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Google Launches New Android Gmail App … If You Have The Right Phone

by Sean P. Aune | September 22, 2010September 22, 2010 8:00 am PDT

Once again Google has shown that the Android ecosystem is just not ready for prime time yet.  At what point is the company going to grow up and admit that this whole thing is just not working the way it’s supposed to?

Google announced the other day that the Gmail app in Android will no longer be tied to releases of the operating system itself, and a new version of the app could be downloaded from the Market.  Without reading the fine print I immediately picked up my HTC Hero and started looking in the Market for it, all ready to get with the new Gmail love.

… nothing.

android froyoKnowing already what I would find, I went back to the post, and sure enough:

The Gmail update requires Froyo (Android version 2.2), so it’s available if you have a Nexus One, HTC EVO, Motorola Droid 2 or Motorola Droid. (Not sure if your device is running Android version 2.2? Check here.)

As I’ve said before, I feel that the Android OS is a mess. This usually results in me being called an Apple fanboy which makes no sense to me since I carry an Android phone.  If anything, I’m the opposite in that I want to be an Android fanboy, but Google is just making it so gosh darn hard to be one!

A friend of mine recently tried to talk me off the ledge by pointing out how this happens all the time in computers, and no one gets upset when Apple says a program won’t work with an older version of OS X.  The difference is that you are usually talking years when it comes to computers, and with mobile devices you’re talking months.  The HTC Hero, my phone, came out 15 months ago, and it has already been stated multiple places how it won’t be receiving Froyo.

Just how often do companies expect us to upgrade our handsets just so we can be allowed into the latest features?  Yes, Apple does this also, I’m not going to deny that, but it sure isn’t the speed with which Google is constantly updating its OS and apps.  At this point you need a blasted road map to figure out what works on which handsets and versions.

Come on Google, let me become a fan of Android … just stop leaving me out in the cold every time I turn around.  Or at least give a phone more than a year lifespan.

What say you?  Should Google slow down with the Android releases?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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