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Why Android Is the New Windows

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the waiting-for-clippy dept.

Cellphones 424

An anonymous reader writes "Windows' dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways: reduced hardware costs, increased IT literacy and a standard development platform to name a few. Perhaps Android will bring similar benefits. But unless Google are very careful, it is likely to bring some of the same problems, too."

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mobile platform (4, Insightful)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630280)

The biggest problem with Android is that from a developers point of view, it's a horrible platform. It's not just Android - this goes way back to early Symbian versions, Windows Mobile and other early mobile OS versions.

Basically, you have tons of different devices you need to support, all with different hardware, resolution and features. They might or might not have changes made by the phone manufacturer and/or telcos. They might have physical keyboards or only touchscreen. Maybe multitouch on some. Camera on the back, maybe front too, or not at all? Different API's supported by different versions of Android.. It's a nightmare.

This may now a days work okay for computers because they have a lot more power and space and you don't need to worry about batteries so much. But as for mobile developers, that's not true yet and it means you have to create and test your applications and games for every device and most likely make some changes and bugfixes to some of them. Take for example the popular Angry Birds game - the developers have outright said they just cannot support all the different Android devices.

As much as I dislike Apple, iPhones are a solid platform. They have a few different versions of the OS (there needs to be progress, right?), but that's it. Much better for developers and for users. While Windows Phone 7 has definitely taken a better approach than before, they also haven't considered this issue.

Re:mobile platform (0, Offtopic)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630496)

Ah, /. I love how a post can be modded redundant when there are only 6 available (browsing at -1) and its the only one that contains significant discussion about phone development... Good job, mods!

Re:mobile platform (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630578)

Because some bozo starts whining about fragmentation whenever Android is mentioned?

Re:mobile platform (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630696)

Because some bozo starts whining about fragmentation whenever Android is mentioned?

But, it seems to be a valid criticism.

I'm sure I've seen people saying they can't get the latest update because their carrier won't do it, or when they do get an update it breaks things and introduces even further lock down -- completely against the aims of the Android.

From what I've seen, fragmentation within Android is becoming a big deal as companies muck with it. Just how many flavors of the Android OS are there, and how much have the carriers/manufacturers been altering it to make themselves more money?

Re:mobile platform (3, Interesting)

logistic (717955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630984)

Remember Windows CE hand held devices! You would run around the net looking for applications and they would not run (oh sorry was compiled for MIPS and you have and ARM device, or some other screen size or assumed a physical keyboard or was complied for V 2.11 and you running some minor incrementally different version).

It's weird to see the same thing happening all over again. It's great to have an open platform but like an electrical outlet all the plugs fit, or USB or PCI (yes there are occasional incompatibilities) having standards that the developers can rely on is what makes things useful. Android is not even close to Windows (or any good modern desktop Linux Distro that will run on just about any hardware that meets spec and the applications for said OS for the most part will run)

I think many of us would like that kind of reliable application experience sans Apple's vendor lock in on hardware and OS.

As an aside I don't know why we're so willing to welcome Google as our mobile overlords. I personally don't see how the community can catch every bit of data gathering they've built into the code and then make a stable usable version you can compile for whatever hardware you've got. eg I'm unaware of tinfoil hat Android.

Re:mobile platform (2, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631044)

But there's fragmentation on iOS, too. The oldest generation of iPod Touch and iPhone can't get the newest software version. Still supported devices may not have cameras (last gen Touch and iPad.) They may not have a consistent data connection.

All of these cases have caused issues with software. For example, some apps require a camera. That's fine. But when someone links to an app and says, "Check this out," and you follow that link on a device without a camera, you basically get to a 404 page. You're left wondering what's going on.

Then there's the data connection. A very popular app (Angry Birds Seasons) inexplicably requires an Internet connection. I suppose it's because the winter levels form an advent calendar and they want to make sure people don't jump ahead. You could do that by checking the date, but I guess that wasn't good enough. Regardless, it took a lot of people by surprise when they tried to play on their Touch.

But of course, software version is the biggest issue. When I update apps, I can't count the number of times that an update has been required because the developer didn't test well enough on one version or another of the OS and got complaints. And of course, there are people on older devices who get left out in the cold because a developer wants to use the worthless Game Center.

No, there's fragmentation on iOS, and it's only going to get worse. It's just that this fragmentation is a dirty little secret swept under the rug in order to have an excuse to complain about Android.

Re:mobile platform (5, Informative)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631194)

As a developer there is a HUGE difference...

The iOS devices basically progress in a predictable fashion inheriting the functions of the last gen.. IE you can easily choose your lowest target and with very minimal tweaking support ALL higher / newer devices.. Also using consistent APIs you can detect specific models and enable specific features, knowing they EXIST on the device without writing custom code to detect them.

As android has progressed there have been APIs from vendors made to support model specific features. You can't count on what UI the user sees since HTC, Sony and Moto all reskin the OS... Makes it fun to explain to users how to do stuff when the OS looks alien.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631270)

It doesn't matter, you can just root the phone and install what you want.

Re:mobile platform (2)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631186)

Because whenever fragmentation is mentioned the bozos pretend it isn't a real issue? I have 3 android devices in my home...none of them run the same version, one has google apps natively, one has a hack to get it and the other one I haven't even bothered with because its too much of a pain in the ass. All have different front ends as well...

Re:mobile platform (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631264)

Because some bozo starts whining about fragmentation whenever Android is mentioned?

"Your honor, I object. It's devastating to my case!"

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630934)

Not commenting on whether it's appropriate in this particular case, but "redundant" means it doesn't contribute meaningfully to the discussion, which doesn't solely depend on the number or contents of the other posts on the article.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631102)

I modded him redundant because it's the same BS FUD everyone complains about with [slashdot.org] Android, [slashdot.org] as [slashdot.org] can [slashdot.org] be [slashdot.org] seen [slashdot.org] below. [slashdot.org]

(If you only read one of those comments, read this one. [slashdot.org] )

Re:mobile platform (2)

fahlesr1 (1910982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630506)

I don't know about that. Microsoft is being pretty strict on the hardware requirements for WP7. While they aren't controlling the actual hardware like Apple they are dictating things like the screen size. That alone is a huge improvement over the Android ecosphere. Here [windowsmobile7.com] is a list of minimum specs.

Seems to me that WP7 is taking a good middle ground, though I'm not sure about its reliance on Silverlight. I'd rather see a straight C# API (other than XNA for game development that is)

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630514)

This just in... Not all platforms can, nor should they be expected to, support all applications.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630540)

The biggest problem with Android is that from a developers point of view, it's a horrible platform. It's not just Android - this goes way back to early Symbian versions, Windows Mobile and other early mobile OS versions.

Basically, you have tons of different devices you need to support, all with different hardware, resolution and features. They might or might not have changes made by the phone manufacturer and/or telcos. They might have physical keyboards or only touchscreen. Maybe multitouch on some. Camera on the back, maybe front too, or not at all? Different API's supported by different versions of Android.. It's a nightmare.

This may now a days work okay for computers because they have a lot more power and space and you don't need to worry about batteries so much. But as for mobile developers, that's not true yet and it means you have to create and test your applications and games for every device and most likely make some changes and bugfixes to some of them. Take for example the popular Angry Birds game - the developers have outright said they just cannot support all the different Android devices.

As much as I dislike Apple, iPhones are a solid platform. They have a few different versions of the OS (there needs to be progress, right?), but that's it. Much better for developers and for users. While Windows Phone 7 has definitely taken a better approach than before, they also haven't considered this issue.

But android brings together so many companies outside of the old system and it provides a compile once, target many for a large set of application targets. Before the applications had to be manufacturer/platform/hardware specific, with android it's just platform/hardware.

On the most basic level you have ldpi/mdpi/hdpi targets with a reasonably high level of sensors. And this is what most apps will target. Games and applications that benefit from heavy optimizations are of-course a issue.

Testing on targets is ofcourse a nightmare, and you see a lot of 'it FC's on startup' on the market, and it's not helped much by manufacturers who don't want to update their phones.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630584)

Building things is hard, as a software engineer I really don't want to have to implement something in more than one scenario. Android is a terrible platform because it means that I will have to work like a normal person, and not get paid a hojillion dollars for scraping together the first bare-bones implementation I could muster.

Re:mobile platform (1, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630660)

Actual Android developers don't seem to share your concerns. As I've said before, only Apple fanboys seem to care abouy Android's supposed fragmentation. And lo and behold: your comment is an advert for Apple!

Re:mobile platform (0)

medcalf (68293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630770)

Ah, yes, the term "fanboy" is always the key to knowing when to ignore a comment. Except when talking about Daniel Eran Dilger, of course, where the term is wholly justified.

Re:mobile platform (1)

MichaelKristopeit309 (1962666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630838)

for me it's "medcalf"

The Endless Circle (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631284)

Since you are obviously for Android, we can also discard the validity of your viewpoint.

Re:mobile platform (-1, Flamebait)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630666)

Using your argument - if there's only 1 device it has to be goddam perfect since all your eggs are in that basket. Hence the ludicrous situation earlier in the year when Apple royally screwed the iPhone4's antenna and *blamed the user* for holding it wrong. Its more than just marketing, its borderline brainwashing - they just could not under any circumstances accept their entire product range of 1 was a turkey. Fortunately, as has been said before, Steve Jobs treats his customers like idiots and, as usual, on this occasion they proved him right again.

Had an Android phone been made with a defective antenna, users would have bought a different model whilst the first is recalled, fixed and relaunched.

Microsofts new xbox controller isn't in the same ballpark. At first glance it even looks like a smartphone, but it can't be since it doesn't multitask, support flash nor even cover the basics like cut and paste.

Re:mobile platform (2)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630870)

Hence the ludicrous situation earlier in the year when Apple royally screwed the iPhone4's antenna and *blamed the user* for holding it wrong. Its more than just marketing, its borderline brainwashing - they just could not under any circumstances accept their entire product range of 1 was a turkey

Not really - as an admitted iPhone 4 user, and as someone who knows many other people with them (and who use them without cases), its just another case where one group tries to bring down another group by spreading FUD about a popular product. Feel free to criticize it as much as you want, of course, but do pick something worth criticizing. You'd think that after selling 14+ million of them (according to Wikipedia at least) this particular piece of dirt would have been well-discredited.

Re:mobile platform (1, Informative)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631222)

Using your argument - if there's only 1 device it has to be goddam perfect since all your eggs are in that basket. Hence the ludicrous situation earlier in the year when Apple royally screwed the iPhone4's antenna and *blamed the user* for holding it wrong. Its more than just marketing, its borderline brainwashing - they just could not under any circumstances accept their entire product range of 1 was a turkey. Fortunately, as has been said before, Steve Jobs treats his customers like idiots and, as usual, on this occasion they proved him right again.

Had an Android phone been made with a defective antenna, users would have bought a different model whilst the first is recalled, fixed and relaunched.

The Antennagate debacle should have been horribly embarrassing for Apple, both in the design, testing failure, and response once the issue was known. It kills me that Jobs got away with blaming the users.

That said, Android's nothing special. The phones are made by all sorts of companies. Some might have issued a recall, some might have dealt with it. My personal experience with a very similar issue was with the Nexus One. If I held the phone in the wrong way (which happened to be the most natural way for me to hold the phone while reading on it) I would lose 2-3 bars--often causing a complete loss of signal. You can read about this well-known issue by searching for "death grip nexus one." The term "death grip" seems to imply a tight grip, but that wasn't required to repeat the issue (at least in my case.)

The end result was not a recall, and though the Nexus One happened to flop, it's unlikely that this was the reason. My end result was sending the phone back as defective and getting hit with a restocking fee I was unable to get out of despite the fact that the phone was simply unusable to me. To their credit, Apple at least fully refunded users who felt that the antenna issue made the phones unusable.

Re:mobile platform (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630676)

Basically, you have tons of different devices you need to support, all with different hardware, resolution and features. [...] It's a nightmare.

Sort of like developing for the PC, right? I know, we should all move to vendor-locked consoles.

As much as I dislike Apple, iPhones are a solid platform. They have a few different versions of the OS (there needs to be progress, right?), but that's it. Much better for developers and for users.

Well, when you've got such a tight-fisted control freak attitude it's not hard to ram everyone into a few boxes.

While Windows Phone 7 has definitely taken a better approach than before, they also haven't considered this issue.

Microsoft basically dictated every bit of hardware used at the level of the OS. There are some minor differentiating features, but they're all basically the exact same hardware with different attachments (displays, speakers,) plastic cases and vendor logos.

Re:mobile platform (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630688)

really, you had to throw the fragmentation argument again? is that the best you can do?

android is nothing like windows. it's everything like linux, because it is linux. Linux doesn't have fragmentation issues either, unless you're goin for the fud route.

way to troll there.

Re:mobile platform (1, Interesting)

medcalf (68293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630804)

Which of course explains why there are so many commercial applications available for Linux. Thanks for pointing that out.

Re:mobile platform (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631028)

really?

ever heard of red hat? That's not commercial? ever heard of android? that's not commercial?

How many servers run linux versus windows? Do I need to pull up that cite again?

thanks for pointing out you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:mobile platform (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630758)

"The biggest problem with Android is that from a developers point of view, it's a horrible platform."

Which developer? I'm guessing you're not one?

Android is probably the easiest mobile platform to develop for bar perhaps Windows Mobile.

"Basically, you have tons of different devices you need to support, all with different hardware, resolution and features. They might or might not have changes made by the phone manufacturer and/or telcos. They might have physical keyboards or only touchscreen. Maybe multitouch on some."

I assumed from the your first comment that you were referring to yourself as a developer, but as you apparently don't even understand that one of the basic principles of writing software is to decide what you're writing and roughly how it will work before you write it then it's no wonder the thought of having options as to how you do different things confuses you. Do you need a camera on the front and back for your app? If so then there you go, it's decided, your app only has to be developed for that, if you only need one camera then what's the problem? It's not hard to use it in your app.

"But as for mobile developers, that's not true yet and it means you have to create and test your applications and games for every device and most likely make some changes and bugfixes to some of them."

Or unless you're developing with the NDK, which for 99% of apps you wont need to, then you can just use AVDs. You do know what AVDs are right, I mean, you made your post with a well informed background about Android development and aren't just making it up as you go are you?

"Take for example the popular Angry Birds game - the developers have outright said they just cannot support all the different Android devices."

Yeah, and Crysis wont run on my 486, and apps requiring features that weren't implemented until later iterations of the iPhone can't run apps built specifically for features in the latest version. Luckily though MagicDevices (tm) are now widely available that can automatically adapt to run anything anyone has and will ever think of, so we don't have to worry about this if we buy MagicDevices instead of Android handsets right?

"As much as I dislike Apple, iPhones are a solid platform."

Yes, and here we have the point you were really trying to get to don't we? You're just a trolling Apple fanboy. Why not just cut the misinformed bollocks in future and cut straight to the point that you love your iPhone and want to put it up your bum and have someone phone you to make it vibrate whilst masturbating to pictures of Steve Jobs?

"They have a few different versions of the OS (there needs to be progress, right?), but that's it."

Oh that sucks for you iPhone users then, I didn't realise the iPhone 4 lacked GPS, is only 2G, and has a horribly dated screen resolution. I'd always thought the different versions had different hardware, but I guess if you say otherwise then it must be true, it's only the OS that's changed after all.

"While Windows Phone 7 has definitely taken a better approach than before, they also haven't considered this issue."

Because it's not like XNA and Silverlight are designed specifically to solve these issues or anything is it? This is the point you really proved you simply don't know what the fuck you're on about. I hate Microsoft, I really fucking hate Microsoft, but christ there's no denying they've got mobile development hammered out above all others.

Fuck off Apple troll.

Re:mobile platform (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630782)

A lot of people prefer to have a device that is tailored to their needs than going with a one-size-fits-all solution. Things like having different sized screens, or physical keypads, are important to some people.

Re:mobile platform (1)

MichaelKristopeit308 (1962664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630810)

my 3 year old niece is also unable to support all the different android devices.... that proves it CAN NOT be done.

you're an idiot.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630970)

YOU are an idiot. You have never developed anything for any platform, so who are you to say anything? You're full of shit.

Re:mobile platform (0)

MichaelKristopeit309 (1962666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631238)

ur mum's face are an idiot.

i've developed platforms to develop platforms.

you're exactly what you've claimed to be: NOTHING.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630822)

Nice FUD. Anyone who's ever opened the SDK can tell you you are full of shit and don't know what you are talking about. Get back to your crappy blog sites that think they know what they're talking about despite having zero developer skills or experience.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630846)

I've had an app on the Android market for quite a while - about half a million downloads. I left the company that owns it a while back, and they don't have resources to update mobile apps, so it's just been sitting there.

The thing is, across about four Android releases and a *ton* of new phones, the issues amount to....zero.

Fragmentation is definitely a problem for the games guys, because they really stress the underlying hardware. For everyone else? Nah.

As for Apple, doubt they will be able to avoid it for the games people either. They will come out with new, super powerful phones, the games people will use that...and they will need to filter out older devices. Fragmentation.

Or, to put it another way, progress.

Re:mobile platform (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630894)

As much as I dislike Apple, iPhones are a solid platform. They have a few different versions of the OS (there needs to be progress, right?), but that's it. Much better for developers and for users. While Windows Phone 7 has definitely taken a better approach than before, they also haven't considered this issue.

Basically you babbled about how there's approximately 1 iPhone. I mean face it, Linux runs on SPARC and PPC and x86 and x86-64; Windows has gone through multiple API versions and even just Vista has 40 different versions and runs on computers with one or two or six processor cores, sometimes shared, sometimes with different memory access models (flat, NUMA, single-processor-multi-core vs multi-processor vs multi-multicore and memory/cache sharing and access models) that affect performance, some with a scroll wheel or a 7 button mouse, some with joypads or joysticks, most with physical keyboards. Some very few have touch screens. Some have 3D graphics to different levels of performance.

How is this different?

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631008)

Running on all sorts of different platforms is how Windows won. Apple had it's os and hardware, all locked in, consistent and probably easy to develop for, and Microsoft installed on IBM pc and their clones. It hurt Windows for the reliability, as they could not know what kind of a disk controller and video card might come out next month, but being able to install on lots of manufactures hardware meant it got installed everywhere. Being easy to pirate was probably more effective than Apple's giving discounts to schools, as being "open" is going to get more android out there than ios.

Re:mobile platform (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631010)

All these complaints are really about fragmentation. Your criticism is not about Android, but about whether we should have more than a handful of different phones to develop on. I say we should. Apple is showing us very clearly what the alternative is.

The question then is, whether Android is good for such a fragmented market. Technically, I have no idea. And its ecosystem of development could be more open - but I am sure that the basic openness of the platform is doing/will do a lot of good.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631060)

And this is different than programming for a computer how? Macs simplify hardware compatibility and programming issues at the cost of user choice by restricting the hardware choices, and the same can be said about iOS devices. PCs have the added challenge of seemingly endless possibilities for hardware combinations that comes when you allow the market to offer the users whatever choices that they think users might want, and the same can be said about Android devices. The analogy of computer to smart phones continues:

Computers in modern times (both PCs and Macs) are expected to have:
* keyboard
* mouse
* screen

Smart phones (both Android and iOS) are expected to have:
* on screen keyboard (their answer to the computer's keyboard)
* touchscreen (their answer to the computer's mouse and screen)

If your app can run with these basic components in a way that is sufficiently abstracted from the hardware, you should be good to go. If your app depends on a piece of hardware, then you're choosing to dive into a subset of the population. This is the same as writing a scanning program for a PC. User doesn't have a scanner, then they obviously aren't interested in scanning and not your target audience. Yes, resolutions may be different, etc, but resizing an app for different resolutions is a concept that has been around for quite some time now. I guess I fail to see what challenge Android presents that is so different from a PC. You want "easy programming" where you can hardcode pixel locations for a resolution you depend on? Go with iOS and never port to Android. You want to do it right and not treat your app like a glorified dialog box? Then you can put it on any device (iOS or Android) of your choosing which has the required hardware for your purposes.

Re:mobile platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631134)

Android is not horrible from a developer viewpoint.

Re:mobile platform (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631184)

The real problem (lol, "listen to me", right?) is that handset makers and carriers have no motivation to improve the situation. People don't buy more of an old phone because the software got revved and has new features. They buy *brand*new*phones* so the handset makers and carriers are constantly chasing the bleeding edge and if your handset is just SIX MONTHS OLD you can count on infrequent or non-existent updates.

Google will lose to Apple in this space because they have the reins on the software/hardware process (since they do it all) and they have a tight leash on their carrier of choice. This means that while the hardware may not be at the cutting edge (with the exception of the very first iPhone and the iPhone 4) they can maintain a VERY stable app market.

Google needs to start charging for Android OS development, and they need to take the money and take over the dev role from the handset makers. Then they need to start pushing hard on the carriers to standardize on the bloat they will push to their customers. Then, and only then, will we see a mature Android market (and the whole android experience for that matter) appear.

welcome! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630324)

I for one, welcome our new android overlords

Increased IT literacy??? (5, Insightful)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630342)

Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways ... increased IT literacy

What?! That's like saying McDonald's did anything for fine cuisine. Gimme a break!

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (5, Interesting)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630476)

Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways ... increased IT literacy

What?! That's like saying McDonald's did anything for fine cuisine. Gimme a break!

Like McD has given us something with which to compare fine cuisine, Windows has given us a way to differentiate between those who are and aren't IT literate.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630806)

Like McD has given us something with which to compare fine cuisine, Windows has given us a way to differentiate between those who are and aren't IT literate.

My mother in-law's meatloaf gave me something to compare to fine cuisine too but it wasn't good in many (or any) ways.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630500)

What?! That's like saying McDonald's did anything for fine cuisine. Gimme a break!

Well, it may have driven people back to fine cuisine and real food ... but, that might not be what you meant. ;-)

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630526)

The writer of TFB (The Fine Blog) needs some 'increased IT literacy':

Early mobile phones like the Motorola Dynatac were basically big dumb lumps of analogue hardware, there was no operating system as such and if one were to compare them to computers they would be on a par with those big desktop calculators accountants have.

Big lumps of analogue hardware? DSP (Digital Signal Processors) anyone? Complex RF on a chip? Hypervisors?

Just because it doesn't run a game doesn't mean it's not digital. And T9 keypads are 'simple' are they?

The blogger is a looser. (Don't make that mistake if your going to publish something.... )

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630590)

The writer of TFB (The Fine Blog) needs some 'increased IT literacy':

Early mobile phones like the Motorola Dynatac were basically big dumb lumps of analogue hardware, there was no operating system as such and if one were to compare them to computers they would be on a par with those big desktop calculators accountants have.

Big lumps of analogue hardware? DSP (Digital Signal Processors) anyone? Complex RF on a chip? Hypervisors?

Just because it doesn't run a game doesn't mean it's not digital. And T9 keypads are 'simple' are they?

The blogger is a looser. (Don't make that mistake if your going to publish something.... )

1G mobile phones like the DynaTAC were absolutely analog devices, with a bare minimum of digital signalling to manage handoff and such.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (2)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630708)

And run-on sentences ftw, because who needs to worry about periods or any punctuation besides commas, just keep writing until you're done, I'm sure everyone will understand just fine.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630534)

Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways ... increased IT literacy

What?! That's like saying McDonald's did anything for fine cuisine. Gimme a break!

Clearly you've never eaten a McPizza.

It was, without a doubt, the finest piece of cullinary art that this world has ever known and they pulled it from their menu just like that. I'm pretty sure they sold the recipe to Gordon Ramsay for something like a quarter of a million dollars. Gordon didn't know however that Pizza was not a popular pick in fancy restaurants where the entrees go for over 50 dollars. That's why he always seems pissed off on TV, he got a raw deal.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630910)

Clearly you've never eaten a McPizza.

*shudder* That stuff was nasty. Good riddance, I say. (Of course, I've not eaten McD's in over a decade).

Though, I seem to recall having some fond memories of the McDLT when I was much younger.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631174)

Actually, I quite liked their seaweed burger, it wasn't a fat-fest in your mouth so I could eat it without my heart threatening for divorce.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630636)

Certainly. We have an entire generation schooled to a standard. The menu standard of: Click on File, then Open or Help/About or Tools/Options and....oh thats right, Microsoft changed all that.... Never mind...

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630644)

Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways ... increased IT literacy

What?! That's like saying McDonald's did anything for fine cuisine. Gimme a break!

This. This is exactly the type of douche-baggery I've come to expect here. Unabashed hate and vitriol for Microsoft, and conversely unfettered bliss for Apple or Linux.

Would you like to say anything negative about Neanderthal or perhaps Cromagnon and how their usage of tools increased their hand-eye proficiency? Apples to apples I say: increased computer literacy is to point of sale expertise as Microsoft Windows is to McDonald's Restaurants. +5 my ass.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630738)

McDonald gave us a restaurant in every city in America. That would be a better comparison. I'm guessing you weren't around in the 80's when the ONLY home PC was an Apple. DOS was hard to use for your average non-techie and Apple was ridiculously expensive. A similar quantity of ram for an apple was easily 10x the price of that for a PC. Almost all software written for Apples was also prohibitively expensive. Apple really did themselves in back then, had they priced their stuff reasonably, they would have crushed Microsoft.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (3, Informative)

lluBdeR (466879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631208)

I'm guessing you weren't around in the 80's when the ONLY home PC was an Apple.

I'm guessing you weren't either [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630814)

I was thinking the same.

If Windows accomplished anything, it is to make people LESS computer literate and MORE dependent on GUIs. Don't get me wrong, they're great to give people who have little time and even less interest to dig deeply into the "how to"s a quick way to do what they want to accomplish, and Windows certainly lowered the "entrance bar" to using the computer, but it certainly did NOT increase the computer literacy of the average person.

I'd even dare to say it lowered the computer literacy of administrators. Where earlier they used to know pretty well WHY certain things worked in certain ways and HOW to solve problems, most people who call themselves administrators these days know neither. They know their magical incantations and their rotes, but they have no idea what actually happens when they cast their spells.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631236)

Knowing a CLI doesn't make you computer literate or anything like an administrator. Knowing only a gui doesn't make you computer illiterate either. Lemme, guess, you think computer science is computer programming?

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631002)

Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways ... increased IT literacy

What?! That's like saying McDonald's did anything for fine cuisine. Gimme a break!

Seriously? "Fine" is subjective. Did you ever see the Pen and Teller Bullshit episode where they faked "fine dining" with microwaved food? Even Gordon Ramsey in Hell's Kitchen tricked the contestants with food from a Gas Station as "Fine Dining" What you actually pay for is the perception of value.

Re:Increased IT literacy??? (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631204)

Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways ... increased IT literacy

What?! That's like saying McDonald's did anything for fine cuisine. Gimme a break!

No, it's like saying owning a piece of crap car make you a better mechanic...

Clueless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630462)

This guy claims Windows has all the malware/virus problems it has because it's the biggest target.

Why does /. link to these clueless bloggers? Can we at least link to articles where the writer has a grasp on the english language? You know, someone who knows the difference between "lose" and "loose"?

Re:Clueless (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630862)

This guy claims Windows has all the malware/virus problems it has because it's the biggest target.

That's an extremely common claim, which is only made by Windows fans. I wish we could better dispel it. Such a claim could explain a "many"-to-"very few" malware disparity, but it simply cannot explain a "many"-to-"effectively zero" disparity.

Systems Integration (5, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630470)

Looks like I'm sticking with the iPhone for a while then. I've gotten to the point where I'll happily sacrifice a small amount of money and a little flexibility in exchange for a well-vetted, vertically integrated solution rather than an assembly kit that I can use - if I wish - to build something great. With the increased power to do your own thing all to frequently comes the need to do your own thing, with your own time and your own money. Not on my phone, thanks - I'll leave tinkering to the hobbies I choose rather than a useful accessory for my life. And yes, I'm a developer.

Re:Systems Integration (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630562)

if I wish

Ah, there's the lynchpin. If you hadn't noticed, there's been a concerted effort in the mobile industry to make sure that even "if [you] wish", you can't. The point is to make you dependent on them, even when you could easily solve the problem yourself.

Re:Systems Integration (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630994)

if I wish

Ah, there's the lynchpin. If you hadn't noticed, there's been a concerted effort in the mobile industry to make sure that even "if [you] wish", you can't. The point is to make you dependent on them, even when you could easily solve the problem yourself.

The vast majority (+99%?) of mobile phone users don't have the skill set or desire do it themselves. Same goes for desktop/laptop users. What seems natural, accessible or even easy to /. readers isn't really fathomable to most. Most people don't know how their cars work and even less can work on them (fewer still can fix the damage done by those who think they can but can't).

There isn't enough of a demand - based on the consumer base - to make a DIY platform available. Why would a phone manufacturer spend all the extra time and money to develop a platform with this level of accessibility for such a small segment of sales?

Re:Systems Integration (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631158)

The vast majority (+99%?) of mobile phone users don't have the skill set or desire do it themselves.

Which is irrelevant when they have to go out of their way to lock the devices down. Using user ignorance as a justification could be easily turned against you to take away all control you have.

Why would a phone manufacturer spend all the extra time and money to develop a platform with this level of accessibility for such a small segment of sales?

They don't. They just have to make it possible for me to load whatever I want on the device. Instead, they take the active stance that the user is the enemy and utilize software and hardware locks to prevent that. It takes extra time and money to implement that.

Re:Systems Integration (0)

kdub432 (1586397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630572)

probably a "html developer"

Re:Systems Integration (2)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630742)

I'm an iOS *and* Android developer. I don't write applications in html, i use Objective-C and Java, and I agree with what the OP said.

Re:Systems Integration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630746)

I'm a developer, mostly python and C. I absolutely do not want to tinker with the day to day devices that I must have to do my job, my main (development) computer and my phone. I don't want a hacked together multitude of bells and whistles that generally work together, but sometimes don't. Time is money.

It works or it doesn't.

Re:Systems Integration (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630792)

Looks like I'm sticking with Android then. I'll happily keep a few extra bucks in my pocket in return for a device that has some sort of basic capability given to me (phone calls, internet browser, etc) AND has the option to do all sorts of other cool stuff like get me interested in Linux, Java and networking for the embedded systems I'm used to designing as a hardware engineer rather than just talking over RS-232 all the time. On my phone please, so I can mess around with it when I'm stuck waiting in line and doing other boring stuff like driving (I kid). I'll leave the all in one solution to you because thats clearly whats right for you and its a great thing that there currently seems to be enough options to accommodate both of us.

Re:Systems Integration (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630872)

In what way is a Windows PC or Android phone an 'assembly kit' ?

Re:Systems Integration (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630988)

I'm actually straining to really grasp your situation here.

So you've got a phone that's well built from top to bottom that's stable but doesn't let you try anything new. We'll call it an iPhone.

And you've got a phone that will work as a phone, and handle the basic smartphone functionalities like email/text/weather/music pretty much as well as an iPhone. We'll call it a Droid.

So I understand that you might get frustrated with certain things on the droid, with fragmentation being the first problem to pop up in my mind. Apps written for a later version of the OS which your carrier has kindly decided not to use. A hassle to go through the work yourself just to get things up and running. Not an appealing situation, I agree. In that regard I can understand why you would just want to go with an iPhone because it "Just Works" and the App market is strong and intuitive enough that you can find new applications for various tasks you might want and it'll work all fine because of the rigorous testing.

But your assembly kit analogy is was really kind of throws me off. 80% of what you use your droid for will be built into it, no assembly required. Particularily the line "With the increased power to do your own thing all to frequently comes the need to do your own thing" - I honestly have no idea where thats coming from or what you mean by it. So your phone is more flexible... so you feel pressured to use its flexibility? Can you elaborate on the situation where you felt the need to "Do your own thing" - what that thing was and how an iPhone got you around that problem? This is what is absolutely perplexing me.

Re:Systems Integration (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631030)

Well "Doesn't let you try anything new" might have been exagerating iPhone's closed situation. Sure you CAN develop new things for it, but not with the same amount of freedom...

This line from the article.... (5, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630512)

"The entire phenomenon of viruses and malware is a result of the proliferation of Windows, the people behind malware take advantage of that same standard development platform."

This sentence is so stupid that it invalidates the arguments contained within the entire article. Who thinks that if Apple and their marriage of hardware and software were to have only existed in some anti-Capra Steve Jobs as Mister Potter world of computing, that viruses and malware would have not existed? Because there are no viruses for MAC OS? By that logic, wouldn't NeXT Step have been the most secure UNIX ever? To lay the existence of malware at Redmond's feet is to be so ignorant of computing and O/S design as to make anything said about Android totally and completely moot.

Re:This line from the article.... (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630732)

Microsoft goes out of it's way to do more stupid stuff than anyone else in the industry. Get over it already.

Apple II & Atari ST viruses existed because the platform provided fertile ground for it.

The same is true of Windows.

The same is not true of Unix, Linux or MacOS 10.

Re:This line from the article.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631148)

The logical implication of this is that if Unix, Linux, or Mac OS X had the install base of Windows, they'd be crapware laden as well.

When you think of it this way, this isn't an argument in favor anything. It assumes that the leader in market share will always have these problems. When you position it like this, how then can the problems be the fault of the market leader? In this construction they have them by virtue of being market leader.

Re:This line from the article.... (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630748)

Also those of us who were using Macs back in the day remember that it was horribly common to get a virus, or at least to be exposed to them. It's not until we got that program that detected suspicious behavior... Gatekeeper? And then later, Disinfectant, a recognition-based AV, that it became possible to get a handle on things.

Re:This line from the article.... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630768)

Try reading a few more sentences. He states the windows virus problem is mostly resulting from its dominance as a monoculture. That mac or linux would have much more malware than they do now if they had 90% market share.

Re:This line from the article.... (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630800)

Yes you are correct, but the point the article is making is that the situation has been made a hell of a lot worse. Microsoft refused to make a decent multi-user OS for years with abstraction between user and administrative functions, until they were forced into remedying the situation because they had to. Running scripts by default in a web client also wasn't the smartest of choices to have made.

Re:This line from the article.... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631288)

Bingo. The fact that viruses existed long before Windows pretty much invalidates the argument that Widows is responsible for viruses.

Windows gave control, Android takes it away (-1, Troll)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630606)

DOS/Windows gave people more control over their computers. people had the software locally and could install anything they wanted. anytime.

same with my iphone. i have all the files local on my laptop. if apple pulls an app then i can still use it. all i do is add the .app file in itunes and it will still sync. if someone breaks an app with an update i can still use the old version if i keep all the files.

with android the app install process is in the cloud and controlled by google

Re:Windows gave control, Android takes it away (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630740)

DOS/Windows gave people more control over their computers. people had the software locally and could install anything they wanted. anytime.

This would have happened for ANY OS that wasn't tied to a big-iron vendor. As I recall, this was (and continues to be) true for Macs as well.

same with my iphone.

No. Unless you jailbreak, the software you run on it has to pass a vetting by them. If they pull it later, you'd better hope you don't lose the copy on your PC/Mac.

with android the app install process is in the cloud and controlled by google

Are you sure you haven't mixed up Apple and Google? Last I checked, you weren't forced to go to the Marketplace to install software except on a few obscenely locked down devices from AT&T.

Re:Windows gave control, Android takes it away (4, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630756)

where do you come up with this shit? on android you have an .apk that can run whether or not google removes it from the app store or entirely for that matter.

Not only that, but these .apk's aren't hidden, they're on your phone, and even without root access you can back them up easily with plenty of solutions. Plenty of people install android apps without ever hitting the android market or ever having a wifi connection. in fact, there's an entire forum dedicated to it, essentially [xda-developers.com] . Did I mention that things are fairly well documented?

on iphone you can have it forcefully removed remotely, even by using the old version.

"but these .apk's aren't hidden" yes, they are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631152)

"but these .apk's aren't hidden" -

Yes they are... see below:

APK

P.S.=> /. always hides THIS "APK", because I post as an "anonymous coward"/non-registered user here, & what do I see in the tree nodes of replies on this forums? "hidden comment"... apk

Re:Windows gave control, Android takes it away (1)

jokermatt999 (1536127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630786)

What? I've used .apks to install a number of applications to my Android phone. I didn't have to do any jailbreaking to do so either, just tick a single checkbox. Are you seriously that ignorant, trolling, or did I just get whooshed?

Re:Windows gave control, Android takes it away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630858)

You know, the article completely missed the point with the essential difference between Windows and Android, and now you have it precisely backwards.

It's about freedom.

Eventually, Microsoft squeezed Borland out of the market and was selling developer tools for $1000 a pop. Years ago, when I got my first cell phone, it had J2ME, but it would of cost me $30 to put my java game on it.

And now, there's Android, the free mobile OS that anyone can inspect or edit or develop for.

In a sense, your ignorance shows that we have won. However, our victory is not yet secure. Apple, after using free software to get its new OS started, has been closing off everything it can. Yet, a bunch of ignorant iPhone users regularly troll these threads with their inane comments drawn directly from Apple marketing material.

So, it's important to remember. Windows gave control to Microsoft.

Re:Windows gave control, Android takes it away (2)

Peter Amstutz (501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630932)

DOS/Windows gave people more control over their computers. people had the software locally and could install anything they wanted. anytime.

same with my iphone. i have all the files local on my laptop. if apple pulls an app then i can still use it. all i do is add the .app file in itunes and it will still sync. if someone breaks an app with an update i can still use the old version if i keep all the files.

with android the app install process is in the cloud and controlled by google

Nonsense. Unlike the iPhone, Android has always allowed installation of apps without going through the store. You can download them through the web browser, install them from the SD card, and there are 3rd party market apps that compete with the Google market.

Re:Windows gave control, Android takes it away (2)

caller9 (764851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630942)

On Android, without rooting it or installing iTunes you can backup and install .apk files using a file explorer. The only "in the cloud" part is if the developer uses Google's version of DRM via the Market app. As long as you paid for the app, it doesn't care what version it is, so this too is no problem. So without being anchored to the iTunes monolith you can do this version management on the phone in the middle of nowhere.

Re:Windows gave control, Android takes it away (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631226)

DOS/Windows gave people more control over their computers. people had the software locally and could install anything they wanted. anytime.

And absolutely no protection whatsoever in the case of DOS and the non-NT Windows'. The simplest program could take down the OS or damage the system.

same with my iphone. i have all the files local on my laptop. if apple pulls an app then i can still use it. all i do is add the .app file in itunes and it will still sync. if someone breaks an app with an update i can still use the old version if i keep all the files.

Funny, but from everything I've read about the iPhone, and know about Apple, this is absolutely not true at all. You possess the device, but Apple owns it and can do pretty much whatever they please with it, including remotely removing software, unless you take extra measures to circumvent this.

with android the app install process is in the cloud and controlled by google

This makes me question whether you actually know anything about Android devices, or if you're just another Apple fanboy posting nonsense while waiting in the Steve Jobs fellatio line.

Of course, I'm in the equivalent Google line. I own an Android phone and for the most part I love it. My phone's rooted, but only so I could remove most of the bloatware my carrier threw on it. Installing software from outside the Marketplace is as easy as downloading a package file and running it.

You are making the Baby Jesus Cry (0)

mpapet (761907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630702)

Some of you should check the statistics on global smart phone dominance. You'll find Nokia in top spot by a very wide margin. Right now, it looks like more breathless anticipation for a platform that has a very, very long way to go to threaten Nokia's worldwide dominance.

You guys should try one sometime. The e7x series is great. Relatively open platform, lots of apps, total media freedom, total device freedom like tethering, turn it into a wireless access point, free maps/gps features, and reliable. The Communicator is awesome too. I couldn't afford to replace my old one.

I hereby dub thee, Android Reality Distortion Field.

Re:You are making the Baby Jesus Cry (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630772)

It's becoming difficult not to get an Android phone in the USA unless you get an iPhone or of course, a totally lame phone which could be any brand and is probably still a Nokia, but doesn't run any significant apps, so again, who cares?

reduced hardware costs? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630726)

Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways, reduced hardware costs

[citation needed]

There will be no problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630728)

Android is open. By definition, open software gives complete freedom and has no issues.

Give me a break. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630868)

Windows ... Android

Prepare for inflammatory statements. Also, I should note, I own and use an Android-based phone.

The closest phone equivalent to Windows on the PC is the iPhone. (Hilarious, I know - but Microsoft really isn't a serious contender in the phone market.) Tyrannical rule over the user experience, verily.

Android? Android goes straight to its roots - it's the equivalent of Linux on the desktop. A mishmash of bad design and truly horrible UX done by developers, with uncountable numbers of simply pathetic applications - a few true gems shining brightly among them, but it's hard to see a diamond floating in a sea of feces.

Unlike Linux on the desktop - Android has the fact that it's on phones going for it. Phones, by and large, are fashion accessories. Can it make calls? Send and receive SMS? Everything after that is a bonus, and your average consumer will put up with all manner of crap as long as the hardware is shiny and can be shown off to their friends.

unless Google are very careful

This. Google needs to sell off a street view van and hire some folks to make kind-but-stern suggestions on design and function to developers, especially for popular applications. Mind you, I am a fan of choice - but fuck the bazaar. The bazaar is an ugly eyesore lowering property values. Because it's not a bazaar. It's goddamned software with no sanity behind design, functionality, workflow, appearance...

Maemo/Meego (5, Funny)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630920)

So if Android is Windows, iOS is MacOS, does that make Maemo/Meego the Linux of the mobile world?

"My N900 runs Linux."
"So does my Android phone."
"But the N900 runs GNU/Linux!"

I still get to feel superior.

Overstated (1)

caller9 (764851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631054)

There are a couple of things that make this useless. Both Apple and Android run only signed code unless the user makes an effort to do otherwise. Google makes it a checkbox (which some carriers then remove). Browser exploits for either platform are equally likely.

(plus osne Informative) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34631104)

another troubled Stagnant. as Linux

TFA summary (1)

Anonymous Froward (695647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631122)

I don't know why I RTFA, and I still don't know why Android is the New Windows(TM), but at least now I can save your time.

1. Eventually Android will dominate the market.
You know, separation of software and hardware, blah blah.

2. Market dominated by one OS brand = Virus, malware, we're doomed!
From TFA: "The entire phenomenon of viruses and malware is a result of the proliferation of Windows".

3. Market dominated by one OS brand = Crappy product once in a while, we'll have no choise
Windows ME, Vista.

android suffers from Java Stigma, not malware (2)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631212)

I don't find the android platform any harder to code for than anything else; younger programmers do not want to learn Java and that is creating far more problems for the platform than malware.

New Bill Gates? (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631258)

If Android is the new Windows, who will be the new Bill Gates?

You know, someone manipulative with whom the dark forces of FUD are strong, but yet nerdy enough that one could develop a love-hate relationship.

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