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Nexus Prime, And Ice Cream Sandwich, Go For a Video Tour

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the slightly-different dept.

Android 246

An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from Examiner.com, citing a report at gagdet.ro, about Samsung's upcoming high-end Nexus Prime, the first phone to be delivered with Ice Cream Sandwich. "This version of the Nexus Series (Google's Android flag bearer) runs the next version of Android: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This version is meant to combine Honycomb (Android 3.0) with Gingerbread(Android 2.3) into one OS, that will run on all devices. In addition to the merger of the two OS's, it also changes the Android UI a bit. One major change, is that the icons and the UI is a lot more sophisticated and clean, making even iOS look old and clunky. Also, it removes the requirement for Android phones to have hard/soft-hard mixed buttons, in favor of allowing manufacturers to use whichever type of button they wish. Also, it adds a soft button on the lock screen, to go straight to the camera app."

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This is why the iPhone is falling behind. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655858)

One company can not compete with 10+ in terms of hardware innovation. Apple can release a phone maybe once a year, there's a new Android super-phone out every 3 months, and lesser new Android phones even more often.

Android lacks some of the polish of iOS, but it's gaining yearly.

falling ahead? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655914)

sounds to me like the megahertz game and the feature game all over again. On something with a small screen I don't really want tinier writing because it's a 1080p device and I want it useful. having a zillion gestures that different applications subset is not useful. Having a few gestures that all apps use in common ways it useful. I'll take complex on my desktop, but Simple and useful is what I want in a phone. Now one might say, well to each his own. But that's the point. If all phones work pretty much the same I don't have to learn how to use a different phone. It's not how most people want to expend brain cycles.

Re:falling ahead? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37655970)

Only an apple fan can argue that higher performance, more specialization, and a larger feature set are actually a step in the wrong direction, and a one-size-fits-all approach to manufacturing is the right choice.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656080)

Higher performance? By what measure? Last I checked Android's entire UI is predominantly CPU-bound. iOS renders _everything_ using opengl- that's why paging between screens of apps is so damn smooth and is able to track your finger perfectly on even the original iphone. iOS apps are also far more optimized for performance (objective-c/llvm) and for battery (close attention paid to app lifecycle/background tasks, etc).

Re:falling ahead? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656146)

This was changed in Honeycomb, and therefore ICS. The UI is done in the GPU now, like it should be. They were also discussing a new emulator that's much faster due to using hardware GPU rendering instead of in software.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656244)

awesome!

Re:falling ahead? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656318)

Have you used a Honeycomb tablet lately? Still nowhere near as smooth as iOS devices... I've actually been wondering why. Any ideas?

Re:falling ahead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656224)

There are people who think that scrolling in Android (lists, homescreens, app drawer) is as smooth and intuitive as the scrolling in iOS.

Then there are those who have actually used an iOS device.

Don't get me wrong, a little UI lag is insufficient to get me to switch from Android to a closed ecosystem. But pick up an iPad sometime and just swipe around. It's insanely responsive in a way that no Android tablet I've every used has even come close. I hope everything people say about the new emulator and GPU acceleration is all its cracked up to be.

Re:falling ahead? (1, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656426)

Just my 2c... My 2 yo HTC Desire with launcherpro and cyanogenmod will outsmooth an iPhone 4 every day of the week. Apart from that, I could swear that since 2.3 the GPU could be used to render the UI, if available, but that's beside the point. ( And that's from a phone that when launched you could get for 200$ less than an iPhone and that now costs less than half the price an iPhone 4 does (unlocked). )

Also, Android will try, when resources are free, to pre-load the applications you use the most, so that when you click them, they're just there. Most android phones run at 55% of full capacity all the time because of this, and you need almost no user interaction with the tasks (if you really want to it's there, but there is no need to do anything).

Also, citing objective-C as a reason for better and faster apps also shows ignorance. Ignoring the fact the Objective-C is a nightmare to program to (and that it has a stupidly steep learning curve), you can write c/c++ for android ( http://developer.android.com/sdk/ndk/index.html [android.com] ). That means that you can have the performance of C for what needs performance and still have the user-friendliness of java for the rest. When someone trying to explain to me iOS programming starts by saying "first, you try to get to a webview as fast as possible!" (true story), it must mean something.

Is iOS bad? Not by a longshot. But trying to justify your point of view with "facts" that haven't been true for years now makes you look bad. Really really bad.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656456)

I don't think objective-c has much of a learning curve at all- and being a dynamicly typed language makes it a joy to develop in. I'm an iOS developer and I used to be a Java dev. C++ is certainly more difficult and less suited for GUI development. Objective-C has some first-class frameworks.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656712)

You're entitled to your opinion, but keep in mind that you're the exception, not the rule. And I've done both android and iOS, so I can tell you now that my hair turned white trying to do simple things on iOS that took me 30 minutes on Android.

On the other hand, it seems to be impossible to do a bad looking GUI for iOS. I tip my hat to apple in that - but only that.

Re:falling ahead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656502)

Just my 2c... My 2 yo HTC Desire with launcherpro and cyanogenmod will outsmooth an iPhone 4 every day of the week. Apart from that, I could swear that since 2.3 the GPU could be used to render the UI, if available, but that's beside the point. ( And that's from a phone that when launched you could get for 200$ less than an iPhone and that now costs less than half the price an iPhone 4 does (unlocked). )

Also, Android will try, when resources are free, to pre-load the applications you use the most, so that when you click them, they're just there. Most android phones run at 55% of full capacity all the time because of this, and you need almost no user interaction with the tasks (if you really want to it's there, but there is no need to do anything).

Also, citing objective-C as a reason for better and faster apps also shows ignorance. Ignoring the fact the Objective-C is a nightmare to program to (and that it has a stupidly steep learning curve), you can write c/c++ for android ( http://developer.android.com/sdk/ndk/index.html [android.com] ). That means that you can have the performance of C for what needs performance and still have the user-friendliness of java for the rest. When someone trying to explain to me iOS programming starts by saying "first, you try to get to a webview as fast as possible!" (true story), it must mean something.

Is iOS bad? Not by a longshot. But trying to justify your point of view with "facts" that haven't been true for years now makes you look bad. Really really bad.

I think you just took someone to school. +1

Re:falling ahead? (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656562)

I don't quite understand how I was "taken to school" by someone who obviously knows very little about Objective-C and C++ UI programming, for that matter.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656676)

With the rapid development of Android, it is going to end up a Ford or Chevy type of thing -- either iOS or Android gets the job done, and one can argue endlessly about one versus the other.

Re:falling ahead? (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656830)

To be fair, your "facts" are just as unbelievable. Firstly, you don't out-smooth iOS. It's so smooth that there is never any perception of anything else. You may be able to fiddle around with your Android and jam some modified OS onto there, and make it smoother than the stuttering mess that is the out of box Android experience, but you will never convince anybody that it's smoother than iOS. NEVER. Even if your modified Android is somehow *nearly* as smooth as iOS, it is really yelling that you had to put your own modified OS and shit on there to get it that way. People don't generally do that, and what counts is out of box smoothness.

Second, Objective-C, despite being what you claim is a nightmare to program for, has so many top notch applications that your claim falls flat on its ass. You can program in C / C++ for Android, but you're still running everything through Goggle's ripoff virtual machine, with no performance benefit over using Java. If your iOS programming buddy tells you to first get a webview, he may just not be the most awesome programmer ever.

The irony, again, is that your hyperbolic anecdotes (I won't outright call them lies, at least not yet) are indefensible and ridiculous, and despite this, unconvincing.

At least you didn't tout the massive computing horsepower of the newer Android phones, which of course is necessary to keep the Java Virtual Machine going at any kind of a reasonable pace.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656534)

Higher performance? By what measure? Last I checked Android's entire UI is predominantly CPU-bound.

There's a lot of GPU-rendering in gingerbread now. Admittedly probably not enough, but enough to give the user a smooth, reponsive experience. Try using a phone with cm7 on it, and experience what gingerbread should be like. I suspect that ICS will be using a UI that's fully GPU-rendered.

One of the early problems was that some hardware makers (HTC, for example) never appreciated this difference, and rendered all of their abominable HTC Sense UI in software, making it painfully choppy. I'm not sure if they've learnt their lesson now (I only bought an HTC phone because it was one of the most popularly hacked phones available) but knowing HTC, I doubt it.

There was also the problem that even a year ago, most Android phones were using pathetically underpowered GPU hardware. That's changed now, but it's taken far too long ...

Re:falling ahead? (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656188)

You need much higher performance when your entire OS is Java based.

iOS is C based so it can naturally get by on much lighter hardware.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656448)

http://developer.android.com/sdk/ndk/index.html [android.com]

Also, davilk is not Java. You might write things in java, but it's interpreted in a much faster and more efficient way.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656462)

What kind of FUD is this?

The entire OS in Android is also C based.
The application stack runs a Dalvik VM which (since Froyo) does JIT compilation. Just about all the CPU-intensive stuff (i.e. UI drawing) is done in the C side through JNI. In any case with JIT, the performance difference between C and compiled bytecode is insignificant.

Re:falling ahead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656518)

You do know that you can code in native C in Android since version 2.0 of the OS and supports the earliest releases, right?

This is good for game developers that don't want to move their development to Java, but are ok with losing a bit of portability in the mix.

Re:falling ahead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656264)

More specialization that no one wants to pay for costs money. And more "features" that no one cares about, interfere with each other, and confuse people are pretty pointless. Couple this with the shorter battery life associated with that "higher performance", and you've succeeded in building the "BeOS" of cell phones.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656002)

sounds to me like the megahertz game and the feature game all over again. On something with a small screen I don't really want tinier writing because it's a 1080p device and I want it useful. having a zillion gestures that different applications subset is not useful. Having a few gestures that all apps use in common ways it useful. I'll take complex on my desktop, but Simple and useful is what I want in a phone. Now one might say, well to each his own. But that's the point. If all phones work pretty much the same I don't have to learn how to use a different phone. It's not how most people want to expend brain cycles.

Is this where Apple fans begin to make the decisive turn from "iPhones are the best and do the most" to "iPhones do less, run slower, and have fewer pixels because high speed and resolution overload are confusing for grandma?"

Re:falling ahead? (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656164)

Hardware specs are not the best measure of user experience. And considering the relative number of apps for the different platforms I don't think "iPhones do less" is an a accurate statement. So the answer to your question is, "No".

Re:falling ahead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656286)

If I wanted a smooth user experience, I'd just install the reviewed Android Amazon store. They review their applications before letting them on.

Without jailbreaking, because that would be cheating and not as the manufacturer intended...

Multiple marketplaces? (Amazon, GetJar)
So where are your apps to do face recognition to lock up apps? (Visidon Applocker)
Can your homescreen do both portrait mode and landscape mode? (Go Launcher EX, Launcher Pro)
Can you have an in-application payment give most of the money to the developer so they can launch more features / content? (Open>pick picture the same picture repeatedly? (Share with > command)
Can you have "deep integration" with ANY social media application available and not just twitter?
Can you sync with your desktop WITHOUT wires and WITHOUT using the Internet ('nets slow compared to a Gigabit or a Wifi N dual band connection)? (many apps)
Without arguing the merits and / or negatives of Flash, can you view Flash content? How about using Firefox?
Can you rent movies straight from the market / store without blowing another $100 TV box?
Can you use your phone as a USB drive without installing anything (something that 80%+ of other phones are capable of)?

You can finally use the volume key as a shutter (after 4 years, but had it for about 2 weeks on your market), so that one's off the table. Voice actions -- even with natural speech - has been available on both platforms for quite some time now, so that's not even a consideration.

So yes, it's more accurate. You're restricted in the kinds of applications due to policies in place by big red. It just means there are more of the same type of applications (games, website-replacements, internet, etc) -- stuff that every other phone is capable of to a greater or lesser degree.

Also, last time I checked, the two stores were almost equal in number of applications. Wouldn't be surprised if Android started overtaking.

Re:falling ahead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656268)

Is this where Apple fans begin to make the decisive turn from "iPhones are the best and do the most" to "iPhones do less, run slower, and have fewer pixels because high speed and resolution overload are confusing for grandma?"

Not exactly a fan of Apple, but I'll still point out that measuring speed in megahertz, utility in the size of app store, and display quality in pixel count is being a spec weenie.

Does it feel fast, do what I want it to do, and make my apps look good? Specs are a poor metric for those, especially across different OSes.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

kolbe (320366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656118)

This just harkens back to the old Apple+Motorola CPU days of "Mac does more with less" attitude.

Re:falling ahead? (1)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656310)

Just with the difference that this time the hardware is rather like "do more with more". The CPU/GPU combination of the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S is everything else than slow.

Re:This is why the iPhone is falling behind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656028)

But a singular hardware and software supplier *can* make it run smoother. That, in and of itself, makes iPhones worth it to some users. Even from my own Android experience I quickly tired of reading the reviews that said it would work with one set of hardware but not another. Not that iPhone doesn't have some form of that due to generation but Apple certainly is more forthcoming on what software works with what hardware.
 
But to each their own. I don't feel the need to own the latest or the greatest. I buy hardware and software to work for me, not as a techno-political statement or a status symbol.

Re:This is why the iPhone is falling behind. (1)

digitallife (805599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656230)

It's so funny, because I was thinking the exact opposite. The phone in the video looks complicated and ungainly. The user can't even hit the bottom buttons properly. He's moving things around the gui in ways that look totally cryptic, like some alien ui in a movie. I don't even own an iPhone and I've picked one up before and used it like I had been using it for years...

Re:This is why the iPhone is falling behind. (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656240)

Apple seems to be doing pretty well at competing....

http://www.asymco.com/2011/07/29/apple-captured-two-thirds-of-available-mobile-phone-profits-in-q2/ [asymco.com]

Apple makes 66% of all mobile phone profit.
RIM makes 11%

Android doesn't seem to be "winning" in the only thing that counts for a business -- profits.

Re:This is why the iPhone is falling behind. (1)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656388)

They make plenty off of the google marketplace and google ads in free aps

Re:This is why the iPhone is falling behind. (5, Insightful)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656658)

Android doesn't seem to be "winning" in the only thing that counts for a business -- profits.

Apple also comprehensively won the "profit" war back in the day with Mac computers. Guess which platform 94% of the world isn't using today?

The current trend is looking very much like the 1990s all over again -- Apple with its superior UI getting overrun by a platform which isn't quite as nice, but is distributed amongst many manufacturers and is much cheaper for end users to purchase.

And once again, as a geek, I'm not at all concerned, as it's a lot easier to hack the Android platform than the Apple equivalent. PCs brought us Microsoft supremacy, but they also brought us linux; Android's shaping to be much the same, and as long as Google and manufacturers like Samsung openly encourage users to hack their phones, I'll keep supporting them with my dollar. The fact that I'll be paying less dollars in doing so is just an added bonus :)

(I've never really understood the "more profit" argument from a fanboi perspective -- the fact that Apple is making users pay more for their phones is hardly a reason for the end users to brag. It's a great reason if you're seeking to buy Apple shares, it's not a good reason if you're in the market for a phone ...)

Re:This is why the iPhone is falling behind. (1)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656288)

One company can not compete with 10+ in terms of hardware innovation. Apple can release a phone maybe once a year, there's a new Android super-phone out every 3 months, and lesser new Android phones even more often.

Which just leads to people waiting for the next superphone, then waiting for its price to drop a third within two months and then still not buying it, because until then the next superphones got pre-announced. Or finally get one and then see it drop and drop in price and newer and newer models being annonced while their own phone doesn't get updated anymore and feels like four years old half a year later...

Only geeks can think model avalanches are what people want. Most people want, if they spend lots of money on such a thing or are locked into a contract for two years, some peace of mind and not the nagging feeling that what they got will be forgotten history after half a year that nobody cares for anymore. What Apple does is just sane model management that you need to do if you want people to part with their money. And if the iPhone 4S indeed has got the same CPU/GPU combination as the iPad2 it will blow the competition out of the water anyway, very much as the iPad (which is still at least as twice as fast as all other tablets even by naked benchmarks -- look at anandtech.com [anandtech.com] for details).

It has a 720p screen (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655860)

But 4.65" just seems too big. They should be able go get a 720p Super AMOLED screen around 4.3ish inches next year (Galaxy S III)

Re:It has a 720p screen (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37655942)

But 4.65" just seems too big. They should be able go get a 720p Super AMOLED screen around 4.3ish inches next year (Galaxy S III)

it's seems too big because 4.65" includes i soft key
look: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/--DLsU6YA14E/To9BEYPZHiI/AAAAAAAAJmY/aw6he1d_n6w/h301/noworries.png

Two-handed phone? (4, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656094)

Even with 4.3" about three quarters of the population won't be able to reach all points across the screen with their thumb when using the phone one-handed without balancing it on three fingers. And not many people will like a phone that NEEDS both hands to use it.

Maybe I'm totally wrong, but honestly I think that these huge screens are totally idiotic if you really want to go mainstream with a phone. See, half of your potential customers are women (which tend to have smaller hands) and not too few will be teenagers.

And then have a line of three or four small buttons (on or off the screen) on the very bottom of the face and a screen that stretches 4.3 inches across to the top. Using this thing while walking and carrying something with the other hand is like eating soup with a fork.

And no, I'm not trolling here. These things are great for males with large hands or for geeks who usually sit down over anything resembling a computer anyway and would love it to have foot switches, too. But how can those companies just walk over the needs of major parts of the population and expect to be sucessful with this? I just don't get it. Or of course Google and Samsung are purposefully limiting their target group to a certain part of the population, because... yes, why would they do that? Any ideas?

Re:Two-handed phone? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656200)

Even with 4.3" about three quarters of the population won't be able to reach all points across the screen with their thumb when using the phone one-handed without balancing it on three fingers. And not many people will like a phone that NEEDS both hands to use it.

It's like totally too hard to drive, text and apply makeup at the same time with this phone!

Re:Two-handed phone? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656222)

I agree with you. I wouldn't want to carry around these larger phones. That's why it's a good thing Android gives you choice. Apple has fewer options and forces you to choose between a 3.5" screen or a 10" with nothing in between.

Re:Two-handed phone? (1)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656528)

Yeah, maybe. But this wasn't my point. I agree that 3.5" may be too small or too large for certain people and then it's good to have a choice. Nothing to argue here. I'm not saying that there should be only one phone or one screen size for everyone. Choice is good. Nothing wrong with that.

But I think that Apple just has totally nailed it for the majority of the population with that screen size. Not for everyone, but for most. What I'm wondering then is why Google/Samsung are putting up that phone with a screen that does not target the majority. Why do they do this? I just don't get it. Why targetting only fringe minorities with these phones? Do they not want to sell that phone to as many people as possible? Why? It's almost as if they had already accepted that they have to pick up the crumbs that the iPhone leaves for them. Hard to imagine, really. Or they really just don't know what they're doing. Or what? As I said, I don't get it. It's almost as if all modern Android phones with halfway decent hardware are fighting over the same minority of big-handed male geek technophiles with big pockets while leaving Apple to scoop up the other 80% (or more) of customers. How idiotic.

Re:Two-handed phone? (2)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656316)

Because guys who have large hands buy phones too? It's not as though it's the only device Samsung makes. It's not even the only LTE device on Verizon that they make.

Re:Two-handed phone? (3, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656656)

No doubt. But still: Is NOT targeting the majority with your latest and greatest phone a wise move? I mean, this thing is meant to be THE Android Smartphone by Google(TM). Why not targeting it smack at the middle of the mainstream right up against the iPhone? How can you be successful if about all the Android phones that are better than "halfway usable" are fighting over the big-handed technophile geeks, leaving the majority of potential customers to either buy second rate cheap Android phones or an iPhone? How silly is that?

As The Onion headlined a few days ago: "Last American Who Knew What The Fuck He Was Doing Dies". How apt.

Re:Two-handed phone? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656624)

My Droid X2 has a 4.3" screen, and it fits my hand wonderfully. I specifically chose it over competing phones for that reason. That's one of the many nice things about Android -- you don't have a single model that has to be one-size-fits-all. There can be different models targeted towards different market segments.

Re:Two-handed phone? (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656668)

Maybe I'm totally wrong, but honestly I think that these huge screens are totally idiotic if you really want to go mainstream with a phone. See, half of your potential customers are women (which tend to have smaller hands) and not too few will be teenagers.

Is the Nexus line really branded as a 'mainstream' product? I figured it's targeted at the gadget-crazy that would find the extra real estate useful. That seems to be Android's niche anyway -- more male, more techie, more left-brained.

I'm sure the demographic data isn't perfect, but the skew seems pretty reasonable to me: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20092784-71/study-android-users-sad-hicks-iphone-users-rich-girls/ [cnet.com]

Re:Two-handed phone? (0)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656808)

Maybe I'm totally wrong, but honestly I think that these huge screens are totally idiotic if you really want to go mainstream with a phone. See, half of your potential customers are women (which tend to have smaller hands) and not too few will be teenagers.

Is the Nexus line really branded as a 'mainstream' product? I figured it's targeted at the gadget-crazy that would find the extra real estate useful. That seems to be Android's niche anyway -- more male, more techie, more left-brained.

Yeah, what I was saying. What I'm wondering is: why? Leaving the mainstream to Apple and fighting over the scraps (sorry) does not sound like a strategy for success to me. Don't get me wrong, it's great to have phones for male techie left-brained people who seem to actually want a tablet computer that just about fits into their pockets. But somehow more and more every fucking decent Android phone seems to be such a phone, leaving the other 80% of the population for Apple to scoop up.

(I'm not a girl and I *am* a techie, but I'm also a typical city-dweller with no car. I use busses and trams and subways and trains every day. I'm lugging around bags or pushing a bike very often. A phone I can't use one-handed safely is just totally out for me. And if I look around this seems to be rather the rule than an exception.)

Is this "open source" OS also going to be closed? (1, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655882)

I wonder if Google will finally release the source. They said they would fully open source Ice Cream Sandwich, but whether or not they will keep their promises remains to be seen.

My guess? They will say that the source will be "coming soon" for the next few years, until they release Panda Bear Turd or whatever the next OS will be called, never release the source, but people will forget or make excuses for Google as they have regarding their closed source Android 3 implementation.

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (3)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655926)

If you are going to rule your life by speculations, believe me, you are screwed. Just wait and see. If Google don't release the source code, we should stop supporting them

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (1, Insightful)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655948)

That's what people said about Android 3!

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656154)

They have already lost some (if not much) of the Open Source community and users support since Android 3.

Oh Noes! Teh Bearded GNU Freaks! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656350)

My god! What will Google do without the support of 'teh open source community'???

Get a fucking clue retard. The world doesn't give a shit about what a bunch of talentless Bearded GNU Freaks have to say or think about the dominant cellphone operating system.

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655962)

My guess? They will say that the source will be "coming soon" for the next few years, until they release Panda Bear Turd or whatever the next OS will be called, never release the source, but people will forget or make excuses for Google as they have regarding their closed source Android 3 implementation.

And if they do release the source, it'll just be because they were almost caught being evil and will need to work harder at it next time?

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655972)

I know you're going to label me a "fanboy" for arguing with you on this, but have you actually READ the articles on why Google hasn't released the source for Honeycomb (3.0)?!

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656166)

Yeah, Google doesn't want shitty Chinese tablets spoiling their image.

But that's the deal with open source - if you have an open source software package, people will use it for things you might not approve of.

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656354)

Everyone who knows about them should discourage purchase of those shitty Chinese tablets anyway. Virtually all of them violate the GPL and don't distribute the kernel sources.

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656366)

Yeah, and their arguments are bullshit from end to end. They should just keep it closed and drop this facade of Android being open.

Re:Is this "open source" OS also going to be close (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656740)

It's not even a question to me whether they'll release it. To compare Honeycomb v. Ice Cream:

Honeycomb:
  - Experimental. Rushed. Beta-quality. Embarrassment.
  - Supports <1% of total Android devices.
  - Deprecated within 1 year of release.
  - No hacker community.
  - No code contribution pledge. No history of open source.

Ice Cream Sandwich:
  - Open source commitment made back in January/February of '11.
  - Theoretically it supports most Android devices.
  - All previous versions of handset OS were open source.

I only see ICS being closed if it's fundamentally broken in some way (UI design) or if it's alpha-quality crap competing with the iPhone 5. Personally I'll switch to iOS if that happens.

Buttons (2)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655892)

The one thing i don't really like about my Nexus One is the semi-soft buttons, The back/menu/home/search buttons along the bottom are touch based but they _seem_ to be separate from the main touchscreen. However they are right next to the touchscreen and there is no divider. So often when trying to hit one of the bottom row of buttons i'll accidentally hit one of the four menu type buttons instead. This is especially problematic on the rare occasions when the touchscreen wigs out and detects my finger offset slightly from where it actually is. (I've seen this problem on more than one phone, so i'm not sure if it's a problem with the current version of Android or just a problem with multiple hardware sets.)

So encouraging full software buttons seems like a mistake to me in that respect. But in addition i really wish there were more physical hardware buttons. When listening to music or audiobooks i really with there were a physical set of buttons i could use without having to turn the screen back out. Rewind, play, pause and fast-forward would be the most obvious and useful ones. The volume rocker already works perfectly well has a hardware button that performs its function while the screen is off and there's plenty of room along the right side of the phone for more buttons.

Re:Buttons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656014)

This is especially problematic on the rare occasions when the touchscreen wigs out and detects my finger offset slightly from where it actually is. (I've seen this problem on more than one phone, so i'm not sure if it's a problem with the current version of Android or just a problem with multiple hardware sets.)

Lemme guess: You're using LG, Samsung or some other Korean shit or cheap Chinese phone? (HTC is about the only one I would exclude from that list but their stuff can be pretty bad too)

Re:Buttons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656114)

"The one thing i don't really like about my Nexus One is the semi-soft buttons"

There's your answer.

Re:Buttons (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656148)

I agree about the capacitative buttons, and is one of the reasons I'm hanging on to my HTC Desire is it's real physical buttons. *However*, the one saving grace of the screen-buttons is that they have decent click feedback (background goes bright blue) and (assuming that they work the same as in Honeycomb) if you do hit one accidentally, you can roll off it to avoid triggering it.

Not as good as real physical buttons, but I think it will be significantly better than the Nexus One-style invisible buttons.

Re:Buttons (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656794)

> I agree about the capacitative buttons, and is one of the reasons I'm hanging on to my HTC Desire is
> it's real physical buttons

Even if you have to press the Back button harder and harder as each month passes.

I like my Desire, but the shitty multitouch and the laughable amount of free RAM piss me off. But..not enough to want to spend £600 (or whatever) on the new phones which offer little more than fixes for that problem. Think I might sit this next generation out and perhaps upgrade again in a year or so's time, and use a Kindle for reading, offline surfing/rss feed reading it the meantime.

Why do phones cost more than tablets, anyway? They sell more, and must be far cheaper to produce.

Re:Buttons (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656542)

The slightly off touch buttons are/were a manufacturing problem with the Nexus One. Or, if it were an iDevice, it would be known as a feature

A name chosen for a reason. (1)

Chardansearavitriol (1946886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655894)

To get silly headlines. And they are coming. And it will be silly. Dear god the sillyness. Almost enough to distract from the evilness.

The one touch camera is going to be abused ... (1)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655896)

Knowing some people, I can expect a lot of crotch shots to be waiting for me when I come back :)

And they're not going to be the kind I'd want to keep.

Re:The one touch camera is going to be abused ... (2)

rainwater (530678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656052)

You do realize phones have had dedicated camera buttons for years?

Re:The one touch camera is going to be abused ... (1)

DaleCooper82 (860396) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656186)

Yes but this is different matter here. One of the best Android out-of-the-box features is that you can lock it so that noone else can use that unless s/he knows your PIN/gesture/passwd/whatever. When the phone is locked, not even HW camera button works - and rightly so IMHO. Having soft camera button on the unlock screen kills it.

Furthermore I wonder if the camera launched by this soft button will still have that icon to get you to Gallery and browse all pictures taken in past ...

Re:The one touch camera is going to be abused ... (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656552)

If you have a pin/pattern/password enabled, they wouldn't be able to get to the camera, just like they can't unlock it.

Re:The one touch camera is going to be abused ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656160)

Maybe you shouldn't leave your phone lying around if you don't want people messing with it. Alternatively, you could be more discriminating about the people you associate with and not blame the tech.

Re:The one touch camera is going to be abused ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656278)

Maybe you shouldn't leave your phone lying around if you don't want people messing with it. Alternatively, you could be more discriminating about the people you associate with and not blame the tech.

That's terrible logic. In that case, why would one ever have a password/pattern of any kind on their phone, or on any device for that matter? As long as I make sure I don't leave it lying around, I'm fine right? Oh, wait...

Android is becoming bloatware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37655898)

Every new version demands more hardware resources and is following the Microsoft model - bloat, bloat, bloat.

Re:Android is becoming bloatware (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656008)

Every new version demands more hardware resources and is following the Microsoft model - bloat, bloat, bloat.

Every new version of Android has increased the system's speed on existing hardware. It's getting more efficient, not less.

Re:Android is becoming bloatware (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656274)

Every new version of Android has increased the system's speed on existing hardware. It's getting more efficient, not less.

That's really great that new OS's increase the speed on existing hardware since current Android users can always count on their devices to run the latest OS and being upgraded immediately after a new OS is released for at least two years.....

Oh wait....

Re:Android is becoming bloatware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656564)

Hello? Droid X. 2.1 -> 2.2 -> 2.3. All official. IIRC the third highest-selling Android phone ever.

Re:Android is becoming bloatware (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656814)

That's nice, because the vast majority [android.com] of android users are on old operating systems.

Re:Android is becoming bloatware (2)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656630)

most devices I can think of (proper ones, not your crappy tmobile comet that launched with android 1.5 or w/e) have had 2 upgrades. eg. Evo 4G. 2.1 > 2.2 > 2.3, Galaxy S 2.1 > 2.2 > 2.3, motorola droid X 2.1 > 2.2 > 2.3

Pointless eye candy (1, Interesting)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655910)

Scrolling the screen pops new content up from "within" the device. That makes absolutely no sense. It's eye candy that detracts from usability.
Not to be a fanboi, but the various animations in iOS serve to provide visual cues to the user on what is happening and how to use the UI. Apple is very up front in their UI guidelines about how animations should serve to inform the user on what is happening. This Android animation completely fails at that.

Re:Pointless eye candy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656040)

That was the first thing I noticed in the video as well. Very annoying.

Re:Pointless eye candy (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656262)

Uhh.. where is the video though?

Re:Pointless eye candy (2)

kolbe (320366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656102)

Yes, these "features" appear to be rather annoying flare rather than actually increasing productivity and usefulness.

Then again, I'm still not a fan of anything touch capacitive and only marginally tolerate touch resistive displays... Even if it means getting a crappier device, I'll take physical buttons and a QWERTY keyboard on a phone any day as I just feel more productive and less error prone having them.

Re:Pointless eye candy (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656112)

Actually, some screens seem to move as you'd expect, while others pop out, so it's not even consistent.

Looks incredibly sloppy.

Re:Pointless eye candy (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656178)

How does that "detract from usability"? That animation doesn't "inform the user" that the screen is changing?

Re:Pointless eye candy (1)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656338)

No, the point is it doesn't show the user what to do to return to where he came from before. Having another screen half turn, half slide in from two directions at once gives you no fucking clue how to go back. You're just staring confused and dazzled at what's going on on the screen. A good UI should help the user to get some spatial orientation by relating to physical models.

Re:Pointless eye candy (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656714)

What point of the video are you talking about? Hell.. what video? Just to make sure we're seeing the same thing...

Re:Pointless eye candy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656440)

So what you're saying is ... the animation when you HAVE ALREADY swiped your finger is suppose to tell you that you're suppose to swipe your finger? Really? I don't see this as any different. The further you move, the more the new row of icons drops into place. Simple as that. If you don't like the animation, there are other applications that can replace it with whatever you with (side-to-side, carousel, pinwheeling... see Go Launcher EX screen transitions list)

To me, scrolling above a list to either search or refresh is incredibly inconsistent, without any clear indication which is which. I've accidentally triggered a refresh, wasting my battery and data plan. This is one of the "innovations" that Android didn't bring.

I see all you fanboys are saying anything that isn't a side-to-side scroll is annoying for no apparent reason.

I'm currently using Go Launcher EX with a shutter-like transition between screens and do not find it any more or less disconcerting or annoying -- nor has anyone else who has used my phone.

Re:Pointless eye candy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656758)

So what you're saying is ... the animation when you HAVE ALREADY swiped your finger is suppose to tell you that you're suppose to swipe your finger? Really?

Yes! The animation should help provide context and illustrate where you are now and how you can get back. Often this involves physical metaphors. Think back to popping cards off the stack from the video. A swipe gesture from right to left directly manipulates the top pane by moving it to the left. It is then replaced with a pane that rises up. But how do you get back? What gesture do you use to push the current pane down to where it came from? It turns out that when you go back you don't actually manipulate the currently visible pane, you drag left to right to "manipulate" a pane that you can't even see on the screen so that it will slide to the right and thereby push the current pane back. You are performing a gesture that you already know will get you back but the illusion of "direct manipulation" is broken. How that strikes anyone as an acceptable transition for the default UI is beyond me.

If you don't like the animation, there are other applications that can replace it with whatever you with (side-to-side, carousel, pinwheeling... see Go Launcher EX screen transitions list)

And that's the problem. You see the transition animations as superfluous eye candy or personal preferences that can be swapped out for something spiffy. I see them as an absolutely fundamental part of establishing the user's mental model of the system. If I'm installing a Linux distro on a box with a good graphics card I want eye candy. If I want a phone for my mom I want a consistent mental model.

To me, scrolling above a list to either search or refresh is incredibly inconsistent, without any clear indication which is which.

Agreed, I'm not a big fan of that. Though many Android apps now use that same affordance, so it's becoming a cross-platform standard.

Re:Pointless eye candy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656560)

Agreed, the UI affordances look terrible. There are inconsistencies e.g. horizontal scrolling in app drawer pops cards vertically off a stack whereas home screen scrolls on a 2D pane except that in both cases the last pane performs an inconsistent sort of rotating bounce gesture. (Which is exceedingly odd because neither of the navigation animations involved any rotation in the first place.) I counted at least five times when the software did not correctly read his intention (closing the notification tray, hitting the home button x2, hitting the back button while in the widget tray, opening the app drawer) and five times when he had to shift his hand position to perform a gesture. Finally, selecting the camera app from the lock screen jumped first to the home screen for more than 500 milliseconds before blinking out and bringing up the camera in the wrong orientation! I could go on (seriously: UI designer with moderate OCD here) but watching this video made me embarrassed for Google's UI team. I would be ashamed to let something half baked like that out of my lab. Hopefully they're cleaning it up before release.

Rather than something subtle and understated like iOS and (yes, I can't believe I'm saying this) Mango, it looks like the Android UI team looked to the god-awful linux eye candy [youtube.com] movement where transparency, 3D animation, and other superfluous visual effects are used instead of actual usability testing.

Having said that, the system for choosing and placing widgets looks substantially better and the responsiveness on scroll gestures is much improved from the laggy mess on the Froyo handset (Droid 1) I've got. I was hoping that everything people were saying about the improved UI was true because I really don't want to get an iPhone. But if this is the best Android has to offer... hell.

Re:Pointless eye candy (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656592)

iOS animation cues are under patent and Google can't copy it. Android's new animation are not perfect, but they provide a smooth and polished way of transitioning between screens compared to older versions and doesn't interfere with Apple's patents.

Re:Pointless eye candy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656692)

Mac Lion does a similar fade in from "back there" when you open new windows. Its pointless. Apple isn't prefect with animations either.
 

FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37655918)

Honeycomb.

So where is it? (2)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656090)

Where's the sandwich? I watched the whole demo and I didn't see it. Or is it like the cake again?

Re:So where is it? (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656810)

> Today, a Romanian gadget blog,

See. It's from Romania. This whole thing is pointless. How the fuck is someone in Romania going to get a scoop on anything?

EXCUSE ME? (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656132)

"One major change, is that the icons and the UI is a lot more sophisticated and clean, making even iOS look old and clunky."

As an all-time Android user and fan, I must say the new icons look awful. Especially the phone, camera and browser icons look as if they had been taken from windows 95. I'm sorry, but existing icons are much sleeker, and those icons aren't by a LONG SHOT as polished as in iOS.

The menus do seem a bit more polished, just like in Honeycomb, but everything else I don't see why it has improved. There is even still that hideous "flash" when reaching the end of a scrollview. I have run cyanogenmod and changed the yellow to a more blueish flash and I can assure you, the color change doesn't improve things.

I just can't believe someone would go as far as saying that it makes iOS look "old and clunky". I think many things about iOS are old and clunky, but the looks certainly are not, especially when compared to current ICS leaks, which have left a very "meh" feeling in me, a long time android fan.

Now I am going to go cry in a corner.

Re:EXCUSE ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656210)

then use an icon pack

or use go launcher

or because it is not SHITTY ass iso costoumiz it any other zillyon ways....

the icons dont look good Piff use diferint one

Re:EXCUSE ME? (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656588)

There is even still that hideous "flash" when reaching the end of a scrollview. I have run cyanogenmod and changed the yellow to a more blueish flash and I can assure you, the color change doesn't improve things.

With CM7, you can disable the overscroll glow, and use the bounce effect. Oh, and the bounce effect isn't included by Google (or Samsung any more (as of latest Galaxy S II builds) because it's patented.

Re:EXCUSE ME? (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656684)

I agree. I was really looking forward to the Nexus Prime and 4.0, but this is just embarrassing... it's so unpolished and amateurish. The color scheme, fonts, and icons on my stock Nexus S look 100x better.

I'm still looking forward to some of the new sdk features though.

iPhone 5 replacement for disappointed Apple fans? (1)

ad454 (325846) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656150)

My current iPhone 3GS is too dated and on its last legs. I am a big fan of iOS, and was planning to immediate buy an iPhone 5 this year, from any carrier, since my old contact has long expired and I am only paying month-to-month. But since Apple decided after nearly a year and a half to slap their loyal fans in the face and refused to produce and release any significant hardware improvements, let me tell you, I am strongly considering this Samsung Nexus Prime as my next phone.

To me, the physically bigger high resolution AMOLED screen is a big deal. I find myself needing to surf the web more and more on my phone, and with iPhone 4 the screen is so small, that I typically can only read small chunks of it at a time, and need to do a lot of horizontal scrolling, even in landscape mode.

NFC support is really important, since not only can it be used for purchases, but you can buy stacks of NFC RFID tags for next to nothing, like the NXP iCode tags, and read and write to them for countless applications (WiFi settings, business cards, product info, etc.).

What I don't like about the Prime is the fact that the iPhone's typically have superior cameras. I am not talking about the number of mega-pixels, but the actual sensor quality and optics. I have done a number of image comparisons between photos taken with iPhone 4 and Samsung Nexus S, and the iPhone wins hands down by a huge margin. There also does not appear to be a video out solution. I wonder why doesn't the Prime support HDMI out like HTC Android phone? At least the iPhone has a VGA out cable. It would also be nice to have a microSD card slot as well.

The iTunes App store still has a lot of great apps missing from the Android marketplace. My favourite is OmniGraffle for quickly drawing diagrams, charts, etc. If only there was something equivalent in the Android marketplace now that IceCreamSandwich supports Honeycomb apps. I also love the Pages and KeyNote apps from the iWorks suite, which is by far superior to QuickOffice and Google Docs. I am hoping these will get better soon in IceCreamSandwich.

Maybe I should hope for HTC to release this fall an IceCreamSandwich phone with a similar screen, better camera, plus NFC, video out, and microSD slot. If I can get all of that, it would be enough for me to break out of my iOS addiction, especially since the Android marketplace is steadily growing.

Re:iPhone 5 replacement for disappointed Apple fan (1)

Daneurysm (732825) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656220)

Do not wait for HTC to release a phone with a better camera. Samsung makes, hands down, the best camera in the Android game right now. The Camera on my Nexus S was really good, but, a little lacking. The camera on my Galaxy S2 is nothing short of phenomenal. I would imagine the Nexus Prime to have the same sensor and maybe better optics.

...I just came from a long line of HTC phones before these last two Samsungs...and I will be getting the Nexus Prime when it comes out. The HTC's have "pretty good for a cellphone" level of camera on the Hero, EVO4G and EVO3D.

But if you are going to jump whole-hog into Android a Nexus device is probably the best bet. They get updates first, they get updates longer, great community support, cutting edge hardware. Also even though all Nexus devices have been built on a nearly-identical platform as other phones (Nexus1= HTC EVO4G, Incredible... Nexus S= Galaxy 1...Nexus Prime=Galaxy 2) they seem to run faster and smoother out of the box.

The EVO4G even had the same sensor as the iPhone4 but the pictures weren't even close, not in the same league...not on the same planet. I wouldn't waste any time hoping for HTC to make a better camera than Samsung.

Re:iPhone 5 replacement for disappointed Apple fan (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656234)

If Android 4.0 really is good, switching would be fine. I've never had an iPhone but I have an iPod Touch. I also recently purchased an Android phone (it's brand new but only 2.2, unfortunately). The whole interface is unpolished and clunky compared to iOS. Android crashes on me on occasion, something I've never had happen with iOS. I really prefer iOS but Android is pretty good. Maybe 4.0 will finally catch us with iOS. Yes, I know there are a lot more things (geeky things) you can do with Android but I still prefer the usability of iOS to the features of Android. It's the same reason I prefer OS X to Linux for my research computers (and personal computers) - OS X is much more polished and can do essentially everything Linux can do (at least as it applies to my neuroimaging research).

Ice Cream Sandwich? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656320)

What is the marketing department smoking?

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656472)

1.5 Cupcake
1.6 Donut
2.1 Eclair
2.2 Froyo [Frozen Yogurt]
2.3.x Gingerbread
3.x.x Honeycomb
4.x.x Ice Cream Sandwich

My guess is that somebody very, very hungry developed the naming system.

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