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.

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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

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 Parent Score: 3

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 Parent Score: 3

RE: The implication of "choice"
by bowkota on Fri 6th Dec 2013 16:41 in reply to "The implication of "choice""
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12
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 Parent Score: 3