+Samsung Mobile USA
I wanted to take the time and explain why I am considering other platforms. I am not sure how far this will go, at the very worst it's fodder for trolls or an exercise in futility.
I used my Galaxy Note 4 everyday. I have loved Android since it was released ... on paper at least.
In the beginning I was just enamored with the level of customization. I rooted and modded my phone and enjoyed it immensely. I have continued to enjoy Android on my MT3G, Nexus One, Galaxy S, G2, MT4G, Note 2, Note 3, LG G4, Note 4, Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition and my two Odroids. That said, I am considering packing up and heading elsewhere. I love the choice that Android offers, but unfortunately that choice leads to the fragmentation.
Fragmentation - This has been going on for some time. Its getting worse.
1. OS - Android is the OS, it should be behind the scenes. It's a platform, treat it like one. This foundation should be OTA pushable to ALL android devices or at the very least a repository similar to what linux distros have been using for years. I understand there are other issues, but keep reading I have those covered.
2. Drivers - Every OEM should have a repository for their drivers. This would allow them to make minor updates to hardware performance without pushing an entire build update.
3. Embellishments - We all enjoy OEM embellishments. The little things that they have that keeps them competitive in a world filled with Androids. These too should be something the OEM is updating via repository. Again, we could get hardware fixes faster.
4. UI - This should be in the hands of the OEMs. This includes Google. When Google releases updates to the UI, lets call their UI the AOSP UI, just to keep it clear. Then Nexus devices should get UI updates from Google Repositories just as it would the OS. Conversely all the Downstream OEMs: HTC, Samsung, etc. should have their own respository for their UI: TouchWiz, Sense. This would allow OEMs to update their side. NOTHING from Google should be breaking phones.
5. Carriers - I know you're all in this to make money. I am ok with that, but don't use updates as a way to do that. Right now the FASTEST way, without voiding warranties, to get updates is to buy another phone. People are going to lean toward upgrading, especially with T-Mobile's jump program, if it hasn't changed names, but no one should be considering upgrading a phone outside their plans upgrade period for performance. Performance, lets think about that. There are some people, and I am one of them, whose idea of better performance is a faster CPU and more RAM. With the last few phones I haven't felt like I needed CPU and RAM upgrades, but lately I have felt that there have been enough bugs in the either Android or TouchWiz, in this case but in no way isolated, my LG G4 experience was the worst. In short for this bullet point. Yes Carriers should have some say in things like EOL, but they shouldn't be dictating updates that dictate the functionality of, in some cases, $1000 phones! Lastly Carriers should have a repository for their updates to their contribution.
6. Bloatware - It pays the bills, but then so do your customers. How about a reasonable take on bloatware. Right now we can disable it, but its taking up precious space. Space that is no longer being supplemented by MicroSD. This was at the suggestion of Google, because the storage options were confusing. So why not work in a bloatware best by date. Samsung has shown that they can make a "logic fuse" that "burns" open when you modify, why not include something like that from initial setup. Basically what I am suggesting is a way to uninstall the apps six months down the line. Mind you this is one area that LG mostly got right, I just don't get the impression that when you uninstall included apps that they just remain in storage, an Android placebo if you will.
7. Storage - I hate to throw this out there, but this felt more like an attempt to bolster numbers for Google Drive. Which is a shame, because Drive is great. In fact, Drive is a great place to backup things, both on your internal storage or external storage, but thinking that will replace the convenience of an SDCard, well you've never been without reception then. Yes, OTG is an option, but as you will see in this article, http://www.dailylinuxnews.com/blog/2014/09/android-nexus-usb-otg-without-root/
- people are either having problems with OTG or were as of Sept 2014. As soon as Google took SD Cards away, this should have been implemented. This IMO this is very similar to when Google released the first Adroid and there was no file explorer.
8. Peripherals - I personally dislike mentioning this, but I feel obligated to. I read an article the other day about the Note 4 GearVR content not getting updated due to "compatibility" issues. I don't like this, because this was just in time for people to snap up an S6 and it's very own GearVR. Now, here's how it hurts both the Google product as well as the Samsung Product, it might not have been by design, but years of watching OEMs and Carriers release new phones, again their right to make money, with new versions of the OS and not updating current customers, at least not right now. So what Samsung now has is a group of people who really like the idea of GearVR and got it for their Note4 a combined price of $1300 give or take a dollar in taxes whose only option for new content, is to lay down even more money. Now if they have that kind of money, bully for them, but this isn't how you treat your customers. Google, you could get involved with Vetting, this is why I hate this. At least with this method, your customers would know what is solid and what isn't and the risk is on them, not that it isn't already
At the end of the day, you should be asking yourself, is Android sustainable in its current model. I don't think it is. I think on a long enough time line that people are going to just go broke and can no longer afford your products and services, or switch to another platform for the purposes of uniformity. Obviously, Google gets some of this otherwise the Material Design push wouldn't have been so hard.
I hope I didn't offend anyone, but I know that is easier said than done.