Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Feb 2018 01:10 UTC
Android

Essential - the phone company led by Android co-founder Andy Rubin - has had some difficulty in getting a stable 8.0 Oreo update released. After three beta releases, the company is not quite satisfied that the update is ready for general release. Because of these protracted issues, Essential has announced plans to skip the 8.0 release entirely in favor of 8.1, which will "push the public release back a couple weeks," according to the company.

Not even a phone with close to stock Android, built by the very same person who developed Android in the first place, can be updated to a newer Android release without delays, stability issues, and general problems - to the point where they're skipping a version altogether.

Android is a mess.

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A hot mess
by gorbie on Thu 1st Feb 2018 01:26 UTC
gorbie
Member since:
2010-10-22

I still get complements on my Z30 when people see it. "That's a BlackBerry?"

They are even more astounded when I show them how the HUB functions.

And sadly, they are being impressed with my 4.5 year old phone.

It also sadly revels some of the marketing failures on BB's behalf. They should have not relied on carriers at all and just sold all devices direct and unlocked.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A hot mess
by avgalen on Thu 1st Feb 2018 09:44 UTC in reply to "A hot mess"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I still get complements on my Z30 when people see it. "That's a BlackBerry?"

They are even more astounded when I show them how the HUB functions.

And sadly, they are being impressed with my 4.5 year old phone.

It also sadly revels some of the marketing failures on BB's behalf. They should have not relied on carriers at all and just sold all devices direct and unlocked.

I am in a similar position "rocking" my 4 year old Nokia 1520 with Windows 10 Mobile. It was sold directly and unlocked and also had some unique features that iOS and Android still don't have and that surprise people. However, my wife started to have some problems with her 1520 and I gave her a OnePlus 5T for her birthday. There are so many more things that do work great on that phone (apps, internationalization, speed, customization) that far outweigh the benefits older "unique" devices like ours have. Selling direct and unlocked didn't do much for Nokia/Microsoft and wouldn't have done much for BlackBerry either.

We also have no idea which Android version it is running. It came with a "custom named/numbered OS" that got a 80 MB update that installed in a minute and we have no idea what it did. I am guessing it will be Android 7.x but so far there has simply been no reason to care about that version which is very surprising for nerds/geeks like her and me.

Edited 2018-02-01 09:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A hot mess
by gorbie on Thu 1st Feb 2018 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE: A hot mess"
gorbie Member since:
2010-10-22

My main reason for still using my Z30 is features it has that the other devices do not as well.

There are literally 4 android apps I need that help with my day to day as an IT contractor.

Most apps did work on my Z30 but were sluggish.

So it was well worth it to my mental health to get an LTE tablet just to fill my android needs.

I still get a good laugh when my Z30 works in places that others have said "oh, cell phones don't work in here"

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A hot mess
by avgalen on Thu 1st Feb 2018 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A hot mess"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

My main reason for still using my Z30 is features it has that the other devices do not as well.

There are literally 4 android apps I need that help with my day to day as an IT contractor.

Most apps did work on my Z30 but were sluggish.

So it was well worth it to my mental health to get an LTE tablet just to fill my android needs.

I still get a good laugh when my Z30 works in places that others have said "oh, cell phones don't work in here"

Almost the same story here. The longer you keep an old device the more you get used to its features. I always miss the camera-button when someone asks me to take a picture of them or needs a charger at the end of every day (I charge my phone once per 3 days or so). I also have an ancient iPad 2 (not air) that closes the app-gap. And I also have good cellular and wifi where other people don't. That last one intrigues me because other peoples connectivity is faster when it works, but works far less often.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: A hot mess
by gorbie on Fri 2nd Feb 2018 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A hot mess"
gorbie Member since:
2010-10-22

The Z30 had the Paratek Antenna and I can attest to it. It has worked better than any other phone I have used. On the highway my calls will not drop but I will cut out (I often drive 100km down rural highways - hello from the armpit of canada! (New Brunswick)

It also was night and day in my storage locker which is a giant multi-layered tin can.

Speed is still fine on it. It's LTE but I keep that turned off to save battery so its not bouncing on and off of towers since I am hardly in one spot for any amount of time. Even with using the hotspot, 3g speeds are still perfectly fine for downloading and even remoting customers.

I would love to do a head to head video sometime of how my Z30 still out-maneuvers the others (for my workflow).

Reply Score: 4

RE: A hot mess
by CaptainN- on Sun 4th Feb 2018 17:03 UTC in reply to "A hot mess"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I was pretty sad when BB threw in the towel on their own platform. They're developer experience was all over the place though. I'm sure that contributed.

Reply Score: 1

no understanding
by unclefester on Thu 1st Feb 2018 02:13 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

The stable version of Oreo will be 8.1.1. Nobody in their right mind would sell a device with 8.0 which is basically an alpha release.

Android is NOT a mess. It is designed so that the system apps update without touching the kernel or userspace. It is basically a LTS Linux distro with backported apps. This update method eliminates any need for vendors or carriers to provides support and avoids all the dramas and inevitable slowdowns that Apple devices go through with every single release.

I have used Android since 2.1. I'm currently running devices with Android 4.4, 5.1 and 7.1. I have never seen any pressing need to update. [IMO Kitkat is by far the best version.]

Edited 2018-02-01 02:18 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: no understanding
by torp on Thu 1st Feb 2018 10:18 UTC in reply to "no understanding"
torp Member since:
2010-08-10

You're a bit optimistic there. Android is not comparable to a Linux LTS under the hood, that's only for the user facing apps. If you're handling the port to your own hardware, it's a complete mess.

There's no guarantee that any driver you used on Android version N will work out of the box on version N+1. As a bonus, you don't have a large team of open source developers porting the drivers to version N+1, you're at the hardware vendor's mercy or you have to do the (non trivial) work yourself.

As a bonus, internally Android changes a lot, so it's not only the drivers, but also any modifications you did to the layers above that need to be redone. Or you have to add new features to the drivers because the new Android requires them.

Source: I worked on two Android ports to custom hardware.

Edited 2018-02-01 10:20 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: no understanding
by unclefester on Thu 1st Feb 2018 11:23 UTC in reply to "RE: no understanding"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Many People (e.g. Thom) don't seem to understand that Addroid is (deliberately) designed NOT to be upgraded (except for apps) once it leaves the factory. That basically eliminates expensive support for OEMs and carriers.

The big manufactuers have the resources to write their own software or demand hardware vendors do it for them. The alternative is touse a MTK reference platform running Vanilla Android (most of the budget phones).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: no understanding
by shotsman on Fri 2nd Feb 2018 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: no understanding"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Yet Android will soon (IMHO, 2-3 years) be the only choice we have in many countries.
It is a mess as Thom says but it has to be by design.
Google could have sorted it out years ago but didn't. That tells us a lot.

Back in the day, we had 'RPM Hell'. Some of us can remember it even now and get cold sweats from the memories of how many hours we spent trying to fix it.
But a solution was found and those days/weeks/months are nothing but a memory. A problem existed and it was fixed. Took some time but it worked.

Fast forward and look at Android and updates. Shudder.
If I can get new parts for my 1970's Jensen then why can't I get even security updates for my 18month old Android? or was it destined for 'landfill/recycling' the day it was bought?

Google could lay down the law and make people who supply Android phones provided 3 or 5 years of service but they don't care. There is a reason why I avoid using anything 'made/supplied by Google'. Can you guess why?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: no understanding
by unclefester on Sat 3rd Feb 2018 03:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: no understanding"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Yet Android will soon (IMHO, 2-3 years) be the only choice we have in many countries.
It is a mess as Thom says but it has to be by design.
Google could have sorted it out years ago but didn't. That tells us a lot.

Back in the day, we had 'RPM Hell'. Some of us can remember it even now and get cold sweats from the memories of how many hours we spent trying to fix it.
But a solution was found and those days/weeks/months are nothing but a memory. A problem existed and it was fixed. Took some time but it worked.

Fast forward and look at Android and updates. Shudder.
If I can get new parts for my 1970's Jensen then why can't I get even security updates for my 18month old Android? or was it destined for 'landfill/recycling' the day it was bought?

Google could lay down the law and make people who supply Android phones provided 3 or 5 years of service but they don't care. There is a reason why I avoid using anything 'made/supplied by Google'. Can you guess why?


There is no Android equivalent of RPM Hell. Apps can be updated without any hassle.

Cars are designed to last 40 years. Phones aren't.

Your phone doesn't need to be updated because app updates are supported and the hardware is unchanged.

Google can't tell any OEM what to do. They will simply fork Android or stop selling phones.

Edited 2018-02-03 03:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: no understanding
by kurkosdr on Sat 3rd Feb 2018 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: no understanding"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Your phone doesn't need to be updated because app updates are supported and the hardware is unchanged.


At the very least, it should receive security patches....

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: no understanding
by Yoko_T on Mon 5th Feb 2018 08:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: no understanding"
Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

"Your phone doesn't need to be updated because app updates are supported and the hardware is unchanged.


At the very least, it should receive security patches....
"

Why? Security as defined by asshats like yourself and Thom is nothing but an illusion to begin with. There is no such thing.

And the sooner losers like you realize this, the better off we'll be, because maybe people will start questioning the downright stupid things they're doing with their phones and computers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: no understanding
by kurkosdr on Mon 5th Feb 2018 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: no understanding"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11


Why? Security as defined by asshats like yourself and Thom is nothing but an illusion to begin with. There is no such thing.

And the sooner losers like you realize this, the better off we'll be, because maybe people will start questioning the downright stupid things they're doing with their phones and computers.


Yeah, not running unpatched vulnerabilities with public exploit kits available for them is an illusion... whatever you say... Just don't tell that to the people whose phones got futexed (aka had malware gain root access)

Look, I don't like it either that my expensive Android pocket computer will become non-secure after 3 years because of some arbitrary update policy, but I will not become a Google apologist because of that (they 'll have to pay me to do that).

Edited 2018-02-05 11:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 1st Feb 2018 05:53 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Thom, I think you're misunderstandig what the issue is.

It isn't that he's having trouble getting it stable on the Essential phone, it's just that 8.0 isn't very stable in general.

As it is, I'm pissed that the Android version of Final Fantasy VII doesn't run on most Oreo phones (Only a small list of devices actually works). I wish I had known before I updated - I was in the middle of a game.

I just hope 8.1 comes out soon enough that TMo + Motorola releases it (Oreo only came out Dec 17)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by flanque on Thu 1st Feb 2018 10:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Overall, it is preferable that Essential not push an update they know to not be stable

It shouldn't even be positioned as GA when it's that bad...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by ahferroin7 on Thu 1st Feb 2018 13:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

I can absolutely attest to this. Even on my Nexus 6P, I had serious stability issues with 8.0. I would have to reboot every few days because the GPU drivers were glitchy, it positively guzzled battery power (I was lucky to get a full day out of it if I did anything with the phone beyond let it sit there), the UI would just suddenly freeze on occasion, etc. And that's all on official Google sanctioned hardware without any vendor crap involved.

Reply Score: 2

like he said
by missingxtension on Thu 1st Feb 2018 12:00 UTC
missingxtension
Member since:
2011-01-14

In all of my android usage 2.1 and up. Yes like someone stated, kk version has been the best. It started to have major problems around 5.0. Thats when all the modding community started to get shut out. The key to android being a mess is that manufacturers don't like to publish any drivers. So you have a lot if phones that would run cyanogen just fine, but have problems with drivers.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by model500
by model500 on Thu 1st Feb 2018 20:02 UTC
model500
Member since:
2016-12-22

Android is a mess.

but not such a mess that it's affecting the day-to-day usage of the phone. I'm on the version "6.something" on my galaxy "S-something" and it's flying through the tasks.
what would be the advantage of Oreo for me given that I'm just a basic user (internet, youtube, email...)?
what makes it so important and not just "nice to have"?

Reply Score: 3

v Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Thu 1st Feb 2018 22:23 UTC
RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by winter skies on Fri 2nd Feb 2018 15:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
winter skies Member since:
2009-08-21

That must be why Lumias are a huge success and Microsoft has taken over a significant slice of the phone market.
So Android fragmentation is open source's fault. Vendors dropping support for recent hardware is open source's fault. Nice to know.

Reply Score: 0

v RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 2nd Feb 2018 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kurkosdr"
android is a mess ...
by p13. on Fri 2nd Feb 2018 08:27 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

You keep saying that Thom ...

But in the meantime, it sure is a very successful "mess".

Android caters to OEMs. The very same OEMs that want to sell phones and tablets, not support them forever for free.
These are not PCs for which you can just download an OS and install it.

8.0 never was very stable. That's why they are skipping it. There have been ios releases with pretty horrible bugs as well, and they only have their own platform to worry about ...

Despite all of it's flaws, i like android. It works well. It is available on anything from dirt cheap smart phones to upscale 12 inch tablets and still manages to work just fine on any of them.

You don't like android. We get it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: android is a mess ...
by Yoko_T on Mon 5th Feb 2018 08:56 UTC in reply to "android is a mess ..."
Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

You keep saying that Thom ...

But in the meantime, it sure is a very successful "mess".

Android caters to OEMs. The very same OEMs that want to sell phones and tablets, not support them forever for free.
These are not PCs for which you can just download an OS and install it.

8.0 never was very stable. That's why they are skipping it. There have been ios releases with pretty horrible bugs as well, and they only have their own platform to worry about ...

Despite all of it's flaws, i like android. It works well. It is available on anything from dirt cheap smart phones to upscale 12 inch tablets and still manages to work just fine on any of them.

You don't like android. We get it.


What you need to realize is Thom and those like him are the primary reason why the Amiga failed.

They are SNOBS to the core of their very being.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: android is a mess ...
by p13. on Mon 5th Feb 2018 09:32 UTC in reply to "RE: android is a mess ..."
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

Hmmm ... The amiga failed mainly due to very poor management decisions.
Look into the history and specifically Jack Tramiel.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: android is a mess ...
by zima on Tue 6th Feb 2018 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: android is a mess ..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Probably no management decisions could have saved the Amiga long term - it was a closed architecture of tightly coupled (hard to quickly improve) chips, made by just one company ...against the onslaught of much more numerous PC clones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: android is a mess ...
by p13. on Tue 6th Feb 2018 11:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: android is a mess ..."
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

Well ... I'm not so sure about that.
Macs were very tightly integrated custom designs at some point. They designed their own chipsets, os and software.
Nowadays, they are just fancy PCs.

They went from 68k to ppc to intel.
Old 68k macs are pretty exotic compared to anything "modern". The toolkits and half the OS lived in rom ... and then there was PDS and Nubus ...
The PPC macs were a bit less so. They used PCI, "pc" graphics cards, etc, but still decidedly not a pc.
The current gen ... well ... fancy PCs ...

I see no reason why the amiga couldn't have evolved if the right decisions were made under the right circumstances with the right amount of luck.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: android is a mess ...
by zima on Wed 7th Feb 2018 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: android is a mess ..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, Amiga does "live" on (this calls for the following link: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-28483217 ;) ) as various machines which shed its legacy, as OS4 or MorphOS or AROS machines ...maybe the problem was that Amiga chipset was meant originally for games console (and indeed Amigas were mostly used like that...), not for a computer, where its design choices sometimes didn't make sense - but take away those chips, and it's hardly an Amiga anymore... suffice to say, machines which did that didn't find widespread success, the magic and the things for which we loved Amiga were gone.

Macs somehow managed to remain lovable through their transitions (heck, there's an article on the front page now how they drop 32-bit OSX apps; original Classic software is long gone), a hard task... and remember that Apple did fail a few times while trying to evolve the Macintosh: Taligent and Copland OSes, PPC mistake (Apple CEO from the time of 68k->PPC transition said that not going Intel back then was his biggest mistake; a mistake that most of the remaining Amiga community mindlessly aped, largely due to irrational hatred of Intel...); finally, Apple bought Nextstep / new OS of the Mac. Not many other companies would be able to afford all that.

Reply Score: 2