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Android Cellphones

Android Update Alliance Already Struggling 364

Posted by Soulskill
from the actions-speak-louder-than-words dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Earlier this year many Android phone vendors and U.S. wireless carriers made a long-awaited promise, which was to push timely OS updates to all new Android phones. Seven months in and especially with the release of Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), PCMag decided to reach out to all those vendors and wireless carriers to see how things were coming along. Brace yourselves Android fans, you're not going to like the responses."
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Android Update Alliance Already Struggling

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  • by InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) on Friday December 16, 2011 @03:21PM (#38401636)
    Even Microsoft does better job regarding Windows Phone 7 than Google with Android. They have by far updated all of their old phones. In fact, they demand from manufacturers that they update. Manufacturers are only allowed to skip one update. If they skip and next one comes, they are required to provide that update to users. That is how it should work, not unlike how Google runs things.
  • CyanogenMod Fanboy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Friday December 16, 2011 @03:35PM (#38401832) Homepage

    Screw their pledge, just let us root our phones easily. CyanogenMod has treated me better than any carrier or handset maker, and it will never ever come with Carrier IQ: http://www.cyanogenmod.com/blog/cyanogenmod-will-never-have-carrier-iq [cyanogenmod.com]

    They plan Ice Cream Sandwich via CM9 for almost any CM7 (current version of CM) compatible phone they already support, except for really old models like the G1.

  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Friday December 16, 2011 @03:37PM (#38401856)

    is it though ?

    http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html [android.com]

    2.2 + 2.3 = 85%
    Add in 2.1 and you get to 95%

    95% covered in 3 minro revisions doesn't seem too bad, especially with the speed of Android versions slowing down.

  • Re:Netcraft confirms (Score:4, Informative)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday December 16, 2011 @03:39PM (#38401876)

    It would solve hardware driver issues, but carriers also do a lot of customization with apps and skins. Sense UI, Motoblur and Carrier IQ don't depend on a stable ABI.

  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday December 16, 2011 @03:50PM (#38402052)

    2.2 to 2.3 is far more than a "minor revision". It is a new major version considering all the system changes, UI changes, API additions and updates, etc.

  • by geek (5680) on Friday December 16, 2011 @04:02PM (#38402238) Homepage

    Siri processing is done server side. There have already been hacks released that let Siri run on older devices, from iPhone 3GS to iPad 1. Apple quickly put an end to that. There is no technical reason why Siri can't run on older devices. Apple chooses not to do it.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Friday December 16, 2011 @04:09PM (#38402344) Homepage Journal

    Siri was originally available as an app in the app store, on the iPhone 4 and it has since been hacked to install on older phones such as the 3GS. When the iPhone 4S came out, it was announced that the app would be removed from the app store, and even if you had purchased it on your iPhone4, it will no longer work. It is not a hardware limitation at all.

  • Except (Score:4, Informative)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Friday December 16, 2011 @04:11PM (#38402384)

    Carriers have no control, they are not even allowed to lock [Galaxy Nexus]. Google is in complete control.

    Um, Verizon blocked Google Wallet, as they are working on a propriety - and no doubt to be a crap and insecure - competing service.

  • Re:"Pledges" (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Friday December 16, 2011 @04:23PM (#38402546)

    No, it means that it is not in the public domain. Proprietary does not mean "licensed," it means "licensed under proprietary terms." If we are going to have a free/libre cell phone OS, then we cannot promote proprietary licensing, and that includes licenses that forbid forking or that require upgrading.

    Ultimately, the goal should be to open cell phones, so that your cell phone gives you as much freedom as a typical laptop can. Opening the source of Android was a step in the right direction; this is not the time to take a step backward.

    Don't mistake AOSP for Android. Android is only available to OHA members, and it included stuff like Honeycomb source code (which was under a very restrictive license), as well as access to the Google Apps, which make Android, well, Android (e.g., the Google Marketplace - it's extremely difficult to get apps without Marketplace access - it's easier to pirate than to try to find an official download).

    Cyanogen is using AOSP. And periodically Google pushes code from Android into AOSP. But Google controls the Android stuff for OHA members.

    Google can very well dictate update terms - they dictated how the Honeycomb source code was to be distributed, after all. They even dictated what you can and cannot do with the source and what customizations you could apply.

    Chinese manufacturers and everyone else using AOSP can disobey at will because they're using the free license, but the OHA members getting early code access and such cannot. Hell, Google can make it a part of the Google Apps licensing agreement.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday December 16, 2011 @05:14PM (#38403282)

    As you know the 3GS is the minimum spec for iOS5. The 3G has half the memory and half the speed of the 3GS. The only reason it doesn't get iOS 5 updates is because it's not capable of running them. It's a 3 and a half year old phone.

    That differs from Android, in that phones that are only a few months old don't get Android updates - certainly not promptly, and often not at all.

  • by Belial6 (794905) on Friday December 16, 2011 @05:43PM (#38403724)
    I am seeing the exact opposite. More and more people I know are moving away from the iPhone and going towards Android. I think that Siri is a bit of a game changer. Ever since it has been released, frequently when I ask my phone for directions, or do a voice search, people with iPhones start tapping each other on the shoulder and pointing out that I am talking to my phone. They then ask me if it is an iPhone 4S. When I tell them that it is an Android phone, and it has had voice capabilities since version 1.6, other Android users chime in that they have been using it for a long time also. That is when you see the gears begin to turn in the iPhone users minds.

    Siri has been highlighting that Apple has been playing an "Emperor's New Cloths" game for some time now.
  • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:56PM (#38406476) Homepage

    2.2 to 2.3 is far more than a "minor revision". It is a new major version considering all the system changes, UI changes, API additions and updates, etc.

    Not really. There are changes but Android is remarkably good at keeping newer version backwards compatible. I've been professionally developing for Android for 2 years and I can remember perhaps a couple of times I've needed special code to deal with different versions.

    The real problem with fragmentation is different hardware device implementations (and bugs), and different hardware speeds. There aren't easy ways to work out what class of device you're instlaled on, and lowest-common-denominator programming slips in.

    People focus on OS versions and I have no idea why, I suspect they're not actually Android developers.

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