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    Brooke795's Avatar

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    Default Android manufacturers withholding updates and worsening platform fragmentation?

    A friend of mine sent me this. I don't really know what to make of it... what do you all think?

    He also told me to get the iphone sooooo.... yeah. I would rather leave this to you all who know much more about all this stuff than me (a newbie!)



    so does this mean my "new" vibrant wasn't such a great idea?
  2. #2  

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    Already posted in the chat room of the Podcast.
    Of course Phil refused to address the issue.

    Computerworld has a couple of pages showing the track record of both manufacturers and carriers.






    Summary: Samsung is bad, but they are far from the worst.
    AT&T is abysmal. They just don't get Android at all.
  3. #3  
    Phil Nickinson's Avatar
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    Actually, I have addressed it:

    The methodology, while appearing to be sound, is anything but. Consider, :
    There are a million ways you could analyze Android upgrades. Some phones, for example, were upgraded between June and December of 2010 -- but only to Android 2.1. Since those decisions were made despite the fact that Android 2.2 was readily available, I'm not factoring them into this analysis as full commitments to Android upgrading.
    Ah, so manufacturers did upgrade phones, just not all to Froyo (and some multiple times). Those shouldn't count as upgrades, eh? AT&T was among the first to release a fix for the Galaxy S GPS bug. But that doesn't matter here?

    So the title of the entire project should be "Which manufacturer/carrier can you trust to upgrade to Froyo," not "... to upgrade your phone." There's a pretty big difference there. (Also, not including the regional carriers ignores not just a large number of devices, but devices that have been upgraded to Froyo.)

    Moreover, we're talking upgrades from manufacturers/carriers in the United States, not worldwide. There's a big difference there, too, and a pretty big discrepancy. Use our example from the podcast: The Galaxy S has been updated to Froyo in Canada. In the UK. And likely in lots of other places I don't even know about.

    And it's disingenuous to pretend that all phones are alike, that all are worthy of being upgraded to Froyo. All phones were not created equal. Should the Cliq or Devour have the same weight attached to it as the Droid in determining Motorola's responsibility (fiscal, moral or otherwise) in ensuring it's upgraded to Froyo? Absolutely not.

    The phones listed should be scaled by how likely one believes they are to be upgraded. No, that's not very objective -- but it's realistic. It's what the carriers and manufacturers have to do. Life isn't fair, and neither are smartphone upgrades. That's actually the conclusion Raphael reaches, and it's something we've been saying for months. But why let common sense stand in the way of a pretty chart?

    And upgrades do not exist in a vacuum. In the United States, anyway, it's a necessary evil that the carriers play a major part in the upgrade process, given all the crap they force onto the ROMs in the first place. Take the Galaxy S example, again (and this is something we discussed during the podcast). What's the common denominator in our example above? The U.S. carriers.

    And this all goes for the carrier report card, too. Of course AT&T has the fewest upgrades to Froyo -- it also has the fewest phones worthy of it (not to mention the fewest number of Android phones overall).

    Later release dates also are overly prejudicial in this "study." The Samsung Continuum will take longer to be upgraded because of when it was released -- in mid-November. Samsung and Verizon need a little time for the phone to settle in with the public, to gauge how it's selling, what bugs show up initially, and probably a slew of other factors. So, again, it should be weighted lower in its expectation of receiving Froyo in mid-January 2011.

    Is a phone more or less likely to receive an update based on its carrier or manufacturer? Absolutely. How'd you like to be the Xperia X10 on AT&T -- talk about a double whammy, eh? But to use the X10 as an indication of whether the Atrix is more or less likely to be upgraded to Gingerbread is ridiculous.

    Carriers and manufacturers have to weigh a whole bunch of options in determining if a phone will be upgraded. And then they actually have to prepare, test and deploy the upgrade. There are a finite amount of people within a carrier or manufacturer to do so. Will your phone be upgraded? Maybe. Will it be upgraded as quickly as you want? Nope. The EVO and Droid camps sure were vocal while they were waiting. And once they were upgraded? The dog turned around three times and went back to sleep.
    Last edited by Phil Nickinson; 01-14-2011 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Fix typo
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  4. #4  

    Default Worthy

    What is this concept of a phone being worthy of an upgrade to froyo?

    It's software, not the pristhood!

    The Clic would benefit greatly from froyo. It's a slow phone. The new VM would be a godsend. Users, like my son, like that little phone because its cheap and it's a texting power house.

    If it can run clair it should be able to run froyo.

    But it's not worthy.??

    The story you didn't respond to was the one in the first post in this thread. Or maybe you did but your twitter link is dead.
  5. #5  
    Phil Nickinson's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah. That story. It's a single, unconfirmed source that we decided not to write a story on.

    But we did decide to post the entire tip, which we also received at the same time. http://forum.androidcentral.com/t-mo...oyo-thing.html
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    Phil's right, icebike you need to slow your roll. Im so sick of hearing about fragmentation. Android is an open source platform, and when you have an open source platform, fragmentation is inevitable. Its unfortunate, but true. Like Phil said "life isn't fair, and neither are smartphone upgrades" (great quote btw phil). Why can't people just accept the fact the only certain devices will be upgraded to future versions of the OS? This is not on google, they are just a provider of the software. The carriers and manufacturers split the responsibility of upgrading theirs phones. The carriers choose the phones based on sales and other factors. The manufacturer then chimes in and states whether the phone is available to be upgraded based on hardware, and current version of the OS. Again, is it fair? Absolutely not, but its the way it is. And the sooner people accept that, the sooner we can all move on from this. My advise to you and everybody else complaining is this...when you are eligible for a new phone or switching carriers, do your research. Understand what you will be using the phone for, research what phones do what you want, and decide based on your research and the novelty features that the device has. If you just can't stand it anymore, and don't want to deal with it, then switch to another platform. But keep in mind that no other OS gives you the freedom to do what you want with it. And that is the trade off, freedom for fragmentation.
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    I have a retired iPhone 3G purchased in July 2008 and replaced with an Evo this past June, and I can still get upgrades for the iPhone. Yes, you may have to pay $10 but you are not orphaned by Apple like you are with Android. Yes, yes, Apple only has a few boxes to worry about so there job is easier -- so what! Now I may or may not get Gingerbread for the Evo and the odds of Honeycomb, or whatever the next gen OS is called, is even less.

    When you can still rely on updates for 3+ years with Apple and 6 months is about the end of the road with Android there really is no comparison. From a user standpoint Apple stands behind you better than Android -- PERIOD!


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    If you are basing your decision to buy a certain phone based on a future upgrade then you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. You buy a phone for what it is, not what it might be or what you believe it should be.

    Assuming the best solution for a buggy phone is Froyo is just crazy unless you are the guy at the manufacture or carrier whose responsibility it is to make that determination. Bugs are fixed with patches, not upgrades.

    I have a Droid Eris here running Gingerbread and it works fine but that doesn't mean VZW and HTC should upgrade the Eris to GB....

    Phil, Jerry and the rest of the guys have a very realistic perspective on things and I personally have learned to trust their take on stuff, even when I don't want to hear it.

    At the end of the day, we are all consumers and we are bound by what the carriers and manufactures want to do, regardless of their motivations.

    Or, you could just root and install whatever you want on your phone
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    Actually, the modern era of tech is one that many of us have come to expect continuing improvement even in existing products. In fact, it's very common for a product to be released BEFORE it's fully baked with the expectation that it WILL be updated sometime later. Once again, Apple continues to offer updates years after the product is released but Android -- not so much.


    Brian
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    Raptor your comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended). iOS is not open source like Android. It's a little different putting out updates for 4 devices on 1 carrier all running similar hardware specs and the same software, compared to 30+ devices on 4 carriers running on a mixed bag of hardware specs and custom UI. And because of the differences in hardware, a lot of the older devices will not get updated, simply cause the hardware won't support the update. If you love you iPhone so much, go back to it, delete your account here, and do us a favor and never come back. You don't deserve that EVO...apple fanboy.
    "Life isn't fair, and neither are smartphone upgrades" -Phil Nickinson
  11. #11  

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    This conversation isn't about Apple. Their business model affords them the ability to have longer upgrade paths because they control everything start to finish. If that's important to you then an iPhone is the right product for you. I won't go as far as to call you a fanboy but we aren't discussing Apple's approach to upgrades.

    My point was simply that if you aren't happy with the device in your hand when you are buying it then you shouldn't buy it because the carriers are under no obligation to give you an update.
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  12. #12  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icon View Post
    Raptor your comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended). iOS is not open source like Android. It's a little different putting out updates for 4 devices on 1 carrier all running similar hardware specs and the same software, compared to 30+ devices on 4 carriers running on a mixed bag of hardware specs and custom UI. And because of the differences in hardware, a lot of the older devices will not get updated, simply cause the hardware won't support the update. If you love you iPhone so much, go back to it, delete your account here, and do us a favor and never come back. You don't deserve that EVO...apple fanboy.
    Wow hate on the guy much? I agree with him though. And i agree with the first article and google needs start taking more of a affirmative way for their updates. Window is following apple, blackberry has done it for years before apple. Letting the company run the updates is better than letting carriers and manufacturers run the updates. Also from what i hear Android has never put any kind of hardware requirements on their software its just the manufacturer and wireless company holding things back.

    Example the new samsung phone being shown for tmobile, will have an updated 2.2 if im no mistake, samsung doesnt want tmobile to release 2.2 on their old galaxy s phone so that they can seel the new one more.

    The iphone 2 got updates till 3.0 might of had to pay with 4.0 it wasnt compatible at all. So it got updated. XDA releases hacked roms with new android for older phones and some seem to run great so if XDA can do it im sure google can as well or even the manufacturers and carriers. I think ive seen 2.1 running on a G1.

    In the end its about selling phones making money. And non-phone smart people who buy android think they wont get updated or cant hack it they will buy a new phone. In the end $$ talks. Con Dinero baila el perro. Loosely translated, the dog dances with money.
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    Blopez I agree exactly with what you said, but I wasnt saying google puts requirements on their software, I was saying some of the older phones don't have sufficient hardware to run the newer versions
    "Life isn't fair, and neither are smartphone upgrades" -Phil Nickinson
  14. #14  

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    My touch Pro 2 was running android 2.1 lol. Was buggy bu still more useful than windows 6.5.3
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    well yeah anything is more useful then windows 6.5.3...lol
    "Life isn't fair, and neither are smartphone upgrades" -Phil Nickinson
  16. #16  
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    Default Those of us worrying about upgrades are in the minority

    I think people who pay attention to sites like this one tend to forget that, for every one of us, there are thousands of people running around with Android phones who don't know and don't care what version of the OS they have. In the last 8 months or so I've seen more and more first time smartphone users running around with Android phones and they have no idea what to do with them.

    Some of these people need help setting up email, some of them even need help figuring out how to install apps. Most of them have no idea what their phones are capable of now and they sure as hell aren't worrying about getting future OS upgrades.

    Personally I'd love to see carriers and manufacturers support a phone for the life of a contract, but I'm smart (cynical?) enough to realize that isn't realistic. My Eris runs Froyo no thanks to HTC or Verizon; I'm sure it won't be too long before my og Droid is running Gingerbread no thanks to Vzw or Moto. The point is, most people don't know/care about OS upgrades and aren't pressuring carriers and manufacturers for them...so those supplying the phones feel no need to support them with anything other than a few patches and maybe one OS upgrade.

    For those of us who read tech blogs and worry about new devices and upgrades to existing devices, in almost every case we can take matters into our own hands and root our phones and flash new ROMs. When I decide to use my upgrade it won't be on the newest, slickest phone. It will be on a phone that's been out for at least a few months and is easy to root and has developers behind it. That way I don't have to worry about getting stuck with what the carrier gives me. (I just have to worry about developers moving on to newer, better phones.)
  17. #17  

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    No need to rip the guys head off. He made a valid statement. You're right that its 2 different processes for upgrades. He didn't say he loved the iPhone so much just that that's how Apple did it. The discussion here would be better served with a civil discourse.
    Enjoy every day.
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    I'm just sick of hearing about the iPhone. All day at work, that's all I hear about. You would think this being an Android site, I could get on here, and not hear about it, but unfortunately that is not the case. I would love to gather all the iPhones together, put them in one big pile (on top of 5lbs of C4), and blow them all up.........using my X as the remote detonator
    "Life isn't fair, and neither are smartphone upgrades" -Phil Nickinson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icon View Post
    I'm just sick of hearing about the iPhone. All day at work, that's all I hear about. You would think this being an Android site, I could get on here, and not hear about it, but unfortunately that is not the case. I would love to gather all the iPhones together, put them in one big pile (on top of 5lbs of C4), and blow them all up.........using my X as the remote detonator
    lol, trust me I share the same sentiment that you do, unfortunately we'll never escape it.

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    I think this whole discussion has gone completely off topic. The OP wanted to know if manufacturers are intentionally holding back update for their devices.

    It is possible and would be understandable if a manufacturer was to do this. There were even rumors that Motorola did not want to waste their time on pushing out 2.2 for the original droid because they wanted people to buy their new devices. Apparently google stepped in and said that since the Droid was capable of running Froyo, they had 2 options available to them:

    1) Don't push out a 2.2 update to the Droid but they would not be allowed to have the google apps on their newer devices.

    or

    2) Push out an official 2.2 update and then they would grant Motorola the use of Google Apps.

    This is a rumor and has never been proven but it would seem like a Manufacturer would want to forget about their previous phone in order to build interest in newer devices. Google can withhold their apps from certain Android devices. Android is open source, Google's apps aren't. If this is true then the main reason Google stepped backed this specific device was most likely due to it being a Google Experience device (unlike the galaxy S series) and is probably the reason they haven't influenced other manufacturers to push out updates to skinned android devices.

    Android has many benefits over iOS devices but there are a few shortcomings as well (ex. this issue). Unlike the iPhone, Android devices have many options when it comes to updating. Due to it being open source, there are so many roms available for each device (for the most part). If you want a great stock feel with the most current version of Android, give Cyanogen a shot. Yesterday I was even running the new Sense on my DInc which is not even officially available at this moment.

    Guys, we do have options. Official updates would be nice and in some sense should be mandatory for devices < 2 years old but just because they aren't always like that it doesn't mean you have to be stuck on old versions of Android.

    If you want consistent official updates, Android may not be for you. If you love to tinker or are somebody who loves their current version of Android running on their device, Android is perfect.

    To each their own. Android is a great mobile operating system but it is not for everybody.
  21. #21  
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    what's new? every post, in every forum goes off topic.

    Back on topic, I think there is a real fine line on this topic. Everybody complaining has to understand the business side of it. Everything in this world revolves around business. I understand the manufacturers responsibility to update their phones. But they also have a responsibility to their business. Say there were 2 million (just using for sake of simplicity) OG Droids being used out there, and Moto decided to update them to Gingerbread, how many people using those devices would go out and buy another one? My guess would be less then half. So that is 1+ million people not buying a new device. That is a substantial amount of money lost. But if they don't update to Gingerbread, I would guess 80-90% of those users would go out and get a new device, which means a lot revenue for Moto. More revenue for Moto means better devices come out in the future. Now obviously that is a really simplified look at it, but you get the idea. It is the world we live in people, get used to it.
    "Life isn't fair, and neither are smartphone upgrades" -Phil Nickinson
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    i hate apple but i agree with the updating i bought my samsung end of nov of last year and i have been waiting for update i got the phone cause i was told i would get 2.2 and have flash i had a eris before this phone. I well just be happy the day it does happen we get 2.2 if it does not i well deal i have till know i see no reason i really need it. just be nice when i plug it into my dock at home i could play music out of it thats all i can say i dont like but everything else i could not be happer (=
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    My recommendation: Get a one-year contract with the latest software already installed. Load roms as needed. It would be better if we maybe just had vanilla android that was easily upgradable, but we don't.

    Root 'n Load.

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    i been on verzion since 2002 lil hard to change a one year dont you think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooke795 View Post
    A friend of mine sent me this. I don't really know what to make of it... what do you all think?

    He also told me to get the iphone sooooo.... yeah. I would rather leave this to you all who know much more about all this stuff than me (a newbie!)



    so does this mean my "new" vibrant wasn't such a great idea?
    Listen to your friend......eat, drink, be merry!
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