Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Oct 2011 15:45 UTC
Google "The announcement that Nexus One users won't be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich led some to justifiably question Google's support of their devices. I look at it a little differently: Nexus One owners are lucky. I've been researching the history of OS updates on Android phones and Nexus One users have fared much, much better than most Android buyers." I'm happy the modding community takes care of orphaned devices, but a solution it is not. I'm hoping the crop of Android phones released this past year - which were not included in this analysis - fair better. If there's one thing Google should steal from Apple, it's their iOS update support.
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I agree. And disagree.
by grahamtriggs on Thu 27th Oct 2011 18:07 UTC
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I definitely agree that Android devices should be better supported. I think more than that though, there should be more manufacturers that offering a roughly standardized hardware, that can use 'vanilla' versions of Android, that can be kept relatively up to date in this fashion. (You can't really expect customized versions of Android to keep up, but then I've never found a customized version of Android that's really a benefit over vanilla in the longer term).

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

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

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

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

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