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Google Releases Jelly Bean Updates For the Nexus S

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the imperfectly-fragmented dept.

Android 104

dell623 writes "Google has begun updating the Google Nexus S, which was released in December 2010 to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The update comes with all the new features of JB, including Google Now. The update makes the almost two year old phone smooth and in many ways superior to newer, more expensive Android devices that are unlikely to even be updated to Android 4.0. The update is impressive, but also exposes the problems of Android fragmentation and the failure of other Android device manufacturers to develop better software than Google, or issue timely updates."

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Fragmentation (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723325)

Keep repeating the fragmentation issue. One day, you might even believe it.

Re:Fragmentation (1, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724463)

I can't run Google Now or Chrome on my G2, because it's stuck at Gingerbread (and I don't have the time or inclination to root it.).

Fragmentation is a problem. In the future, I'm going to stick to Nexus products, but the Android ecosystem (by which I mean "all the phones which use Google Play to buy and download apps") is bigger than, and not driven by, the Nexus line.

Re:Fragmentation (1, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724783)

I can't run Siri on my 3GS. Big whoop.

Re:Fragmentation (2)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724833)

Just buying a Nexus phone is unfortunately not enough.

I bought an unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus phone online, from a Canadian retailer. Unfortunately the phone I got wasn't running the official google ROM, but Samsung's own ROM that was on a different (much slower) update channel. I had to flash my phone to google's firmware to move from 4.0.2 to 4.0.4. Within a few minutes my phone found the jelly bean update and prompted me to install. The flashing was pretty simple; the only issue was that my phone forgot its SMS centre number and mobile AP settings, so I had to program those back in to be able to send txts and use 3g data.

I say bad on Google for this one. I bought an unlocked nexus phone because I wanted to try out different ROMs on my phone, so for me this was not a big deal. I do think it's dumb that I had to hack my phone to get Google-supported updates.

Also, the other fun thing about Galaxy Nexus firmware variants is that their is basically no way to know which you have until you boot up your phone. Some people who purchased from the same source as me got the official google firmware, it seems totally random. I do like my phone, its really nice and smooth with jelly bean, but the device experience could have been better.

Re:Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40728343)

Uh... You do realize that update rollouts do *NOT* occur simultaneously for everyone? It never has. When my Nexus One was updated to Gingerbread, I didn't get it right away.

There is no such thing as "Samsung's own ROM" on the Galaxy Nexus. There is only "proprietary patches needed for carrier support" -- but is irrelevant in your case (see Verizon)

Quite literally, you probably didn't have to do anything, and you would have gotten the update probably at the same time (or you might have been able to get away with forcing a check; google how). Installing a new firmware from the get-go probably looked for an update immediately, and there you go. Factory resetting your phone on it's stock firmware probably would have achieved the same result..

Re:Fragmentation (0)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726241)

"I can't run Google Now or Chrome on my G2, because it's stuck at Gingerbread (and I don't have the time or inclination to root it.)."

Firefox Beta runs just fine on Gingerbread

Posted from my G2

Re:Fragmentation (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726739)

And so does Dolphin HD and thousands of other apps. But my point stands.

Re:Fragmentation (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40730923)

ICS is in the queue for T-Mobile G2. Provided they actually deliver, that's good enough for me. Do you have an issue?

Re:Fragmentation (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#40731529)

I actually want to use Chrome, and I'd like to use Google Now. I also understand that there are performance and stability issues that were addressed post ICS. That's my main issue. I haven't found anything more than hopeful thinking about ICS being in the queue for G2: do you have a link?

Re:Fragmentation (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724779)

Don't worry. The Mac users used to say the same to Windows users back when they actually had any decent market share.

For the last F*CKING time... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723369)

It's NOT fragmentation, idiots.

Do you call the issues with not being able to run apps intended for an iPhone 3/4 on an iPhone "fragmentation"?

Do you call not being able to run Windows 7/8 on a PII machine because of lack of resources "fragmentation"?

If you answered "no" to either or both of those questions, it's NOT friggin "fragmentation".

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (0, Troll)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723391)

Except what's being described in the article IS fragmentation. But keep telling yourself it's normal to get updates randomly, if at all.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (5, Insightful)

BanHammor (2587175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723393)

Manufacturers are assholes. Buy from someone who is definitely not.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40730601)

But who? They're all assholes when it comes to updates, except Apple who are assholes in numerous other ways.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (5, Insightful)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723413)

How is offering a software update with backward compatible APIs to an 18 month old phone increasing fragmentation?

The issue is that not enough manufacturers offer the upgrades.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723745)

Read for comprehension. The summary says "exposes the problems of Android fragmentation." That is, Google being able to update their two year old phone with no problems demonstrates what a crappy job many other manufacturers are doing, the variability of update support, and presumably the variability of installed hardware to allow those updates. In shorter form, Google being able to update their two year old phone and many other manufacturers not begin able to update their two month old phones exposes fragmentation in the Android installed base.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726529)

Flame coat on.
What's missing is iTunes. Samsung Kies has no bluetooth support, the usb micro port is dodgey at best and HTC Sync is also just lacking. Having a Samsung Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab and HTC Desire, the manufacturer fragmentation is not the only pain, you have carrier fragmentation on top of hardware fragmentation. Updating a Galaxy is impossible (bar rooting) without OTA updates which are Carrier Specific. Should your carrier not be bothered with a phone/tablet that they offered 9 months ago you will never get updates regardless of whether every other carrier in the world has an update. I think that the either the OS needs to be further separated from the HMI so that updates don't break the crappy carrier only apps, and whatever apps they have restricted on your phone and do make your phone better, or Google restricts what the branding can do such that it doesnt get in the way of users being able to upgrade their phones.

Apple does this by not allowing carrier branding on their phones. Google is trying to do this with the Nexus line up. I think in the future if I stick with android I will only be buying Nexus devices due to the complete lack of carrier&hardware support I have had with my previous devices. All of them still run gingerbread as their haven't been any updates available for my carrier.

Finally a universal android Sync app for windows/mac/linux which could give the user full access to their phones (and ideally root), access to updates, usb modem, full bluetooth stack, wifi sync and full data and app backup.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40729185)

+1
That's why I stcik to Apple products eventhough the commercial practices are IMHO far from being good.
My iPhone 3GS is more than 3years old and will receive the iOS6 update. in October.
For sure, I won't have the latest features from iOS6, but at least, I'll get latgest security fixes and few enhancements.
Apple limitates nex functionalites for 2 reasons:
- One is good (hardware. I hardly see a 3GS with 256MB RAM and 600MHz single core cpu handling 3D maps when iPad retina with 1GB RAM and 1GHz dual core CPU + quad core GPU) lags)
- One is marketting: (example siri / connection sharing limited to bluetooth and wire (wifi available only for iPhone 4+)

When I see Motorola releasing Defy variants in Androïd 2.3 saying they won't get upgrade, I say SHAME!!!!
When I see Archos releasing new tables in ICS saying they won't get Jelly beans, I say SHAME!!!

For those reasons, I won't buy Androïd product. They a technologicaly good, but I don't want to pay the iPhone price (Samsung galaxy SIII) for a produc that won't get any update less that a year after I buy it. (And I don't have time to root / patch / cyanogenmod it)

Loking at this news makes me think that google understand the problem. Hopefully, they'll push other manufacturer to react... (I doubt though, as I think investment is not worth)

The funny thing is that my 3GS battery is dying before the hardware becomes EOF....

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40731465)

Just read the specs on that Google phone and compare it with still selling Galaxy models. Like my Galaxy Ace, which i bought recently (running Gingerbread 2.3.6). Do you think ICS will run in a usable way on that phone, when Google does not update their Nexus One to ICS, because the hardware is not up to it?

So why didn't i buy a Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S? Compare the price. My Ace came completely unbranded for 170 EUR, no strings attached. A Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S comes for about twice that price. And I already had to think hard about that price tag on the Ace.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724147)

RTFA :)

The issue is that fragmentation affects you even if your phones runs the latest version of Android. For example, it is very likely that for a few months the Nexus devices will be the only ones running 4.1, which means if an application is broken on 4.1, the developers will be in no hurry to fix them. And no one would write an app exclusively for Jelly Bean.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (4, Informative)

xs650 (741277) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724107)

Except what's being described in the article IS fragmentation. But keep telling yourself it's normal to get updates randomly, if at all.

Yes there is fragmentation, but it's not an Android problem, it's a douchebag carrier and phone manufacturer business plan.

The reason for the fragmentation is that the phone manufacturers and carriers don't want old phones updated. That would cut into sales of newer shinier phones.

Google is doing the right thing for the consumer by supporting older hardware that has the horsepower to run new versions of Android and the competition from Google will cause some of the phone manufacturers and carriers to offer better upgrade support.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724513)

Yes there is fragmentation, but it's not an Android problem, it's a douchebag carrier and phone manufacturer business plan.

"Android" understood as a whole includes the carriers and manufacturers - when you choose which phone to buy, you're also choosing the ecosystem. It's not a problem of the operating system's technology itself, but no one is seriously claiming it is.

Google needs to be more aggressive in finding ways to own the experience better. It's already heading in the right direction: Nexus started off more as a developer's phone and reference model, and is turning into a kind of cattle-prod to other manufacturers. Google's ownership of Motorola also helps. Perhaps the "openness" of the first few years of Android, and the resultant fragmentation, was a bit of a honeypot, enticing manufacturers to build products for that ecosystem. But it's time (without, of course, withdrawing the source code from the public) to tighten control of the user's total ownership experience. Including updates.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (2)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724881)

I was going to mod you up, but I think I'll comment instead. You are absolutely correct. I know how much we all hate anecdotes and decry how they "aren't data" - but when you add all of them up, they actually do come out to be data. My example: I got a Motorola Droid 1 when they first came out. That was a really nice phone at the time. It was one of the first with Android 2.0 and it got updates to 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.2. Each release made it better. At the time, I would show my wife a new feature that came in with a release (one example was voice recognition for sending texts, etc.) and she would exclaim how my awesome phone was getting better all the time. It was a "Google Experience" phone - which meant that the carrier and manufacturer weren't allowed to screw it all up with bloatware and skins. When it got older, I moved to a Motorola Droid 3. That is a terrible phone. Not enough RAM, a stupid 'Blur' skin that brings bugs with it that don't exist in AOSP, an incredible amount of manufacturer and carrier bloat and crapware. It runs extremely slowly, the camera takes 8 seconds to start and usually crashes taking the first photo. It sucks. It has barely gotten ANY updates. It took over 8 months to get one Blur bug I reported with the dialer fixed. I've only had it since the day it came out - 1 year now - and I want to throw the thing out. I'll tell you - the next one I get will be a Nexus model without any carrier shit or manufacturer shit. No skins, and quick updates.

The carriers haven't figured out that we want these phones to evolve and do more things as the software ecosystem grows. The junk they and the manufacturers put on the phones makes it prohibitive for them put out updates in a timely fashion; they want the phones to be stagnant and always look and run like the day they were purchased. That isn't what a good chunk of us out here want. It will be a Nexus for me - probably when the new ones come out in November. I hate my current phone enough that I will be willing to spend the money to break out of contract early at that point.

Sorry for the rambling anecdote. I am in total agreement that any fragmentation is caused by the vendors lack of ability / agility / desire to get out updates.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (2)

thsths (31372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725643)

Great anecdote, but you could have just written "Motorola do not know how to do software". Never did, never will, well, unless Google changes things around there.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

indytx (825419) | more than 2 years ago | (#40729287)

The reason for the fragmentation is that the phone manufacturers and carriers don't want old phones updated. That would cut into sales of newer shinier phones.

Is it really about making money on newer, shinier new phones? It's not like you can go and buy a cheap data & voice plan from Verizon or AT&T if you already have a phone and don't need a subsidized one. I think it's probably more a problem with the U.S. having a pretty saturated mobile market, and carriers spending most of their marketing dollars to lure customers away from other carriers with a new shiny phone. That's an easier business model for the suits to implement than, oh, I don't know, having great service at a reasonable price. I think a lot of Americans are going to follow the shiny while complaining about the mobile service.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723437)

It really isn't fragmentation and it isn't really Google's fault. But it isn't what you are describing.

What phones get updates are random and have little to do with hardware specs. One phone might be stuck with 1.6 while another phone with the same (or lesser) hardware specs might be upgradeable to Android 2.1. Even worse the exact same phone might have different OSes based on the network or country.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724061)

THIS

My phone (LG Optimus G2X) has Gingerbread ROM available had I bought it from a US carrier. However, since I bought it from a Canadian carrier, there was no Gingerbread update available for it. This is the sad state that Android is in. I still like Android, and would probably buy an Android phone again, but most likely not from LG. I would be very careful who I buy from. Next time around I'll probably get the cheapest phone I can find that supports tethering, and buy a 10 inch tablet.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724997)

Google's fault or not, you've just described fragmentation. Developers are stuck targetting the lowest common denominator because that's the only way they can reliably reach the majority of Android users.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (5, Insightful)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723499)

Yes, the fact that iPhone developers have to worry about whether their app is running on an older or a "retina display" iPhone is fragmentation.

Windows developers needing to test applications in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 is fragmentation. Ditto for worrying about 32 vs 64. bit variations.

Thanks for the examples of other fragmentation issues in computing. Wait, were those supposed to disprove this is the right word to use here? That's a pretty terrible fail then. Fragmentation is a word we're using now for when application developers have extensive QA issues around multiple, not quite compatible software platforms on a single hardware platform. It's appropriate here, and for the other examples you give too.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (0)

danbob999 (2490674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723679)

Fragmentation is a word we're using now for when application developers have extensive QA issues around multiple, not quite compatible software platforms on a single hardware platform. It's appropriate here, and for the other examples you give too.

So, it would be nice if Apple killed iOS and switched to Android. One less OS to support, less fragmentation.
Who cares about choice anyway?

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723807)

But if all those herds of boring iPhone users switched to Android, Android wouldn't be oh, so hip anymore!

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724093)

But if all those herds of boring iPhone users switched to Android, Android wouldn't be oh, so hip anymore!

They already are, and it never was.

Utilitarian maybe, but not hip.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723719)

So then we can remove "fragmentation" as an issue unique to Android, seeing as iOS and Windows are both plagued with fragmentation as well. Does this mean the fanboys will stop touting it as a problem (or at least admit their preferred OS has problems with it too and stop pretending that only Android platform can be "fragmented"?)

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (4, Insightful)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723825)

Most development platforms suffer from some degree of fragmentation. Even Apple's desktop platform, which is happier than most to just leave behind older versions of the software, took a while to shake off cruft leftover from the PowerPC days (which was itself shaking off cruft from the 68K days).

That doesn't mean you can't rate platforms on the degree of fragmention though. And here Android loses, badly, to just about everything else. There are 4 major versions of the Android software still in heavy use [android.com] , with Jelly Bean adding a fifth one. Each of those major releases has multiple vendor customizations and some disparity in major application design issues like screen sizes and input methods. It's a QA nightmare.

The situation is no better for Windows, but variation in desktop capabilities doesn't seem to hamstring application developers too badly anymore. How long has it been since you found a desktop app that couldn't deal with the screen being resized or with the type of mouse changing? Those things used to be serious fragmentation issues too; nowadays that's faded into something application designers can safely ignore most of the time when developing on Windows. It looks like Windows 8 might alter things badly enough to bring the display issues back into the limelight again, at which point I expect class of "Windows fragmentation" to increase.

The iPhone has kept the variations along these two major axes (screen/inputs) low enough to keep fragmentation from being a drag on the platform. Apple has also done a decent job of keeping the software platform moving forward for older devices. Android has done neither of those things, which is why it deservedly gets beat with the "fragmentation" hammer so often. 80% of the Android market is running 2.2 or 2.3 stil by Google's own figures, so software from 2010. Any iPhone user will tell you the idea of still running the software version from 1.5 years ago would be crazy. Platform statistics easily show how fast iPhone users update [stackoverflow.com] ; the update times on that platform is weeks for most users, not months or years.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (3, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724009)

That doesn't mean you can't rate platforms on the degree of fragmention though.

Absolutely. The problem is that people like John Gruber talk about Android fragmentation like iOS isn't fragmented. It is. As you correctly point out, Android has a fragmentation problem that iOS doesn't have.

How long has it been since you found a desktop app that couldn't deal with the screen being resized or with the type of mouse changing?

I still run into applications which assume a minimum screen size, and which are outright unusable when run on something smaller. And applications which don't work well if the resolution changes (somewhat analogous to rotating a phone.) I think that mostly, though, that's a solved problem. Unfortunately, it's solved by adding on frameworks and other abstractions which tend to use up more CPU and RAM. This has the obvious side effects of running hotter, needing more resources, and using more battery (in the case of laptops.) Time will tell whether or not the mobile analogues will be solved in the same way.

The iPhone has kept the variations along these two major axes (screen/inputs)

What input differences exist between iOS implementations?

Apple has also done a decent job of keeping the software platform moving forward for older devices.

I'd say they do better than decent. Their third phone, released over three years ago, will be getting their latest OS shortly. Some of the Apple features will be missing, but the developer features (the APIs) are all there, which reduces the magnitude of iOS fragmentation significantly.

The problem with Android is in the marketing and the carriers. Marketing, in that "Android Phone" is a meaningless term--you know nothing about the phone from those two words, but a staggering number of people (online, offline, reviewers, marketers) want to equate the term to "iPhone." Carriers, in that they want to act as gatekeepers for updates, and the manufacturers making Android phones don't have enough individual influence to override them quite like Apple does.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724355)

What input differences exist between iOS implementations?

That was my point; there aren't many. I think Apple has even wrapped the difference between the ones that handle multitouch gestures to where apps don't have to care. That's what a good platform should do, where the context for "good" is "makes apps easier to write".

Linux in general isn't doing very well on the "let's have one consistent UI that all applications use" front either. It's a hard problem to solve in an open-source way, where everybody wants their own thing and no one person is the voice for "it's more important to be easy to develop for than for any of you to get your way" in platform context. That's the one thing I'll give Jobs any credit for; the main knew how to shout down dissenters and stay focused on one good way to do things. His definition of good wasn't always sensible (see: one button mouse), but it was more consistent than most.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40730981)

If you look into the fragments API you will find that fragmentation is handled well in Android. As a professional Android developer, I find that issues that arise related to fragments are few and easy to fix for most apps. Three are a very small number of apps, ask requiring special hardware/hardware calls, that have issues with fragmentation. I see very few articles that mention Android fragmentation that actually get it right. The level of ignorance out there among tech reporters visa vi fragmentation is scary.

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40731159)

I think you vastly overestimate the complexity of writing software for Android. As someone who has written a number of commercial Android applications, I can assure you that varying OS versions, screen sizes, etc are quite easy to handle and the Android API actually has rather nice interfaces for that sort of thing. It is true that in the "gold rush" mentality some devs seem to have, they take short cuts and end up creating software that doesn't work well. However, this is their mistake, not an attribute of the platform itself. Any of my applications run on any device that uses Android 2.1 or higher (even that is an arbitrary restriction, but one that seems to cover every device my clients use). I had to change one screen drawing routine to accommodate what seems to be a bug on one older Motorola device, otherwise supporting what is essentially every Android device out there has been quite easy.
 

Re:For the last F*CKING time... (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727005)

the fact that iPhone developers have to worry about whether their app is running on an older or a "retina display" iPhone is fragmentation.

Except they don't. iOS takes care of that for you. Bottom line is if you don't supply retina PNGs for your buttons, backgrounds and other visuals, your apps look like Minecraft. If you actually draw your graphics using Quartz 2D, then iOS does the right thing behind the scenes.

Screwed over (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723447)

also exposes the problems of Android fragmentation and the failure of other Android device manufacturers to develop better software than Google, or issue timely updates

What a bunch of crap. The problem is that "other Android device manufactures" don't roll out the same software as Google to their customers. Why? Because of what some GM head honcho started in the 1920: planned obsolence. They want you to buy a new handset instead of updating the old one. Simple as that: consumer being screwed over once the money has left the wallet.

Re:Screwed over (2)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723673)

But how can that possibly work out? The customers who get screwed are learning: if you want updates, buy a Nexus. The other brands are going to lose out with this policy.

I jumped ship from my iPhone after I got sick of Apple's BS, but honestly this was one of the BEST things they had going: my phone regularly got updates the very day they were released; my only delays were waiting for someone to jailbreak the new version before I could upgrade (which was the BS I got sick of; every damn update was a hassle for me, but for non-jailbreakers life was good). I got a Nexus specifically because I want regular updates and community support, but the entire rest of the Android landscape is pretty grim: updates are a "Maybe we'll get around to it next year" thing for all the non-Nexus phones.

Re:Screwed over (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723771)

Customers are learning that if you want updates, by an iPhone. They see on the news that there's a new version of iOS and all their friends are playing with it the next day. Meanwhile a new version of Android comes out and most of their friends aren't playing with it because their phones don't support it.

If Google seriously pushed the Nexus and got it in a significant number of hands then maybe they'd benefit from the incompetence of other Android manufacturer's. As it is, there are so few Nexuses that "Android" gets the blame.

Re:Screwed over (1)

oxdas (2447598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724447)

While I support the premise that Android suffers from greater fragmentation than iOS, the purchase numbers don't support an argument that Apple is being favored over Android.

Apple's position is most dominant in the U.S., but the second quarter numbers indicate that even in their largest market, Android accounted for nearly 55% of U.S. sales in the second quarter, compared to just over 36% for iOS. The numbers worldwide are even more in Android's favor. This gap is continuing to widen.

If your premise is correct, it would appear that people do not highly value updates when making a smartphone purchasing decision.

Re:Screwed over (2)

funkylovemonkey (1866246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725615)

Exactly. The average phone user doesn't care about updates, they aren't even aware their phone is using an old OS. If you take my highly unscientific example of my family, there are a lot of Android users including my father and mother in law, four of my wife's brothers and sisters, my wife and my own sister. Out of that sample of nine people (including me), I am the only one who could tell you the difference between Gingerbread and Jelly Bean. Honestly most of them aren't aware of the latest features that have come out since they bought their phone and really don't care. Of course I care, and so I have a rooted Nexus with Jelly Bean. The people who care about updates and the latest OS buy Nexus or root. Or do both since Verizon has hampered the update of the latest Nexus.

Re:Screwed over (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725777)

It's not the top priority of most people. That would be price. Android sells more phones, but many of those are low end models where you kind of expect to get the second rate. If you look at revenue or profit, rather than count, Android doesn't do as well.

Most Android manufacturers seem not to have learned that if you screw over your customers, particularly your best customers, they won't be your customers next time. Unfortunately, Google takes a bit of that flak because their name is prominently associated with Android.

Re:Screwed over (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726301)

Customers are learning that if you want updates, by an iPhone.

Really? I got several updates on my G2, and apparently T-Mobile has ICS in the queue. I'm not panicking because I've been able to update all my apps without issue. All my apps still work on Gingerbread, you see. My previous Slashdot comment was posted from the G2, using the latest Firefox Beta.

Say, why don't you try posting to Slashdot using your iPhone, I'd love to see how that works out for you.

Re:Screwed over (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727965)

Really? I got several updates on my G2, and apparently T-Mobile has ICS in the queue.

Wow, that's timely?

ICS was released 9 months ago! If it's still "in the queue", that could very well mean by the time you get ICS, it's been a whole year and a release behind. I guess 2013 when the next release comes out you'll get jelly bean.

You'd also think that by now, there would be more phones coming out with ICS on by default, but it's still few and far behind (Galaxy SIII being one of note). Maybe 2013 will be the year of ICS.

So much for Google's pronouncement that 6 months from ICS' release everyone will be developing for it.

Re:Screwed over (0)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728327)

Did you post that from your iPhone? If not, why not? Oh don't bother, I know why not: the iPhone just doesn't have what it takes to handle a demanding site like Slashdot.

Meanwhile, my G2 on Gingerbread can handle Slashdot easily and obviously a lot more, and is running all current, updated apps. So whine away Apple cultist, your shiny marginally functional toy will be orphaned by Apple long before mine stops getting updates.

Re:Screwed over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40728379)

Actually, it is. Recertification of certain logos (DLNA? etc), porting over their skins, driver model changes, etc. all take time.

Just because the OS is released doesn't mean everything's ready. When Windows changed the driver model from 95/98/ME to 2000/XP or XP to Vista, did all the hardware drivers magically update? No, some support took time, and even some devices were left in the cold.

It happens.

Re:Screwed over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40729479)

Hello from my iPhone

Re:Screwed over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40728365)

Really? Older iusers are showing their friends their shiny new voice assistant? If anything, they're arguing AGAINST it. Oh wait, i users don't think. My bad.

Most Android features can ALREADY BE IMPLEMENTED on most older 1.6-2.0 phones, so there's no real feature that can be said "missing". You want ICS's face unlock? Just download Visidon Applocker. It's been on the market for a year or two now. Voice assistants? Plenty of those. Widgets that predictively bring information to your attention? Similar (maybe not quite as complete, but...).

Re:Screwed over (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724115)

The customers who get screwed are learning: if you want updates, buy a Nexus.

If the Nexus had an SD slot, I would have. But it doesn't. (or at least, the Nexus S, which was the current version of the Nexus when I bought my phone, didn't).

It still comes down to features. Getting software updates is a feature, yes, but if the phone you're using does everything you want it to do, then why buy a new one just to get updated software? Most of the features for Jelly Bean can be had from apps on the market anyway.

Re:Screwed over (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723729)

I can never understand why anyone would ever buy anything OTHER than a Nexus device.

Re:Screwed over (1)

darkHanzz (2579493) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724153)

All phones blink alike in the shop, and I assume there are actually a fair number of people who don't even bother what OS is on their phone. (or even still call all smartphones Iphones)

Re:Screwed over (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724213)

The other devices have better hardware

Re:Screwed over (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724713)

Well, I'm actually surprised they rolled out JB for the Nexus S. They dropped support for the Nexus One after only 18 months, and the Nexus S is older than that. I didn't get a Nexus S at the time because:

1. It was unsubsidized, and I wouldn't have gotten a break on my rates to buy it. I could get a G2 for free at the same time. Free G2 vs $350 Nexus S - hard choice.

2. It lacked a keyboard, which made it less useful than the G2.

However, at the time I was a bit spoiled by the fact that the modding community kept the HTC Dream going for so long, and I figured by getting a G2 I'd be in good shape (since most of the big names in the modding community had bought it). The problem was that the big names have been buying lots of other phones since, so they don't really give as much attention to any phone as the Dream used to get.

Since then I've managed to get a break on an unsubsidized contract, so the playing field will be more level for the next Nexus phone to come along. That said, Google only releases one a year or so, which means that for most of the year their hardware is outdated.

Re:Screwed over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40728393)

The only reason Nexus One didn't get ICS is because the phone lacked internet storage. It would have significantly reduced the amount of application space, so they made the choice to cut support.

Custom Firmware devs aren't limited to using internal memory because their focus is less on stability (SD cards tend to be a bit slower that internal -- even assuming you got a class 10, so that adds an extra test use-case that normally aren't checked)

Re:Screwed over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725811)

As a sibling pointed out, at least in the US it makes no sense to actually buy an "unsubsidized" phone unless you are willing to accept using T-Mobile: the other carriers don't give a discount for bringing your own, so you would effectively be paying your carrier for a phone and not getting one. (Personally, I use T-Mobile... but a lot of people are living in / often travel to areas where they don't have good coverage.)

Wasn't that the whole idea? (4, Insightful)

CaptainLard (1902452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723507)

"the failure of other Android device manufacturers to develop better software than Google"

Isn't that the way its supposed to work? Google maintains android and device manufacturers manufacture devices. All the problems seem to happen when this is ignored.

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723557)

Exactly. There hasn't been a single UI that has really been better than stock Android. It makes it an absolute pain to figure any settings out for someone else unless you have the exact same phone.

And the pre-loaded crap? Get rid of it.

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723607)

Not that I have used them but if I had a Galaxy Note or the Galaxy S III I guess I would like to have the stuff which came with the phone. (Though of course it would be ok if the differences was regular apps which I could install on stock Android.)

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723631)

It makes it an absolute pain to figure any settings out for someone else unless you have the exact same phone.

If that's true, then smartphones have become the new PCs. Only smart people can (con)figure them (out). But really what's so hard about a smartphone once you know that the World icon obviously means World Wide Web, while the thing that looks like a window means, rather less obviously, Applications?

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724143)

It isn't hard to use the phone, but, lets say you want to use the USB mode to access your phone's Micro-SD card like a flash drive. This mode is accessed differently depending on the phone. My captivate glide it must be accessed (confusingly) from the Wireless and Network settings, my old HTC phone a dialog box popped up letting you choose disk mode. My friends Motorola accesses it through an entirely different menu.

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (-1)

TummyX (84871) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723839)

Exactly. There hasn't been a single UI that has really been better than stock Android.

Try the original Android [apple.com] .

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724225)

"lol i troll u"

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724183)

I would be okay with the pre-loaded crap if it was installed to /data rather than to /system

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724023)

That's almost like Microsoft maintaining Windows and device manufactures making PCs. The difference is that you can take an old computer and install a new version of Windows on it. MS has an interest in ensuring their new OS runs on old computers so that they can sell more copies of Windows. Google on the other hand doesn't sell Android to end users, so they have no incentive to ensure the new version of Android will run on old devices. The device manufacturers also don't make any money because they don't (can't?) charge for software updates. Apple on the other hand makes both the OS and the devices, and seems to have no problem upgrading the software on older models, as this is a selling point.

Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (0)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724443)

You are making the common mistake of assuming that x86 and ARM are somehow comparable in this regard. x86 is a standardized architecture for the most part while ARM could not be further from it. Do some research.

time to turn on ipv6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723629)

Google t-mobile ipv6 for the howto

Hipsters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723781)

Now a few hipsters can get Android 4.1 and sneer smugly at everyone else, especially iPhone users. All those hordes of users of other phones out there just don't understand what the few hipsters know!

How many manufacturers will offer the upgrades? (1)

cheap smartphones (2689665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723815)

Will the manufacturers consider to offer a software update? if so, i think that's fewer

Re:How many manufacturers will offer the upgrades? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724407)

That is why there is Cyanogen mod.

Re:How many manufacturers will offer the upgrades? (3, Insightful)

afgam28 (48611) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724575)

Google is in the process of releasing Jelly bean but cyanogenmod haven't even finished their ice cream sandwich release. I'm not sure I'd consider cyanogenmod an equivalent option...

OK, where's the love... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723929)

For my Droid X?

Re:OK, where's the love... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724285)

been updated better then a lot of other phones. Started with 2.1, been updated to 2.3.

meanwhile... (1)

seansobes (1691592) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723965)

YouTube still doesn't work on my tablet.

Too much work (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723983)

I will not be upgrading any time soon. As far as I can tell, I need to back up everything, un-root, upgrade, then reinstall all the applications and settings, e-mail accounts, etc. It's not Google's fault, they have a fair system where they sync everything to their server and then put it back. I just installed Debian to get an IPv6 tunnel application, but that will probably be just as painful the second time. It's great to have the freedom to choose though, and the Nexus S is a pretty good phone

Re:Too much work (1)

darkHanzz (2579493) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724165)

My nexus S is rooted, and all data survived the gingerbread->ICS ota upgrade..

Verizon is missing from the roll out list (1)

mikeraz (12065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724043)

And their approach to getting users off the unlimited data plans is to not subsidize upgrades.
With a Nexus handset upgraded this way who needs their feature phone bloat?

eBay here I come.

Re:Verizon is missing from the roll out list (3)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724163)

Yep. Bought an unsubsidized Nexus S. Never locked. Gets updates. Relatively inexpensive. Why would anyone buy one of these other crappy phones that don't run even Android 4.0. And I can actually see my root filesystem, unlike an iPhone.

Re:Verizon is missing from the roll out list (1)

mikeraz (12065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725069)

Are you using it on Verizon?
Where do your updates come from?
Have Jellybean yet?

Re:Verizon is missing from the roll out list (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727649)

I don't use Verizon, but it wouldn't matter anyways, since (a) my phone is not locked to any provider (all Nexus S phones are unlocked as far as I know) and (b) I get my updates directly from google (or at least I'm 90% sure I do...they just show up). I have Jellybean and its pretty good so far. The update became available just the other day. The phone downloaded it automatically and then asked me if I wanted to install it. Waited a little while and voila...Jellybean.

Re:Verizon is missing from the roll out list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725587)

Yep. Bought an unsubsidized Nexus S. Never locked. Gets updates. Relatively inexpensive. Why would anyone buy one of these other crappy phones that don't run even Android 4.0. And I can actually see my root filesystem, unlike an iPhone.

Why is it important to see the root file system on your phone? I've never looked at my iPhone and thought, "if only I could see the root file system."

Re:Verizon is missing from the roll out list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727177)

Well I can add / delete / change photos, movies , songs or applications if I can see the file system - just like my windows or mac computers.
The ability to search by criteria "I" want vs Apple/HTC want is worth a dollar or two.

Re:Verizon is missing from the roll out list (2)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727687)

Why is it important to see the root file system on your phone? I've never looked at my iPhone and thought, "if only I could see the root file system."

Transferring files is easier and more intuitive to me if I can use folders. Having software such as audiobook players able to view folders on the phone gives me the ability to manage my own book library, instead of Apple's way of hiding the real structures from me, and having me use clunky irritating and unintuitive file transfer via iTunes instead. Having multiple applications on the phone be able to view common files is also useful to me. My iPad makes me pull my hair out sometimes when I transfer say a movie to one player only to find that the file is inaccessible by other players on the same iPad, because each application gets its own limited sandbox to play in, and can't easily read files in the sandboxes of other applications. In other words, I want to be able to use my device my way.

I think this is good for google and bad for OEMS (3, Interesting)

pmathew (1597155) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724211)

For me i have had enough with non-nexus android phones as i have lost patience with android updates . My next device is definitely going to be a nexus with clean android . Most of my friends say the same thing . Soon the nexus brand image will be like the i* brand and customers will be reluctant to buy anything else due to lack of complete package which includes long term support and upgrades . The way mobile landscape is changing the OEMS may not see what hit them.

Re:I think this is good for google and bad for OEM (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724545)

I think this is the case, and the best-case scenario for Google: that Nexus branding become something OEMs clamor for, and fall over themselves to get.

This will backfire if Google gets lax about control of the user experience and update cycle in order to keep OEMs happy. Google needs to crack the whip a bit here. Unsubsidized phones, by their very nature, will keep the carriers in line, when they're going to be struggling to keep customers happy month after month, instead of coasting on contracts.

how does google decide who gets it first? (1)

afgam28 (48611) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724455)

I've got a nexus s running ics and I've checked for updates, but it just says that the system is up to date. Does anyone know how Google decides the order in which to send out the ota updates?

Re:how does google decide who gets it first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724873)

The server simply just answers "update available" every 100 requests?

Re:how does google decide who gets it first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725509)

Got tired of waiting and forced mine. Go into Settings -> Apps -> All -> Google Services Framework. Click "Clear data". Then Settings -> About-> System updates. It should say last updated was unix time zero (1969). Click "Check Now". I had to do it 3 times. Others have reported once or ten times. YMMV.

The 'fragmentation problem' solves itself (4, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724661)

If not delivering updates in a timely fashion is really a great problem for the customers they will mgrate for Goggle phones and the other sellers will take a hit and start to update more frequently to avoid losing their market share.

If it is not a problem for most customers then there is no problem at all.

Fragmentation is a problem ? (2)

tizan (925212) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724767)

Is fragmentation a problem or is it freedom for each company to do whatever they want to support at a price they can make money ?

Or do people want the competition to be just like apple ...a controlled garden of 1 device ....1 appstore ...1 updates for 1 thing.

Fragmentation is the difference...it allows you to have amazon fire, the nook tablet, all kind of cheap and crappy tablets or phones to expensive and better supported ones etc etc...
who cares at least i can buy something from $79 to $500 ...i have a choice on my means even if its not what i want because sometimes i can't afford what i want.

If it is apple v/s pseudo apple ...then i would not have a tablet or a smart phone

Re:Fragmentation is a problem ? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727675)

Or do people want the competition to be just like apple ...a controlled garden of 1 device ....1 appstore ...1 updates for 1 thing.

... And In Darkness Bind Them....

No, wait - that's the wrong reference. Er... ein volk, ein Fuhrer...?

[aside]: Dangit, Irene, come and help me with this. That goshdarn meme thingie you told me about - how do I work it?!?

Re:Fragmentation is a problem ? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728629)

When it comes down to regular people I would say that something like the iPad has given people more freedom than any Linux distribution. People are afraid of using their computer. Personal computing has proven to be a failed concept and Apple has now given them the freedom to actually use their computing device.

Re:Fragmentation is a problem ? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40729201)

When it comes down to regular people I would say that something like the iPad has given people more freedom than any Linux distribution.

When it comes to regular people, they would say they can't afford an iPad.

Re:Fragmentation is a problem ? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40729353)

You're right about that. We'll see if the rumors are true that Apple will introduce a cheaper iPad in the near future.

Re:Fragmentation is a problem ? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40729705)

You're right about that. We'll see if the rumors are true that Apple will introduce a cheaper iPad in the near future.

It'll also be interesting to see if it's competitive with the Nexus 7. Google has set a high bar for a low-cost tablet.

Not *all* JB features are there... (1)

Krokus (88121) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728763)

I got the OTA update for my Nexus S. While I have Google Now, etc, there is no facial recognition to unlock the phone. Were I to hazard a guess, I would say this might be due to the front-facing camera drawing taking too much of a toll on the battery to make the feature practical.

Re:Not *all* JB features are there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40729375)

I assumed they meant all features that were introduced in JB, so face unlock doesn't count because it was in ICS. And as far as I know it's not supported on the Nexus S because the front camera has a too-low resolution.

Production of iPad Mini to start in September in B (1)

Chamath (2690147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40731187)

http://newgenerationtechno.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] Production of iPad Mini to start in September in Brazil Here we have the latest rumors about Apple’s next exciting product, the iPad Mini. Citing reliable sources from China, Japanese site Makotakara is reporting that the iPad mini will be manufactured in Brazil, and that its production is scheduled for ramping up starting in September. Additionally, production test of this new iPad was said to have been done already in China. Pretty exciting, right? But the most important information leaked out by the mentioned site is the fact that the iPad Mini is said to be shipping out until the Holiday season. So, if there was any truth to this rumors, then there’s no harm in saving up for the iPad Mini. You still have a few more months to do so. http://newgenerationtechno.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
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