I wouldn't be caught dead using Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It's an antiquated version of Android when it comes to Android's upgrade/update pace, and it doesn't support a lot of new apps. It looks old, it feels old, it is old. But you know what? I don't care if you're on Gingerbread or Jelly Bean or anything older or in between. There is always, and likely always will be, talk of Android's fragmentation. How you want to define it is up to you, but there's no skirting around the fact that not everyone is on the latest version of Android. And a large percentage of Android users are still on 2.3 Gingerbread. Should the average consumer care?
If you're using an Android phone from 2011 because your contract isn't up yet, and you're still using Gingerbread, you fall into two camps. You either don't care because your phone is doing everything you want it to do, and that's good enough, or you hate the fact that you can't get a lot of new apps and you're getting tired of looking at your OS's oldness. I can't blame you -- like I said, it is old. But why does it boggle so many minds that a good chunk of Android users are still on Gingerbread? I know some iPhone users whose App Store icon sits with a badge that reads "73" or more. I think to myself, "How on earth can you just swipe past that seeing that 73 apps need to be updated without updating them??"
For many smartphone users, it doesn't matter. They make phone calls, take pictures, check e-mail and play Candy Crush every now and then. The app that they downloaded and used for a week has been dormant on their phones for over a year and is probably eight versions behind. They just don't care. Quite frankly, neither should we. To most of us, having the latest version of any bit of software or the latest version of an app is a no-brainer, almost a necessity. After all, you're here on PhoneDog reading the news and watching videos and checking out editor opinions. But there's room on this planet for everyone, and that means the folks who are using old phones with old versions of Android or iOS and old apps. Everyone's needs are different.
But if you've stumbled on this article somehow, and you're thinking that I'm making it seem like it's OK, albeit very sad, to use an old version of an OS or app and you're one of those folks, don't feel bad. What you should know is that you are missing out on quite a bit, even if you're mostly content with your phone and apps now. If you update your aging apps, you'll find that they look nicer, work faster and often look prettier. It's definitely not a necessity, unless the developer forces you to update to keep using an app, but it's a better experience for you. And if you browse around Android Market or the iTunes App Store, you'll find that there are a wealth of new apps that work only on newer versions of their respective OSes. You may be able to get by without those apps, as you've survived without them so far, but again, it's all about the overall experience. Some of those apps might offer more convenience for you, like certain maps features location services. Sometimes they're just fun to use, like games that require new versions of operating systems or more powerful hardware.
If you're one of the many that are still on an older version of Android, I'm not telling you to go run out to buy an HTC One or Galaxy S4, though it wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm saying that you may find that you're missing out on a lot of cool stuff. New phones, which typically have newer versions of Android, have better cameras and camera software. They're much faster than what you're using now and they also have excellent battery life and call quality -- all features I'm sure you'd learn to appreciate and enjoy.
I'm not terribly shocked to find many of my friends on Twitter opining on the state of Android, or just how long it took for Jelly Bean users to surpass Gingerbread folks. Everyone I follow on Twitter are very tech savvy and most of them work in the tech industry in one capacity or another. But then I find myself thinking about everyone else. Is it really so bad for someone who doesn't keep up with the latest and greatest to be stuck on an older version of software? Or if an app they're using hasn't been updated in months? If it works for them, and they're happy with it, more power to 'em.
Do you know anyone who is using an older version of Android? Or who simply refuses to update apps, or maybe doesn't know how? Let me know whether you offer your help, or if you just let them be because they seem to be getting along just fine.