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Google Releases Jelly Bean Updates For the Nexus S 104

Posted by timothy
from the imperfectly-fragmented dept.
dell623 writes "Google has begun updating the Google Nexus S, which was released in December 2010 to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The update comes with all the new features of JB, including Google Now. The update makes the almost two year old phone smooth and in many ways superior to newer, more expensive Android devices that are unlikely to even be updated to Android 4.0. The update is impressive, but also exposes the problems of Android fragmentation and the failure of other Android device manufacturers to develop better software than Google, or issue timely updates."
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Google Releases Jelly Bean Updates For the Nexus S

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2012 @10:27AM (#40723369)

    It's NOT fragmentation, idiots.

    Do you call the issues with not being able to run apps intended for an iPhone 3/4 on an iPhone "fragmentation"?

    Do you call not being able to run Windows 7/8 on a PII machine because of lack of resources "fragmentation"?

    If you answered "no" to either or both of those questions, it's NOT friggin "fragmentation".

    • It really isn't fragmentation and it isn't really Google's fault. But it isn't what you are describing.

      What phones get updates are random and have little to do with hardware specs. One phone might be stuck with 1.6 while another phone with the same (or lesser) hardware specs might be upgradeable to Android 2.1. Even worse the exact same phone might have different OSes based on the network or country.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        THIS

        My phone (LG Optimus G2X) has Gingerbread ROM available had I bought it from a US carrier. However, since I bought it from a Canadian carrier, there was no Gingerbread update available for it. This is the sad state that Android is in. I still like Android, and would probably buy an Android phone again, but most likely not from LG. I would be very careful who I buy from. Next time around I'll probably get the cheapest phone I can find that supports tethering, and buy a 10 inch tablet.
    • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Saturday July 21, 2012 @10:50AM (#40723499) Homepage

      Yes, the fact that iPhone developers have to worry about whether their app is running on an older or a "retina display" iPhone is fragmentation.

      Windows developers needing to test applications in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 is fragmentation. Ditto for worrying about 32 vs 64. bit variations.

      Thanks for the examples of other fragmentation issues in computing. Wait, were those supposed to disprove this is the right word to use here? That's a pretty terrible fail then. Fragmentation is a word we're using now for when application developers have extensive QA issues around multiple, not quite compatible software platforms on a single hardware platform. It's appropriate here, and for the other examples you give too.

      • Fragmentation is a word we're using now for when application developers have extensive QA issues around multiple, not quite compatible software platforms on a single hardware platform. It's appropriate here, and for the other examples you give too.

        So, it would be nice if Apple killed iOS and switched to Android. One less OS to support, less fragmentation.
        Who cares about choice anyway?

      • by jo42 (227475)

        the fact that iPhone developers have to worry about whether their app is running on an older or a "retina display" iPhone is fragmentation.

        Except they don't. iOS takes care of that for you. Bottom line is if you don't supply retina PNGs for your buttons, backgrounds and other visuals, your apps look like Minecraft. If you actually draw your graphics using Quartz 2D, then iOS does the right thing behind the scenes.

  • Screwed over (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2012 @10:42AM (#40723447)

    also exposes the problems of Android fragmentation and the failure of other Android device manufacturers to develop better software than Google, or issue timely updates

    What a bunch of crap. The problem is that "other Android device manufactures" don't roll out the same software as Google to their customers. Why? Because of what some GM head honcho started in the 1920: planned obsolence. They want you to buy a new handset instead of updating the old one. Simple as that: consumer being screwed over once the money has left the wallet.

    • But how can that possibly work out? The customers who get screwed are learning: if you want updates, buy a Nexus. The other brands are going to lose out with this policy.

      I jumped ship from my iPhone after I got sick of Apple's BS, but honestly this was one of the BEST things they had going: my phone regularly got updates the very day they were released; my only delays were waiting for someone to jailbreak the new version before I could upgrade (which was the BS I got sick of; every damn update was a hassl

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Customers are learning that if you want updates, by an iPhone. They see on the news that there's a new version of iOS and all their friends are playing with it the next day. Meanwhile a new version of Android comes out and most of their friends aren't playing with it because their phones don't support it.

        If Google seriously pushed the Nexus and got it in a significant number of hands then maybe they'd benefit from the incompetence of other Android manufacturer's. As it is, there are so few Nexuses that "

        • by oxdas (2447598)

          While I support the premise that Android suffers from greater fragmentation than iOS, the purchase numbers don't support an argument that Apple is being favored over Android.

          Apple's position is most dominant in the U.S., but the second quarter numbers indicate that even in their largest market, Android accounted for nearly 55% of U.S. sales in the second quarter, compared to just over 36% for iOS. The numbers worldwide are even more in Android's favor. This gap is continuing to widen.

          If your premise is co

          • Exactly. The average phone user doesn't care about updates, they aren't even aware their phone is using an old OS. If you take my highly unscientific example of my family, there are a lot of Android users including my father and mother in law, four of my wife's brothers and sisters, my wife and my own sister. Out of that sample of nine people (including me), I am the only one who could tell you the difference between Gingerbread and Jelly Bean. Honestly most of them aren't aware of the latest features t
          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            It's not the top priority of most people. That would be price. Android sells more phones, but many of those are low end models where you kind of expect to get the second rate. If you look at revenue or profit, rather than count, Android doesn't do as well.

            Most Android manufacturers seem not to have learned that if you screw over your customers, particularly your best customers, they won't be your customers next time. Unfortunately, Google takes a bit of that flak because their name is prominently associ

        • Customers are learning that if you want updates, by an iPhone.

          Really? I got several updates on my G2, and apparently T-Mobile has ICS in the queue. I'm not panicking because I've been able to update all my apps without issue. All my apps still work on Gingerbread, you see. My previous Slashdot comment was posted from the G2, using the latest Firefox Beta.

          Say, why don't you try posting to Slashdot using your iPhone, I'd love to see how that works out for you.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Really? I got several updates on my G2, and apparently T-Mobile has ICS in the queue.

            Wow, that's timely?

            ICS was released 9 months ago! If it's still "in the queue", that could very well mean by the time you get ICS, it's been a whole year and a release behind. I guess 2013 when the next release comes out you'll get jelly bean.

            You'd also think that by now, there would be more phones coming out with ICS on by default, but it's still few and far behind (Galaxy SIII being one of note). Maybe 2013 will be the y

      • The customers who get screwed are learning: if you want updates, buy a Nexus.

        If the Nexus had an SD slot, I would have. But it doesn't. (or at least, the Nexus S, which was the current version of the Nexus when I bought my phone, didn't).

        It still comes down to features. Getting software updates is a feature, yes, but if the phone you're using does everything you want it to do, then why buy a new one just to get updated software? Most of the features for Jelly Bean can be had from apps on the market anyway.

    • by bhagwad (1426855)
      I can never understand why anyone would ever buy anything OTHER than a Nexus device.
      • All phones blink alike in the shop, and I assume there are actually a fair number of people who don't even bother what OS is on their phone. (or even still call all smartphones Iphones)
      • by Dionysus (12737)

        The other devices have better hardware

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Well, I'm actually surprised they rolled out JB for the Nexus S. They dropped support for the Nexus One after only 18 months, and the Nexus S is older than that. I didn't get a Nexus S at the time because:

        1. It was unsubsidized, and I wouldn't have gotten a break on my rates to buy it. I could get a G2 for free at the same time. Free G2 vs $350 Nexus S - hard choice.

        2. It lacked a keyboard, which made it less useful than the G2.

        However, at the time I was a bit spoiled by the fact that the modding comm

  • by CaptainLard (1902452) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @10:52AM (#40723507)
    "the failure of other Android device manufacturers to develop better software than Google"

    Isn't that the way its supposed to work? Google maintains android and device manufacturers manufacture devices. All the problems seem to happen when this is ignored.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @11:03AM (#40723557)
      Exactly. There hasn't been a single UI that has really been better than stock Android. It makes it an absolute pain to figure any settings out for someone else unless you have the exact same phone.

      And the pre-loaded crap? Get rid of it.
      • by aliquis (678370)

        Not that I have used them but if I had a Galaxy Note or the Galaxy S III I guess I would like to have the stuff which came with the phone. (Though of course it would be ok if the differences was regular apps which I could install on stock Android.)

      • It makes it an absolute pain to figure any settings out for someone else unless you have the exact same phone.

        If that's true, then smartphones have become the new PCs. Only smart people can (con)figure them (out). But really what's so hard about a smartphone once you know that the World icon obviously means World Wide Web, while the thing that looks like a window means, rather less obviously, Applications?

        • It isn't hard to use the phone, but, lets say you want to use the USB mode to access your phone's Micro-SD card like a flash drive. This mode is accessed differently depending on the phone. My captivate glide it must be accessed (confusingly) from the Wireless and Network settings, my old HTC phone a dialog box popped up letting you choose disk mode. My friends Motorola accesses it through an entirely different menu.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      That's almost like Microsoft maintaining Windows and device manufactures making PCs. The difference is that you can take an old computer and install a new version of Windows on it. MS has an interest in ensuring their new OS runs on old computers so that they can sell more copies of Windows. Google on the other hand doesn't sell Android to end users, so they have no incentive to ensure the new version of Android will run on old devices. The device manufacturers also don't make any money because they don't
      • by oakgrove (845019)
        You are making the common mistake of assuming that x86 and ARM are somehow comparable in this regard. x86 is a standardized architecture for the most part while ARM could not be further from it. Do some research.
  • Will the manufacturers consider to offer a software update? if so, i think that's fewer
    • That is why there is Cyanogen mod.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by afgam28 (48611)

        Google is in the process of releasing Jelly bean but cyanogenmod haven't even finished their ice cream sandwich release. I'm not sure I'd consider cyanogenmod an equivalent option...

  • For my Droid X?
  • YouTube still doesn't work on my tablet.
  • I will not be upgrading any time soon. As far as I can tell, I need to back up everything, un-root, upgrade, then reinstall all the applications and settings, e-mail accounts, etc. It's not Google's fault, they have a fair system where they sync everything to their server and then put it back. I just installed Debian to get an IPv6 tunnel application, but that will probably be just as painful the second time. It's great to have the freedom to choose though, and the Nexus S is a pretty good phone

  • And their approach to getting users off the unlimited data plans is to not subsidize upgrades.
    With a Nexus handset upgraded this way who needs their feature phone bloat?

    eBay here I come.

    • Yep. Bought an unsubsidized Nexus S. Never locked. Gets updates. Relatively inexpensive. Why would anyone buy one of these other crappy phones that don't run even Android 4.0. And I can actually see my root filesystem, unlike an iPhone.

      • by mikeraz (12065)
        Are you using it on Verizon?
        Where do your updates come from?
        Have Jellybean yet?
        • I don't use Verizon, but it wouldn't matter anyways, since (a) my phone is not locked to any provider (all Nexus S phones are unlocked as far as I know) and (b) I get my updates directly from google (or at least I'm 90% sure I do...they just show up). I have Jellybean and its pretty good so far. The update became available just the other day. The phone downloaded it automatically and then asked me if I wanted to install it. Waited a little while and voila...Jellybean.

  • by pmathew (1597155) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @12:48PM (#40724211)
    For me i have had enough with non-nexus android phones as i have lost patience with android updates . My next device is definitely going to be a nexus with clean android . Most of my friends say the same thing . Soon the nexus brand image will be like the i* brand and customers will be reluctant to buy anything else due to lack of complete package which includes long term support and upgrades . The way mobile landscape is changing the OEMS may not see what hit them.
    • I think this is the case, and the best-case scenario for Google: that Nexus branding become something OEMs clamor for, and fall over themselves to get.

      This will backfire if Google gets lax about control of the user experience and update cycle in order to keep OEMs happy. Google needs to crack the whip a bit here. Unsubsidized phones, by their very nature, will keep the carriers in line, when they're going to be struggling to keep customers happy month after month, instead of coasting on contracts.

  • I've got a nexus s running ics and I've checked for updates, but it just says that the system is up to date. Does anyone know how Google decides the order in which to send out the ota updates?

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @01:53PM (#40724661)
    If not delivering updates in a timely fashion is really a great problem for the customers they will mgrate for Goggle phones and the other sellers will take a hit and start to update more frequently to avoid losing their market share.

    If it is not a problem for most customers then there is no problem at all.
  • by tizan (925212) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @02:16PM (#40724767)

    Is fragmentation a problem or is it freedom for each company to do whatever they want to support at a price they can make money ?

    Or do people want the competition to be just like apple ...a controlled garden of 1 device ....1 appstore ...1 updates for 1 thing.

    Fragmentation is the difference...it allows you to have amazon fire, the nook tablet, all kind of cheap and crappy tablets or phones to expensive and better supported ones etc etc...
    who cares at least i can buy something from $79 to $500 ...i have a choice on my means even if its not what i want because sometimes i can't afford what i want.

    If it is apple v/s pseudo apple ...then i would not have a tablet or a smart phone

    • by grcumb (781340)

      Or do people want the competition to be just like apple ...a controlled garden of 1 device ....1 appstore ...1 updates for 1 thing.

      ... And In Darkness Bind Them....

      No, wait - that's the wrong reference. Er... ein volk, ein Fuhrer...?

      [aside]: Dangit, Irene, come and help me with this. That goshdarn meme thingie you told me about - how do I work it?!?

    • by kthreadd (1558445)
      When it comes down to regular people I would say that something like the iPad has given people more freedom than any Linux distribution. People are afraid of using their computer. Personal computing has proven to be a failed concept and Apple has now given them the freedom to actually use their computing device.
      • by swillden (191260)

        When it comes down to regular people I would say that something like the iPad has given people more freedom than any Linux distribution.

        When it comes to regular people, they would say they can't afford an iPad.

        • by kthreadd (1558445)
          You're right about that. We'll see if the rumors are true that Apple will introduce a cheaper iPad in the near future.
          • by swillden (191260)

            You're right about that. We'll see if the rumors are true that Apple will introduce a cheaper iPad in the near future.

            It'll also be interesting to see if it's competitive with the Nexus 7. Google has set a high bar for a low-cost tablet.

  • I got the OTA update for my Nexus S. While I have Google Now, etc, there is no facial recognition to unlock the phone. Were I to hazard a guess, I would say this might be due to the front-facing camera drawing taking too much of a toll on the battery to make the feature practical.

  • http://newgenerationtechno.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] Production of iPad Mini to start in September in Brazil Here we have the latest rumors about Apple’s next exciting product, the iPad Mini. Citing reliable sources from China, Japanese site Makotakara is reporting that the iPad mini will be manufactured in Brazil, and that its production is scheduled for ramping up starting in September. Additionally, production test of this new iPad was said to have been done already in China. Pretty exciting, right? But the m

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