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

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 Parent Score: 4

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

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 Parent Score: 2

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

"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 Parent Score: 3

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

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 Parent Score: 3