Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Oct 2011 15:45 UTC
Google "The announcement that Nexus One users won't be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich led some to justifiably question Google's support of their devices. I look at it a little differently: Nexus One owners are lucky. I've been researching the history of OS updates on Android phones and Nexus One users have fared much, much better than most Android buyers." I'm happy the modding community takes care of orphaned devices, but a solution it is not. I'm hoping the crop of Android phones released this past year - which were not included in this analysis - fair better. If there's one thing Google should steal from Apple, it's their iOS update support.
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Update system
by kragil on Thu 27th Oct 2011 16:33 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Google needs to make Android more modular in the sense that you have the very basic plumbing (Linux, bionic etc) and then the Android stack on top.

All updates to the Android stack should be available through Android market.

Just define basic specs that every official 4.0 phone needs to have to get market, maps, search. Like enough storage, RAM, OpenGLES 2.0.

Maybe they did something like that for 4.0 and that is the reason the Nexus One won't get it. It has very little storage for the OS. But I guess the Android stack isn't detattached enough from the plumbing to so something like that now, but it should definately be on their todo list.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Update system
by Beta on Thu 27th Oct 2011 20:54 UTC in reply to "Update system"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Google needs to make Android more modular in the sense that you have the very basic plumbing (Linux, bionic etc) and then the Android stack on top.


But it is. The failings are the device makers and chipset creators not upstreaming their tweaks so it makes updating devices to the latest HEAD fragile;

HTC Sense is but a set of modules that sit atop Android.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Update system
by Moredhas on Fri 28th Oct 2011 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Update system"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

What device makers SHOULD be doing is writing apps that run on top of Android, rather than tweaks which butcher the whole OS. Then they could leave updates entirely up to Google. Android seems to take the worst of Linux without any of the best parts; and I say that as an Android fan (though I don't like anything, it's just the best of a bad lot, to me. This applies to movies and music, too, not a fan of anything ;) )

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Update system - I'll say it again
by jabbotts on Fri 28th Oct 2011 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Update system"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If it is to be branded an "android" device, make it run Google's Android parent distro. I want to download the official firmware image from Google and flash it to the device without manufacturer/carrier branded crap included.

Ideally, manufacturers should have device specific drivers included into the official firmware if they are not going to use standard hardware interfaces. If they must "keep it in the family" then give me a small secondary firmware image I download from the manufacturer's supper/drivers section.

Make the firmware flash utility give me two file path field; the large official Android firmware and the small kernel module bundle. Let the firmware flash utility merge the two or write the drivers to a specific "manufacturer's drivers partition" or seporate NAND chip.

Make updates flow from Google through the official Android repositories. I open my "Android Market" app and the first thing I see is "there are updates available, click here to see them".

And last, actually manage the repository in some kind of sane manner. Vett before posting like Apple or make self-posting developers work through a testing/stable type progression with peer review. This everybody-for-themselves unmanaged market place is unacceptable. An trojanned app slipping through once or twice; ok. The amount of malicious code that's apearing in the market; unacceptable.

Google, fix your house.

Reply Score: 2

That's all very nice, but...
by raven24 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 16:36 UTC
raven24
Member since:
2011-10-27

if I may quote user "geekoid" from Slashdot on the same story:

"False comparison
and a stupid one as well. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding Apple and Android.

Android is an OS. Different companies put it on different phones. This means different capabilities and corporate plans.

Apple is the entire chain.

SO you can only compare phones running android individually, and not group them as 'Android'.

The advantage of Androids hardware diversity is that competition can happen, and they aren't locked into a 'box' from 3 years ago.
The advantage of Apple is that they will update it even if the update isn't needed for your phone.

The fact that he marks out yellow sections between green sections shows his agenda.
"
--> http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2496760&cid=37855854

Reply Score: 2

RE: That's all very nice, but...
by leos on Thu 27th Oct 2011 16:52 UTC in reply to "That's all very nice, but..."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

SO you can only compare phones running android individually, and not group them as 'Android'.


Absolutely true. However, is there any Android phone that is consistently updated to the latest release? Unless you can find one, the conclusion stands.

The best one on the chart is the Nexus One, and that is no longer supported on 4.0. Of course there are lots of phones missing from that chart (Samsung Galaxy in particular) but I don't think there is a single Android phone that has lasted 3 years with current updates.

The fact that he marks out yellow sections between green sections shows his agenda.


How exactly is that biased? Yellow sections means there was a new Android release and for a few months that phone did not get it. Those are the facts.

Edited 2011-10-27 16:53 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: That's all very nice, but...
by Beta on Thu 27th Oct 2011 20:54 UTC in reply to "RE: That's all very nice, but..."
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Absolutely true. However, is there any Android phone that is consistently updated to the latest release? Unless you can find one, the conclusion stands.


The Nexus range.

Reply Score: 2

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

The Nexus range.


First sentence in this article: "Nexus One users won't be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich"

Edited 2011-10-27 21:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

"The Nexus range.


First sentence in this article: "Nexus One users won't be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich"
"

It has been consistently updated to the latest release, and until 4.0 is launched in a few weeks that is still true ‐ I was merely replying to the question…

iPhone & iPhone 3G no longer get the latest release, does that discount all iPhones from being included? no.

Reply Score: 2

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

"[q]The Nexus range.


First sentence in this article: "Nexus One users won't be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich"
"

It has been consistently updated to the latest release, and until 4.0 is launched in a few weeks that is still true ‐ I was merely replying to the question…

iPhone & iPhone 3G no longer get the latest release, does that discount all iPhones from being included? no. [/q]

The Nexus One isn't even 2 years old. Which is the point, so far Android phones get terrible support for upgrades, even the Nexus line. For point of comparison, the iPhone and iPhone 3G both received 3 years of upgrades.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"both recieved three years of upgrades"

.. and then got dumped for no good reason. My wife's first Iphone hardware is perfectly fine and capable. it's simply Apple's choice not to feed it updates which makes it obsolete. Granted, Apple may have a longer support period but it's clearly playing the "you need to by our new product now" game just like the rest of the phone manufacturers.

Reply Score: 4

arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

The iPhone 3GS is a bit sluggish when running iOS 5. How would the original iPhone or 3G versions even manage?

Reply Score: 2

Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

The HTC Magic, the second ever Android phone, after the G1, has received every update until now. It came with Donut, and made it all the way through Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread! Not a bad record at all.

I cannot understand why N1 won't get official ICS: The N1 may not be as powerful as the high end machines we see today, but it is still as powerful as current mid to high end phones, with its WVGA screen and 1GHz processor, and 512M both Flash and RAM. I am sure there will by a Cyanogen ICS rom that will run just fine.

Reply Score: 2

RE: That's all very nice, but...
by rhavyn on Thu 27th Oct 2011 16:53 UTC in reply to "That's all very nice, but..."
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

SO you can only compare phones running android individually, and not group them as 'Android'.


Does that mean we can stop pretending that "Android's" market share numbers mean anything and compare individual phones or individual manufacturer's market share instead? Or does the "only compare phones individually" rule only count when it helps Android, not when it hurts it?

Reply Score: 4

intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

Only if we can stop pretending that marketshare actually reflects the better product.
Or do you genuinely believe McDonald's is the world's best restaurant and Internet Explorer is the world's best web browser?

Edited 2011-10-27 22:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: That's all very nice, but...
by zima on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 23:14 UTC in reply to "RE: That's all very nice, but..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Does that mean we can stop pretending that "Android's" market share numbers mean anything and compare individual phones or individual manufacturer's market share instead? Or does the "only compare phones individually" rule only count when it helps Android, not when it hurts it?

No we can't since - as you almost noticed there - those are different things, you see. Hence different circumstances (however keen you seem on pretending they are the same)

Market share matters as a whole, as a platform which can be targeted. You know, the holy "ecosystem"

Reply Score: 2

RE: That's all very nice, but...
by WorknMan on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:07 UTC in reply to "That's all very nice, but..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

SO you can only compare phones running android individually, and not group them as 'Android'.


Horseshit. If it says 'Android' on it and has access to the Android market, then it's an Android phone, and SHOULD be compared with all other Android phones.

This whole lack of updates thing is the reason why I will only consider getting a Nexus Android phone from now on, until/unless this situation changes. So for me, those phones that are infected with vendor bloatware don't exist, thus the Galaxy Nexus will be the only Android phone released in the next year or so. If the Galaxy Nexus ends up being a shitty phone, I will wait for the next iPhone or decent Nexus phone to come out.

As for a lack of updates not hurting anyone, think about this... if there is a MAJOR vulnerability found in Android that effects several versions, if Google fixes it in ICS, will they back port it to Gingerbread and Froyo? And if they do, how long will it take for individual vendors to get that update out to individual phones?

And lack of updates isn't the only thing wrong either... last time I checked (a few months ago), there were still brand new Android phones coming out with Froyo, a full 6+ months after Gingerbread was released!! Can you imagine brand new PCs being sold today with Windows Vista installed? It's lunacy.

Reply Score: 4

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Horseshit. If it says 'Android' on it and has access to the Android market, then it's an Android phone, and SHOULD be compared with all other Android phones.

This whole lack of updates thing is the reason why I will only consider getting a Nexus Android phone from now on, until/unless this situation changes. So for me, those phones that are infected with vendor bloatware don't exist, thus the Galaxy Nexus will be the only Android phone released in the next year or so. If the Galaxy Nexus ends up being a shitty phone, I will wait for the next iPhone or decent Nexus phone to come out.

As for a lack of updates not hurting anyone, think about this... if there is a MAJOR vulnerability found in Android that effects several versions, if Google fixes it in ICS, will they back port it to Gingerbread and Froyo? And if they do, how long will it take for individual vendors to get that update out to individual phones?

And lack of updates isn't the only thing wrong either... last time I checked (a few months ago), there were still brand new Android phones coming out with Froyo, a full 6+ months after Gingerbread was released!! Can you imagine brand new PCs being sold today with Windows Vista installed? It's lunacy.

I agreed with all of your points right up until the last paragraph.

Maybe not so much with Win7, but XP machines were still being released long after Vista was out.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Maybe not so much with Win7, but XP machines were still being released long after Vista was out.


Yeah, that's because the machines being released didn't have the horsepower to run Vista (esp netbooks), or people were demanding that XP be put on there. So, not exactly the same thing.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Yeah, that's because the machines being released didn't have the horsepower to run Vista (esp netbooks), or people were demanding that XP be put on there. So, not exactly the same thing.

My point was your example was flawed. You're reply doesn't change that

Reply Score: 2

Unfair comparison
by pandronic on Thu 27th Oct 2011 16:53 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

First of all ... the Galaxy S and S2 are not on that list. They were and are updated. But I'm aware that a lot of other Android devices were not updated in a timely fashion or at all ... this is indeed a problem, but not as big as this guy makes it to be, because even if they don't have the latest version, the phones work ok and most of the time better than the latest iOS version (probably they were also cheaper than the iPhones).

What I don't understand, though, if upgrading is such a big thing for users, why manufacturers don't upgrade the OS?

As long as the driver model doesn't change, just put the old drivers on the new OS and distribute it. Why is that so hard? (I don't know much about the matter, I'm just using common sense - if any one knows some technical reasons please share them)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Unfair comparison
by leos on Thu 27th Oct 2011 17:34 UTC in reply to "Unfair comparison"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

First of all ... the Galaxy S and S2 are not on that list. They were and are updated.


Yes, but the Galaxy S was released only 1.5 years ago so it is not much of a precedent to judge whether it will continue to be supported for the longer term.

the phones work ok and most of the time better than the latest iOS version (probably they were also cheaper than the iPhones).


Subjective. But the article outlines several reasons why a lack of updates is damaging to the consumer.

What I don't understand, though, if upgrading is such a big thing for users, why manufacturers don't upgrade the OS?


Because it costs money to deliver updates and make sure they work.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Unfair comparison
by pandronic on Thu 27th Oct 2011 19:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Unfair comparison"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Well I don't know about the subjective part. I don't own an Iphone, but I've played with all the models, it's a well built device, I'll give you that, but ... watching my iPhone loving friends, it seems that they always have a problem with it ... it doesn't do MMS, or 3G, or video, or Flash, or they see me playing Angry Birds full and they have to pay for it, then they can't install another browser or another keyboard or they can't manage their files, then there's iTunes for Windows which to put in kindly is not the best software (and why can't you mount your phone as mass storage after all?), then they all seem to want to jailbreak it to install Cydia - a day of looking for versions, torrents and basebands and whatnot, just to do some stuff you take for granted on Android (I know some of the above problems were solved and Apple convinced its users that it invented every one of them).

Because it costs money to deliver updates and make sure they work.


I get it that it costs money ... but if for my next phone, me and all their customers go with another brand it will cost them more in lost revenue.

And how much could it cost after all? Isn't it just a matter of pluging the old drivers into the new OS? This should be trivial. Why isn't it built like that? I'm genuinely curious ...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Unfair comparison
by leos on Thu 27th Oct 2011 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Unfair comparison"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Well I don't know about the subjective part.


I do. There's things that are better on the iPhone, and there are things that are better on Android. Claiming that one platform is objectively better than the other is fanboyism. All you can say is that it is better for you. That's fine, but it has no bearing on the issue of updates.

I don't own an Iphone, but I've played with all the models, it's a well built device, I'll give you that, but ... watching my iPhone loving friends, it seems that they always have a problem with it ... it doesn't do MMS, or 3G, or video


It does all those things. In any case, I could go into details about what iOS does better but this is offtopic and pointless, since I have no interest in converting you. The point is that you do have to be openminded enough to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms.

I get it that it costs money ... but if for my next phone, me and all their customers go with another brand it will cost them more in lost revenue.


Really? You've done the research on this? Because you can bet they have, and came to the opposite conclusion.

And how much could it cost after all? Isn't it just a matter of plugging the old drivers into the new OS? This should be trivial. Why isn't it built like that? I'm genuinely curious ...


Testing is expensive and time consuming. You can't push out an update to hundreds of thousands of consumers without thorough testing.

Edited 2011-10-27 20:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Unfair comparison
by pandronic on Fri 28th Oct 2011 06:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Unfair comparison"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

It does all those things.


The original 2G didn't, while there were hundreds of phones at the time that did.

The point is that you do have to be openminded enough to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms.


I recognize the weaknesses of Android, but I'm really struggling to find the strengths of the iPhone. Maybe I'll borrow one for a week and play with it a little more, but it's really baffling why some people might prefer it over a similarly speced Android device (aside from the fact that it's Apple, OMG).

Really? You've done the research on this? Because you can bet they have, and came to the opposite conclusion.


I'm doing the research with my wallet. If I don't get ICS on my Galaxy S, my next phone won't be a Samsung. Chances are a lot of Android owners will get ICS envy and want it on their devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Unfair comparison
by BrianH on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:24 UTC in reply to "Unfair comparison"
BrianH Member since:
2005-07-06

First of all ... the Galaxy S and S2 are not on that list. They were and are updated.


The Galaxy S came out with 2.1 at about the time that Android 2.2 was released. The US Galaxy S models didn't get 2.2 until many months after it was released - more than 6 months for my model. They never got 2.3+, and no more updates are planned.

The Galaxy S2 is still too new to tell, especially since 3.0+ wasn't released for phones. Time will tell if it ever gets updated from 2.3.x to 4.x or more - given Samsung's history, it will likely be a lot of time.

What I don't understand, though, if upgrading is such a big thing for users, why manufacturers don't upgrade the OS?


In the case of Samsung, it's because upgrading the OS costs money, and they don't get that money back from the customer. An old phone with an upgraded OS competes with a new phone with that same OS, and doesn't bring them any new income. So they put off upgrading as long as possible, and in the case of the Galaxy S they went back on their promise to upgrade to 2.2, not relenting until there was so much user outcry that it was starting to be a public relations problem.

In the case of the Nexus One, it's probably because Google is really trying to push NFC features, and those weren't added until later models (Nexus S I think). Maybe ICS doesn't consider NFC support to be optional. Only Google can say, at least until they release the code and we can tell for ourselves.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Unfair comparison
by pandronic on Thu 27th Oct 2011 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Unfair comparison"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I happen to have a Galaxy S bought in February, I think. It came with 2.2.1 and in September they upgraded it to 2.3.3 and 2.3.4. I think before I got it they rolled the 2.2 update. It might depend on the operator, which by the way is bullshit.

Well, as I said in another reply, a happy customer might be a returning customer. If enough people ask for updates, then the manufacturers and operators will eventually cave in. The reality might be that not many besides us geeks really care about OS version or new features (they probably barely use the existing ones).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Unfair comparison
by Flatland_Spider on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Unfair comparison"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Which Galaxy S phone? You'll need to specify since carrier plays into the equation as well. I have a Captivate on AT&T, so my experience may not apply to a Galaxy S phone on Verizon or Sprint.

The phone got 2.2 this February. I bought the phone in December 2010 with 2.1 on it, and 2.2 had already been out for a while. I think 2.3 was announced in November 2010, so quite the lag.

Currently, the rest of the world has 2.3, but the US Captivate is stuck on 2.2. Supposedly, AT&T is holding up the process.

It depends. My wife really cares about battery life, and 2.3 is supposed to help that. My sister doesn't care as long as the phone works.

Google needs to get a handle on Android and treat it like Microsoft treats Windows.

Edited 2011-10-27 22:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Unfair comparison
by pandronic on Fri 28th Oct 2011 06:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Unfair comparison"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Vodafone in the EU. It's the standard Galaxy S (I9000) - http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9000_galaxy_s-3115.php

Yup 2.3 helps a little with the battery life, but not dramatically.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Unfair comparison
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Oct 2011 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Unfair comparison"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

The Galaxy S came out with 2.1 at about the time that Android 2.2 was released. The US Galaxy S models didn't get 2.2 until many months after it was released - more than 6 months for my model. They never got 2.3+, and no more updates are planned.


I have the Galaxy S Showcase (SCH-I500), and CSpire (formerly known as Cellular South) released 2.3.5 for it a couple weeks ago.

Reply Score: 2

iOS updates == Android Application updates
by FunkyELF on Thu 27th Oct 2011 16:55 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

The major upgrades to Apple iOS are more equivalent to Android Apps updates than to Android OS updates.

Look at the very latest iOS update. It added twitter or facebook integration to the gallery. This kind of stuff is an app update on Android. Siri?... same thing. Could be accomplished with an application independent of OS version.

Also, aren't iOS updates different in terms of features depending on which phone you have anyway?

Reply Score: 1

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

The major upgrades to Apple iOS are more equivalent to Android Apps updates than to Android OS updates.


Total bs.

Look at the very latest iOS update. It added twitter or facebook integration to the gallery. This kind of stuff is an app update on Android.


So you cherry pick one feature say it wasn't important? Please, at least try to be objective. Here's what changed in iOS 5: http://www.apple.com/ios/features.html

A lot of those are not application-level updates. By the way, have you looked at Android 4? You could split hairs there too about how parts of it could easily be delivered as incremental application updates.

Also, aren't iOS updates different in terms of features depending on which phone you have anyway?


Generally not. Except for Siri which is 4S only, every other feature is the same across iPod touch, iPhone, iPad.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Generally not. Except for Siri which is 4S only, every other feature is the same across iPod touch, iPhone, iPad.

Oh there's more to that - Siri was, for a long time, a free Appstore download (probably since before Apple bought its dev) available to all iPhones. At the 4S launch, that option was removed.

Siri is, for most device types, a deliberately castrated feature.

Reply Score: 2

Fallacy
by franksands on Thu 27th Oct 2011 17:05 UTC
franksands
Member since:
2009-08-18

That graphic is bogus. The first iPhone from 2007 did *not* receive all the updates to the present. If you go to the apple site now they say that the requirements for the iOS 5, the current version, is iPhone 3GS and newer. Meaning all iPhones models before June, 2009 don't get this update. Another factor is that is much easier to make an OS that's honed and tuned to one specific hardware, than to an open platform. Android has a plethora of hardwares, some high-end, some low budget and therefore, less powerful hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fallacy
by kholinar on Thu 27th Oct 2011 17:43 UTC in reply to "Fallacy"
kholinar Member since:
2007-09-10

That graphic is bogus. The first iPhone from 2007 did *not* receive all the updates to the present.


That graphic requires reading. It never asserts that the 2G received updates until the present day.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fallacy
by abubasim on Thu 27th Oct 2011 17:43 UTC in reply to "Fallacy"
abubasim Member since:
2008-10-16

The graph doesn't show support up till today. It shows up to three years from launch of each model.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Fallacy
by leos on Thu 27th Oct 2011 17:47 UTC in reply to "Fallacy"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

That graphic is bogus. The first iPhone from 2007 did *not* receive all the updates to the present.


You read it wrong. Look at the X axis label, it says 3 years after release. That means that 3 years after the release of the iPhone, it was still capable of running the latest iOS.

Reply Score: 2

I agree. And disagree.
by grahamtriggs on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:07 UTC
grahamtriggs
Member since:
2009-05-27

I definitely agree that Android devices should be better supported. I think more than that though, there should be more manufacturers that offering a roughly standardized hardware, that can use 'vanilla' versions of Android, that can be kept relatively up to date in this fashion. (You can't really expect customized versions of Android to keep up, but then I've never found a customized version of Android that's really a benefit over vanilla in the longer term).

But I don't agree that keeping up to date with iOS has really benefited iPhones though. What it has done, is essentially force all iPhones to stick to the same basic design - ie. screen with one big home button - and force Apple to find ways to shoehorn the functionality on.

Which has led to one of the worst bits of UX I've encountered in recent years - overloading the function of the home button. It never works properly. I want to go home, it brings up the app switcher. I want to switch quickly to another recently used app, it goes to the home screen. Try to press it a bit more deliberately, and I go to voice control. It's completely infuriating.

Functionality should match the hardware, and manufacturers shouldn't be scared to change the hardware to make new functions work properly. If having app switching or voice control means a single button doesn't work so well - add more buttons to new hardware, and don't enable / allow to turn off the additional functionality on old devices.

Or don't supply the update. It really is OK to abandon older devices when it can't really cope with what you are doing. It's a lot better than pumping out a crippled UX on all devices, even the new ones that could have been done better.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I agree. And disagree.
by leos on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:32 UTC in reply to "I agree. And disagree."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

But I don't agree that keeping up to date with iOS has really benefited iPhones though. What it has done, is essentially force all iPhones to stick to the same basic design


That doesn't make any sense. There's no reason that Apple couldn't put more buttons on the phone if they wanted to. If the iPhone 5 had 10 buttons, they could easily release iOS 6 that supported 10 buttons on that hardware and still worked with one button on older models.

Which has led to one of the worst bits of UX I've encountered in recent years - overloading the function of the home button. It never works properly. I want to go home, it brings up the app switcher. I want to switch quickly to another recently used app, it goes to the home screen. Try to press it a bit more deliberately, and I go to voice control. It's completely infuriating.


Sounds like your home button is broken. However I do agree that overloading the home button is not the ideal solution.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I agree. And disagree.
by viton on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:57 UTC in reply to "I agree. And disagree."
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

I want to go home, it brings up the app switcher. I want to switch quickly to another recently used app, it goes to the home screen
Press once - home
Press twice - app switcher
What can be simpler? Do you confused with double click in GUI? =)

Reply Score: 4

Why this is a problem
by laffer1 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:23 UTC
laffer1
Member since:
2007-11-09

Most people are citing app updates or some other nonsense. I don't care if my phone gets new features, but I do care if it's security patched. I don't want some botnet taking over my phone and sending text messages or emails for instance.

Vendors of Android devices don't care if their users have a secure environment. If this were Microsoft or Apple dropping support for a desktop OS in less than a year (security patches), most people would be outraged in the tech community. When phones got "smart" they also introduced the risk of security issues through apps, text messages (with images), and web browsing. It's not like a traditional cell phone and requires extra care.

Google fans, this isn't an attack on Google just the companies who sell these phones. Maybe google can set a new standard with their motorola acquisition. They can sell phones that get updates and turn it into a selling point. That might get other vendors to follow.

I'd like to point out that my iPhone 3G was no longer supported before my contract expired. Apple isn't perfect about this either. I think all phones should get updates for 2 years from the END of sales. It's not Apple's fault how long contracts are for, but they profit from this model and should offer their customers protection. The same goes for google based devices.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Why this is a problem
by arpan on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:46 UTC in reply to "Why this is a problem"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

I'd like to point out that my iPhone 3G was no longer supported before my contract expired. Apple isn't perfect about this either. I think all phones should get updates for 2 years from the END of sales. It's not Apple's fault how long contracts are for, but they profit from this model and should offer their customers protection. The same goes for google based devices.


I agree. New OS versions updates are probably not possible for a phone released 3 years earlier, but they should atleast provide security updates for 2 to 3 years after they stop selling them. Which would mean that since the 3GS is still being sold, it should continue to get security updates until 2014.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why this is a problem
by fatjoe on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Why this is a problem"
fatjoe Member since:
2010-01-12

and how do you know they dont??


Google continuously updates the system apps in background without user knowledge. Security updates are generally unrelated to android version

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why this is a problem
by zima on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 22:58 UTC in reply to "Why this is a problem"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd like to point out that my iPhone 3G was no longer supported before my contract expired. Apple isn't perfect about this either.

It's worse than that. There are tools which "jailbreak" iPhones via a browser; essentially, visiting some random page. Their security practices are broken, are an illusion; the sandbox isn't about protecting you, but Appstore profits.
Plus how it required updates via iTunes, many could easily go unupdated (especially in less vocal, so less visible users) - while Androids get from market security updates independent of OS versions.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by snorkel2
by snorkel2 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 19:01 UTC
snorkel2
Member since:
2007-03-06

who cares? There is this thing called "rooting" where you can most of the time update it yourself.
Even on new phones the carriers are super slow to do any updates.

I actually have a HTC Inspire(desire HD) and I have never even accepted a carrier OTA update since I rooted the device, I could give a rat's ass what AT&T or Verizon do, I don't want to wait for them to get off their asses and do what needs to be done.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by snorkel2
by bowkota on Thu 27th Oct 2011 20:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by snorkel2"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

who cares? There is this thing called "rooting" where you can most of the time update it yourself.

Your grandmother, your mother, your 12 year old daughter, your mechanic, your boss, your children's teacher, your gardener, probably most of your colleagues, most of your friends... and the list goes on.
I would say a good estimation would be 90% of the active smartphone population don't know how to do this but more importantly they don't want to bother with it (and I think I'm being generous here).

Microsoft came late into this and they've done a much better job than Android.

Edited 2011-10-27 20:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by snorkel2
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 27th Oct 2011 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by snorkel2"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Your grandmother, your mother, your 12 year old daughter, your mechanic, your boss, your children's teacher, your gardener, probably most of your colleagues, most of your friends... and the list goes on.
I would say a good estimation would be 90% of the active smartphone population don't know how to do this but more importantly they don't want to bother with it (and I think I'm being generous here).


That's the thing - the same applies to updates. I have yet to encounter an iPhone or iPad in the wild which was fully updated - other than my own. Just about every iPhone I've seen was running the version it came shipped with.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by snorkel2
by Beta on Thu 27th Oct 2011 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by snorkel2"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

iOS5 is Apple’s saving grace here; hopefully, for the 4S, they should get everyone on the next iteration without a hitch. Probably.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by snorkel2
by MOS6510 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by snorkel2"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

That doesn't explain the Internet nearly going down when iOS 5 was released.

And I read an article a while ago showing iPhone users were much faster at upgrading their phones than Android users. Same for OS X upgrades.

See, our fanatical fruit devotion does pay off in a positive manner.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by snorkel2
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by snorkel2"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That doesn't explain the Internet nearly going down when iOS 5 was released.


Uh, got any source for that?

Edited 2011-10-27 21:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by snorkel2
by MOS6510 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by snorkel2"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I read a few articles/headlines. These 2 I just found, they are new to me, so apart from these there are more articles with the same message.

http://www.iphonehacks.com/2011/10/unprecedented-demand-for-ios-5-a...

http://macdailynews.com/2011/10/13/demand-for-ios-5-and-icloud-was-...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by snorkel2
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by snorkel2"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't click on MacDailyNews links but the first one was interesting. Seeing the internet hindered by a software release is quite interesting - although I myself had no issues downloading iOS 5 for my iPAd (I got it pretty quickly after release, in the middle of the rush).

Then again, I have 120MB down, so I guess I'm the 1% of internet users ;) .

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by snorkel2
by MOS6510 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by snorkel2"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I was already running the iOS 5 beta on my iPhone so I was cool. Updating the other stuff went okay, but I did notice download speeds dropping. I did my iPad the next day.

But at least Twitter didn't go down, like it used to do during Apple keynotes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by snorkel2
by bowkota on Thu 27th Oct 2011 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by snorkel2"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12


That's the thing - the same applies to updates. I have yet to encounter an iPhone or iPad in the wild which was fully updated - other than my own. Just about every iPhone I've seen was running the version it came shipped with.


Well my personal experience paints another picture, most of my friends, family and classmates at uni both in the UK and Sweden are up to date.
However, that's a very small sample, I think the following link paints a clear picture. This was before iOS 5.

http://www.cocoanetics.com/2011/08/ios-versions-in-the-wild/

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by snorkel2
by MOS6510 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by snorkel2"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

A colleague of mine rooted his Android phone.

Okay, he bricked it and after waiting 4 weeks for it to get it repaired he took up the offer of forgetting about it and taking a show model. But lucky him, there was a 16 GB micro SD card inside.

Reply Score: 2

That article is pure garbage...
by fatjoe on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:39 UTC
fatjoe
Member since:
2010-01-12

Yes, I would love to get more frequent updates on my androids phones. That said, that article is pure garbage for several reasons.

First of all, that sites main purpose is to talk crap about Android (just check some other articles and have a good laugh).

Android phones get a lot of updates. They get continuous updates in background. For example the market app is updated every other week and with that comes a lot of security related patches. We also get a lot of system updates within the same Android version. For example, the SE X10 have had 4-5 major updates plus 2 OS updates (1.6->2.1->2.3). And in that particular case the "normal" updates did much much more to improve the user experience than the OS updates.

Then we have the situation with availability. Just because Google have announced Android 5.0, it doesn't mean it is available. Sometimes it is immediately available on Nexus, sometimes we need to wait 4-8 months before the OS is actually out.

Also, some OS versions are NOT meant to be available on all phones. For example, the 2.0 update was only meant as a quick fix for some Motorola phone. Same goes for 3.0 and 3.1 and phones (non-tablets). Add that to the equation and the graphs will look completely different.


There are some other issues I would like to discuss, but if you have come this far and still are not convinced... well, go to the original article and read the section about 99 cent prices to see what kind of clueless fanboy we are dealing with.

Edited 2011-10-27 21:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Google is aware of the issue.
by oiaohm on Thu 27th Oct 2011 22:47 UTC
oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

ICS moves to more modular. So more can be updated by normal android market.

Ok you cannot replace the core kernel unless it supports the hardware. So the major version will not always change. But the applications and interface will still update.

Then comes a question is it important to be running the latest kernel?

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If there is a kernel level vulnerability then it is increadibly important to be getting the patch or newer kernel that addresses that vulnerability. No different for any other OS in the world really.

Reply Score: 2

Comment Title
by Bringbackanonposting on Thu 27th Oct 2011 22:59 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

I for one will be more careful choosing an Android phone after seeing that article. I prefer choosing tech products that the community embraces/hacks with over a niche product.
I have an iFone4 as a work phone but not by choice.

Reply Score: 2

missing the point
by TechGeek on Fri 28th Oct 2011 00:53 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Did I miss something somewhere? Did all Android phones just stop working because of lack of updates? Did you lose all access to the app store? No? Then whats the problem? So your phone didn't get updated to ICS. Big deal. Its an end user device, not a PC. Did you ever think maybe you don't need to upgrade? As long as the phone does what was promised when you bought it, then you really have no complaint against it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: missing the point
by Nelson on Fri 28th Oct 2011 01:07 UTC in reply to "missing the point"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Lol, this is rich. "You dont NEED to update!!"

Give me a break. Android only exist because iPhone was an ATT exclusive. We'll see how much longer customers put up with that crap.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: missing the point
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 28th Oct 2011 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE: missing the point"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

So, in countries where AT&T does not do business, android does not exist, right? Or now that three mobile carriers in the US have Iphones, Android's will be relegated to Tmobile and see their market share plummet, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: missing the point
by Nelson on Fri 28th Oct 2011 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: missing the point"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

So, in countries where AT&T does not do business, android does not exist, right? Or now that three mobile carriers in the US have Iphones, Android's will be relegated to Tmobile and see their market share plummet, right?


I was speaking about the US purely, I don't have any idea about how you guys do it on the other side of the pond. Here, Android only rose to dominance because the iPhone was an exclusive on a single network for a long time.

Verizon, Sprint, TMobile all needed a hero device to rally around..so VZW sunk massive money into the Droid Does campaign.

Now, the damage is done, the momentum is there so I wont try to predict the future by claiming that iPhone will cannibalize Android sales. I was just stating the reason why Android even became popular in the first place.

It was a good enough wannabe iPhone.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: missing the point
by kragil on Fri 28th Oct 2011 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: missing the point"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04


It was a good enough wannabe iPhone.


That came with real multitasking, copy&paste, sane notification system etc right from the start.

How could anybody want that?

I get it, you are a iFan but even you should understand that not everybody wants a locked down vendor controlled device that only comes with 3G and a single form factor.

People actually want smaller or bigger screens, keyboards, 4G, 1GB RAM, AMOLED+, 3D or what the hell. IRL one size fits _all_ is not really working.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: missing the point
by Nelson on Fri 28th Oct 2011 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: missing the point"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


That came with real multitasking, copy&paste, sane notification system etc right from the start.


From a user experience stand point, its a complete iPhone knock off. Rattling off minor differences which have no perceivable impact to the average person (its my experience that the average person doesn't even know what multitasking is, or at worst, they see Android's full multitasking as a nuisance) does not change this.


How could anybody want that?


I'd be interested to see any tangible proof that multitasking or copy and paste have any impact on device sales. Like I said, in my experience, people I've talked to couldn't care less.


I get it, you are a iFan but even you should understand that not everybody wants a locked down vendor controlled device that only comes with 3G and a single form factor.


I'm in iFan? Read my comment history. Lol. Now, your second point is very true. Form factor plays a huge part, certainly moreso than multitaskng or copy and paste. However, I disagree with the implied notion that it is the primary driver of sales.

Again, I think Apple's ATT exclusivity opened up a sufficient window of opportunity that Android and Operators seized very well.


People actually want smaller or bigger screens, keyboards, 4G, 1GB RAM, AMOLED+, 3D or what the hell. IRL one size fits _all_ is not really working.


I don't know, I mean maybe if they see it on a spec sheet. However what good is 1GB RAM if the phone is not as smooth as an iPhone?

I think its true in general people want a smooth phone, but that doesn't mean adding features conducive to a smooth experience without actually delivering on said experience is enough to drive sales. If it does, it only ends in disappointment, and I think given the satisfaction rates of Android, that this is very likely. The same is true of dual core CPUs, etc.

AMOLEDs I can agree with as it has a very visible impact on the phone experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: missing the point
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 28th Oct 2011 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: missing the point"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It was a good enough wannabe iPhone.


Android offered something Apple rarely - if ever - offers: choice. Choice always wins - through adversity, maybe, but in the end, it always wins. It's like a natural law.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: missing the point
by Nelson on Fri 28th Oct 2011 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: missing the point"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Android offered something Apple rarely - if ever - offers: choice. Choice always wins - through adversity, maybe, but in the end, it always wins. It's like a natural law.


I agree, the only place I think we disagree, is that you (seem?) to think that it was a primary motivator for Android's rapid uptick. I think it had more to do with people wanting an iPhone-esque device on their operator of choice (Again, which is why I agree with you in principal).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: missing the point
by zima on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 23:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: missing the point"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I was speaking about the US purely, I don't have any idea about how you guys do it on the other side of the pond. Here, Android only rose to dominance ...

No, you weren't speaking that. You wrote "Android only exist because iPhone was an ATT exclusive" (emphasis mine); which is rubbish, stop spreading it.

Not only Android was well under way before any solid info about the iPhone was out (certainly before it was known it will be limited for so long to one carrier at your place, which wasn't the case in most places / didn't change the uptake of Android / it has actually more momentum already, and increasing), it would be also more than worthwhile for Google to target even only those "other" markets - many of them bring more than enough adsense revenue (and protecting any future mobile / location-based ads is what this is all about) to justify whole Android effort.

Edited 2011-11-04 00:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: missing the point
by bowkota on Fri 28th Oct 2011 01:39 UTC in reply to "missing the point"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

Did I miss something somewhere? Did all Android phones just stop working because of lack of updates? Did you lose all access to the app store? No? Then whats the problem? So your phone didn't get updated to ICS. Big deal. Its an end user device, not a PC. Did you ever think maybe you don't need to upgrade? As long as the phone does what was promised when you bought it, then you really have no complaint against it.


Yes the carriers should be congratulated for loading the devices with crapware and hindering users from updating to the latest OS for more than a year (if they ever do get the chance).
I thought only us Apple users where supposed to be sheep.

Reply Score: 1

RE: missing the point
by leos on Fri 28th Oct 2011 04:01 UTC in reply to "missing the point"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Did I miss something somewhere?


To be concise: Yes

Reply Score: 2

RE: missing the point
by ichi on Fri 28th Oct 2011 10:56 UTC in reply to "missing the point"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

The problem is that Android updates are an "all or nothing" issue. If bugs or vulnerabilities show up in a certain version the only solution is upgrading to the next OS release. If your carrier decides to not release new OS versions for your device you are screwed.

I've always thought Google should modularize Android so they could push fixes to the core OS though the market the same way they push updates to their apps, instead of relying on whole new ROMs that OEMs and carriers might or might not release for their devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: missing the point
by zima on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE: missing the point"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Curious how you missed a "top level" (without "RE") comment just above ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?494672 ) which paints not so clear picture...

Reply Score: 2

RE: missing the point
by Soulbender on Fri 28th Oct 2011 14:44 UTC in reply to "missing the point"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Then whats the problem?


The problem is that someone is afraid of the competition.

Reply Score: 2

RE: missing the point
by kaiwai on Sat 29th Oct 2011 15:56 UTC in reply to "missing the point"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Did I miss something somewhere? Did all Android phones just stop working because of lack of updates? Did you lose all access to the app store? No? Then whats the problem? So your phone didn't get updated to ICS. Big deal. Its an end user device, not a PC. Did you ever think maybe you don't need to upgrade? As long as the phone does what was promised when you bought it, then you really have no complaint against it.


You do realise that there are important security and reliability fixes that come with new versions of Android.

Reply Score: 2

Swimming against the tide...
by AnythingButVista on Fri 28th Oct 2011 01:52 UTC
AnythingButVista
Member since:
2008-08-27

I don't know what is worse, not getting updates in a timely manner, or not being able to downgrade when an update does come in and worsens your experience.

The thing is, none of this will ever change because all manufacturers do it and the loss of one customer will be offset by the gain of another. Example: some Samsung customers get pissed with Samsung's crappy update schedule and they ditch Samsung for HTC on their next phone purchase. So HTC gains customers and now they can afford to lose some by not updating the Nexus One and other HTC phones to ICS, having some customers ditch HTC for Samsung or other manufacturers. Unless we all ditched Android and switched to dumbphones, or Windows Phone, or BlackBerry, or iPhone (same difference), nobody is going to get the message that we demand better support.

And one thing that should be a requirement but isn't, when a manufacturer drops support for a handset, they should be required to unlock the bootloader so the customer can continue to get support from the community. Unfortunately this will never happen because Google doesn't care about us, the users -- we are a product they sell to advertisers, just like Facebook works. If Google cared about Android users they would make this a requirement for using the Android trademark and for licensing their closed-source apps (including the Market).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Swimming against the tide...
by dsmogor on Fri 28th Oct 2011 09:13 UTC in reply to "Swimming against the tide..."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

With ICS they have announced some sort of commitment organization to basically get a promise of timely updates after (guessing) 2 years after release from manufacturers.
I thing HTC and Samsung signed in among others afaik.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Swimming against the tide...
by zima on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 23:03 UTC in reply to "Swimming against the tide..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Google doesn't care about us, the users -- we are a product they sell to advertisers, just like Facebook works.

Well, judging by the flow of money and keynotes self-admiration, users are also a product with Apple ...one they sell to carriers and developers.

In either case, a product which primarily needs to be kept happy, to remain available. Needs to be cared about.

Edited 2011-11-03 23:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

There's no obvious ROI
by siki_miki on Fri 28th Oct 2011 10:01 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

Why update the phone when you can sell a new one to customer? Not "getting it" that next time customer will stray from their products (as long as competition, like Apple is offering it).

This is old story of mobile phones, which is now getting noticed due to Apple's good job. There's always some carrier crap, custom UI shells and other crap that they never thought of porting to the updated OS. Retesting everything costs, but they will be saving money once they learn to address problems/bugs/missing features/customizations in a way that will be easy to reproduce on the updated platform and/or REPORT UPSTREAM to Google's Android dev team. If forum rom communities can do a better job, so can Samsung, Sony or HTC.

Reply Score: 2