As we gear up for another big Android release and consider both hopes and clues for the still-mysterious "Q," it's a fine time to remember that flashy new features don't always play out in the way we might think.

Sometimes, it's the fault of Google's execution and notorious lack of commitment. Remember the insanely impressive Google Now on Tap concept, which ended up being promising but inconsistent — and then ultimately got brushed aside and abandoned not long after its debut? Other times, it's a matter of underlying tech being outmatched by newer and simpler alternatives — like what happened with the once-futuristic-seeming Android Beam, which has languished almost unnoticed in Android for years (and finally appears to be on the brink of being put to bed).

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