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Google Preps Devs For One-Size-Fits-All Android

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the ways-in-which-operating-systems-are-like-sweatpants dept.

Google 228

alphadogg writes "Google is preparing Android developers for the latest edition of its Android mobile operating platform that will work the same on both tablets and smartphones. Scott Main, the lead tech writer for Google's Android Developers Blog, reminded developers on Monday that the newest edition of Android — dubbed 'Ice Cream Sandwich' — will 'support big screens, small screens and everything in between.' Main also emphasized that Android would maintain 'the same version ... on all screen sizes' going forward."

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228 comments

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grrrrr (-1, Offtopic)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454480)

I've decided that /. gives you moderator points to shut you up, since you can't comment and moderate the same topic...

I will not be silenced!

(please mod this down)

Re:grrrrr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454516)

Erm, thank you for sharing?

Re:grrrrr (-1, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454522)

It took you until now to realize this? I've been set unwilling to moderate for years. This is possibly the biggest flaw in moderation. If you know what you're talking about, you can moderate, or you can comment, but you can't do both, and if you don't spend your mod points, they go away. It encourages both shitty moderation and people not to talk about things they know about.

Re:grrrrr (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454650)

Or you can moderate then post anonymously. Why, do you need people to know it's you posting and not someone else? Do you really need that credit?
FYI, I modded the parent offtopic.

Re:grrrrr (0)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454660)

Aha!

Re:grrrrr (1, Offtopic)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454700)

And when you post AC after modding, the mods you made are rolled back (and lost).

Caution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454758)

Or you can moderate then post anonymously.

Yeah, but beware: choosing "Post Anonymously" while logged in does not count as proper anonymity for moderation purposes. Posting "anonymously" in this manner will still undo all your moderations. It's been this way for years, and I just accidentally confirmed the bug is still present a few days ago (I apologize to the four affected posters in that thread who were deprived of their upvotes).

You must be logged out when you post. Or just use a different browser that isn't logged in. Whatever.

Re:grrrrr (0)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454832)

Because your post comes across with a Score: 0 (if you post AC) which most people would have filtered out unless they're moderating.... So, if you're posting in the hopes of someone actually reading your comment, then posting as AC is not a great idea.

Re:grrrrr (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455792)

So I'm not part of 'most people'.
Good to know.

Re:grrrrr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455184)

Few have brains to read for themselves and require others to sieve and moderate for them. The problem is, these days, all too often rotten grain is all that rises to the top. Few read anonymous comments. For the majority of readership, posting anonymously is the same as whispering in the face of a hurricane. It will not be heard.

The moderation system, while not great, was passable so long as the readership was strong. These days, the weakness of the moderation system is exceeded only by the readership which might use it.

Slashdot has fallen. Slashdot remains alive in the same fashion which breaths life into Bernie, in Weekend At Bernie's. The only thing sadder is those who drag the body around are under the illusion the stinking corpse actually is alive.

Re:grrrrr (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455780)

Why, do you need people to know it's you posting and not someone else? Do you really need that credit?

Yes.

Not only do I want the credit (although occasionally I will have to live with the results of saying something stupid) but I want other people to log in so that I can friend or foe them, and alter their comment scores. That way I can screen out the most blithering of idiots.

Consequently, I do not read AC comments unless I am very bored, or they are so short that I can read them without really thinking — I am the fastest reader I know and one-liners get parsed without my conscious control. (Seems like potential for a vuln...) I must assume that the poster is a dumbfuck and/or troll.

Re:grrrrr (0)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454656)

Yes. For some reason I have 15 mod points.

Which just goes to show you that no good deed goes unpunished.

Re:grrrrr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454722)

I predict +5, Off-topic. Modded "Underrated"

Re:grrrrr (0)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454738)

I posted above, checking the AC box after moderating. Moderation was withdrawn. It appears you have to log out to comment after moderating.

I won't bother moderating again.

And... what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454484)

When is the manufacturer of my (small screen) device going to ALLOW me to update it without Cyanogen?

Re:And... what? (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454644)

When it's profitable for them to do so.

Re:And... what? (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455168)

In other words: never.

Biggest thing is SUPPORT (3, Insightful)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454490)

Google needs to force the carriers to keep their androids up to date. This buy a new phone for the latest android version is bullshit.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454526)

I think that won't happen because phone manufacturers want to keep selling phones, and carriers want you to commit to another 2yr contract for your subsidy.

The realistic best we can get is hackable phones and CM7, because hacking frightens most people off so it won't break that upgrade loop as far as most users are concerned; and it targets geeks who will mostly update asap anyway.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (3, Interesting)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454628)

And yet somehow, Apple, who does also want to keep selling phones, manage to ship at least 2 major OS updates to every device they ship.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454662)

There's this thing called "business strategy". It's a fairly complex subject, but the only part that you seem to need to know is that it is not identical for every company selling competing products.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454664)

Apple strong armed the carriers. Do it our way or no iPhone for you, and they make the device so they can do whatever they want with it. Google doesn't make phones and individual android manufacturers aren't powerful enough to bully the carriers. Google probably wants everyone to be able to update but the carriers really, really want you to sign that contract extension if you want a new phone.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454878)

And how many different devices with Android are on the market at the same time? There's a difference between doing 2 major updates for one specific piece of hardware on one (now two) carriers, and doing multiple updates on dozens of different phones, all with different hardware, across multiple carriers. Although this is also why people have been complaining that google needs to force manufacturers to conform to some kind of spec if they want to use android.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (3, Interesting)

babblefrog (1013127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455062)

At some point, they will be forced to do some kind of updates, if only to deal with security issues. Imagine how things would be if Microsoft never sent out patches for Windows. That's what Android will be like in the future if the manufacturers and carriers don't get together and address this problem. Remember the days of the "I love you" and Melissa viruses? I'd rather not.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

robmv (855035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455002)

The same can be said about the Nexus line of phones, but people still buy other brands

Blame carrier subsidies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455970)

People think these phones cost $200, when in fact they're closer to $600. It's all hidden in carrier subsidies and people a) are too stupid to realize it or b) would rather spend "future" money than "now" money.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455848)

Apple does not only sell hardware, but also content (apps, music, movies, whatnot).
So they still earn money from customers who do not buy a new phone. And they earn more if they make the new features available for those customers.

Most companies that sell Android ore Windows Phone devices do not offer any or much content, so they need the customers to buy hardware to earn money.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454734)

they announced at the Google IO that they are in fact forcing carriers to do that.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454836)

Only for 18 months and the carriers still have a way to get out of it by saying the hardware can't handle the update.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455158)

and the carriers still have a way to get out of it by saying the hardware can't handle the update.

But if the CyanogenMod guys show that everything in the update can be ported to the new handset, what good-faith excuse will the carrier continue to have?

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455278)

Being able to port it to the handset does not mean it will run WELL on the handset. As I said, the manufacturers will just say the new version will not run well on the hardware and they get out of the commitment.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455134)

My wife, sister, mom, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and father-in-law all have Android phones, actually only two variations among them. I would root them all if I could, but it voids the warranty, and I don't want to be _that_ guy who screws people from getting their phone fixed. Instead, I just listen to them complain about City ID, etc. Ah well.

CM7 users have to warez the Market (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455180)

The realistic best we can get is hackable phones and CM7

The problems with CyanogenMod are 1. loss of hardware warranty and 2. once you install it, you lose applications that are exclusive to Android Market, such as Chase Bank's check deposit application, unless you warez the Android Market application.

Re:CM7 users have to warez the Market (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455396)

I have CM7 and have full access to the android market. (Including the Chase Mobile app with deposit capability.) Where did you hear that there was no market?

Re:CM7 users have to warez the Market (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455618)

I have CM7 and have full access to the android market.

How did you reinstall the gapps after installing CM7?

Re:CM7 users have to warez the Market (3, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455778)

Seriously? CM tells you how to do this, as does rom manager, etc. Google and Cyanogen came to very nice terms quite some time ago about gapps. Cyanogen can't include it, but they are allowed to provide it as a separate package. So here you go: http://goo-inside.me/gapps/ [goo-inside.me]

I'd like to see these terms (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455912)

Google and Cyanogen came to very nice terms quite some time ago about gapps.

Are there any public details about under what terms the separate package may be provided?

Re:CM7 users have to warez the Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455986)

I downloaded them and flashed them. Google is ok with that, btw. It's not 'warez the Android Market application'. The manufacturer has already paid Google for the right to load the Google Apps on that phone. Google WANTS you to have them there. They just don't want them preloaded in a custom ROM, like CM. They told the CM team to keep them as a separate download. That was the deal.

You don't "GET IT", do you? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454536)

That IS what it's "all about":

"Google needs to force the carriers to keep their androids up to date. This buy a new phone for the latest android version is bullshit." - by GeneralTurgidson (2464452) on Tuesday September 20, @08:21AM (#37454490)

& always has been...

* Google's motto was "don't be evil", right? Well, great - that's fine, but... Not when you've got shareholders (as well as hardware makers in producing the actual physical phone units too) to account to, & face it - Money IS the "root of all evil"... &, that's that, my man!

APK

P.S.=> What I find even BIGGER bullshit, is all the years I kept hearing "Linux is more secure than Windows", etc./et al, around here from the "Pro-*NIX" crowd here - funny how ANDROID (yes, a LINUX variant) shows QUITE otherwise, & is being riddled with security issues - & that? That is ONLY THE START/A PORTENT OF THINGS TO COME...

... apk

Re:You don't "GET IT", do you? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454640)

Ostensibly random capitalization of words is the retarded alternative to writing in such a way that people don't need fucking big "emphasis here" signs vomited all over a post that could contain some sense, buried under a ton of Gene Rayesque obfuscation and general word wankery.

Re:You don't "GET IT", do you? (2)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454694)

Literacy at a level where people can communicate between the lines died decades ago. It's very hard to hide from the onslaught of lolspeak, the conflation of they're/their/there/your/you're and other linguistic degeneracies. Encouraging people to communicate in an intelligent manner? Not going to happen. Not with this generation.

Aha: A "wannabe master" of written English (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455018)

Care to show us either your:

---

1.) Phd in English, certifying YOU as "the expert" in written english?

or

2.) Your certification as "the master of how to post online"??

---

(You know - the 2 things you do NOT have to YOUR credit/name???)

APK

P.S.=> Not that they'd make a "wannabe" like you any smarter or better - because even IF you possessed the 2 items above to YOUR credit, it'd only show that you not only have problems determining the meaning of words as they are written & within the context wherein they are utilized, but that you also have problems with the truth (that ANDROID, a Linux variant, is SWISS-CHEESE ON THE SECURITY-FRONT!), & that the "best you've got", along with the other "ne'er-do-well" dolt who commented along with you whom you responded to, is effete off-topic illogical adhominem attacks - period...

... apk

Blah, blah, blah troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454762)

An application of... "ReVeRsE-PsYcHoLoGy", just 4 off-topic trolls like you:

".yreknaw drow lareneg dna noitacsufbo euqseyaR eneG fo not a rednu deirub ,esnes emos niatnoc dluoc taht tsop a revo lla detimov sngis ereh "sisahpme gib" gnikcuf deen t'nod elpoep taht yaw a hcus ni gnitirw ot evitanretla dedrater eht si sdrow fo noitazilatipac modnar ylbisnetsO" - by MysteriousPreacher (702266) ANOTHER "ne'er-do-well" /. OFF-TOPIC TROLL on Tuesday September 20, @08:45AM (#37454640)

"???"

Uhm... Could we get a translation of that off-topic "troll-speak/trolllanguage" of yours, please?

---

* And, you're an off-topic troll - no questions asked...SEE MY SUBJECT LINE ABOVE!

APK

P.S.=> Yes, it must have just have been another off-topic done nothing of significance with his life troll spewing his off-topic b.s. again & not contributing to the ongoing conversations. Oh well - No biggie!

("ReVeRsE-PsYcHoLoGy", for trolls - Courtesy of this code by "yours truly" in less than 1 second flat):

---

#TrollTalkComReversePsychologyKiller.py (Ver #2 by APK)

def reverse(s):
    try:
        trollstring = ""
        for apksays in s:
        trollstring = apksays + trollstring
    except:
        print("error/abend in reverse function")
    return trollstring

s = ""
print reverse(s)

try:
  s = "Insert whatever 'trollspeak/trolllanguage' gibberish occurs here..."
  s = reverse(s)
  print(s)
except Exception as e:
  print(e)

---

... apk

Re:Blah, blah, blah troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455436)


Tommy's upset, guess his panties are bunching up around his mangina.

Says the offtopic anonymous douche (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455776)

Speaking from experience in your posting as AC now (like it "fools anyone", douche):

"Tommy's upset, guess his panties are bunching up around his mangina." - by Anonymous DOUCHE on Tuesday September 20, @10:10AM (#37455436)

* Have you considered decaf, anonymous DOUCHE?

(Now - Go fix YOUR panties douche, & please - Quit projecting your own faults onto the rest of us, it really gives away your OWN hassles!)

APK

P.S.=> I also didn't realize they even let cretins like you post on forums like this: How sad! Such "creativity/originality" in your goofy reply too (NOT)... lol!

... apk

Re:You don't "GET IT", do you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455704)

I assume this APK is the same APK (aka. akowals ... akowals1@twcny.rr.com ) that trolls Ars as well as here. Same style of writing, same attitude...
http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=812192 [arstechnica.com]

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (3, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454616)

To be fair everyone whinged and whinged and whinged about the HTC Magic on Vodafone in the UK not being updated from 1.6.

Then they updated it from 1.6 to 2.2 and it turned out that yeah the hardware really was a bit too shitty to support the new version decently. The same has happened with iOS where the oldest supported model tends to run shit with the most newly released update.

I sympathise with some as some phones really can and should be updated, but sometimes there's also good reason not to update phones too. I spoken to someone at Vodafone outside of their official work setting where they could be a bit more frank and he said they were damned if they did, damned if they didn't - by not updating they got tons and tons and tons of flak, but then when they finally updated the Magic they then got loads and loads of flak from people complaining their phone was slow, and couldn't run some of the newer 2.2 only apps very well, the net result being post update they actually saw a higher burden of complaints. I know Vodafone et al isn't blameless when it comes to updates, far from it, their messing around with the Desire was just silly, but hearing this other side of the story was interesting. There are very real concerns for carriers if they allow any old update on any old phone - because they provide the phone people go to them for support when things go to shit.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454810)

A fair point, but it doesn't explain the logic behind the far, far more annoying practise of installing carrier-branded firmware. It is (in my experience) invariably slower, buggier, and less frequently (often never) updated than the generic version. Thankfully it seems to be flagging a little as customers begin to understand what 'firmware' is, but it's by no means extinct. You've already signed a contract promising to continue giving them money for the next year or two, so it's not like the advertising impact of that shiny new theme in $Carrier'sColour is going to do much good to anyone - why on earth do they still insist on spending money on coders to produce these abominations?

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455370)

I don't disagree with that, I think it's a fair point - carriers should leave firmware the fuck alone. I just think there has to be a distinction between when a phone can be upgraded by a carrier and isn't, and when a phone is not worth upgrading by a carrier. I think the viewpoint many have that their phones should always be upgraded to the latest version no matter how old they are can lead to problems for carriers and consumers alike that many consumers aren't even aware of. It sounds corner but sometimes carriers are keeping that upgrade from you for your own good as many people discovered with the Magic.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454882)

Yes they are damned. They chose to bundle the phone and the contract, and brand the phone etc etc.

If people were just buying the phone themselves, and get SIM card from the carrier, complaints won't be directed to the carrier.

So yes, they are damned anyway.

Carriers damn themselves (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455248)

If people were just buying the phone themselves, and get SIM card from the carrier, complaints won't be directed to the carrier.

In that case, carriers damn themselves by not offering a discount on service for buying a phone up front. T-Mobile has "Even More Plus", which includes such a discount, but it's rumored to disappear the moment the acquisition by AT&T closes. Two out of the three remaining nationwide carriers don't use removable subscriber identity modules anyway: instead of CSIM [wikipedia.org] , the CDMA2000 carriers (VZW and Sprint) program the subscriber identity directly into the handset.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455006)

Then they should give customers a choice.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455474)

I think you missed the point. Even if they give customers a choice, if they offer a bad choice then customers will still hold them to account when they inevitably make that bad choice because the bad choice lured them with some promises of shiny new features that just wont work on their well out of date handset.

The problem is that even given a choice, customers wont accept responsibility for their actions when they make a bad choice, they still blame the carrier.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454636)

Google needs to force the carriers to keep their androids up to date. This buy a new phone for the latest android version is bullshit.

Them and what army?

If you were a cell phone carier, would you push updates? Think of the deluge of support calls from upset customers who don't understand why a button moved or a menu changed color in the update. The cost of talking to all those customers is huge. Making a few nerds happy that they have the latest version is a bad business decision.

Google released software under a permissive licence, with no strings attached. This means the carriers will do whatever they want. Google can set a good example by building their own phone and shipping updates. If you really care, you can buy that phone.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454688)

Exactly. Mod parent up. If you know to ask for Cyanogenmod, you can DOWNLOAD cyaogenmod. Warning: car analogy: if you want a high performance 4-barrel carburetor in your mini-van, you'll have to install it yourself.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455870)

Complication: Many manufacturers deliberatly design their phones to prevent user modification, including the use of anti-tamper technologies of varying degrees of efficacy and sophistication. If you want to use cyanogen mod, you're depending upon the skill and luck of hackers in an arms race.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454858)

Push updates? Nothing beyond bugfixes, and even then probably with a clear 'opt out' button. There's a whole gulf of possibilities between over-the-air auto updates and the current practise of locking the bootloader to prevent customers from doing their own goddamn thing, should they so choose, though.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455102)

I'm sure they'd do what Dell do if someone calls to complain that the latest IE update changed the button layout. They'd kindly point them in the direction of the software producer, or recommend a factory restore as the alternative. Seriously, people have been dealing with this stuff in the mainstream for a decade now, maybe it's time to give them a little more personal responsibility for their devices instead of hobbling the entire industry in order to coddle a few people.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455590)

Only on mainstream computers, which cause MAJOR hassle for consumers on a daily basis... Updates, malware, etc...

On any other consumer technology, there is even less to change... Updates are rare, devices are generally not meant to be customised.

Computers today are geek tools, they really are not suitable for use by the general public.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455176)

Them and what army?

How about the army of lawyers who would love to sue the deep pocketed phone companies when they do nothing to fix well known security problems and somebody is harmed by their negligence.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454792)

Prior to Google buying motorola this was my reason for not bothering to look at Andriod phones next time I needed to change for some reason (like when the hinge on this thing dies or there is a security flaw found that can't be fixed without an upgrade I'm not permitted to apply). Apple supports their devices with updates far longer, though I'm not planning to play the Apple game for other reasons (which basically leaves Windows as my next option as blakcberry isn't gonig anywhere).

When new models get released under the now-owned-by-Google-motorola-mobile flag perhaps they will permit them to be upgraded and this will force other manufacturers to do the same to remain competative. Unless of course they only bought that for the patents and simply won't be releasing any hardware...

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454974)

My HTC Desire came with Android 2.1, got an official OTA update to 2.2, and I'm currently running 2.3 Cyanogenmod on it. HTC at first said they weren't going to provide an official 2.3, but have since said they'll release one.

That's pretty good going in my opinion.

I don't expect the Desire to support >2.3 since already in 2.3 system memory is tight.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455952)

There is 2.3 HTC Desire release available from the HTC developer website

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Dorkmunder (950796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455954)

Yeah, same sort of experience here with the HTC EVO. Can't really complain. HTC\Sprint even released a full 2.3 version (complete with ability to remove some bloatware) although by then I was using a Synergy ROM instead as it added some of the newer Sense UI stuff. Thing is, the EVO was a top phone a year ago but is barely able to run Gingerbread with all the new Sense UI stuff now (yes, I know, I can go with CM7 to get a snappier experience but I prefer the Synergy ROM's as they are stable as hell, have good battery life with the right kernel and everything works) so I wouldn't even want HTC to continue to update it. In addition, my Sprint store has never balked at my rooted phone even when I needed my device replaced due to the MicroUSB port failing on an early revision of the phone. I'd say that is a pretty dang good experience; two updates, two new kernels, full customization possibilities, great dev community, tons of mods.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454994)

Google clearly realizes this, and I believe that was part of their reasons for withholding 3.x source - to give them more leverage while they figured out how to resolve the fragmentation fiasco.

Update latencies for Honeycomb devices are the lowest I've seen on average for any Android revision. No one seems to take more than 1-2 months to release an update.

The question is - can they continue exercising their anti-fragmentation leverage once they've released source? Probably - they've shown the device manufacturers that they're willing to play hardball, and will probably use Google Apps/Android Market licensing as their leverage going forward.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455076)

Google clearly realizes this, and I believe that was part of their reasons for withholding 3.x source - to give them more leverage while they figured out how to resolve the fragmentation fiasco.

But...but...Android isn't fragmented!! Google and the raging fandroids have repeatedly told us this is just myth and FUD!

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455080)

Update latencies for Honeycomb devices are the lowest I've seen on average for any Android revision. No one seems to take more than 1-2 months to release an update.

I'm not entirely up to date with the tablet market, but I have to wonder whether this is due to a difference in customer expectation rather than in Google's strategy. The market for "tablets that aren't an iPad" is significantly more geek-oriented than the market for Android phones, not to mention that tablets fall much closer to "computer" (which even non-geeks expect to come with a level of upgradability and customisability) than "phone" (which, until fairly recently, didn't generally have customisable firmware or software of any kind). Couple that with the fact that phone companies have probably got you tied in for a few years anyway, and it seems like a company slow to update its tablets would be far worse of than one slow to update its phones.

Re:Biggest thing is SUPPORT (1)

grnrckt94 (932158) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455194)

What Google needs to force is unlocked bootloaders & carriers maintaining their code in the source tree, so that users can update their version whenever they want... IE - Nexus stylee

Oh goody. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454500)

More of the software where I can't delete certain apps without rooting the device.

Deep Joy...

{apps such as Twitter is what I'm talking about}

NASCAR (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454652)

Twitter, I wouldn't mind. It's more apps like NASCAR that I couldn't care less about. Are there really that many fans of NASCAR on Sprint??? What's next?? an unremovable app for Vagesil on all Sprint phones??? It's not like Sprint is a low-cost carrier to begin with.

Re:NASCAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455226)

Twitter, I wouldn't mind. It's more apps like NASCAR that I couldn't care less about.

That's the point. You don't mind twitter, but the NASCAR fan might want twitter removed.

Sprint Cup Series (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455280)

Are there really that many fans of NASCAR on Sprint???

Sprint is the title sponsor of NASCAR's top racing series [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Oh goody. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454742)

And that has what to do with the topic of a new OS version? You may as well moan about OEM bloatware whenever a Windows 8 topic appears, or the likes of OpenOffice when a new Ubuntu release is made.

Re:Oh goody. (1)

El Capitaine (973850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454976)

I think the difference is the fact that it is completely impossible to remove OEM bloatware on Android phones unless you root first...on Windows you can uninstall it (although some stuff might be left around esp. with bloatware...try revo uninstaller) and with Ubuntu you can just apt-get remove. They don't try to actively prevent you from removing the crap.

The interesting thing... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454614)

I'll be interested to see how they handle the UI design. Architecturally, resolution and screen size independence aren't exactly trivial(especially if you are on a serious battery budget and can't just scream "THROW MORE FUCKING VECTORS AT IT!!!" any time you run into a scaling question); but, so long as the device's screen is accurately reporting its resolution, size, and DPI, it isn't a thicket of unsolved or fundamentally intractable problems.

The question of how to do a UI that scales to make efficient use of different screen sizes, though, is a bit trickier: the best UI for a teeny little screen almost certainly isn't suited to a larger one, or to a large, but low resolution, TV-style screen at a good distance from the user.

Are they just going to have a few hardcoded presets(phone, tablet, TV?) that use the same architectural foundation? Will it be a single 'windowing' mechanism that follows certain layout rules that result in different effects based on screen size and DPI?

Re:The interesting thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454622)

I know it's trite to tell people to read the article, but RTFA. The second link has diagrams and everything.

the phone reports it (2, Informative)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454680)

Are they just going to have a few hardcoded presets(phone, tablet, TV?) that use the same architectural foundation? Will it be a single 'windowing' mechanism that follows certain layout rules that result in different effects based on screen size and DPI?

Android has been doing this for a while, choosing at runtime which resources to serve up based on DPI. The source tree of an Android app has 3 'drawable' directories under res/ (drawable-ldpi, drawable-mdpi, and drawable-hdpi) and it picks the best one for each situation.

Re:the phone reports it (3, Informative)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454872)

Don't forget drawable-xhdpi and other -ldpi, -mdpi, -hdpi, -xhdpi, -nodpi, -tvdpi, -large, -small, etc...
FYI: The guide has been recently updated http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.html [android.com]

Re:the phone reports it (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455104)

Thanks. I'll look into it.

Re:the phone reports it (1)

pjlehtim (679236) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455614)

I've written a blog post about various methods Android framework provides to devs to support multiple screens. http://www.androiduipatterns.com/2011/05/designing-scalable-android-apps.html [androiduipatterns.com] These tools aren't new. Then again we do expect to see more utilities and components like automatically adapting Action Bar featured in one of the pictures.

Re:The interesting thing... (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454928)

There are 'buckets' based on resolution (small, normal, large, XL - roughly corresponding to 'old phone, newer phone, 7" tablet, 10" tablet) but for finer grained control you can also numerically specify screen widths in units of 'dp' (not 'dpi'), a figure based on the total number of pixels available at a given density. There's a good amount of info here [blogspot.com] , which was linked within TFA.

Re:The interesting thing... (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455538)

I'll be interested to see how they handle the UI design.

Google has had over a year and a half to see how this is done. Where Apple leads, Google and Microsoft follow...

Yay XML soup! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454618)

Yay more XML soup!

Honeycomb source? (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454744)

Are we going to see it released once ICS starts rolling out?

Re:Honeycomb source? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454852)

No.

Re:Honeycomb source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37454958)

In the form of historical patch commits most likely....but I doubt they'll have a honeycomb branch/fork public. It's non-functional for phones and ICS will be available for tablets, so...I doubt they'd see the need to expose how badly they hacked tablet support into it. ;)

Re:Honeycomb source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455012)

Sort of. Android is stored in Git, which means that once the public repos are updated with ICS, the full history from Gingerbread to ICS, including Honeycomb, will be there, but it won't necessarily be easy to exactly reconstruct the version that was called 3.1 or whatever.

Re:Honeycomb source? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455152)

Why do you even care? Seriously?

I welcome this... (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454972)

... now, if Google could only find a way to be able to push out Android OS updates onto ALL handsets, regardless of manufacturers, we'd be cooking with gas.

Android's greatest asset is that it's open*. Sadly, it's also it's greatest enemy. When Google creates a new version of Android, let's say Jelly Bean, everyone should be to upgrade to it, regardless of whether HTC, Samsung, LG, etc. made the phone.

Unfortunately, the manufacturers like to tweak stuff, almost to the point where things like Facebook are tied into the sodding ROM.

If Google can find a way around this and still allow the partners to pop out the phones, then you'll soon find that the only barrier to the upgrades will be your phone simply being too old (not enough RAM, for example).

My HTC Desire will never get an OS higher than 2.2, which is a shame as the OTA update feature sounds pretty cool.

I've no idea how they could do this, but I expect those with more knowledge of how OSes work would be able to answer.

(PS - please don't say that people can just root and install a custom ROM, as the average man on the street has no idea how to do this, and it is he things like this need to consider)

* no, don't start on what Stallman thinks - it's the closest you'll get to a phone that will has a global reach without closing it up entirely. A truly open system would be so fragmented that one would become completely unrecognisable from the other.

Yes, but will it support multiple users...? (4, Insightful)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455078)

I never played with an Android device until I bought my Asus Transformer. When I set it up for the first time, I thought all the requests for my Google identity info were just to set up accounts, but it turned out that the tablet was just like the phone-- Google still treats it as a personal device.

While this isn't new to someone who knew Android well already, it came as quite a shock to me. After all, I planned to use my tablet like a netbook-- handing it off to other people who need to use it when I don't. I can't do that, though, because all someone has to do is hit that GMAIL icon and be automatically signed into my accounts. The same with the Android Store.

What Android needs for me to fully enjoy using it as well as for me to suggest it for other users is to provide the option to treat the device like a potentially public device as does Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It should not be assumed that the primary owner always has control of the device. It should require loging in for any GMAIL user and the device should not be tied directly to a Google account identity.

I'll continue to use my Asus Transformer as is, but only until there's a tablet friendly of Ubuntu up and running... or maybe I'll stick with Android if such changes are made. But until then, I won't be buying another tablet as an upgrade and I will continue to stay out of the smartphone market.

Pretty Universal (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455424)

All the major tablet and phone OSes work this way, even the recently-defunct ones like WebOS, so I'm not sure why this is a surprise. These are designed to be personal individual devices used by one person. You want another login, buy another device. (That part is by design to sell more things).

Re:Yes, but will it support multiple users...? (2)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455432)

After all, I planned to use my tablet like a netbook-- handing it off to other people who need to use it when I don't. I can't do that, though, because all someone has to do is hit that GMAIL icon and be automatically signed into my accounts.

Excellent point. All tablet vendors seem to be missing the multi-user feature, and they really need to add it. As you pointed out, tablets are less intensely personal and the owner is more apt to loan a tablet than they would a phone. A tablet is expensive enough to be a "family device" as well, where many people use it for slightly different things, like that desktop system sitting in the corner of the living room used to be, 15 years ago.

In addition to supporting multiple users, I'd like to have a "no user" setting. That setting would disable all the personal apps (like an email or address book app) but leave the generic network surfing stuff visible. Maybe have which apps enabled/disabled setup as a preference. That would be handy when loaning the device to other people.

Re:Yes, but will it support multiple users...? (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455496)

What Android needs for me to fully enjoy using it as well as for me to suggest it for other users is to provide the option to treat the device like a potentially public device as does Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It should not be assumed that the primary owner always has control of the device. It should require loging in for any GMAIL user and the device should not be tied directly to a Google account identity.

No. In fact, HELL NO. The number one convenience that comes with android is the automatically tying in to Google services.

I understand your problem, though. You just have the incorrect solution. What tablets need to do is have multiple user accounts (and include a guest account that doesn't even display apps like gmail or facebook). This way you log out, somebody else logs in, they have their account associated with it. Guest accounts for people who shouldn't be keeping a personal profile on your tablet.

Re:Yes, but will it support multiple users...? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455528)

You're a bit weird in this respect, most PCs are set up to one account as well. For example, Outlook doesn't ask you to log in everytime you start it. What you want is a multi-user environment on a device typically bought for a single user.

Anyway, why not set up a dummy GMail account? Then replace the Mail icon with a shortcut to the GMail login page.

Re:Yes, but will it support multiple users...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37456012)

You're a bit weird in this respect, most PCs are set up to one account as well. For example, Outlook doesn't ask you to log in everytime you start it. What you want is a multi-user environment on a device typically bought for a single user.

However, you're logged in to the computer (Windows, Linux or OS X) as a particular user, so of course you have specific email accounts associated with that user.

If you want to swap to another user, log out and then log in to that user.

Re:Yes, but will it support multiple users...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37455532)

ChromeOS has a guest mode for things like this.

Soure code Source code Source code... (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455298)

I want to up date my G-Tablet with ice cream sandwich. I'll also need some display drivers. I'm looking at you, NVidia.

(disclaimer: I'm a lazy parasite who has great toys because I benefit from the fruits of the labor of others. I don't actually need the source code and drivers, the awesome devs who breath new life into the G-Tablet on a monthly basis are the ones who will need them. Thank you all so much for your amazing efforts).

Hopefully this will mean.... (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455310)

There will be tablet bodies that are screen only and no brains for me to plug my phone into.

Imagine where you could your phone as a phone, a tablet, or plug a keyboard / mouse into it and use it for browsing / word processing, etc.

YES!! And keyboard/touchpad cases (or docks) (1)

sys_mast (452486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455684)

And while your at it, desktop docks with real screens and full keyboards and mice, for your phone. (though touch screen full size screens might come in handy since that's what we'll all be used to when not docked.

This is the future, it just depends on how long it take for a manufacture to come out with everything packaged correctly to be perfectly usable.
Asus transformer is a nice attempt, though reviews indicate it still has to many rough edges for mainstream acceptance.(never used one though)

Think about it, one device, take with you everywhere. All your software and documents with you anytime. We're basically getting there with hardware with mobile CPU's with 2+ cores, and 1+ Ghz. 32gb storage easy, and 64 or 128 not being far off.

About the only thing I'm not super excited about is the OS shift, though I've begun to accept the fact that to accomplish this unified personal computing platform, we'll need a new OS.

SVG support? (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455464)

That's great.. So, any chance of getting some native SVG support for drawables?

There are some third party libs for it, but if you're going to actively target "any resolution" then svg support would be obvious, no?

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