Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th May 2018 22:47 UTC
Android

Updates are easily the biggest problem facing the Android ecosystem, and Google is working hard to fix that. Project Treble has proven that it's capable of making updates easier, and now Google is stepping up requirements for OEMs when it comes to security patches.

Every little step in this department is a welcome one. It's not yet clear what, exactly, the requirements entail, but hopefully, it's a strict and hard requirement to publish every monthly security update.

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RE: Finally!
by gld59 on Sat 12th May 2018 00:09 UTC in reply to "Finally!"
gld59
Member since:
2012-11-09

I wonder how much of that is a result of vendors putting all their resources into putting Oreo on new devices, and having none left to roll out updates to older devices? *If* that is the case, then hopefully once vendors are more familiar with creating the vendor partitions/blobs required for (new) Oreo devices, they can swing resources back to trickling out updates for older devices.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Finally!
by moondevil on Sat 12th May 2018 06:45 in reply to "RE: Finally!"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

If a new device comes out with Android Nougat and gets updated to Oreo, it is not required to go through the Oreo Treble's certification process.

Most new devices on 2018 are still being released with Nougat or Marshmallow on them.

Even if an handset is released with Oreo, thus Treble certified, it is up to the OEM to push the updates, which isn't really happening outside Google, 8.1 is only on 0.8% from those 5.7%.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Finally!
by sj87 on Sat 12th May 2018 17:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally!"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

If a new device comes out with Android Nougat and gets updated to Oreo, it is not required to go through the Oreo Treble's certification process.

Most new devices on 2018 are still being released with Nougat or Marshmallow on them.

Most "new devices", i.e. most of the bottom price range, has always been released with an out-of-date Android version. This is because manufacturers just re-package their old hardware from older models and that also means the software. It's not the fault of Oreo nor Google's Treble requirements.

(In Oreo's case, perhaps, the slower-than-usual adoption rate is somewhat explained by the fact that Google released the OS earlier into the year, and the first NEW devices running it followed months later.)

Edited 2018-05-12 17:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Finally!
by bassbeast on Sun 13th May 2018 09:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally!"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

The problem that Google and the OEMs are gonna be looking at is the rotting elephant in the room that nobody is talking about which is phones have passed the "good enough" stage so that more and more people, just like they have been doing with their PCs for awhile now, simply aren't bothering to replace until the old one dies.

Hell there are still plenty of places selling 5.x devices and why not? They all have quad cores, 1.5-2Gb of RAM, 16-32Gb of storage, nice 5-6 inch screens, good cameras, they are "good enough" for the majority which according to the Google dev list provided above 63% are using 6.0 or older Android phones.

The OEMs haven't cared about updates because they were betting on infinite growth and rollover of old handsets for new, similar to the great PC boom of the late 90s/early 00s but I would argue that is coming to an end and Google knows this, that is why they are pushing for this. But I bet the OEMs sure as hell ain't gonna be happy, heck their entire business model is based on turn over and as more and more simply treat their phone as another appliance its gonna seriously bite them in the bottom line.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Finally!
by Brendan on Sat 12th May 2018 09:55 in reply to "RE: Finally!"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I wonder how much of that is a result of vendors putting all their resources into putting Oreo on new devices, and having none left to roll out updates to older devices? *If* that is the case, then hopefully once vendors are more familiar with creating the vendor partitions/blobs required for (new) Oreo devices, they can swing resources back to trickling out updates for older devices.


The world doesn't work like that.

Imagine you are a mobile phone manufacturer; and you know that by hiring more staff (to roll out updates to older devices) it will cost you $X for the staff and cost you $Y in lost sales due to people not replacing old phones with new phones; but you will also get an additional $Z in publicity (to help sell new phones).

If $X + $Y is less than $Z, then you hire more staff because you'll end up making more profit; and if $X + $Y is greater than $Z you just ignore all the people that want updates because you don't want to lose money.

Note: the words "hire more staff" can be replaced by "not make existing staff redundant" if/where necessary. Either way it's mostly the same $X.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Finally!
by Alfman on Sat 12th May 2018 17:11 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally!"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Brendan,

The world doesn't work like that.

Imagine you are a mobile phone manufacturer; and you know that by hiring more staff (to roll out updates to older devices) it will cost you $X for the staff and cost you $Y in lost sales due to people not replacing old phones with new phones; but you will also get an additional $Z in publicity (to help sell new phones).

If $X + $Y is less than $Z, then you hire more staff because you'll end up making more profit; and if $X + $Y is greater than $Z you just ignore all the people that want updates because you don't want to lose money.

Note: the words "hire more staff" can be replaced by "not make existing staff redundant" if/where necessary. Either way it's mostly the same $X.


The algebra is sound. Unfortunately if we were to put numbers to those I strongly suspect the costs of supporting older devices along with lower sales caused by longer device lifetimes make it hard to justify better aftersale support.

The thing is that while many people say that they are frustrated with the lack of support, it usually doesn't change their buying behavior. As a business owner I see the same phenomenon with my prospective clients too, where they spend the least possible for services even if nine times out of ten it turns out to be disastrous.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Finally!
by unclefester on Sun 13th May 2018 02:24 in reply to "RE: Finally!"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The low cost models are MTK reference platforms with vanilla Android. This low margin business model makes software updates and ongoing support totally uneconomic.

Reply Parent Score: 3