How To End/Minimize Fragmentation
If Google really wants to motivate OEM's to upgrade in a reasonable amount of time IMHO they should institute some form of certification program.
Here's how I see it. Google maintains a list of phones that are officially certified by Google.
In order to qualify for certification:
* The phone must be running the most recent version of Android (that the phone will physically support) -- the hardware manufacturer would be allowed to make this call but must report this determination to Google to keep certification
* OEM must agree to upgrade said handset to newest release within a reasonable amount of time (Say 2 months).
* If the phone manufacturer fails to do the upgrade in a reasonable amount of time then they loose said certification
* Leeway would be given for phones with usable builds awaiting carrier approval.
Something like that. Thoughts?
- 08-05-2010, 07:06 PM #2
You have good points but until Google bullies the carriers like Apple dose they have no true incentive to push upgrades through in a timely manor when they could just sell you another phone instead. That was the reason why the nexus one didn't sell as well as it should have. Carriers have to much at stake to do this. Look at blackberry for example, they don't have as bad a fragmentation but there upgrades favor the carrier selling the latest over pushing out an upgrade. Imo Android has too many phones. I love my EVO and Droid x but there is no standard with Android. It's all over the place with screen sizes that have to give devs headaches thus the market is less than desirable. Maybe cutting down to four handset would reduce the strain but with a new Android phone coming out every month lol that's not gonna change.
- 08-05-2010, 08:18 PM #3
- I would also require that all skins be un-installable apps (or at least, be able to keep them from running with a simple menu selection). Basically, require that skins run *on top* of Android. At the very least, limit how deep they can get in there to change stuff. This will automatically speed up updates.
- Also, put a list of screen sizes (pixel-wise, not inch-wise). As in, 800x480, 1280x720... whatever, but at least limit it.
- 08-05-2010, 11:18 PM #4
Ideally they would switch to a format where the OEM, not the carrier approves and pushes out the update, but unfortunately I don't see them getting that amount of clout anytime soon.
Not sure how much you know about Blackberry but it most certainly IS fragmented OS wise, it's just not as noticeable and does not effect apps that much as most apps will run on any device running 4.5 OS or later (a few requiring 5.0) but for a while there every device got it's own OS
Older devices upgraded to 4.5 only and no farther
Bold 9000 got 4.6
Curve 8900 got 4.6.1
Storm had 4.7
Tour had 4.7.1
Then most of these device got 5.0 bit even though the OS number was the same there is a variety when it comes to what devices got what features.
Many of the existing apps wont work on touch screen devices and the compatibility mode either does not work or makes it worse so most apps have to be rewritten to work on the touch screen.
Oh and just like Android the carrier has to approve the upgrade. The difference is that it is easier to load non approved OS updates because they don't require OTA installs.
- 08-06-2010, 03:20 AM #7
I think the carriers in the US have way too much say in things. Over here it's basically a case of phone is released, any carriers who want it, get it. Updates are then pushed out as soon as the phone manufacturer releases them.
But yes, I agree that Google should put a little bit more pressure on the manufacturers. Not go Apple on them, but I doubt that'd ever happen. I also believe that the phone manufacturers need to standardize their "own version" of Android so that when they're done testing a new version on one model, it'll work on all their models. Let's say the HTC Desire gets Gingerbread. When HTC are done adapting Sense to Gingerbread, this new version should then work on all HTC devices set to support Gingerbread, perhaps with some features turned off depending on the hardware of the phone in question. If they have to take extra steps to successfully implement new software for each individual model, they're doing it wrong if you ask me.
- 08-06-2010, 04:21 PM #8
- 08-06-2010, 04:46 PM #9
iPhone users want decisions to be made for them. I'm not saying this in a bad way--they simply find it more important that things "just work" than to have more options and choices. Android users like variety, they like customization, and they prefer to get the phone that suits their needs. Not just the phone that's offered.
You saying that there's too many options is like saying there's too many PC manufacturers. They all work just fine, but you can get more specific if you want.
- 08-06-2010, 05:50 PM #10
[QUOTE=cr3amy;272101Android users like variety, they like customization, and they prefer to get the phone that suits their needs. Not just the phone that's offered..[/QUOTE]
I would agree if we were talking about software, but I see many Android phones that lack a complete package and might offer HD video capability and no camera flash! Or a great processor and a crappy battery.
I was playing with my brothers iPhone 4 and while I have no liking to Apple or the iPhone, it's a nice high-end phone - one choice that has it all. It plays 3d-games amazingly smooth, has a great camera (two actually) with a flash, records HD video, etc. Yes, the OS isn't Android, but the PHONE has it all.
Here in Canada, we are finally starting to see more Android phones, so we have about six now to choose from, but they all have some vital flaw that makes them less useful as a complete phone. Why should I have to choose between a phone with a high-res camera and a low res screen, or a device with a poor 3d performance but has good battery life. It's quite frustrating when you see it this way, considering that on a contract, most of these phones are about the same as an iPhone 4.
Anyways, I'm happy with my HTC Legend, but I already regret not having feature X in it because I had to pick and choose over phones that all lacked something.
- 08-06-2010, 06:24 PM #11
True... I mean, most people would have to pick and choose which feature doesn't matter as much to them. I think the most complete Android phone right now will be the Epic.
But stupidly, the non-QWERTY versions of the Galaxy have no led-flash, no led-notification, and no front-facing camera. But I can't think of anything the Epic is missing.
So I think can we agree that it's not that there's too many options, just that there isn't one complete option yet? (At least, except the Epic).
- 08-06-2010, 06:29 PM #12
- 08-07-2010, 10:48 AM #13
admsteck- you make some good points and yes your right using blackberry as a comparison wasn't a great idea as they are just are deeper into fragmentaion. What I ment though was android and blackberry are becoming very similar. Rim flooded the market with devices similar to what android is doing now and while they did have some high end spec's they where replaced in no time for .....you guessed it better specs. Yet there was no true innovation. Sounds familiar doesn't it. I guess my issue is more what is the goal for android ,highend speced phones that require you to live off a charger? Battery life has been the constant Achilles heal of android and will continue to be there as long as we focus on just specs. If that is the case we will become the new blackberry in no time lol.
- 08-07-2010, 10:59 AM #14
The first iPhone sold because it was the game changer period the industry needed . So I really can't compare the nexus one to it. Besides I don't think it was ever googles inttention to push the nexus one as a true consumer device. As for my blackberry background well let's just say Im well versed lol
- 08-08-2010, 04:48 PM #15
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Re: How To End/Minimize Fragmentation
It is the variety of handsets and different form factors that is turning Android into the number one mobile OS. If there were fewer, there's a good chance that it wouldn't have gotten this far. Choice is good.
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- 08-08-2010, 11:37 PM #16
While choices are always good android pumping out tons of phones with no true standard really means choosing which features you don't mind not having. Thats not the type of choice most would think are good.