Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th May 2012 17:55 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless This is fun. The number one iOS carrier duking it out with the company behind the world's most popular smartphone operating system. Last month, Google's lead for the Android Open Source Project, Jean-Baptiste Queru, more or less blamed carriers (see comments) for Android's upgrade woes. Yesterday, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson retaliated, blaming Google for the delays. And yes, Google already responded to that, too.
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Excuses, excuses
by WorknMan on Tue 8th May 2012 18:31 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

You know, it's funny... while Google is busy whining and blaming the carriers as to why it can take 6 months or longer for Android phones to get updates, Apple doesn't seem to have this problem.

Of course, one can point out the obvious fact that Android has 9 million devices vs Apple's few, which is like Linux Evangelists blaming developers and vendors for lack of certain software and hardware drivers.

But in the end, all of this posturing and bullshit doesn't matter to end users like me. What DOES matter is results, and Google needs to find a way to FIX it. As it stands, the only Android phone I would ever consider is a Nexus, for this very reason. Apple has proven that it IS possible to work around the carrier issue, and they manage to ship without crapware all over their devices too.

Disclaimer: Before anybody labels me an Apple fanboy, I would like to point out that my phone is a Galaxy Nexus ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Excuses, excuses
by kwanbis on Tue 8th May 2012 20:11 UTC in reply to "Excuses, excuses"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

What do you mean "apple few"? As far as i know, apple controls 30% of the smartphone market, while android controls 50%.

Obviously is apple vs samsung+htc+motorola+lg+whatever.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S2 running AOSP 4.0.4. ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Excuses, excuses
by rjamorim on Tue 8th May 2012 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Excuses, excuses"
rjamorim Member since:
2005-12-05

Few different models, obviously. That makes development much simpler.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Excuses, excuses
by kwanbis on Tue 8th May 2012 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excuses, excuses"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

You are right.

But I believe the problem here is with the manufacturers themselves, cause they love to make 50 different phones per year each, that ironically you can hardly differentiate.

So, if instead of making 20 phones, HTC makes 3 a year, it would be easier for them also.

But again, you are right.

Edited 2012-05-08 20:33 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Excuses, excuses
by phoenix on Tue 8th May 2012 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Excuses, excuses"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

HTC is starting to go down the "less is more" road with their new One line. There's the One X and the One S for 2012 (at least so far).

Unfortunately, there are still 2 variations of each (LTE and non-LTE) with separate SoCs in each (Tegra3 for non-LTE, S4/Krait for LTE).

But, 4 phone models is still better than the 20-odd they had for 2011.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Excuses, excuses
by phoehne on Thu 10th May 2012 11:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Excuses, excuses"
phoehne Member since:
2006-08-26

Because Android phones area so similar in capability, each manufacturer has an incentive to release models (often with relatively minor improvements), often. If you were to go into a store, and didn't know jack about phones or operating systems, the idea of buying a phone that's been out on the market for six months, versus one that was released just recently, might factor into your decision.

I don't know how the handset makers are going to get away from this. Ultimately, HTC, Samsung, et. al. are selling what's 95% the same thing. Skinned differently (maybe), but largely the same thing. I would expect Windows Phone handsets to have the same issue. Maybe, as Samsung is doing, bundling additional services to differentiate yourself may distance themselves more from other handset makers.

Apple gets away from that by not having multiple, different implementations of the iPhone. By being a different enough product, consumers probably aren't comparing iPhones to Android phones in the same way they compare Android phones to each other. I'm not stating this is good or bad.

But the flip side is that Android manufacturers might have a dozen models capable of supporting an upgrade on the market. Verizon et. al might look at this problem as 12 handsets * 4 vendors = 48 tests * the cost to test a handset = too much money to be worth it. This may be especially true where a particular model didn't sell that well and there are relatively few units out there. So I would expect to see two handsets that were practically identical being treated differently based on whether one was a popular model. Apple, instead, has 3 handsets with a large user base.

So, ultimately it is the 'fault' of the carrier, even though I don't think fault is the right word. They're making decisions on what is the most economical way to handle their network and the devices on it. Maybe if they weren't such control freaks this wouldn't be a problem. Of course, if an update did get pushed out, and that caused one model of phone to miss-behave to the point that it effected your phone service, would you just shrug it off and say "hey, it's cool?"

Edited 2012-05-10 11:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Excuses, excuses
by kwanbis on Thu 10th May 2012 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Excuses, excuses"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I actually feel the opposite.

I rather have a well supported phone, that lasts me at least the 2 years contract, than getting the Super Duper Phone 1, and two months later seeing Super Duper Phone 2.

And worst, 3 months latter, Super Duper Phone 1 is not getting Android 4.x because it is not the newest model.

I also believe that from a manufacturing, stocking, replacement parts, and support point of view, it is totally ridiculous hat they make so many devices.

Apple wins cause most phone manufacturers do so many phones, that they have to spread their design teams work between so many phones.

So in the end, they end up doing 20 phones that barely differentiate themselves, instead of 1, 2 or 3 really good designs.

That is why mercedes/audi/bmw do so many cars per year.

Also, they loose branding by naming each phone with a different, and ridiculous name.

I'm glad Samsung and HTC are trying to revert all this bs.

You only need 3 phones:
Basic, Medium, High End.

And maybe android/wp versions.

So, release 3/6 phones a year. Support them for 2 years minimum. If you want to stop supporting after 2 years, realease all information so that community can take over.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Excuses, excuses
by Neolander on Wed 9th May 2012 00:09 UTC in reply to "Excuses, excuses"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, as you point out yourself, Google have shown that the very strategy that Apple is using (focus on one phone per year) can work in the Android ecosystem, through the Nexus family of phones.

I'd like to see this happening to every Android phone out there too, but this would require a significant change in the way the ARM ecosystem works, so that OEMs don't have to work on updates on a per-phone basis as much as they do today. Right now, the fact that the Cyanogenmod team cannot provide equally good support for every device due to a lack of high-quality drivers and major differences between SOCs highlights the biggest problem of Android IMO.

An alternative option could be to use the "one single family of SOCs" approach of Microsoft with Windows Phone 7, but well... we can see how well it works in practice.

Edited 2012-05-09 00:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Excuses, excuses
by dragos.pop on Wed 9th May 2012 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Excuses, excuses"
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

While I do feel that some OEMs do create too many smartphones I don't believe this is the real problem.

The problems phone manufactures have are in theory:
1) Too many different hardware components between phones (different SOCs, cameras, GPS chips....)
2) Customisation

But this have solutions already implemented (in PC word)
1) Drivers provided by component manufactures - this means once a phone with a chip gets an update, all phones have access to that. So drivers needs to be modified only for exotic components, very custom to a phone, like camera. This code is generic enough anyway, only small adaptations need to be made when an upgrade is available.
Complex components like SOC and GPS are shared anyway.

2) I don't really understand the problem here. I use Go Launcher EX and there are a lot of other launchers that update really fast to new android releases.
And they work on a lot of phones. So why is so problematic with producer customizations?

You (Samsung,Htc,Sony...) have to do the modifications anyway for the new phone, what is the problem to port them to other (older) phones.

Now there is still a problem: just because it is easy to make the drivers and the customizations portable (PC proved it), it is not 100% reliable (also PC proved it). For this test are important.

Now I am sure that if I thought of this, the phone producers also did so I think the real problem is the testing part and interests. From experience a nokia phone (not smart) bought free got updates, while under contract didn't (only small customizations, like default settings were made carrier.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Excuses, excuses
by phoehne on Thu 10th May 2012 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Excuses, excuses"
phoehne Member since:
2006-08-26

See my comment above for a phone specific analysis, but what you're suggesting won't work. The economic model is called 'monopolistic competition.' The phones are slightly different, but 95% the same, like laundry detergent. If you walk down a laundry detergent aisle you see "new improved" on several products with very minor differences in formulation or packaging. If you like, it's the physics of the market and the manufacturer that didn't come out with a model every few months would be seen as "stale" by the market. They would only lose market share.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Excuses, excuses
by Alfman on Thu 10th May 2012 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excuses, excuses"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

phoehne,

"If you walk down a laundry detergent aisle you see 'new improved' on several products with very minor differences in formulation or packaging. If you like, it's the physics of the market and the manufacturer that didn't come out with a model every few months would be seen as 'stale' by the market. They would only lose market share."

Haha, that reminds me of shopping at CVS for toiletries I've bought for years. The products never change (which is what I want), yet just about every single item is always labeled "new and improved". It's totally meaningless marketing drivel.

It makes me wonder whether the population really is so fickle as to react to the presence or absence of the "new and improved" label, or if it is just the result of corporate employees who are desperate to justify their jobs by changing formulas by a few parts per million and collecting their paychecks.

Edited 2012-05-10 13:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Excuses, excuses
by Neolander on Thu 10th May 2012 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excuses, excuses"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I do not say that phone manufacturers need to be forced to stick with "pure" Android here, but that unmodified Android should work on all Android-compatible cellphones out of the box, in a reduced functionality mode, just like OSs do on x86 PCs.

Imagine for a second what installing a Windows or Linux distro upgrade would be like if the x86 ecosystem was anything like the ARM ecosystem.

First, you have to find out how OSs are installed on your specific computer, since there is no standard Esc, Del or F1 key that you can hold pressed to boot from an external storage medium. It is at least manufacturer-specific, and often model-specific. No indication displayed at boot will help you.

Then, you have to acquire the full documentation of the SOC that inside your computer uses, and spend weeks tweaking the source code of your freshly bought OS until it merely boots and displays a crappy command-line shell.

After that, you will finally be able to install hardware manufacturer-provided drivers (the OS manufacturer cannot include all of them, since due to ARM fragmentation, the result would be waaaay too big for an embedded NAND chip), praying that these have been adapted to the latest OS ABI. If not, you will also need to write wrappers, and spend hours debugging them and optimizing their performance until they behave reasonably well.

And at the point, all you have is a working install of the vanilla OS. OEMs still have to port all their customizations to the new OS, making use of the new APIs etc... Under these circumstances, is it so strange that Android updates take so much time after Google have released the latest source ?

Edited 2012-05-10 17:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

My Nexus got the OS update the day it was available from Google.. how long after that did non-Nexus devices start getting ICS 4.0.4?

But hey, if believing the vendor/carier posturing helps you sleep at night.. don't let facts get in the way

Reply Score: 3

Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

Sure, I would not expect Google to be able to pull a MS that is able to manage putting enough drivers and other binary blobs ;) on the installation medium of choice to allow almost any user to take that CD/DVD and install it on the vast majority of PC or Notebooks out there and update straight from Windows Update from there on...

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The hardware manufacturer provides a mini-firmware containing just the hardware drivers specific to the device. Google provides the OS firmware image. Google also provides a flashing utility which has two input fields (browse buttons, automated download.. whatever); one for the firmware and one for the driver bundle. Both blobs are flashed to the applicable places within the device.

Tadaa.. stock Android running across multiple hardware platforms and the manufacturers get to keep there "secret sauce" excuse for only releasing driver binaries.

That's just one approach to the driver support issue; it's really a minor thing easily solved a number of other user friendly ways also.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

My Nexus got the OS update the day it was available from Google.. how long after that did non-Nexus devices start getting ICS 4.0.4?

But hey, if believing the vendor/carier posturing helps you sleep at night.. don't let facts get in the way.


Oh, I'm not saying that it isn't the carriers' fault - I'm saying I don't give a shit who's fault it is. If Google can only manage to get one brand of phone updated in a timely manner, then that phone is the only Android phone that should be released. There is absolutely no valid excuse as to why customers should have to wait months for new updates, esp when their phones are nearly identical hardware-wise to people who already got the update.

Of course, considering that I had to wait to get the 4.04 update on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus, it appears that Google can't even get that right on their own phone. In this respect, they're still lagging behind Apple.

In regard to the delay issues, it probably wouldn't hurt if Google started releasing beta builds of new versions of Android months in advance like Apple does with iOS, instead of waiting until their latest Nexus phone is released. That would at least give vendors a few months to start testing new builds with current phones.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

Same here, don't care who's fault it is, just get the sh*t strait and fix it!

Makes me kind of wish there were more devices with just stock OSes on them with no boatware/customizations from carriers to interfere at all. Just take them out of the loop completely, they don't add value.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I tend to believe that understanding which party is responsible for causing the problem leads to being able to better address the problem. Carriers who cause delays will not stop causing delays while everyone is pointing fingers elsewhere but when all the figures accurately point at them, they'll be more motivated to stop causing grief.

I do agree that Google could have done a better job with the license. The result is that we have Android and a bunch of one-off vendor modified fork distributions. With my own carrier, I'll have to watch closer for update release from google and availability through the carrier network.

On the up side, because it is a Nexus, I was able to simply fetch the update from google and flash the device myself. Nothing stopping you from updating yourself when the over-air update lags behind availability. (Google could provide a better firmware flash utility though too)

Reply Score: 2

This is what happens when...
by bowkota on Tue 8th May 2012 18:31 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12
It's clearly the fault of both
by thegman on Tue 8th May 2012 18:58 UTC
thegman
Member since:
2007-01-30

First to Thom, there is nothing "low" about a mobile phone carrier, it's just a collection of people, some rich, some not, doing their jobs and providing a service. The service may be crap, and it may be expensive, but it's not "low", it's just a service, get over it.

Whose fault is it? Clearly both. One sells a phone to a user, and one provides the OS. Neither have shown interest in providing timely OS updates. It's not really in the hardware maker's or carriers' interest, as they would rather you bought a new phone. It's in Google's interest, probably, but not enough to bother doing anything about it.

Don't like it? Don't buy it, it's now "low" or "wrong", it's just incompetent, and we're all that in our own ways.

Reply Score: 0

RE: It's clearly the fault of both
by Morgan on Tue 8th May 2012 19:14 UTC in reply to "It's clearly the fault of both"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Whose fault is it? Clearly both.


I agree wholeheartedly. But:

First to Thom, there is nothing "low" about a mobile phone carrier, it's just a collection of people, some rich, some not, doing their jobs and providing a service. The service may be crap, and it may be expensive, but it's not "low", it's just a service, get over it.


You sound like someone who has never had mobile phone service from one of the Big Four in the U.S. They can, and given the slightest opportunity, will screw over their customers if it means earning a fraction of a penny of added revenue. It's disgusting and despicable, and I find it bewildering that the MVNOs and prepaid carriers -- some even owned by those big players -- can provide much better customer service and lower prices while leasing spectrum from the main carriers. That alone should tell you just how much money they make off of consumers all while enticing them into heavy handed contracts by offering a $500 device for "free".

Reply Score: 9

thegman Member since:
2007-01-30

You're right, I don't live in the USA, and don't have much experience with those carriers. I just don't buy into this idea of companies being "bad". They are just organizations attempting to maximize profits for their own gain, the point of capitalism. If you don't like the deal, walk away.

I don't deny for a second that these companies do things we don't like, but nobody makes us buy their products and services. If they are a true monopoly, then that's different maybe.

Reply Score: 0

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You're right, they don't make us do anything. We sign the contracts and expect them to live up to their end and provide a quality level of service for the premium we agree to pay. The problem is that once we sign that contract, they invariably change the terms to maximize their profits without redress, whereas if we default on our end we are charged hefty fees and sued if we don't pay up. And the worst part is, our wonderfully capitalistic government turns a blind eye.

Reply Score: 3

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I don't deny for a second that these companies do things we don't like, but nobody makes us buy their products and services. If they are a true monopoly, then that's different maybe.


No, it isn't a monopoly, but more of an oligopoly. But when most of the players are act in pretty much the same manner then you're more or less forced to be screwed over in some form.

The choice you get is which way you get screwed and by whom.

Edited 2012-05-08 23:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

You're right, I don't live in the USA, and don't have much experience with those carriers. I just don't buy into this idea of companies being "bad". They are just organizations attempting to maximize profits for their own gain, the point of capitalism. If you don't like the deal, walk away.

I don't deny for a second that these companies do things we don't like, but nobody makes us buy their products and services. If they are a true monopoly, then that's different maybe.


Ok, let's just get this out in the open. I think the reason that you have this point of view is because you probably haven't had to deal with Americana companies in bulk. Let me enlighten you a bit. Currently, it's damned near impossible to be successful in the US without having a mobile phone, information just moves too quickly & you can't always sit in your office all day. So, a mobile phone isn't much of an option these days, it's become more of a necessity. However, when ALL of the companies royally suck, then simply not buying the product isn't an option. The reality of it all is that these devices will have to be purchased from someone & the carrier service must be purchased from somewhere. If all of the carriers suck, then you're pretty much screwed. Nothing else is much of an option, to think otherwise is quite a bit naive.

Reply Score: 0

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

in the US [...] a mobile phone isn't much of an option these days, it's become more of a necessity

The US has one of the lower mobile phone penetration rates in the developed world - closer to many developing places, and behind some ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_penetration_rate ).

So portraying to somebody (quite likely from a place with greater adoption of mobiles) the situation like you did is perhaps somewhat pretentious ...especially since some other posters, in this very thread, point out the existence of decent US MVNOs and prepaid carriers (which seem to be ignored, go wonder)

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's clearly the fault of both
by zima on Tue 15th May 2012 23:46 UTC in reply to "It's clearly the fault of both"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

First to Thom, there is nothing "low" about a mobile phone carrier, it's just a collection of people, some rich, some not, doing their jobs

I just don't buy into this idea of companies being "bad". They are just organizations attempting to maximize profits for their own gain, the point of capitalism. [...]
I don't deny for a second that these companies do things we don't like

That's essentially the old functionalism vs. intentionalism debate ...only you seem to take it beyond the former - arguing also that, when structural mechanisms result in something "bad" ...we shouldn't even consider it bad (or low, etc.) at all.

Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation_(film)

Reply Score: 2

There are 3 to the dance
by B. Janssen on Tue 8th May 2012 21:40 UTC
B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

This strikes me as odd. For Android this is a three-way setup, while with Apple this is a two-way setup.

Google delivers Android to the OEMs, who deliver the hardware to the carriers. It's not that hard to see that the OEMs play an important role in this situation. Those have to bring the updates to their hardware first, before the carriers can delay anything. So, why do European market or "unlocked" devices suffer long update cycles, too, if the (US) carriers are to blame?

Reply Score: 2

RE: There are 3 to the dance
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 8th May 2012 21:44 UTC in reply to "There are 3 to the dance"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, why do European market or "unlocked" devices suffer long update cycles, too, if the (US) carriers are to blame?


The international SII got ICS way before the US variants (do those even have ICS?).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: There are 3 to the dance
by B. Janssen on Wed 9th May 2012 06:05 UTC in reply to "RE: There are 3 to the dance"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

"So, why do European market or "unlocked" devices suffer long update cycles, too, if the (US) carriers are to blame?


The international SII got ICS way before the US variants (do those even have ICS?).
"

The official (never mind the leaks) ICS update was rolled out to the GS2 in the middle of April. Less than a month ago, bit I digress. So, the GS2 is on ICS, but what other phones -- besides the Nexus-line -- are?

All I have seen are statements of intent, but no actions yet.

EDIT: crappy quote formating

Edited 2012-05-09 06:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: There are 3 to the dance
by jared_wilkes on Wed 9th May 2012 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE: There are 3 to the dance"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

"Way before" seems a major overreach. There is truth that non-US carriers may move a little quicker in general, but it is not that substantial. It's just as likely that the even lower-end phones which barely sell in the US, if at all, but are sold in great numbers throughout Asia, are not being updated at all -- never mind in a timely fashion.

We are looking at a shift from it taking 1 year to achieve 50% of the latest OS to potentially well over 16 months across all markets.

Is it your argument that the US is so "way behind" the EU and other parts of the world that it is primarily responsible for the slow rate of adoption? Or that, subtracting the US, a 9-12 month adoption curve would be much more acceptable than a 12-16 month adoption curve?

Edited 2012-05-09 07:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: There are 3 to the dance
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 8th May 2012 21:47 UTC in reply to "There are 3 to the dance"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

yes, there are delays for Euro phones, but the delay is generally much longer for US phones, even when there is minimal difference between the euro/global version and the US version.

The Sony Experia X10 was released with android 1.6, upgraded to 2.1 everywhere but on At&t Nov 2010 or so, which didn't get it until April of 2011. The Galaxy s based captivate didn't get 2.2 for months after Europe did. I don't know of any phone that got updates in the US faster than or even the same time as the global/euro version.

So, this means that either the US just has higher standards, and the versions we get are free of bugs that plague the non US versions, or much of the testing is unnecessary.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: There are 3 to the dance
by Athlander on Tue 8th May 2012 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE: There are 3 to the dance"
Athlander Member since:
2008-03-10


So, this means that either the US just has higher standards, and the versions we get are free of bugs that plague the non US versions, or much of the testing is unnecessary.


Maybe it takes a bit of time for the carriers to program surveillance backdoors into the updates for the FBI?

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

no, that's already baked into the linux kernel ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: There are 3 to the dance
by phoenix on Tue 8th May 2012 22:03 UTC in reply to "There are 3 to the dance"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

This strikes me as odd. For Android this is a three-way setup, while with Apple this is a two-way setup.

Google delivers Android to the OEMs, who deliver the hardware to the carriers. It's not that hard to see that the OEMs play an important role in this situation. Those have to bring the updates to their hardware first, before the carriers can delay anything. So, why do European market or "unlocked" devices suffer long update cycles, too, if the (US) carriers are to blame?


European and Asian countries get updates to Android phones long before North America does. Everything else being equal, the only real difference is the carriers.

For example, Xperia 2011 phones in Europe/Asia started getting updates to 4.0.3 last month. North America isn't expected to get these updates for another month or so, in order for Rogers, AT&T, et al to "certify" the updates.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: There are 3 to the dance
by jared_wilkes on Wed 9th May 2012 07:12 UTC in reply to "RE: There are 3 to the dance"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Just to be clear: We are talking about the difference between 6-7 months and 8-9 months after release of the OS update for a phone less than 12 months old as if one is acceptable and the other is not?

Reply Score: 2

RE: There are 3 to the dance
by rjamorim on Tue 8th May 2012 23:33 UTC in reply to "There are 3 to the dance"
rjamorim Member since:
2005-12-05

This strikes me as odd. For Android this is a three-way setup, while with Apple this is a two-way setup.


Apple isn't even a two-way setup, they are single-way! They simply release a new version of iOS and the users update it wirelessly, the carriers have no say whatsoever.

Reply Score: 3

Not unexpected
by kwan_e on Tue 8th May 2012 23:41 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

AT&T will next blame Google for the delays due to their abandoning of Sooner, because it magically jinxed carriers into updating Later.

Reply Score: 3

Maybe Windows 8 will help
by Neolander on Wed 9th May 2012 00:05 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

As odd as it sounds, maybe Microsoft will help here.

With Windows 8, they've taken the best long-term approach to OS development on ARM and mandated that OEMs bring some standardization to the platform. If these changes "leak" to Android devices for cost reduction reasons, it means that Google will soon be able to build a release of Android that runs on pretty much every Android device out of the box, though in a reduced functionality mode.

This should in turn significantly reduce update delays.

At least here's to hoping...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Maybe Windows 8 will help
by cfgr on Wed 9th May 2012 01:59 UTC in reply to "Maybe Windows 8 will help"
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Don't get your hopes up. Part of Microsoft's mandated standardisation on ARM is "securing the boot process".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Maybe Windows 8 will help
by Neolander on Wed 9th May 2012 03:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe Windows 8 will help"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, most of Android phones already have a pretty "secure" boot process, I'd say, so it wouldn't change much on this front ;)

Reply Score: 1

demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

Well, most of Android phones already have a pretty "secure" boot process, I'd say, so it wouldn't change much on this front ;)


I think what the OP means is that there's not much of a chance of Android running on phones certified for Win8. With the secure boot system in place, there's not much of a chance of anything other than Windows running on these phones. In this way, MS would basically lock you into Windows on your mobile; in the same way as they're trying to do for your computer.

Reply Score: 0

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

With the Microsoft hate flying around you're missing Neolander's point.

He meant that if the OEMs need to standardize the ARM architecture due to Windows 8 requirements, that might have a beneficial side effect for Android.

Because then, it might just happen that the same standardized ARM architecture gets used for Android mobiles as well.

Reply Score: 3

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Which would be a Godsend. A standard EUFI bootloader alone (sans secure boot), would bring some sanity to Android phones. Now every manufacturer cooks their own bootloader.

The PC architecture maybe boring and drab, but courtesy of them all being IBM PC clones, it has spawned a very diverse software eco-system which is assured of a few standard ways of interacting. So less ways of handling hardware was good for choice in software.

ARM could use some of that drab standardisation. If ARM ever manages to penetrate the desktop market, I would loathe to be subjected to machines with Samsung OS, Dell OS, HUAWEI OS, etc. The hardware is most usefull if it is OS agnostic.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Maybe Windows 8 will help
by cfgr on Wed 9th May 2012 13:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Maybe Windows 8 will help"
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Yeah, that's what I meant and I admit I missed Neolander's point. I should refrain from posting that late ;)

Reply Score: 1

Google/OSS -- all Pro, no Con
by jared_wilkes on Wed 9th May 2012 02:26 UTC
jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

Yes, the carriers have little incentive to improve the OS.

Yes, the carriers have little incentive to ship the version of the OS Google wants them to ship and every incentive to create their own branded experience even if it is a worse experience.

Yes, the carriers are annoyed that certain devices or carriers may receive favoritism.

Etc... I don't absolve the carriers of any of these things. But these are obvious, natural side effects of the system, the platform, the ecosystem that Google created. These are the negatives that many of us have been pointing to since 2008 -- even though OEMs and carriers did rapidly roll out several updates for the first couple of years.

All of this flows naturally from the system Google created. All of this is the other side of the coin of openness. I don't begrudge the carriers for behaving as they always behaved (or as PC OEMs behaved with Windows prior to the smartphone error). However, I do applaud Apple for saying: we aren't going to do it that way, we aren't going to tolerate the status quo, you are going to operate by our rules.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Google/OSS -- all Pro, no Con
by r_a_trip on Wed 9th May 2012 10:55 UTC in reply to "Google/OSS -- all Pro, no Con"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

The carriers still see themselves as phone companies. They stopped being that, once they let mobile computers with phone capabilities on their networks. For better or worse, telephony is slowly taking a backseat and data is taking over. Tech savy people are increasingly communicating in text and pictures and dedicated voice is waning. The Joe and Jane Sixpack category will follow. It is only a matter of time that the traditional dumbphone will have transitioned over to a low end smartphone.

Carriers need to realise they are now wireless ISP's. They need to transition to providing flatrate data plans and shift voice over to their own VOIP infrastructure. Just let people download the Carrier VOIP App in the App stores and be done with the idea that you primarily get a phone subscription to make phone calls. They could even monetize it. Use Carrier Apps and receive additonal services (provided they add value) and any additional small fee is conveniently added to your data bill.

The time of enticing people to renew a contract by offering the next "gratis" fashionable brick of a dumbphone is over.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by jimmystewpot
by jimmystewpot on Wed 9th May 2012 06:36 UTC
jimmystewpot
Member since:
2006-01-19

I agree with most of the other people who comment along the lines of who cares.. something needs to be done to fix it. I run my own custom roms now because I couldn't be bothered waiting for even cyanogen to get their kit released in a timely fashion for CM9...

So far So good.. desire hd with updates that follow AOSP.

Reply Score: 1

Completely off topic but
by n0b0dy on Wed 9th May 2012 08:13 UTC
n0b0dy
Member since:
2009-09-03

Nobody here mentioned that Jean-Baptiste Queru is Eugenia's husband.
I suppose people here still remember her, right?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Completely off topic but - and?
by jabbotts on Wed 9th May 2012 13:25 UTC in reply to "Completely off topic but"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

So, does the family relationship somehow change the facts of the three media releases from Jean, AT&T and Google? Or, maybe is the family relationship completely unrelated to the topic?

Reply Score: 2

n0b0dy Member since:
2009-09-03

Well, it says "off topic" at the top, doesn't it?
It's called an anecdote.

Edited 2012-05-09 18:25 UTC

Reply Score: 0

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

anecdote? more of an unrelated fact than anecdote.

Reply Score: 2

If it's not a Nexus.. it's not Android
by jabbotts on Wed 9th May 2012 13:06 UTC
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

This is exactly why I wouldn't touch any of the devices outside of the Nexus branding; I wanted Android not a vendor molested forked distribution, I wanted updates when they where available from Google not when some vendor/carrier priesthood decided I was worthy.

If it's not running Google's stock android and getting updates directly then it's not Android; it's just some nock-off child-fork distribution misrepresenting it's branding.

On the up side, I hear Asus is due to ship a mobile running stock ICS; and outside the "nexus" brand no less. Well done Asus.. a vendor who might actually "get it".

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

And I want a keyboard. Oh, wait, there's only 1 Nexus device with a keyboard? And it's how many years old?

It's not possible to stick to Nexus line if you want specific features (like a non-PenTile screen, for instance) in a modern phone.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Oh I'd love to see more hardware vendors shipping unmolested Android but until that happens the Nexus line is the best bet. At the moment, it does impose the hardware choice though.

I do share your preference for keyboards. A four row full qwerty slide out keyboard ideally; doesn't piss away screen space or require a special shift button to get the number row.

For me the priority was software. If I'm going to replace my Maemo with Android then it has to be Google Android stock with direct updates. Ok, so what hardware is available in the Nexus line. Does any vendor provide this outside of the Nexus line (not at the time of purchase). Ok, so this is the hardware option; no keyboard, no removable SD.. can I live with these hardware limitations in exchange for the software requirements? Yes.. I'll get an external keyboard if I find I need one that bad (was always the first accessory purchase in the PDA days).

Granted, if you can't live with one of the hardware options that ships with stock Android then you have some other decisions to make. (eg. can I live with lagging updates or an orphaned vendor fork of Android?).

Reply Score: 2

Android Device OEMs
by fretinator on Wed 9th May 2012 15:11 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

OK, guys, lets all bring your custom home screens, UI's, widgets, and value-added apps right here. Yes, HTC, you too. OK, put them down in this pile. Who has the gas can - there it is. Light this match and -- WHOOSH! There we go, all better now. Don't you guys just feel real clean now. Well, you're welcome!

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 9th May 2012 18:30 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Sorry pal, this is not the whole story. If the carriers and OEMs are to blame for Android's upgrade problems, then why the non-carrier subsidized version of the Nexus S took so long to receive 4.0 (compared to the Galaxy Nexus)? Oh yeah, drivers ("binary blobs" as they are called in linux). There was an early 4.0 upgrade for the Nexus S, but it later got pulled because it caused driver issues. Some months after, the Nexus S finally got 4.0

We ll have to admit that Linux's "if it's not open source and in the kernel tree, it will probably break during the next upgrade" approach to drivers just isn't working for cellphones, where many drivers are proprietary. These guys need to come up with a stable ABI.

Of course, carriers and OEMs are another hoop the upgrade has to go through. IMO this upgrade thing mayhem to kill Android. Windows Phone users may not get upgraded from WP7 to WP8, but at least they will receive upgrades for WP8 for a much longer time than any Android phone will.

PS: Oh, and when Google "releases" Android, they release source only for whatever hardware the most recent Nexus has. It's up to the OEMs to adapt/rewritte the new source to the hardware their phones are running.

Edited 2012-05-09 18:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Re:
by tonny on Thu 10th May 2012 03:28 UTC in reply to "Re:"
tonny Member since:
2011-12-22

Even Google won't provide update for their > 2 years phone. Remember when their 3rd gen. Nexus out, the update for the 1st gen. Nexus cease to exist (they're not provided it)?
Oh, How I wish there's smartphone OS that like PC OS. Something that myself can install/uninstall.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Re:
by Alfman on Thu 10th May 2012 04:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tonny.

"Oh, How I wish there's smartphone OS that like PC OS. Something that myself can install/uninstall."

Neolander was right:
http://www.osnews.com/comments/25920

Standardization is the key to solving our platform compatibility woes, and UEFI offers just that. But it's a tragedy that standardization effort has been corrupted by corporate pressure to include subsystems carefully designed to block an owner's freedom to install his own software.


The overall collective tech industry is moving towards closed personal computing devices and giving users much less control than in the past, not more. It's scary; It's not progress. I wonder if George Orwell himself realized how much his works would foreshadow reality.

Reply Score: 2

No It's carriers and device makers
by NeoX on Thu 10th May 2012 16:11 UTC
NeoX
Member since:
2006-02-19

The difference between Apple and android, to an extent, is that Apple pushes out the updates for their devices, regardless of carrier. On other devices the carriers a lot of the time push out the updates.

Take for example my Xperia Play bought from AT&T. Sony pushed out the 2.3.4 update to the carriers in September of 2011. Nearly every xperia play device and carrier pushed out this update, except At&t and Verizon. Well I just read that the verizon update started getting pushed out to devices last week. But AT&T? Nope, we got an update to fix a bug in 2.3.3 and still no 2.3.4 in sight.

At&t has not finished adding their bloat and tracking software to it yet and putting it through their testing phase. So if you are on AT&T and have an Xperia Play 4g, then don't hold your breath when you see Sony pushing out all the coming 4.0 upgrades because you won't get it for at least 9 months later, if the past is an indication.

So what were you saying AT&T about whose fault it is for delays in updates??

Reply Score: 1

siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

They choose when they want to make the upgrade. Usually the problem is porting the crapware that they put on vanilla Android (which is in fact fine), nd doing QA that the new version doesn't have regressions over the last one. For some reason the process is slow, probably because they don't care and don't invest into it.

Reply Score: 2

too many phones
by graig on Sun 13th May 2012 15:07 UTC
graig
Member since:
2010-09-18

funny they are all blaming each other, but in actuality they are all to blame. too many hands in the cookie jar.

too many handsets for google alone to test. too many handsets for the vendors to care about, once they sold the phone they don't care about if you like it after that. And then the carriers want to test the phone out. because they have to deal with all the problems created by buggy software. they don't want to have to replace everyones phones because google didn't test it with every phone.

Reply Score: 1