I have looked and have not found solutions. I shouldn’t have to download a messaging app. It worked fine before the upgrade. I have task killers. And sometimes I don’t want to use the WiFi of a place that I am not familiar with.

  16. What Jelly Bean (Australian version, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2) means to me:
    – frequent freezes and crashes and black screens that force me to reboot,
    – favorite apps no longer work,
    – can no longer arrange app icons how I want.
    Brand new apps downloaded from Play Store freeze the tablet.

    Sometimes Task Manager doesn’t even load!
    Damn it – ICS worked fine. I don’t need this strife.

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