The HTC Droid Incredible Android 2.3 update is screwing up a lot of people’s phones.
Droid Incredible users (myself included) finally received Android 2.3 — which came out last year, by the way — on Monday night. After updating, many users (again, myself included) began receiving “low storage space” notifications, and the apparent low storage was preventing access to certain apps, such as Gmail and Google Talk. I say “apparent low storage” because most users in fact had plenty of space available; mine was around 80% free when I checked.
Then, last night, another OS update became available. For some lucky people (me), this update apparently fixed the issue. For others (my girlfriend), it didn’t. And there are even reports from users who have such low storage space that they can’t even install the update that may or may not fix the low storage space problem.
The problem speaks to a bigger issue with Android, and that is OS fragmentation. It’s ridiculous that Incredible users had to wait a year for Android 2.3, which is a rather underwhelming OS upgrade to begin with. Wow, my notification bar now says “3G” in a super-cool, futuristic font and my default ringtone is now in a higher pitch! Thanks, guys, this is so totally worth ruining my phone over!
But this is what happens when OS updates are left in the hands of carriers and manufacturers. They become an afterthought. I already bought the phone from HTC, and I’m already locked in to a Verizon contract. These companies gain nothing by updating my operating system. They make their money on the new customers who buy the new devices with the new OSes.
The problem for Android is, when my contract is up and I’m one of those potential new customers, my new device might be an iPhone.