Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Dec 2013 09:51 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

About 2 years back, I read this article on Michael Degusta's personal blog. It was a revelation. Michael ripped the Android ecosystem apart with a simple chart. The chart converted me from an Android user to an iPhone user. I hope this chart helps other folks make an informed decision when their next smartphone upgrade is due.

Charts like this do great in certain areas of the web, but it's too simplistic. First, it does not take into account that many core aspects of Android are updated through Google Play, such as Chrome, Gmail, Maps, the keyboard, and so on. Whereas iOS needs an entire update to fix a small bug in, say, Maps - Android does not. Many core parts that require an entire OS update for iOS are updated weekly on Android.

Second, it does not mention that even though older iPhone models get the latest version of iOS, some functionality of these latest versions is disabled due to marketing, and in some cases due to hardware constraints (if you were to believe Apple, that is).

Third and foremost, though: I'm betting each and every one of those devices has at least an Android 4.2 or 4.3 release (and some have 4.4 too, like my Find 5) from, for instance, CyanogenMod - and countless other ROM makers. Installing a custom ROM is one of the strengths of Android, and not nearly as hard or difficult as some make it out to be. If your iPhone becomes unsupported or really slow due to iOS7 - you're screwed. You have no other options. If Samsung's TouchWiz crap makes your Galaxy slow, run out and get a quality phone install a custom ROM.

I see this all the time: people ignoring core strengths of Android because they don't understand them or because they don't belong to their interests - "this is just for nerds and geeks, so it's irrelevant!" Take discussions about application on iOS and Android, for instance; those arguing in favour of iOS routinely ignore that Android has access to types of applications iOS users could only dream of. If you leave those out, it's easy to make Android's application offering look weaker. The same happens when looking at Android and updates.

All this doesn't negate the fact that updates are by far Android's weakest link, although not nearly as much of an issue as it used to be during the gingerbread days. Moving more and more parts of Android to Play will eventually all but solve the issue completely.

Order by: Score:
Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?
by ricegf on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:27 UTC
ricegf
Member since:
2007-04-25

It's kind of interesting that he counts Jelly Bean as 3 different major versions.

Actually, by the time my Nexus 4 upgraded to Kit Kat, I could only tell because the icons at the top were white instead of blue - all of the other changes that actually impinge on my brain, such as the switch to Hangouts for SMS, had already installed in JB. So I wouldn't consider even KK to be a "major version" from this user's perspective. *shrugs*

I say this as a long-time iPad user who just moved to Android earlier this year.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?
by Kochise on Thu 5th Dec 2013 14:46 UTC in reply to "Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Guess what ? Watch this...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCwBkNgPZFQ

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?
by Tony Swash on Thu 5th Dec 2013 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I guess the humour is an attempt to cope with this sort of news

http://www.parksassociates.com/blog/article/pr-dec2013-brands

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?
by ricegf on Thu 5th Dec 2013 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Interesting article, thanks!

Of course, it is limited to US only (where Apple, as a premium brand, does much better than internationally), is by brand rather than OS (only Apple makes iOS products), and is a survey of intentions rather than sales (which often differ wildly, as the article notes).

But I enjoyed my iPad, and still hold Apple's design engineers in high regard. Nothing wrong with being Lexus in a world of mass-produced Chevies! :-)

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?
by grat on Fri 6th Dec 2013 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Jelly Bean Counts Thrice?"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

From the article:

"Being the ‘preferred’ brand is certainly an advantage, but consumers can still change their minds," Barrett said. "For example, with streaming media players, Apple is the preferred brand, but many shoppers ultimately end up getting a Roku. Last year, among younger (18-34) shoppers for this device, 34% planned to buy an Apple, and 15% planned to buy a Roku. In a later survey of actual purchases, we found 24% bought an Apple TV and 29% bought a Roku player."


So really, what it says is that Apple has the mindshare, but when it comes time to actually purchase, they don't do nearly as well.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by stanbr
by stanbr on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:33 UTC
stanbr
Member since:
2009-05-22

Well, I disagree in a few points.
Comparing a custom ROM (wich requires in many cases jailbreaking your phone - something the vendors forbids) to an official iOS is not fair. Please, keep an orages to oranges comparation.
So there is not much you can say here. The chart is clear: iOS *officialy* supports its phone for a looong more time that Google/Android. Of course not every software will run on all iOS devices. To do that Apple would have to bring all phones down to the lowest common denominator, something that makes no sense.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by stanbr
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by stanbr"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The vendor can forbid all he wants. Too bad for him it means fuck all, since they are not allowed to void warranty on the hardware just because you install different software. European law is quite clear about that.

http://tweakers.net/nieuws/88837/garantie-telefoons-mag-niet-verval...

So, Samsung for instance, has already announced that it will honour EU law and repair any rooted or jailbroken phones.

http://tweakers.net/nieuws/90256/samsung-gaat-gebrickte-telefoons-s...

See what I mean? People parrot each other without actually looking at the facts.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by stanbr
by stanbr on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stanbr"
stanbr Member since:
2009-05-22

And you are still not comparing the same things. You should not compare a jailbroken phone, running unofficial software, with an official OS.

If you want to consider jailbroken Android phones, you should also consider jailbroken iOSs (what brings some of the original complains off the table, since jailbroken iOS is not as restrictive as the post says).

But again, what is being discussed here is official support. And Apple wins hands down. That does not mean iOS is a better choice, but it's something ppl should have in mind when choosing. Is have a longer official support important to you? If not, than this information is irrelevant to you. But to me, it's very relevant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by stanbr
by JAlexoid on Thu 5th Dec 2013 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stanbr"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You can jailbreak iPhone3GS all you want, but you still can't get iOS7 on it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by stanbr
by henderson101 on Sat 7th Dec 2013 08:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by stanbr"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

That's also comparing apples to oranges. Android is quite clearly open enough to allow recompilation of enough of the core OS and higher level services to make back ports work, where as iOS is not.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by stanbr
by Tony Swash on Thu 5th Dec 2013 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stanbr"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Isn't there a bigger question than Android's well documented fragmentation which the reason why per capita Android is used so much less than iOS as a platform to do things.

That differential in platform usage, which is such a strong signal in so many different metrics and data collection systems that it is clearly not noise, causes significantly poorer per capita monitisation on Android which in turn has significant platform implications.

I would think the one lesson so far that can be very clearly from the new mass markets for mobile computing devices is crude amalgamated market share is not a good proxy for platform health.

Both Android and iOS are very healthy platforms, both clearly have a very long and successful future in front of them and the fate of neither will be the result of simple market share.

I know fans of Android love to talk about crude amalgamated market share or the inherent wonderfulness of Android being 'open' or whatever, but surely it is very interesting that iOS can be so stunningly healthy as a platform whilst only selling one in five smart phones.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by stanbr
by zima on Tue 10th Dec 2013 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stanbr"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom, there is also fourth reason why the charts are too simplistic: Apple sells their old models for much longer, actively pushes them onto consumers long after launch. So it's also interesting to look at the length of Apple support since the end of large scale sales (and no one really does that, AFAIK).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by stanbr
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by stanbr"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You can't compare android to ios oranges to oranges because IOS is a kumquat, and Android is a buddha's hands. Both citrus, but very different creatures with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Edited 2013-12-05 15:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by stanbr
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 5th Dec 2013 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stanbr"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

too late to edit, but this is what's going on:

http://marquetteeducator.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/the-education-sys...

In Tech, people often define tests to arrive at their particular desired ranking of test subjects. Its a true oranges to oranges comparison to see who can climb the tree better, but not really helpful for anything other than determining which of the animals is a monkey.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by stanbr
by pan0k on Thu 5th Dec 2013 20:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by stanbr"
pan0k Member since:
2013-06-05

Where is the original iPhone on the graph? That's the rotten Apple the I paid full price that help me convert to Android.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by stanbr
by stanbr on Fri 6th Dec 2013 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stanbr"
stanbr Member since:
2009-05-22

Please read the source. The original iPhone is there and Apple gave it almost 3 years of support. It's more time than any android device ever.
When Google introduced Android with the HTC G1, it got only 1 year with support to the latest Android major version.

http://theunderstatement.com/post/11982112928/android-orphans-visua...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by stanbr
by grat on Fri 6th Dec 2013 15:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by stanbr"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

I agree that while as a technical sort of a person, jailbreaking is no big deal, for the average cell phone user, it's asking a bit much.

On the other hand, the chart completely ignores that nearly all Android handset owners have the latest version of google maps, gmail, etc., and that it's much easier to swap out core apps for third party apps on the Android.

Reply Score: 4

Sailfish OS
by Luke McCarthy on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:48 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think Sailfish OS will suffer in the same way as Android. Being based on a true desktop-style GNU/Linux system with RPM packages it can be upgraded in a "rolling-release" style unlike Android which is more similar to the way Windows does things. Core components of the system can be upgraded, even if kernel and drivers may lag behind if hardware vendors are lazy. Jolla have promised regular updates.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sailfish OS
by moondevil on Thu 5th Dec 2013 13:38 UTC in reply to "Sailfish OS"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

If it manages to sell more than Blackberry.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Sailfish OS
by Luke McCarthy on Thu 5th Dec 2013 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Sailfish OS"
Luke McCarthy Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't see how many they sell as being any relevance to what I was saying...

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Sailfish OS
by moondevil on Thu 5th Dec 2013 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sailfish OS"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Well, for people to be able to use Sailfish OS and Jolla stay profitable, Joe and Jane average need to buy the handsets.

The Jolla fan club is not enough to keep the company alive.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Sailfish OS
by henderson101 on Sat 7th Dec 2013 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sailfish OS"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Let's hope they learnt from Nokia and do the exact opposite in most things. Nokia shat all over the maemo/meego ecosystem with every release of hardware and software.

Reply Score: 3

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:50 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Who cares, the futue is on pure Android, aka Nexus and Google Experience Devices. Other types of Android devices will slowly fade like those PCs that weren't really 100% IBM PC compatible faded.

Anyways, as I 've said before, anyone who wants true Android and upgrades can get a Nexus 5. If you are buying something else, you probably don't care about upgrades. The discussion about upgrades made sense back in the Galaxy Nexus years when Nexuses were mostly developer hardware (really miserable battery) and not user devices.

Edited 2013-12-05 10:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Re:
by twitterfire on Thu 5th Dec 2013 12:58 UTC in reply to "Re:"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Who cares, the futue is on pure Android, aka Nexus and Google Experience Devices. Other types of Android devices will slowly fade like those PCs that weren't really 100% IBM PC compatible faded.

Yep. That's why Samsung sells more phones that all other Android phonemakers combined. The future can also be on Tizen (or whatever os Samsung prefers) with TouchWIz on top. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Re:
by moondevil on Thu 5th Dec 2013 13:37 UTC in reply to "Re:"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Tell that to the ones that bought the Galaxy Nexus 4. Most likely there won't be a KitKat release for them.

So much for trusting Google.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Re:
by cpuobsessed on Thu 5th Dec 2013 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
cpuobsessed Member since:
2009-06-09
RE[2]: Re:
by some1 on Thu 5th Dec 2013 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

There is no such thing as Galaxy Nexus 4. Nexus 4 update is rolling out already. Galaxy Nexus is not getting an update, which is a bit annoying given it's just 2 years old, but as someone who actually uses gnex as a main phone, I don't think that's such a big deal. 4.2 and 4.3 updates were pretty useless, and I had to undo clock change. Optimizations in 4.4 look interesting, but other features less so, and I'd have to fix up tethering, Bluetooth and replace launcher.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Re:
by moondevil on Thu 5th Dec 2013 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re:"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Ooops, I made my comment based on Google+ comments.

Should I have checked first.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Re:
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 5th Dec 2013 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Re:"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Furthermore, it will be supported in cyanogenmod. Seeing as its already unlocked, and there is a new desktop based installer, its not too difficult to keep make the switch, if necessary.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Re:
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri 6th Dec 2013 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

umm....Im running a Nexus 4 with Kit Kat from Google right now.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Re:
by henderson101 on Sat 7th Dec 2013 08:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re:"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Me also, and have been for 2 or more weeks. I don't even remember when the update became available now.

Reply Score: 3

Dreaming
by wocowboy on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:51 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

Relying on users to install a non-standard, non-supported, and warranty-voiding piece of software like CyanogenMod or others is ludicrous when you're trying to make out that Android devices are just as up to date as iOS devices. When newly released flagship Android devices SHIP with outdated OS versions, there is a major problem somewhere. What new iOS device has ever shipped with an outdated version of iOS? The missing features he laments with newer versions of iOS have more to do with hardware capabilities than "marketing reasons", too. The rationalization going on in this article is just too amazing for words.

Edited 2013-12-05 10:54 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Dreaming
by JAlexoid on Thu 5th Dec 2013 13:47 UTC in reply to "Dreaming"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

VIP Inbox is truly a feature that was removed due to hardware limitation...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Dreaming
by kholinar on Thu 5th Dec 2013 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Dreaming"
kholinar Member since:
2007-09-10

VIP Inbox is and was available for every device that got ios 6.

As is typical of these type of things. People read the first reports and inflammatory articles and never read the follow-up.

VIP Inbox wasn't included on the 3GS in the first two betas of ios 6, because, you know, it was a beta. Beta 3 added it and it stayed.

Edited 2013-12-05 14:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

A shame
by getaceres on Thu 5th Dec 2013 10:52 UTC
getaceres
Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference is Google does not want to sell phones but services so it doesn't put so many attention in post-sale support. Once you're using its services, it doesn't matter for if you're using KitKat or ICS or even Gingerbread. On the opposite, phones sales is an important part of Apple's business so they care about the products they sell.
That way, in Android you'll get updates to Gmail, Google+, Google Search, Google Maps and so way longer than the iPhone release cycle but not so many OS updates. When next version comes out next year with the next Nexus Phone, only the Nexus 5 will be updated. There's a great chance the Nexus 4 will be left in whatever version it will be running at that time, specially if there's a big change in the OS. The thing is Google doesn't care, the Nexus 4 will be receiving updates for all the Google Services for some years to come.

Edited 2013-12-05 10:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: A shame
by Kver on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:20 UTC in reply to "A shame"
Kver Member since:
2012-07-08

Your logic is completely backwards. If you're selling services, you want people on the newest platform so you can have the most compelling services. You can look at how Google works hard to keep chrome up-to-date for evidence of that. Even a feature almost unrelated to Google such as improved battery life means people will have more time to surf those services and slurp up ads. Those successive Android releases also bring more APIs Google can use to make their services better.

On the other hand, Apple barely has its toes in the water when it comes to services - they're in the sales business. Apple doesn't sell hardware or software, it sells its brand; and that brand is experiential. That's why they keep their phones up to date, because anything less would hurt the overall Apple brand.

Both businesses took fundamentally different approaches though, with Google being open and Apple being locked down. It's not that Google is trying to abandon older phones or doesn't care - the approach they chose just happens to make updates much, much harder because they chose to let carriers and manufacturers manage the software (and those groups genuinely don't care how up-to-date you are).

Oddly enough, both companies are getting hurt by their decisions right now. Apple didn't sell nearly as many of the new iPhone 5s as they could have because most people simply didn't see the value proposition. Sure, Apple disabled the odd feature, but the upgrade was still enough to give old phones a novel enough feeling to discourage new purchases. And Google is getting hurt because their services need to anticipate a myriad of environments and devices, making development miserable for them. For example, my phone is perfectly capable of 3D, but the old software and manufacturer skin makes apps that use 3D glitch out (navigation and maps, mainly); guess which apps Google isn't serving me ads on!

In all irony, the controlled environment Apple provides means Google could make its apps *way* more reliable, while having a hardware treadmill would get Apple *way* more sales.

But all said and done, Googles solution to the fragmented ecosystem is to make the Android system as modular as possible, moving the 'core' system components into the app-space. This means eventually major OS upgrades will become less of an issue, as eventually Android will just be a kernel, a runtime and an API. I wouldn't at all be surprised if within the next year or two the status-bar, notification centre and soft buttons all became apps too.

The new 'Art' runtime is an indicator of this; it gives all apps native speed all the time - exactly what you need to move 'core' system services into the app layer. Sure, many small updates is less 'sexy' than giving everyone and their dog the latest releases - but it's practical and Google has enough control over the App Store to bypass the upgrade barriers and provide a more consistent and up-to-date API.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A shame
by getaceres on Thu 5th Dec 2013 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE: A shame"
getaceres Member since:
2005-07-06

That's the idea. Look at Apple's releases. You have like one or two "features" that has to do with the internals of iOS (and iOS7 is a heavily skinned iOS6), then the rest is: Maps now does this, notes is that, calendar has this other, iTunes now plays better songs... But you need a full upgrade of the OS in order to have all this.

Now take a Nexus S running JellyBean 4.1 (the last official version) and update maps, hangouts, search, keyboard, calendar, Google+, etc and try to find the differences with a Nexus 4 running the latest KitKat. They are really minor ones and for the ones which are different (dialer or clock) Google can release an updated apk anytime they want like they did with calendar or keyboard. Both will run the latest version of the major apps which will look and behave exactly the same and the Nexus S will be 3 major versions behind Nexus 4 but who cares?

The thing is Google makes money if you use Google+ or Google Search or Youtube but it doesn't make many money per every Nexus device sold, be it a tablet or a phone, much less if it's another brand's phone. It's just the entrance to their world and they show constantly they don't care about their hardware as long as you keep using their services and every Android phone out there does it.

Edited 2013-12-05 16:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A shame
by WorknMan on Thu 5th Dec 2013 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A shame"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I like that Google is pushing the majority of features outside of the core OS. Only downside to that is that Android OS updates these days are kind of boring. My Nexus 4 is still running rooted 4.2, and I see no reason to update it. However, if it helps stop the bitching about lack of updates, it's a tradeoff I'm willing to endure.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: A shame
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri 6th Dec 2013 01:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A shame"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

why not update to 4.4? it is more memory efficient at the very least and you can install GEL from APK to get the home screen "OK Google".

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: A shame
by WorknMan on Fri 6th Dec 2013 02:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A shame"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

why not update to 4.4? it is more memory efficient at the very least and you can install GEL from APK to get the home screen "OK Google".


Since I'm rooted, I can't take OTA updates. I'll get to flashing it eventually ;) There's just nothing past 4.2 that makes me want to go through the trouble.

As for the GEL, I've been spoiled by the hands-free feature of the Moto X, so I consider anything that requires me to actually pick up the device to be a waste of time, esp when I can just do a Google search on a PC and get the same information, most of the time.

By and large, I consider Google Now to be a wasted opportunity to control the phone like Siri does. For example, ask Google Now to turn on bluetooth, and you will be told to go get f**ked. At least the Moto X has a driving mode, so it can approximate what Siri does in the car. And yes, I know there are 3rd party apps that do all that shit, but again... this should REALLY be in the GEL. In fact, they should have an API for 3rd party apps to access as well, so I could do things like change stations in Slacker radio using my voice. This would've been more useful than having the OS re-skinned in white.

/rant over

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A shame
by weckart on Fri 6th Dec 2013 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE: A shame"
weckart Member since:
2006-01-11

The only thing affecting sales of the 5s is supply. Apple's online stores have been showing a backlog since its launch in September. Perhaps you meant the 5c.

Edited 2013-12-06 18:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Misleading chart but...
by dennisma on Thu 5th Dec 2013 11:14 UTC
dennisma
Member since:
2013-12-05

The chart is a bit misleading on its idea of major upgrades but besides that the person does have a point. The upgrade path for Android phones is pitiful compared to iOS.

Face it... it is why Google started Nexus phones and tablets. The hardware manufacturers would screw people over making them wait (sometimes forever) for upgrades to be rolled out.

Telling customers to install a custom ROM is NOT what they want to hear. When people spend that kind of money on a phone they should expect some upgrade path to go along with it; not some answer that says "well go install cyanogenmod and if you have a problem go post on the forum and maybe someone out there will feel sorry enough to lend you a hand."

Listen... contrary to popular belief people actually have other things to do than sit around and figure this stuff out.

Your other points about Android devices having more capabilities is correct however but your mindset on how to treat the customer is just wrong.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Misleading chart but...
by henderson101 on Sat 7th Dec 2013 08:56 UTC in reply to "Misleading chart but..."
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Okay, so - here is the thing. Older Android releases are pretty well supported by Google. My kids phones run Gingerbread and they got the latest Hangouts recently, as an example. But, most of these apps seem to require Google Play Services to function and the amount of space on their phones is stupidly small already, so one had to delete a lot of apps to install (edit: and even then the app was slow and missing a lot of features), one just stuck with Google Talk for their IM's. What I'm trying to say is this : just because Google chose to make something available for a legacy device, really doesn't mean that the legacy device can actually handle it. Apple tends to remove features if there's and sniff that it will not work at 100% of some imaginary scale set during development. That sucks for the consumer, but having seen the other side of the coin, not sure it is all bad.

Also, let us look at what Google just did with KitKat - no Google experience launcher on my Nexus 4, and no OK Google in my search.... Seems like features being left out to me. How is that any different to Apple? Seriously?

Edited 2013-12-07 08:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The implication of "choice"
by gilboa on Thu 5th Dec 2013 11:58 UTC
gilboa
Member since:
2005-07-06

With choice, comes the responsibility of choosing the correct product.
An android user can *choose* to:
- ...Buy a Nexus device get the upgrades directly from Google.
- ...Rely on Samsung/LG/HTC/Sony to release upgrades.
- ...Use 3'rd party ROM (which, in many cases do *not* void the manufacturer warranty -as long as said user makes sure he *chose* the right manufacturer / shop / etc).

Beyond that, I must confess that the changes between my ICS running Sony Xpera U's, JB 4.1 running Galaxy S2 and and my CM 4.4 running Nexus 7 device are very minor. Most of the major upgrades are already pushed via Google Play instead of replying on major Android version releases (Hence the lack of a "major" Android 5.0 release).

- Gilboa

Edited 2013-12-05 12:01 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: The implication of "choice"
by moondevil on Thu 5th Dec 2013 13:40 UTC in reply to "The implication of "choice""
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Android 5 will be most likely happen when Google either decides to replace Dalvik with ART, or start merging ChromeOS and Android.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The implication of "choice"
by gilboa on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE: The implication of "choice""
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Android 5 will be most likely happen when Google either decides to replace Dalvik with ART, or start merging ChromeOS and Android.


I agree. Google seems to be doing its best to get all the new features via Google Play to as many devices as they can possibly support. (Read: Gingerbread and above).

Not sure that even switching to ART will bring 5.0 as its more-or-less transparent. (I've used on my Nexus 7 for a while, can't say that I felt the difference).

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 3

RE: The implication of "choice"
by bowkota on Fri 6th Dec 2013 16:41 UTC in reply to "The implication of "choice""
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12
RE[2]: The implication of "choice"
by gilboa on Sat 7th Dec 2013 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE: The implication of "choice""
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06



And again, this overly simplified table completely ignores the fact that iOS7 on iPhone 4 != iOS7 on iPhone 5s, nor does it take into account that fact that most changes within the Android echo-system are no longer tied to the "major" Android version.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 3

Sure but...
by ejulien on Thu 5th Dec 2013 12:00 UTC
ejulien
Member since:
2013-12-05

That chart seems to be overlooking the fact that you should not upgrade a 3gs to anything beyond iOS 4 unless you plan to use it as a door wedge.

I expect an iPhone 4 to hit the same issue long before it is officially unsupported.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sure but...
by gilboa on Thu 5th Dec 2013 16:00 UTC in reply to "Sure but..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

That chart seems to be overlooking the fact that you should not upgrade a 3gs to anything beyond iOS 4 unless you plan to use it as a door wedge.

I expect an iPhone 4 to hit the same issue long before it is officially unsupported.


... And the fact that iOS7 on iPhone 4, 4S had far less features than iOS7 on iPhone 5/5s.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 3

RE: Sure but...
by xylifyx on Thu 5th Dec 2013 21:16 UTC in reply to "Sure but..."
xylifyx Member since:
2008-05-03

That chart seems to be overlooking the fact that you should not upgrade a 3gs to anything beyond iOS 4 unless you plan to use it as a door wedge.


Even worse, it is impossible to downgrade when you have made the mistake to upgrade. Leaving the iphone unusable.

Upgrades should only be provided if they improve user experience.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Sure but...
by ezraz on Fri 6th Dec 2013 14:23 UTC in reply to "Sure but..."
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

except i have a 3+ year old 32mb iPhone4 in my pocket right now, running iOS7 better than it ran iOS6. the free, painless update, gave my old phone lots of new features, a totally new UI (skin), and better battery life in most cases. i bought this phone in summer 2010 and it's like a new life for winter 2014.

this is a testament to apple's engineering and corporate mission of removing as much pain as possible from their customer experience. the other uniquely apple thing that haters miss is that most apple software updates actually make their hardware faster and more capable.

yes, sometimes you don't get all the new features on a 3 year old device, but you do get new features and you get a major refresh of old tech. no other phone company goes back and upgrades old hardware with OS updates like Apple does.

I personally think Android should stay focused on nerds and hackers, and leave the average dumb consumer out of it. so many people with android phones i see out in public have little or no idea how to manage the platform, in fact have no idea what they are holding and how to use it. they brag about their new high tech phone, then struggle using it in front of everyone. They loudly complain about it being too complicated, then 2 months later they have another (larger) droid and they repeat the process.

i've literally have the same iphone sometimes while my buddies go through 3-5 android phones. often times they lose their data and start over. it's amazing.

i've been in the apple ecosystem since the early 90's. i've lost my personal data once in that time, and it was completely my fault. apple hardware has not screwed my data in 20+ years. i've always thought PC users and now android users live a temporary existence where they don't even expect to have their data years later.

i have hundreds of contacts and notes on my iPhone that i entered into my first iphone in 2007. I have thousands of media files that i loaded into iTunes starting in 2001, and mp3 files that were ripped and loaded into soundjam starting in 1999. i have email in mu current client going back to 2004, and back to 1997 on the mac sitting on my shelf.

i hate reentering anything, that's partly why i'm apple all around.

i'm sure OSNews readers don't match this description, but the general "i have a smartphone too" people with nexuses and galaxys around me know less about using their device than even some grandparents with ipads. the apple iOS is locked down in certain parts, but overall lets the user explore and reconfigure their device to their liking. a backup and full restore is always a click away.

Edited 2013-12-06 14:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Sounds good.
by Windows Sucks on Thu 5th Dec 2013 14:40 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

But there are several things forgotten.

1. As Google moves more to the play store, the less of it is open source. So the changes Google makes will not show up in Roms anymore and or you might not be able to install them in your Rom once you change over to one.

2. You can jailbreak your iPhone a get a lot of features that Apple leaves out just like you can install a rom on your Android phone.

3. Also though Apps are updated through the play store that still leaves the old core OS on a lot of phones with security holes etc. Where a lot of times the OS updates that Apple does also most of the time address bug and security issues also.

4. Roms also can cause you to void your warranty as you see from Google kicking out the easy installer that Cyanogenmod added to the play store.

5. Most people will never load a rom, just like most people never buy a second battery and most people never upgrade the SD card. (Notice that Google's Nexus phones are more like the iPhone on both of those counts now) It sounds good to have that freedom but 99% of people never use it.

6. Also Google its self only supports its own phones for 18 months. That might cover 2 versions of the OS, the shipped version and one version update. (Maybe)

In the end Google is taking more control over this finally. I hope it does work out to where all Android phones can get updates in the future!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sounds good.
by dsmogor on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:07 UTC in reply to "Sounds good. "
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Android will never get OS updates akin to IOS or (for now) WP, because Google doesn't mandate a HW platform so at least HW adaptaion has to be recreated every time core platform is changed.
This has nothing to do with custom skins and is a simple tradeoff.
What you get in return is a blooming HW ecosystem of devices ranging from $40 to $600, a required condition of having ~80% market share.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Sounds good.
by Windows Sucks on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Sounds good. "
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10


What you get in return is a blooming HW ecosystem of devices ranging from $40 to $600, a required condition of having ~80% market share.


True you also get a rash of security issues, out of date API's and almost no profits and revenue. All of which will eventually run off a lot of those companies especially on the low end as competition heats up and profits shrink even more and more and more people lose money and important info from their devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Sounds good.
by ricegf on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sounds good. "
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

"As competition heats up"?!? Android has 81% of the market already. How much hotter are you expecting?

Windows PCs have somehow managed to dominate desktops despite razor thin profit margins. I suspect Android devices will follow that model - less efficient companies will indeed drop out, but device competition will sustain Android's mobile dominance (in terms of volume) until the next disruption.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Sounds good.
by Windows Sucks on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sounds good. "
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

"As competition heats up"?!? Android has 81% of the market already. How much hotter are you expecting?

Windows PCs have somehow managed to dominate desktops despite razor thin profit margins. I suspect Android devices will follow that model - less efficient companies will indeed drop out, but device competition will sustain Android's mobile dominance (in terms of volume) until the next disruption.


Right that 81 percent is Android against other Mobile OS's. I am talking within Android its self. As other companies from China and India and Brazil etc come in with throw away phones profits will dry up, security will get worse as those companies continue to use old versions of Android to make cheap phones and then leave support for them just as fast as they make the devices.

And yes Microsoft didn't have the fragmentation that Android has so people got updates (Though their security sucked for years) Also for a long time lots of companies made nice profits off Windows sales till the cheap Asian companies came along in the mid 2000's. Now look, Dell basically done, HP basically done, Lenovo is now boss and makes almost no profits. That took 30 years to happen though.

This situation has already happened in Android land in 4 years. Already only Samsung is making profits. And if you don't make other stuff (Like HTC only makes phones and tablets) you are toast.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Sounds good.
by ricegf on Thu 5th Dec 2013 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sounds good. "
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Weird how so many companies keep producing such an endless stream of Android products even though OSNews experts keep *telling* them that only Apple and Samsung can possibly succeed.

Guess they don't read OSNews.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Sounds good.
by Windows Sucks on Thu 5th Dec 2013 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Sounds good. "
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Weird how so many companies keep producing such an endless stream of Android products even though OSNews experts keep *telling* them that only Apple and Samsung can possibly succeed.

Guess they don't read OSNews.


Yes because for a lot of companies (Most notably Google) cheap Android devices are what is known as a loss leader. Something you sell at a loss to lead people into your other products and services.

And being that a ton of companies don't have to do much R&D with Android and pay little to no fees it makes good business sense to do.

Has nothing to do with how great the software is though, and it doesn't mean they will ever make one dollar directly off Android. Long as they can get your to buy other things like Music, Click on Ads, buy books and movies and those make a profit, companies will keep on making an endless stream.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Sounds good.
by dsmogor on Fri 6th Dec 2013 07:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sounds good. "
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

This is simply a free market working. Android ecosystem with its low entry barriers is the closest of all to free market principles.
Every phone company is free to come up with whatever innovation to make people to pay more for their products if they can afford to. Increased security could be among such an added value.
In the same time they have the basics (App library) covered for reasonable fee (which goes to MS) that even cuts you some slack if they aren't on the radar.
At the same time any CPU/GPU company can join to the game, not just Qualcomm.

Reply Score: 3

Where it counts.
by dsmogor on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:01 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

ie having apples to apples comparison (no pun) is the developer api.
Apple devs having the same api (with just couple of weeks lags) on predictable hw, have a true advantage.
This is unfortunately reflected in average app quality which unfortunately suffers on Android imo. Not to mention crappy IOS ports like Twitter, Instagram etc.
Thank God they don't actively hijack alternative clients.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Froyton
by Froyton on Thu 5th Dec 2013 15:25 UTC
Froyton
Member since:
2013-08-29

I would give props to Apple for having a consistent update system, but they lose serious points when half of their updates break something. My wife has an iPhone 5, and I swear the most stable it's ever been was when it came out of the box. The first update she received caused her wifi to stop working and her battery to drain horribly, forcing her to plug it in halfway through the day. Several subsequent updates would not fix these issues. The update to iOS7 fixed her wifi issue, but her battery still drains just as fast. She had comparable issues with iPhone 4 updates as well.

I'm not saying Android phones are immune to this problem - everyone I know who had a Droid X said the updates made it worse in some way. But I will say none of the Android phones I've owned had given me any issues with updates.

Furthermore, I honestly stopped caring about the supposed update "problem" with Android a while ago. I'm still rocking 4.1 Jellybean and I honestly have no strong incentive to upgrade anytime soon. 4.1 is awesome and already gives me pretty much everything I could want in a phone OS. I'll definitely upgrade eventually, but I don't feel like an abused customer with 4.1 by any means.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by dpanov
by dpanov on Thu 5th Dec 2013 16:18 UTC
dpanov
Member since:
2009-01-12

"Android has access to types of applications iOS users could only dream of"

I'd love to hear examples on this. Can you please provide some?

Reply Score: 1

Official support.
by lucas_maximus on Thu 5th Dec 2013 18:01 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

The whole idea of getting an Apple device and the main selling point is that it just works (I am not making any claim as whether that is actually true).

Apple supports the newest OS with however many features for each of their phone/tablet/ipod models.

That is what they support because that is what they are claiming should definitely work on those models.

Installing a custom rom isn't support, while it is great that option is available it is certainly not a support hardware and software configuration.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Official support.
by lucas_maximus on Thu 5th Dec 2013 18:36 UTC in reply to "Official support."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

not a supported hardware and software configuration.


Fixed that for me.

Reply Score: 3

Does it matter ?
by Treza on Thu 5th Dec 2013 21:02 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

My Nexus7/2012 got updated recently to KitKat and I do not see much worthy enhancements.
There were actually regressions, like the Google localisation tracking, and details like the whitening of some UI elements or the terrible new alarm clock, or an app which was incompatible (finally updated yesterday).

People used XP for 10 years, without complaining, now that Google apps are updated independantly, I am not sure lack of OS updates really matters.

Android is becoming like iOS, minuscule enhancements to avoid disturbing current users.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Does it matter ?
by olejon on Fri 6th Dec 2013 05:35 UTC in reply to "Does it matter ?"
olejon Member since:
2012-08-12

People used XP for 10 years, without complaining, now that Google apps are updated independantly, I am not sure lack of OS updates really matters.


XP came out in 2001, and is still widely used, so that is 12 years, but during those 12 years XP has gotten security updates and bug fixes on a montly basis. Mobile OS' stop getting security updates as soon as a newer version of that OS is available, with some devices always being left behind, in some cases with huge security holes. That's a huge difference between desktop and mobile OS' that needs to be fixed.

The fact that Google can update many of the Android apps through Play Store is great (getting updates to Google apps on a weekly basis, much more exciting than my iPad that way...), but it doesn't help an Android 4.1 user if a security hole is found in the core OS itself, let's say in the way the OS handles SMS, calls or mobile hotspots.

Lack of OS updates will always be a security problem.

Edited 2013-12-06 05:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 5th Dec 2013 21:30 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Can I just say that everything about this article and discussions is just very, very depressing.

We're debating precisely how we're getting screwed.

It's like Apple-only bloggers. Apple screws them and they all stand around pontificating the benefits.

Could you imagine if Microsoft released Windows XP and discontinued support after six months, with no plan for upgrades for any existing PCs?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by moondevil on Fri 6th Dec 2013 06:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Could you imagine if Microsoft released Windows XP and discontinued support after six months, with no plan for upgrades for any existing PCs?


Yes, that is how home computers used to work before the PC got widespread, with their ROM builtin OS.

Reply Score: 3

Factually incorrect statement sorry
by d0nk3y on Thu 5th Dec 2013 21:54 UTC
d0nk3y
Member since:
2005-12-15

"Whereas iOS needs an entire update to fix a small bug in, say, Maps..."

iOS has not had to update the entire OS for small bugs for quite some time.

Reply Score: 2

iOS 7 slow?
by graig on Fri 6th Dec 2013 04:03 UTC
graig
Member since:
2010-09-18

No one I know has complained about iOS 7 being slow on an iPhone 4

Reply Score: 0

RE: iOS 7 slow?
by ilovebeer on Fri 6th Dec 2013 06:04 UTC in reply to "iOS 7 slow?"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

No one I know has complained about iOS 7 being slow on an iPhone 4

I have an iPhone 4 with iOS 7 on it and yes it is noticeably slower -- often irritatingly slower. If I could downgrade that phone back to 6.1.3 I would, and I would consider it an upgrade.

Reply Score: 4

Aside from the Nexus devices...
by nottorp on Fri 6th Dec 2013 07:06 UTC
nottorp
Member since:
2013-10-22

I don't see why i should pay a phone manufacturer and then do their work by installing custom ROMs. It's not a strength of Android to me.
And one of the things I do for a living is port Android to new hardware ;)

Reply Score: 2

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Why would it be a phone makers job to install a custom rom for you?

Reply Score: 2