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Apple vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Mobile Updates

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the all-things-to-many-people dept.

Cellphones 257

snydeq writes "The latest mobile updates from Apple and Microsoft provide a stark contrast, one emblematic of the differences between the two companies, InfoWorld's Ted Samson writes. Militantly on time, Apple's iOS 4.3 update offers significant new functionality, total disregard for what Apple considers outdated systems, and mandated silencing of user complaints. Microsoft, meanwhile, has finally managed to push out an alleged February update to a subset of users, along with a lamentation about having to deal with handset and carrier fragmentation."

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Windows Phone 7 (1, Insightful)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35458946)

Slashdotters have usually put Windows Phone 7 down because of the old clumsy feel of older Windows Mobile phones and the OS, but you have to remember WP7 is completely different beast and it's completely redesigned. Personally I think it has great future in front of it. They have the best phone manufacturer Nokia on board and WP7 is a huge advancement as OS. C# and other available languages along with Xbox Live and XNA integration is awesome or developers. For users the interface is at the same time innovative and easy to use, and they don't need to take a specific phone but can choose from wide array of phones the one that best suits them. Still WP7 doesn't have the fragmentation issue that Android has because Microsoft at least has some hardware requirements for the phones.

As soon as Nokia's Windows Phone 7 devices are released, I will probably get one. Both iPhone and Android have many issues caused mostly because they're fundamentally so far from each, like left and right. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is in the middle ground and takes the best from both worlds.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (-1, Flamebait)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35458974)

I really wish I had mod points right now - you richly deserve a "+1, Funny"!

Re:Windows Phone 7 (2, Funny)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459072)

My completely redesigned do you mean copied the original iPhone down to the finer detail, including lack of clipboard?

Re:Windows Phone 7 (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459364)

It doesn't really resemble the iPhone much at all, other than that it's a phone. And apparently the clipboard is coming this month too, so then both the iPhone and the Windows Phone 7 will have copy/paste, so I guess that will be a similarity too.

(I am an iPhone user).

Re:Windows Phone 7 (5, Informative)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459776)

The UI model is literally completely different from that of the iPhone. Whereas the iPhone is function-centric (you have to run an app to see data relating to that app), Windows Phone 7 is data-centric (apps pool data under categories which the user can access. For instance, Contacts would have twitter, facebook, and standard contact info along with info plugged into it by other applications.

It's a completely different approach to user interfaces, so calling Windows Phone 7 a copy of the iPhone is quite literally false in every possible sense.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (5, Funny)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460064)

You mean more like the Newton interface ;-)

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

blackpig (1112913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460428)

I think he means warmed over Windows CE with a Silverlight skin...

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459100)

True, WP7 does get an unfair rap due to MS's previous attempts at the mobile OS, and it's arguably far better than its predecessors. And it was wise of them to take the Android approach, as we've seen what happens when they market a complete package (see: Zune, Kin, etc).

That said, they're fighting an uphill battle and only time will tell if they can really get back in the fray. They really need compelling "look what we've got" stuff to win any mindshare, and I don't think the XBL integration is going to do the job. It'll be interesting to see though.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459316)

Whenever people refer to it as WP7, I momentarily get excited and wonder if Word Perfect has finally returned.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459340)

Funny, I did dwell a moment on reusing the parent's 'WP7'. I figured it makes sense though, and avoids lumping it in with previous iterations of windows mobile with WinMo7 or similar.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459500)

Whenever people refer to it as WP7, I momentarily get excited and wonder if Word Perfect has finally returned.

WordPerfect still exists [corel.com] . The most recent version was released in 2010, although it is only available as part of the WordPerfect Office Suite. But I am with you on this, I always think of WordPerfect first when I see WP7.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460032)

I didn't know Word Perfect was still maintained and released. I believe the last version I saw was WP6 and it had gone the way of MS Word, which wasn't appealing. I know I'm not alone in my sentiment that WP 4.2 remains the greatest word processing environment, ever.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460058)

Whenever people refer to it as WP7, I momentarily get excited and wonder if Word Perfect has finally returned.

Great Shiva's Ghost!

Why?!? And don't tell me about that Marquis De Sade-inspired "text" mode, or whatever they called it.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459130)

Slashdotters have usually put Windows Phone 7 down because of the old clumsy feel of older Windows Mobile phones and the OS, but you have to remember WP7 is completely different beast and it's completely redesigned.

I thought we put it down because despite years of lead time over competitors, Microsoft couldn't envision a proper UI until Apple showed them what one should look like; once again.

But you almost said that.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459326)

Funny, considering that Android is a much accurate iOS clone than WP7. Fortunately, it's not like I expected you to be impartial or anything :P

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459476)

Microsoft couldn't envision a proper UI until Apple showed them what one should look like

Did you actually see a WP phone? Or at least screenshots?

It looks absolutely nothing like iOS. In fact, some complain that it's too different just for the sake of being different.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459744)

I played with one for about 1.5 minutes before my friends drug me away. Can't say I'm impressed with it, but then again, I barely had time to play with it at all.
Totally unlike istuff and android was about the only impression I got in that short time.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460084)

I played with one for about 1.5 minutes before my friends drug me away. Can't say I'm impressed with it, but then again, I barely had time to play with it at all. Totally unlike istuff and android was about the only impression I got in that short time.

Don't WP7 and Zune MkII (or whatever it's called) share an OS?

If so, it explains some things about the UI.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459206)

This is Slashdot. Your valid and well-reasoned arguments are worthless here.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (4, Insightful)

rritterson (588983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459262)

Thank you for marketing WP7 in a post that seems like astroturfing. How does this relate to MS v Apple's updating mechanisms, again?

Re:Windows Phone 7 (-1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460208)

Thank you for marketing WP7 in a post that seems like astroturfing. How does this relate to MS v Apple's updating mechanisms, again?

Did you really think that any article that so much as mentions WP7 was not going to deteriorate into a demonstration of the might of the Apple Nation?

Well, the OP was just putting out a little preemptive strike.

I don't think it's going to work though. It's Friday night and many Starbucks and Intelligentsia are closed, and the franchise metrosexual nightclubs don't really start hopping until after 11pm, so Apple Nation is going to be here in strength. You know them, they get halfway through a Zima and they're ready to throw down.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (2, Informative)

wan9xu (1829310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459286)

well let's see it from my point of perspective. i bought a WP7 phone, fully knowing the lack of certain key features, and erred on the promise that said features will be added in a prompt and timely manner. i also counted on the promise that carriers will not be able to mess with the OS thru version fragmentation, bloatware and update blocks.

so far the only solid return i got was the bloatware exclusion (they uninstall without leaving discernible traces). everything else is, for all practical purposes, down the crapper. aside from that, can you imagine having an app store that you seriously DREAD to use but have no choice? yeah, the WP7 marketplace is really that bad.

i don't give a cow's rear end about how great it is for developers to write WP7 apps. i didn't pay for a phone to appreciate that. and i'm pretty sure i'm not alone in my rant above.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459564)

Well, there are some WP7 Marketplace improvements coming in the copy/paste update, with more improvements promised for later.

And yeah, the update is a little late, as they iron out some bumps and kinks in the update process.

You're still getting more timely updates than many who chose Android phones have gotten.

And a phone that is great for developers should ultimately have more and better apps. We'll see.

I purposely chose not to climb on the bleeding edge with this one, but about this time next year my iPhone contract will be up, and I'll be switching. I'll take a look at WP7, and if it's doing better, I'll try it out. if it's not, I'll probably go Android.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459698)

You're still getting more timely updates than many who chose Android phones have gotten.

No. No you're not. This is misinformation that needs to die. Android carriers suck at rolling out major system updates. They have no trouble releasing minor feature or fix OTAs within weeks or even days of launch.

Basically, if the carrier developers have to pull AOSP again, port drivers, or do anything resembling hard development work, then they probably won't do it.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459748)

Uh... s/carrier developers/manufacturer developers/g. :<

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459302)

Not that I think WP7 doesn't deserve some praise... but /. really needs a filter to prevent ACs and UIDs > 1,600,000 from getting 1st-2nd-3rd post on articles.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460144)

Not that I think WP7 doesn't deserve some praise... but /. really needs a filter to prevent ACs and UIDs > 1,600,000 from getting 1st-2nd-3rd post on articles.

Why? Are you saying us old folk aren't as fast at the keyboard as we used to be? That are minds are dulled by decades of Cheetos, Mountain Dew and Aricept? You think we need a handicapping system?

Remove yourself from my landscaping, please.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460166)

No. It would prevent the systematic astroturfing going on lately.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459864)

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is in the middle ground and takes the best from both worlds

And fucks it up spectacularly in a way only the makers of Windows could, then self-destructs the hardware. Ding! Next.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459946)

Astroturf much?

Re:Windows Phone 7 (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460232)

How funny is it that Apple Nation shows up in force to accuse someone who makes a positive comment about WP7 of astroturfing?

Fuck you guys and your smartphone wars. Why don't you get chains and knives and just go have an old fashioned rumble in the playground? Winner gets undisputed claim to "bestest smartphone ever, even until the end of the universe".

Re:Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460336)

Apple Nation? I use Android and scoff at all the Apple fanbois -- and I use Win7 daily and think VS is the shit -- and even I recognize a MS astroturf when I see one.

Especially because it was posted on the very same minute the article was. It's turning into a formula for astroturfing: high UID, top-post, fawning.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (3, Informative)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460120)

I have a WinMo 6.5 phone that I think is fantastic, but I would not consider WP 7 because it will not do as much as my current phone, and it is unlikely to improve precisely because it is completely different. Microsoft abandoned all of its developers so they are late to the party with an OS with no track record and new developer tools and a multitude of incompatible devices. Nokia may be the best phone manufacturer,but they are well down the scale when it comes to smart phones. WP 7 phones will have as much influence on the smart phone market as the Zune has had on the MP3 player market.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460474)

Astroturfing, HOOOOO!

Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459008)

Hier ist eine gute seite: iPhone Reparatur [iphonematador.de] auch windows 7

Tyranny sounds scary; it isn't. (0, Redundant)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459060)

Apple really does take an authoritarian stance here. It's our platform, it's our patch, take it and shut up.

While tyranny is really scary, comparing that to the bumbling incompetence of Microsoft and the some of the various Android OEMs(and by some slight extension, Google), it really makes me appreciate the walled garden a little more.

Re:Tyranny sounds scary; it isn't. (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459086)

While I agree to some extent, the choice shouldn't have to be between incompetence and a walled garden.

It would drive the carriers insane, but Apple could open up iOS a bit more without causing compatibility problems between apps and OS versions.

Re:Tyranny sounds scary; it isn't. (1, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459556)

It would drive the carriers insane, but Apple could open up iOS a bit more without causing compatibility problems between apps and OS versions.

Anytime someone complains about Apple not being open enough, I'm compelled to state that just like with most large corporations, Apple exists to make money through some corporate vision, and that sometimes their business decisions override engineering decisions.

Overall, Apple still makes kit that is worth the purchase and inconvenience to a great number of folks, so Apple continues to make lots of money the hard way. Unlike Microsoft and other monopolists / rent-seekers, Apple (for the most part) isn't mandatory anywhere (exception being a few .edu places which require purchase of iPads or iPod Touch devices... I'm hoping these places either subsidize those required purchases or allow alternate options).

Re:Tyranny sounds scary, and it is (1)

fish waffle (179067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459414)

I don't mind the take and or not stance, it's the "don't you dare say anything bad about it" stance that bugs me. Surely they're secure enough to take a little criticism, no? I thought the idea that being surrounded by "yes-men" was some sort of apogee of social(/corporate) status was well-ridiculed at this point---you need some criticism, or you eventually just end up stagnant, staring with glee at your own navel as the world changes around you...

Re:Tyranny sounds scary; it isn't. (1)

scrib (1277042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459734)

I might appreciate the walled garden a little more... if I didn't have an iPhone 3G on my desk. It is only JUST out of its two-year service agreement with AT&T. I'm sure there are other people who bought new 3G phones who are still under contract but out of support.

What phone am I going to get next? Well, I crossed iPhone 4 off the list already, so I'll probably get an Android device and reconsider Apple when the iPhone 5 or 6 comes out.

Re:Tyranny sounds scary; it isn't. (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459848)

Tyranny is not a good solution to mistakes, such as the "bumbling incompetence" that you ascribe to Microsoft.

Microsoft and some of the Google OEM's have made mistakes, but that is not because they aren't practicing tyranny.

For example, this week we heard that Google had made a mistake and not caught a virus in some apps in its Marketplace. Apple supporters jumped on this and declared that this was the result of Google's more open app store, which makes no sense. Open app stores can and should block viruses and malware, and they usually do. The problem in this case is not that Google isn't authoritarian enough, it is simply that they messed up.

Freedom is messy in many ways compared to authoritarianism, but the claim that it can't function well is a false defense of authoritarianism.

Precision (5, Funny)

kirkb (158552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459116)

On the one hand, you have Apple, which quietly rolled out iOS 4.3 with the precision of a Swiss watch. The update came a day earlier than expected, in fact.
For a watch, that's pretty crappy precision ;)

Re:Precision (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459174)

It might have been an iPhone alarm clock app

Re:Precision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459464)

You owe me a keyboard and a diet coke, sir.

Re:Precision (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459350)

Given that there are still some bricked WP7 phones out there from MSFT's last update, and something like 60% of android phones never get an update. it is damn good

Re:Precision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459532)

60% of Android phones never get an update? [citation needed]

Re:Precision (0)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459700)

Probably not 60% right now, but the roll out is WAY slower than iOS devices

Android stats
Android 2.1 7 31.4%
Android 2.2 8 57.6%
Android 2.3 9 0.8%
http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html [android.com]

Some iOS stats
4.2.1: 52.89 %
4.2: 0.09 %
4.1: 27.50 %
http://www.quora.com/What-proportion-of-all-iPhone-owners-use-iOS4-*-today [quora.com]

About 50% of users run one version behind on Android where as around 50% run the LATEST version of iOS with the rest of the versions scattered.. iOS users can get the latest OS much faster (officially) than Android users.

The Nexus one barely got 1 years of updates then OFFICIAL compatibility was dropped but you could get updates by rooting.
Apple has been providing updates for 3 years for each of the iPhones before they become End of life, then users are left with Jailbreaking to get more features.

Re:Precision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459778)

Not him, but this one is a good read, too.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/17649/android_upgrades

Re:Precision (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459968)

Nexus one just got an update last week or so, so you seem misinformed.

Droid 1 running 2.3.3 here. CM7 rocks.

Re:Precision (1)

Skythe (921438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460214)

What do you mean official compatibility for the Nexus One was dropped? Last time I checked, it was the second device to get Gingerbread (officially), and there have been no comments made from anyone at Google stating that it will not receive the next update.

Re:Precision (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459762)

The forums are full of frustrated users who will not be receiving a vendor supplied update to the latest versions. Not a big deal for a typical /. user, but a bit daunting to a non-techie. The vendors have no incentive to upgrade a phone once they lock someone into a contract. It is actually desirable that they don't upgrade a device to enable new features since it creates a horse and carrot effect.

The numbers are closer to 42% below version 2.2 according to Google, rather than 60% but still nothing to be happy about.

http://www.betanews.com/article/Fragmentation-is-root-cause-of-Androids-recent-malware-problems/1299518685 [betanews.com]

Don't forget (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459200)

Microsoft: 141 days and counting to push out a small, superficial update.

I was really tempted to buy a WP7 phone at release because it really shows that Android and iPhone aren't great at all. I'm glad I didn't, because Microsoft's handling of it is less than competent.

or there's the Android way... (4, Insightful)

romanval (556418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459274)

Which essentially is updates "if the carriers & manufactures feel like it (but secretly they don't because they don't want to devalue their newer offerings)". Barring that, the end user either follows some obscure steps to upgrade their phone from some Android hacking website, or is told to go pound sand. Not very good options for common non-techie end users like my aunt.

Historically, most Apple devices you buy new today is good for about 2 years of firmware updates.

Re:or there's the Android way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459396)

That's absolutely true. The only reason I'd buy an Android phone today is (1) the price and (2) unfettered access to the kernel (even on rooted hwlocked-Motorola phones). iOS would be awesome if the kernel was open source, or at least had an open driver API. WP7 isn't any better.

Re:or there's the Android way... (0)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459636)

If I'm not mistaken iOS' kernel is just regular Darwin XNU with proprietary drivers (but the proprietary drivers part is the same with Android).
The latest source release by Apple is available here: http://opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-1504.9.26/ [apple.com]
No idea if the same version is used in the latest iOS, though.

Re:or there's the Android way... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459830)

It's not the same with Android. You can download and recompile all the OTA drivers for your phone if you wanted to. I actually did that once to learn the ioctls for the HDMI-display driver so I could control it from userspace.

Re:or there's the Android way... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460100)

Wouldn't the devaluing logic apply to Apple as well? In fact, wasn't there a court case about it? In a slightly different manner though -- somebody sued them saying that their updates were bogging down their older phones to the point of making them unusable, so mandatory updates were apple's way of devaluing their already-sold devices?

A&M again? (-1, Troll)

theBully (1056930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459382)

Why is everyone so pumped about comparing these guys and talking about them? They haven't changed their behavior and approached in the last ten years one bit. Apple still makes incredibly expensive stuff that sells I don't even know why and Microsoft is still taking blows for their security related issues just as they have 10 years ago. Apple still consolidates Microsoft's position in the operating system market by creating an equivalence between Microsoft and PC in their idiotic "Get a Mac" campaign while Microsoft does not fail to re-confirm that their higher level of innovation goes to copying Apple. With that, Apple's happy, Apple fan-boys are happy, Microsoft is happy, we pay ridiculous prices for a damn phone, but we're happy 'cause it makes us cool (...yeah, right!).

Now could someone tell me please:
What was the news, or at least the element of novelty in the cited article?
or if there wasn't any:
Why did the guy write the article?
or
How the heck does this qualify as: "News for Nerds"?
Thanks

Re:A&M again? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459592)

It's easy to explain.

A person spends 600 dollars on a phone worth 200, to be cool, as the phone has a carefully crafted 'cool' image.
Being cool, however, requires never showing that you're consciously trying to be cool. That's lame.
Thus, that person now has to justify that extra 400 dollars. So he attacks other phones from any angle he can, hoping he can nickel and dime his way into another 400 bucks of 'added value'.

There are *a lot* of such persons frequenting this website.

Re:A&M again? (0)

theBully (1056930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460274)

sad....very, very sad. True nonetheless.
Maybe someone should send Mr. Jobs and the associates an e-mail, or even better, a keynote to explain that the sad bastards they're ripping off are in a recession. I can tell they didn't notice it.

short term apple memory... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459408)

Seems that everyone has forgotten that Apple delayed the iOS 4.2 update back in November.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/12/ios-4-2-reportedly-delayed-ipad-wifi-...

It was slated to come early November and it wasn't available until late November. Nobody seem to think this was a sign of an incapable Apple. I don't understand why if Microsoft delays an update by a couple of weeks as well, bloggers begin to hammer on them as if they can't keep up.

How about we look at it this way... Apple, with total control over their ecosystem, delayed a significant update to one of their mobile devices by a couple of weeks. This came after they had practice with several other updates over a course of several years. Microsoft, who has to managed its mobile platform across several devices and several manufacturers, has delayed its first significant update to multiple devices by a nearly identical amount of time as Apple, with less than one year of practice under this OS.

Viewed that way, it seems like a pretty good job to me...

Re:short term apple memory... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459466)

Actually this update was slated to come out before 2011 if memory serves, then it was delayed again by a month, then again, and now for like a 3rd or 4th time. It's sad considering how little the patch changes.

Anyone here who knows precisely how much it was delayed by? I hardly pay attention to wp7 news :p.

Take off the rose coloured glasses (4, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459432)

The article is considers Apple releasing this update on time and Microsoft releasing theirs late and in a piecemeal fashion as an indication of what the companies are like, but the author forgets two things. First, the iOS 4.2 was delayed (actually cancelled and later released as 4.2.1) when a WiFi bug was found. Granted it wasn't as long a Microsoft's delay, but still...

Second, the iPad was stuck at iOS 3.x for a long time after 4.x was available for the iPhone and iPod. It skipped 4.0 and 4.1 until it finally hit OS parity at 4.2.1. This was despite Apple controlling both the hardware and software as the article suggests.

As to Microsoft's offering, I have never considered WP7 to be a released product until they fixed the basic things like copy/paste. The old adage of always waiting for a ".1" release of a Microsoft product was true again. It was disappointing after they got it so right with Windows 7.

Re:Take off the rose coloured glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459570)

But wasn't Windows 7 simply Vista.1?

Re:Take off the rose coloured glasses (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459608)

More like Vista sp2

I used Vista. Turned off the services that made it run like ass. It was 'ok'. Win 7 isnt that much different. Speed wise and stability wise. They fixed a ton of junk in sp1 for vista. In win 7 it was really just tweaking it around and using the latest visual studio compiler.

Re:Take off the rose coloured glasses (0, Troll)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459970)

But isn't Windows 7 really just a very late "Vista.1"?

Re:Take off the rose coloured glasses (1)

theBully (1056930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460292)

No. It's the actual very late release of that operating system (call it what you may). What they called Vista was a complete release in the same degree KDE 4.0 was. Only the good people at KDE had the decency to admit they're 4.0 release still needed a lot of work while Microsoft never has issues related to decency.

Re:Take off the rose coloured glasses (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460052)

As I recall when the iPhone was released there was no copy/paste functionality at all.

Flamebait summary (4, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459446)

Microsoft issues an update: it's supposed to update the updating system for future updates. It bricks phones.
Apple issues an update: Adds a few minor features, fixes bugs, improves web browser performance. It Just Works.

I find the trolling with "mandatory silencing of complaints" ironic since one of the features in iOS 4.3 - a user preference for the switch on the iPad to function as orientation lock or mute - is specifically in response to user feedback.

Meanwhile, Google issues an update. You can't use it until your carrier/handset manufacturer says you can (it took a month for Gingerbread to show up even on Google's own Nexus).

Re:Flamebait summary (1)

6ULDV8 (226100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459610)

If you choose to wait for your carrier to roll out a bloated OTA Android update, you are free to do so. If you choose not to wait, you are free to use one of the many alternative distributions or even roll your own without fear of repercussion.

Re:Flamebait summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459940)

Precisely. Carrier OTAs are only good for non-nerds or people who don't care about their phone. Everyone else just roots it (if they can*) and installs whatever they want.

* Even bootloader-locked phones like Motorola's can usually have the entire Android platform stack recompiled from compatible-AOSP and flashed after rooting.

Re:Flamebait summary (4, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460368)

So instead of admitting there are shortcomings with the Google model, you bring up the fact that a tech savvy user could root their phone and use alternative distributions which are maintained by volunteers and NOT Google. You seem to have missed the GP's point.

What phones get vendor updates after three years? (4, Interesting)

addikt10 (461932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459510)

Which phones out there get vendor supplied updates after 3 years? Certainly not any that I've ever owned.

My company got me a Droid Eris (I had no choice). 6 months later, no update to Android 2.2. (Maybe 8. Whatever)

I'm not sure why Apple is getting dinged for not supporting a 3 year old phone. No one that I know of supports 3 year old phones.

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459866)

Which phones out there get vendor supplied updates after 3 years? Certainly not any that I've ever owned.

Nor I, I'll admit.

That said, here's the problem--especially as it relates to the iPhone: This update includes various bug fixes for the Safari browser which improve security. Yet I can't get those if I have an iPhone 3G. And it's not like I can say, "Well, I'll just use another browser" because Apple won't allow Chrome or Firefox browser in their store. So my choice is...buy another iPhone.

Don't get me wrong--I have no problem with Apple saying "Hey, you don't get any of the cool new features of iOS 4.3 on your iPhone 3G." I think it's a little tacky, but I can understand that the hardware may not be able to deal with it. Where I have the problem is that Apple isn't even sending me bug fixes for applications.

Again, I suppose it's the way of the world for software. But your car doesn't work that way--hell, I had a recall notice for my Audi a year or two ago when the car was 7 years old. And we're not talking something like brakes failing where I could have been killed. So maybe it's time for software companies to support these things for a bit longer than 2 years...

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460374)

Opera mini web browser is available for the iPhone and it's a free app. Granted I think it sucks compared to the native Safari, but you do have at least one easy option.

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (3)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460384)

Apple lost me when it wanted me to fork over another 20$ to get a mpg to mov converter for the iMac. I paid premium price for it, and I do not want to be nickel and dimed. Yeah, I know enough to download and install ffmpg, and handbrake etc. But still it feels like buying a Lexus and then the sales man wants 20$ more for some floor mats.

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460438)

What do you mean mpg to mov?

mpeg is is a format, while mov is a container format. mpeg can go *inside* a mov container, but converting one to the other is like saying "I need a converter to change my coffee beans into a coffee jar".

If you mean the mpeg2 encoder, which Apple doesn't include by default with Quicktime (only the decoder) then that's the licensing fee problem. Apple are just passing the cost on. I guess they could eat the cost (like they do for the H.264 fee), but you'd have to take that up with them.

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460392)

Apple allows other browsers, go grab Opera Mini. It doesn't let you change the default web browser though.

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459948)

Nokia/Symbian?

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (1)

mr_jrt (676485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459996)

My Nokia N95-1 did.

Original firmware: 10.0.018, released 15/03/2007
Latest firmware: 35.0.002, released 22/12/2009 ..which is good-as 3 years. Especially by the time it filtered down to each product code.
Nokia used to be great :(

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (1)

jtcampbell (199660) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460156)

The original N95 firmware was basically unusable though.

It took about a year for nokia to release a version that supported demand paging and actually made the phone usable.

Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (5, Insightful)

rayd75 (258138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460358)

Which phones out there get vendor supplied updates after 3 years?

Does it matter? Do we judge fairness by the lowest common denominator? The fact is that Apple was still happily signing people up for two year contacts with AT&T on brand freaking new iPhone 3Gs until last June. Now, it's ok that people who are contractually obligated to pay for service for the next 14+ months be left vulnerable to attack? This, just because Apple first started selling the device in '08 and other manufacturers have track records of treating their customers like crap? It may be a three year old phone to the guys currently playing with iPhone 5 or 6 prototypes under black curtains, but to some, it's well under a year old. Maybe these people shouldn't expect multitasking, (no way on that hardware) wallpapers, or the other various cool new iOS 4 features, but they sure as hell ought to be able to surf the web without their devices being compromised.

28 months of updates and they're still not happy? (2)

Talez (468021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459528)

What other phone has seen active updates for 28 months?

I mean besides the original iPhone.

Re:28 months of updates and they're still not happ (3, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459612)

Every android phone running Cyanogen mod.

Are you kidding?! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459788)

Looking at the instructions for a Sprint HTC Hero [cyanogenmod.com] , you have to:
  • Install an Android SDK and configure it to talk to the phone.
  • Download some packages from 'somewhere', and run a bunch of command line commands to root your phone.
  • Now your warranty, extended warranty, etc. is VOID
  • Download and install a ''Recovery Image'
  • "Flash" your radio
  • Flash CyanogenMod and reboot

Re:Are you kidding?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459974)

If you're one of the people doing that you're probably one of the people who would jailbreak the iPhone also. IME nothing beats customized Android/iPhone.

In the end all you really need for Android is the ADB binary and an app which roots the phone for you. After updating the recovery partition then it's as simple as pressing two buttons to upload the update zip.

Re:Are you kidding?! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460062)

If you post on slashdot you should be able to handle that. Not sure about that phone, but most have a simple root app then you just install rom manager and away you go. It handles everything from inside the app.

Re:Are you kidding?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460136)

Bad instructions. Better ones:

  • Install z4root app on phone. Run it; click button to root phone.
  • Download host program [anonymouse.org] which reflashes recovery. Reboot to recovery.
  • Flash radio zip (1-click).
  • Flash system zip.
  • Flash apps zip.
  • Reboot to Cyanogen.

If that's too hard then it's amazing that you manage to use a computer.

Re:Are you kidding?! (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460432)

unless you have the wrong phone, which include: Desire, Desire HD, Magic, Evo, G2 , Archos 70, myTouch 3G, Wildfire, Droid Incredible MyTouch Slide, and many more!

Re:28 months of updates and they're still not happ (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460444)

So if we're allowing that sort of thing, the iPhone 3G is still supported. Just install Android on it.

Fuck off, fanboys. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459576)

What a minute. Why should Apple be expected to support officially discontinued devices?

We're not talking about personal computers or servers. We're talking about phones and phones-that-can't-make-calls.

What other manufacturers continue to provide frequent and unified firmware updates to their CURRENT generation, let alone the previous one? None that I can name. But Apple gets compared to fascists and nazis when they refuse to support 3 year old phones? Fuck off.

And no, I do not even have an iPhone or Mac (but I do have a hackintosh).

The whining is hilarious (0, Troll)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459578)

What? A device manufacturer isn't releasing a software update for a device that's 2,5 years old (3G launch date: 11.08.2008)? Someone call the press! Seriously, with other manufacturers you are lucky if you get updates for a single year. Bitching that your 2,5 year old phone isn't getting an update is completely ridiculous.

Re:The whining is hilarious (5, Informative)

brobins8 (2012422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459862)

They didn't discontinue the iPhone 3G until June 7, 2010. Inventories don't often magically evaporate either so who knows when the iPhone 3G was no longer for sale by Apple's partners. They should do the right thing and do a point release of whatever iOS will run on the 3G containing just the security fixes.

Re:The whining is hilarious (1)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 3 years ago | (#35459960)

They might be diffcult to backport... Especially the Safari stuff. I imagine, there are more reasons other than pushing users into buying an iPhone4. Not that this is a good or valid excuse....

Re:The whining is hilarious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460400)

Horseshit.

When the iPhone 3G was discontinued, the iPhone 3GS had already been on the market for a year and the iPhone 4's release a couple weeks later had already been all over even the mainstream media for months.

Anyone who bought an iPhone 3G after the 3GS release knew they were buying a previous generation at a reduced cost with limited future proofing. Apple is far and away the winner of the legacy phone support game; these people have absolutely nothing to be complaining about.

Re:The whining is hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35459882)

Funny, some of us use hardware for more than 2.5 years. But don't worry though, you're battery won't last that long and without paying Apple more than the phone is worth in 2 years you won't care about support Obviously there are still people out there using older iPhones.
Computers and phones are different but I will take MS's record for updates over Apples any day. Oh and service packs for windows don't cost $200 a piece. I don't own a Windows phone but I am confident that this learning curve issue will be smoothed out soon.
                Release , End of mainstream support , End of extended support

Windows XP , December 31, 2001 , April 14, 2009 , April 8, 2014

Windows Vista , January 30, 2007 , April 10, 2012 , April 11, 2017

Re:The whining is hilarious (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460324)

Much as I agree with the sentiment. It seems a little hollow pointing out Windows Updates. Microsoft never intended to have such a long term release of XP, which needed SP2 out one of the delays for Vista. Vista itself was undelivered on its promises. Hardware has only just caught up, Many users simply do not have an upgrade path. This is with XP still sold on machines until late last year, but the big irony is IE9 is not available to pre Vista SP2.

Microsoft act in their own self interest which I hope is in yours too. Although I very much doubt it will be.

Re:The whining is hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460158)

Coasting on inertia because of pre-smartphone status quo, I guess: it's the same with PC and laptop BIOS releases. The problem is that the former ones don't have a mandatory OTA backdoor for your ISP, and smartphones do, yet nothing is done.

For wifi routers, multiyear R&D and firmware only come to a top of the line seller ($130+), rather than your $40 budget router of the year that power users don't care much for feature-wise. Smartphones cost 2x to 4x that much unsubsidized, and it's a shame that the all-over-the-board product-lines targetting disjoint markets dilute the net funding any one particular phone ever gets from the makers. Fewer is always better for quality; Apple is smearing that on the face of product managers worldwide with crazy Ipad2 business decisions... now we wait.

Re:The whining is hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35460308)

My 2x meant 2 times the $130 principal, rather than the cheaper router numbers I mentioned.

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