Jelly Bean has kept me in the Android fold

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: July 21, 2012

Before the Galaxy S III by Samsung launched for Verizon, I found myself playing with a Sprint-branded version at a local wireless shop. I’m not sure what made me want to start using it, considering it wasn’t a device I was particularly forward to, but my mind was changed pretty quickly. The Galaxy S III’s hardware and display, and its overall smoothness while in use, convinced me that Samsung had managed to figure out a way to make Android useable again. (I’m not talking about in general, but for me, specifically.) I put in a pre-order for the device on Verizon’s network almost immediately after, and I was actually happy about the future purchase.

The Galaxy S III had managed to bring me back into the Android fold, and I was happy to be back.

Unfortunately, that tech romance didn’t last long.

I know a few people who picked up the Galaxy S III on the day it officially launched. I even know a few people who got the phone a few days early, thanks to their pre-orders. All of those fine individuals still have their phones, and as far as I know they still love it. The Galaxy S III is the phone they’ve been waiting for, and it makes them happy. I’m happy for them. Unfortunately for me, the Galaxy S III couldn’t make the cut.

You see, I have a very interesting power. Or curse, I’m not sure. Whatever it is, it’s something that’s been around since whichever Android phone I was using right after the original HTC Hero. I break Android. I do. I have no idea how or why, it just happens. I cause force closes to happen all over the place. And this happens with stock software. No roots or custom ROMs. This is just the phone out of the box. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve had the device, it always happens. And I hate force closures. I hate the pop-up notification, and I hate that it slows everything down.

I was hoping that I had gotten away from it with the Galaxy S III. I mean, there’s 2GB of RAM on that thing! The dual-core processor, too, made me think that the newest Galaxy flagship device from Samsung would be the phone I had been waiting for, too. It wasn’t. I managed to force close the launcher four times in an hour, and I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. Just using the phone, using some apps, and texting.

I’m an impatient person when it comes to the personal pieces of technology I use daily. I feel like it should just work. Why? Because there are things I use daily that do. They just work. So when something doesn’t, then it gets the boot. After the fourth force close of the launcher, the phone slowed down to a crawl (something else that is completely foreign to everyone else who uses the Galaxy S III), and I quickly pulled the battery and put the phone back in its box.

I got the Nexus 7 on Tuesday and I’ve been in love with it since. I haven’t had any force closures. It’s so smooth, so quick, and Google Now is fantastic (and the future!). I like Android 4.1 Jelly Bean so much, in fact, that I got my hands on a Galaxy Nexus, and now I’ve got the latest version of Android running on it. No force closes. No instances of lag or slowness.

Right now, as I write this, I’m still happy that I used the Galaxy S III. It still is the device that brought me into the Android fold. But due to my own ability to make Android stop functioning for short periods of time, it didn’t get to stick around. That’s all stopped thanks to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the Galaxy Nexus, which is why I can say that while the Galaxy S III brought me back into the land of the little green ‘droid, it’s Jelly Bean that has kept me here.

It’s the newest version of Android that has managed to actually make me happy about using the platform again, and it’s been such a smooth ride so far that I doubt I’ll be looking at anything else anytime soon.

Have you been able to try Android 4.1 yet? Did you pick up a Galaxy S III when it launched? How do you still like the newest flagship from Samsung? Has it filled your every dream since you started using it? Let me know in the comments!