Are you running a Samsung device? From experience they seem to be the most stable. You also posted the word PHONE and not tablet. The galaxy line is VERY popular, and people tend to make sure their apps run good on it.
I can see that the more obscure Android devices may have the problems you describe - I'm just saying, it's not something people seem to experience with mainstream devcies likes those from Samsung or HTC. Also I think this is more a problem with older versions of Android, which was a lot less mature (and criticisms against that aren't really fair, we might as well criticise older versions of IOS, which were also immature). Standard Android 4 is pretty damn good, so there's no longer any need for manufacturers to tinker with it, unless they really can add value to it (as Samsung do).
It's the same crap over and over again, only the device names change. In the last while since the Nexus 7 came out, people have been updating them to be optimized for it, at the expense of breaking them for tons of other devices. Last week it was an app I have a lot of money tied up in that made it impossible to view the media we purchased because the new patch made it only work correctly on the Nexus 7 from then on...
It's hard to generalise from anecdotes. Yes, there exists at least one Android app that had a bug in a new version - there exist loads of those on any platform
It's impossible to discuss Android in a general sense like we discuss Windows and MacOS. Because all the users are in their own little eco systems. They have their own OS forks and often their own specially tailored version of an app. What is stable for one user can be a nightmare for everyone else.
Not really - I'd say it's just the same situation as Windows PCs, as even though the software might be the same, you have lots of different hardware to support. I'd argue that a lot of the problems with supporting Android isn't the OS forks, but the hardware differences. (Plus, with different versions of Windows, you can have incompatibility problems there too).
Think of Android today like OpenGL a decade ago. Intel users were completely screwed. The hardware as bad and the drivers would report versions of OpenGL were supported even through they didn't actually support a single required feature. ATI users were hit or miss. Early versions of their drivers had special hacks for special games (like Ati Quake GL). HOWEVER, nVidia users were like the Samsung Galaxy and Nexus 7 users of today. They had it on easy street. Both because nVidia had great OpenGL support, and they were the number one brand. Everyone programmed for nVidia and then went back and tried to patch things up to cover for the bugs and inconsistencies on Ati and Intel.
Hardware differences are always a risk, whether on computers or phones. There are advantages and disadvantages to platforms that have lots of models (Windows, Linux, Android) or a few (like Apple, or consoles). Yes, difficulty of support is the disadvantage, but I like the advantages such as bigger markets and freedom of choice.
Plus even for Apple, you've now got lots of models due to Iphones and Ipads, and several generations of each. I've heard Iphone users telling me of problems that new versions of software no longer works on older Iphones, for example.
I'm not denying that things were probably poor for a lot of Android users in the early days (personally I happily kept with Symbian on my Nokia 5800, until 2012). But I think things are a lot better for anyone buying an Android 4 device from now on. Things will never be perfect, but then even today, it's still a problem on Windows that something that works for some people might be buggy or not work at all for others.
It's also, as I say, an inherent downside of open source, in that someone has the freedom to make a poor quality port of it. But I don't thnk that means open source is bad, as there are advantages to it too. Let the market choose - people have the freedom to choose the better quality devices, rather than the brands which mess around with Android.
I suspect this is one reason Google released the Nexus 7 - whilst Samsung were doing fine at the high end, the low end was either poor brands of Android tablets, or the Kindle Fire which Amazon were more intent on making their own walled garden with. Since a mainstream low cost Android tablet makes a lot of sense, Google have decided to do the job themselves (well, with ASUS's help).
Edited by mdwh, 22 August 2012 - 07:53 AM.