Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 19th Aug 2017 15:11 UTC
Android

On August 21st, a solar eclipse will sweep across the entire United States for the first time since 1918. Android is helping you experience this historic natural phenomenon so you can learn more about the eclipse and count down to the big day - when you’ll meet the next release of Android and all of its super (sweet) new powers, revealed via livestream from New York City at 2:40PM ET.

If a new operating system version is released, but nobody's able to use it, has it really been released?

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Comment by Xodice
by Xodice on Sat 19th Aug 2017 15:58 UTC
Xodice
Member since:
2014-06-09

Of course an OS is released when a company releases it, even if no hardware to run it exists, otherwise it wouldn't have been released. What a silly question, though anyone who knows you Thom understands your attitude twards Android upgrades for better or worse.

And on top of that, there will be actual hardware for it to run on. You may not own a supported Nexus or Pixel device, but they are out there and plentiful. And this doesn't count the large number of LineageOS users that will exist when they upgrade their base.

To be clear tho, I also dislike the upgrade problem in the Android world, not enough though to EVER make me use an iOS device, I just felt your snarky comment to be silly and obvious bias.

Edited 2017-08-19 15:58 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by Xodice
by avgalen on Mon 21st Aug 2017 08:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by Xodice"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

You may not own a supported Nexus or Pixel device, but they are out there and plentiful. And this doesn't count the large number of LineageOS users that will exist when they upgrade their base.

Could you quantify "plentiful" and "large number"? Because there are about 2 billion active Android devices out there which means 1% would be 20 million. Anything less than 1% shouldn't be named plentiful and large number.

Google has mentioned "improving the upgrade experience" so often and failed so often that this should be emphasized by everyone over and over again until it is finally resolved

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Xodice
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 21st Aug 2017 16:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Xodice"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Thom is biased in reality here. An OS is not released when a company releases it, if there isn't any hardware to run it.

Software isn't an end unto itself. Its only useful running on hardware.


But as you point out it will run on Google devices on release (probably). So that does make it a release.

Linage doesn't count as it won't work on devices without a month or so of work. Plus that work can't start until the source code is released, which in the past hasn't coincided with the OS release.

This really isn't a Andriod Vs IOS issue, its a Google sucks at getting new releases on hardware issue.

But does it matter? Probably not to most people, as long as there device is still getting security upgrades.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Xodice
by Xodice on Mon 21st Aug 2017 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Xodice"
Xodice Member since:
2014-06-09

No arguments, I almost agree fully with you. I "know" Thom after all these years and I know his feeling about the Android upgrade issues. Guess I was just replying to snark with snark? ;P (I have no ill will or feelings against Thom. I appreciate all his work, and Eugenia's previous work, on OSNews.)

I did say when Lineage updates their base it will boost the Android 8 numbers and give it plenty of hardware to run on, but you are right that it will not be an immediate release WRT LineageOS. However, Android 8's source release *did* indeed coincide with the OS launch;
"We're pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today."(1)

There are also images for Nexus 5X/6P, Pixel's including the Pixel C and the Nexus Player being able to run it right away.

I still stand by that it's released, even if no hardware can run it, when it was released by a person or company. Now if said release is useful or not is a whole different question, hardware or not.

(1) https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2017/08/introducing-androi...

Edited 2017-08-21 19:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Xodice
by CaptainN- on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Xodice"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

MS used to have RTM - released to manufacturers. Was that "technically not a release"? The entire idea that it's not a release is flawed and ridiculous.

If you want to make a point about locked boot loaders make it. If you want to discuss the merits and demerits of constantly updating (and changing, and making hardware slower) software, make that, and we can discuss. Blunt hardline position statements are an end point. There's no productive way forward.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Xodice
by CaptainN- on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 14:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by Xodice"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I noticed the stubbornness in it. It's not like there aren't upsides to the way Android does updates. But better not apply critical thought or try to overcome a rigid hardline position using reason and analysis.

Reply Score: 2

Look on the bright side ...
by WorknMan on Sat 19th Aug 2017 17:23 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

If a new operating system version is released, but nobody's able to use it, has it really been released?


If you want to look at it from a 'glass is half full' perspective, Pixel and newer Nexus owners will be Google's unpaid beta testers. By the time it starts making the rounds, it'll probably be up to v8.03.

Reply Score: 4

More excited for LineageOS 15...
by rklrkl on Sat 19th Aug 2017 19:20 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Assuming Android 8 ("O[reo]") maps onto LineageOS 15, I'm more excited about the latter, since almost all my Android devices run LineageOS. Hopefully, we'll see LineageOS 15 within a month of Android 8 and it'll be available on far more phone/tablet models than the "official" Android 8 will be I suspect.

Reply Score: 2

Hopefully
by motang on Sat 19th Aug 2017 23:11 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

Hopefully the name isn't Oreo.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hopefully
by No it isnt on Sun 20th Aug 2017 16:27 UTC in reply to "Hopefully"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It seems to be the most popular guess, and that tends to be wrong.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hopefully
by dionicio on Mon 21st Aug 2017 13:44 UTC in reply to "Hopefully"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

What about Eclipse? Goes with Ring "O", also with the date of announcement.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hopefully
by Sidux on Mon 21st Aug 2017 20:13 UTC in reply to "Hopefully"
Sidux Member since:
2015-03-10

https://www.android.com/versions/oreo-8-0/

"To welcome the Android OREO superhero and celebrate this major cultural moment, Google and OREO unveiled Android OREO's superpowers today during a solar eclipse viewing event in New York City near Chelsea Market, the location of the original Nabisco bakery where the first OREO cookie was made"

Edited 2017-08-21 20:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Blantant commercialism
by decuser on Sun 20th Aug 2017 00:01 UTC
decuser
Member since:
2006-10-30

... does this generation of techy actually get excited when they're treated like a bunch of trekkies? Oooh, ah, says young engineer 1 to engineer 2, can you believe it Google is going to release a version of blah on day X, reminds me of Windows Me. Silly to think a serious software company's engineers would bow to managerial pressure (pointy hairs unite) to pull a publicity stunt like this.

Edited 2017-08-20 00:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Blantant commercialism
by ahferroin7 on Mon 21st Aug 2017 11:30 UTC in reply to "Blantant commercialism"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

I will comment that other than people either:
1. Are tech writers.
2. Are obsessive about new things in general.
or
3. Actually need some new feature it provides (which for this release seems to just be developers and nobody else).
I see absolutely nobody fawning over the release. Most of the other people who would are using Nexus or Pixel devices and have been running release candidates through the beta program for months now. There are quite a few (myself included) who are not at all enthused about the new release due to lack of features people have been asking for and addition of pointless features that only benefit OEM's, but that's not quite the same.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Blantant commercialism
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 21st Aug 2017 16:55 UTC in reply to "Blantant commercialism"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, as an engineer, I think its cool.

In any case, of course its commercialism. Google is a publicly traded for profit company. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Reply Score: 2

Android O should change the game
by cacheline on Sun 20th Aug 2017 03:50 UTC
cacheline
Member since:
2016-06-10

WIth Project Treble in Android O, the whole Android upgrade problem will hopefully go away in about 2 years. I, for one, am happy about this development. As an Android dev, I really want to drop 4.4 at work, but can't yet. If Project Treble solves this in 2 years, then I say O is worth celebrating, even if it takes a while for manufacturers to release updates to the masses.

Reply Score: 3

kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

WIth Project Treble in Android O, the whole Android upgrade problem will hopefully go away in about 2 years.


No, it won't. For the billionth time: The OS in your Android phone is proprietary software. Derived from an open-source base sure, but proprietary software nevertheless. No company has ANY obligation to give you free upgrades to their proprietary software unless promised so in righting at the time of purchase or in their marketing materials.

What project treble will do is help Google separate Qualcomm's proprietary software (aka drivers) from Google's software, so Google can upgrade their stuff independent of Qualcomm, so they can offer upgrades on par with iOS.

There is still no binding agreement for OEMs to upgrade their proprietary stuff, so even in a project treble era, you still have to buy Google devices if you want anything resembling a real binding promise about upgrades.

Edited 2017-08-20 12:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kurkosdr,

No, it won't. For the billionth time: The OS in your Android phone is proprietary software. Derived from an open-source base sure, but proprietary software nevertheless. No company has ANY obligation to give you free upgrades to their proprietary software unless promised so in righting at the time of purchase or in their marketing materials.


I'm more (cautiously) optimistic than you. Linux (as it relates to android phones) suffers from two impediments:

1. The proprietary drivers and lack of source that prevents the community from being able to easily support the hardware on their own (as we do with linux on PC).

2. The lack of a driver ABI that prevents the community from reusing proprietary drivers in newer kernels.

Both of these mean that when the manufacturer ceases support, consumers generally have no recourse (short of reverse engineering).

Many people, on osnews and elsewhere including myself, wish manufacturers would fix this by addressing #1 and publishing specs and driver source code. However we've been waiting for this to happen for a very long time and I don't believe manufactures have any incentive to make it happen.

For the other approach #2, many in the linux community have resisted an ABI preferring #1, but in the meantime many android phone owners are being locked out in the cold with zero support. This lack of updates is bad for users and it's bad for google. By adding these new ABIs for platform specific modules with project Treble, it opens up a path to upgrades without manufacturers having to recompile the new kernel with their proprietary platform specific code.

I would like to see this evolve to the point where users can choose which flavor of android they want to install because the treble-based drivers will work with all of them. In short, although proprietary things suck, at least sticking them behind a standardized interface makes a lot of sense.

What project treble will do is help Google separate Qualcomm's proprietary software (aka drivers) from Google's software, so Google can upgrade their stuff independent of Qualcomm, so they can offer upgrades on par with iOS.


You're right to be skeptical, however a standard driver ABI could benefit many more parties than just google. 3rd party operating systems have long suffered from proprietary hardware and fragmentation, but if there's a way for all android phones to support a standard driver ABI, it could be a boon not only for android but independent operating systems as well! As it currently stands, we're stuck with the operating system that comes on the phone and we don't get to try anything new. Just think, standard drivers would potentially give indy operating systems a chance to work on thousands of used phones that people already own and are going to be thrown away anyways. After all, most of us were able to learn linux because we could re-purpose a PC that didn't come with or officially support linux.

Reply Score: 4

cacheline Member since:
2016-06-10

No, it won't. For the billionth time:


And this is why I rarely post on osnews and similar sites. We're not just here to openly discuss things with logical arguments. It's as if everyone wants to "win" some imaginary argument. "If only you had a clue, you'd know, like I do, that X is wrong and Y is true."

I have no problem with us disagreeing on this matter. But, why do we need to resort to statements like "For the billionth time"? What gain is there in that? Do we have nothing better to do than to point out how wrong everyone else is?

And yes, I know it's quite common on the internet for people to point out how wrong each other is and tear each other down. But, can we not strive for more civility? It really makes me sad (not in self esteem, but for the human race in general) that this is the state of affairs.

You may very well be right. And if so, I'm OK with my hopes not coming to fruition on OS updates. But, for now, I'll be cautiously optimistic that Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei et al will see the benefits, to their user base, and thus the good PR, leading to more profits for all.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

cacheline,

I have no problem with us disagreeing on this matter. But, why do we need to resort to statements like "For the billionth time"? What gain is there in that? Do we have nothing better to do than to point out how wrong everyone else is?


That's true, sometimes we get too aggressive and make the conversation less pleasant. Of course there have always been disagreements, but sometimes it just seems to come out of nowhere. I try to be very patient with people, to various levels of success ;)


You may very well be right. And if so, I'm OK with my hopes not coming to fruition on OS updates. But, for now, I'll be cautiously optimistic that Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei et al will see the benefits, to their user base, and thus the good PR, leading to more profits for all.


I actually don't think the manufacturers will do this to benefit their users, they've had plenty of opportunities to do this already and they don't care to raise the bar so long as no one else is raising it either. There may be an unspoken agreement that they are all collectively better off by neglecting to support older models in order to increase sales.

However IMHO manufacturers may be more likely to support goggle's efforts for a completely different reason:
1) they don't want to be singled out as for blocking google updates if they work everywhere else.
And 2) distancing themselves from google's official android code actually requires them to shoulder more costs as their own engineers face more maintenance work debugging their branch and backporting patches by themselves without google's help and updates.
3) I'm not sure about this one, but they may not be able to call it "android" anymore if they're actually selling their own branch of it (I imagine they had to agree to google's terms to use the trademark)

One would hope that they will just take the easy path and stick with mainline, but who really knows...

Edited 2017-08-21 08:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

cacheline Member since:
2016-06-10

Makes sense to me :-)

Reply Score: 1

kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

I have no problem with us disagreeing on this matter. But, why do we need to resort to statements like "For the billionth time"?


Yes, I need to do that. I am sick and tired or people making a certain purchase choice, and then incessantly whining on forums about drawbacks they knew existed when they bought the thing, or posting hopeful messages (for the billionth time) that the manufacturer will magically change course because of an unrelated event, especially when there is a competitive product not having that drawback.

Voting with your wallet good, whining on forums about drawbacks you knew existed bad.

It is always the same: Macbook users hoping Apple will for some reason put good hardware in their laptops, Samsung Galaxy hoping Samsung will release swift updates (as if that is possible considering the deep customization that goes into those devices), Intel users whining about prices, all of them hoping the manufacturer will magically change course without being forced by the customer's wallet.

Jeez... Just don't buy the damn things.

Edited 2017-08-21 20:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kurkosdr,

Yes, I need to do that. I am sick and tired or people making a certain purchase choice, and then incessantly whining on forums about drawbacks they knew existed when they bought the thing, or posting hopeful messages (for the billionth time) that the manufacturer will magically change course because of an unrelated event, especially when there is a competitive product not having that drawback.

Voting with your wallet good, whining on forums about drawbacks you knew existed bad.

...

Jeez... Just don't buy the damn things.


A) Voting with your wallet only works in a healthy free market with competition where vendors are actually catering to our needs. For everyone else, we have every reason to complain. You have every right to ignore us if it's any consolation ;)

B) The OP's 9 posts on osnews are hardly whining and criticizing him for expressing hope that is android moving in the right direction is quite harsh, methinks.


Submitted from my PDP-11-mobile phone

Reply Score: 2

Precedence
by grat on Sun 20th Aug 2017 04:39 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

If a new operating system version is released, but nobody's able to use it, has it really been released?


Well, based on this site's coverage of every AmigaOS and BeOS release in the past 10 years, I'd say that Android OS "O" being released tomorrow counts.

:)

Reply Score: 10

So I won't have my devices updated again
by jgfenix on Sun 20th Aug 2017 21:56 UTC
jgfenix
Member since:
2006-05-25

Now that my current devices were finally updated to Nougat this happens.

Reply Score: 2

I would be a lot more excited if...
by ahferroin7 on Mon 21st Aug 2017 11:20 UTC
ahferroin7
Member since:
2015-10-30

If they were being more sensible about handling of adaptive icons, and didn't keep removing night mode.

Seriously, the entire argument for adaptive icons (supposed improvement to consistency of the appearance of icons on a device) is obviously pandering to OEM's who want to dictate how things look on their devices, and is inherently bogus unless they require support in all apps (and they don't even have all of their apps using it consistently (the clock app in particular is an outlier with it's gray background instead of the white they use for everything else), and they look horrendous against any background that isn't already bright and colorful.

As far as night mode, that's just getting ridiculous at this point, it's worked well enough in every recent Android version that included it, and people have been asking for it regularly, yet they keep removing it (with no explanation of course, it's in the system UI tuner so apparently they think nobody cares).

Reply Score: 2

Congratulations...
by dionicio on Mon 21st Aug 2017 13:37 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

To the Google Teams and to their Community [%]D

Reply Score: 2

100 years from now...
by gan17 on Mon 21st Aug 2017 14:06 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

That popular "Boy Who Cried Wolf" fable will be replaced by "Manufacturer Who Promised Timely OS Updates". They'll have children's picture books about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 100 years from now...
by dionicio on Wed 23rd Aug 2017 13:44 UTC in reply to "100 years from now..."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

In Future issues, always walking toward precipices. Difference make taking adequate oversight, forecast and steeps. Matrix still coming, and yeah, is a wolf.

Reply Score: 2

Both are fine
by Kancept on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 13:54 UTC
Kancept
Member since:
2006-01-09

I rock an iPhone 5S as my daily driver and maintain my Nexus 4 at home for most of my media and car diagnostics. Apple still updates my 5S, whereas I have to use LineageOS for for Nexus 4. Regardless of where my updates are coming from, however, both of these phones have well outlived their projected lives and continue to be useful to me.

I've had newer phones and sold them as the things they have added just don't justify them to me. The Nexus 5 really didn't really do anything over the 4, and a bigger screen and 3D touch of the iPhone 6S was gimmicky- I also prefer smaller screens.

These are all personal preferences of which noone else's opinions matter to me for the sake of my usage. Sure, I may upgrade to get fingerprint reading on the Nexus (Pixel now) or move to getting NFC payments on the iPhone.

The iPhone SE solves this for me Apple-side, but nothing from Google has yet to offer the smaller form factor and the other things. I'm not even going back down the road of another phone provider for the OS (yet- Essential looks nice, but seriously, I can buy a lot of other things for that money).

So, for incremental improvements, nothing really beats my Nexus 4 and iPhone 5S. Apple also continues to flat out support their older products and drag them along with the rest of the bunch, whereas Google seems to release it and then let it sit on the vine.

I love em both, though, and actually have them both with me at work today. The new LineageOS for the Nexus 4 just screams and really has given this thing a new lease on life.

Reply Score: 1