Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 18th Jan 2014 20:00 UTC
Google

To be sure, it's no magic solution to the gargantuan task of moving the entire Android ecosystem forward. And the update situation for non-flagship devices remains something of a crapshoot. But it's a start, and a big step in the right direction. And as we move from Jelly Bean into the KitKat era, it's enough to give us some hope for the future of Android updates.

Read on to find out why.

Still Android's biggest weakness. Baby steps are made, but a solution there is not.

Thread beginning with comment 580992
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Importance
by WorknMan on Sat 18th Jan 2014 23:41 UTC in reply to "Importance"
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Heck, I have an Android device (running 4.0) and I'm not particularly interested in upgrading. I've played with the latest releases and there isn't any killer feature there I need.


IMO, the only killer feature in 4.1 (assuming your phone ran respectably with 4.0 like mine did) was Google Now, and I mean just the text to speech part. After that, there's really not much I care about. My Moto X was updated from 4.3 to 4.4 and except for some UI tweaks, I barely noticed. My Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is still running 4.3, and I honestly don't care if it ever gets 4.4. If there's ever a major security issue with older versions that's causing lots of headaches for consumers, I think most of the vendors will push out a fix via a minor update.

The reason for this is that Google moving a lot of the functionality to Play services have made the OS updates very inconsequential, and that's great. Now I don't have to choose between an OEM device and having the latest version of Android, because it's just not important to me anymore. It used to be that all the cool shite was in the stock ROM and OEM stuff was nothing but bloatware. But now the OEMs are doing cool stuff -- my Moto X is chock full of features that should've been in 4.4 but wasn't, and some of that functionality is hard (if not impossible) to replicate with 3rd party apps in the Play store. And if you absolutely insist on having the latest and greatest, just grab a Play edition phone (if you're in the US), or a carrier version that you can mod with the PE rom.

I guess the main drawback to this is that new Android OS versions have gotten quite boring, so it's hard to get excited about them anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Importance
by moondevil on Sun 19th Jan 2014 09:09 in reply to "RE: Importance"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I guess the main drawback to this is that new Android OS versions have gotten quite boring, so it's hard to get excited about them anymore.


The only thing that gets me exited about the new releases is OpenGL ES 3.0 support and the transition to ART, for native compiled Java.


However OpenGL ES 3.0 requires hardware and GPU manufacter support.

ART is still a maybe thing. Google will disclose more information about it at FOSDEM 2013.

But these are features normal consumers won't care at all.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Importance
by moondevil on Sun 19th Jan 2014 11:08 in reply to "RE[2]: Importance"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I meant FOSDEM 2014

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Importance
by phoenix on Mon 20th Jan 2014 00:20 in reply to "RE: Importance"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

4.3 is where Android finally became "good enough". The fixed all the jankiness in the UI, they fixed all the battery sucking wakelock issues, they improved filesystem throughput issues, they added TRIM support, the building blocks for multiple user accounts are in place. Beyond 4.3 there's not much in the way of revolutionary changes (with the possible exception of ART once it stabilises in 4.5/5.0).

However, there are *huge* changes going from pre-4.3 to 4.3.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Importance
by hobgoblin on Tue 21st Jan 2014 11:08 in reply to "RE: Importance"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Having compared a 4.0 device to a 4.1 device, i would say the real value of the higher version number is Project Butter.

Reply Parent Score: 2