The Update Battle: Innovation vs legacy support
0. phoneArena 27 Oct 2011, 10:42 posted on
Every company needs to draw the line between innovation and supporting legacy devices, and the speed of the mobile ecosystem makes finding that line harder than most, especially for users. So, we're trying to make sense of how it works, and how to best make your choices...
This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here
1. AdamW33 (Posts: 39; Member since: 25 Aug 2011)
I feel like the vast majority of cell phone users don't care where their phone lies in the spectrum. In fact, I know many smartphone users that have ignored every software update available simply because they don't want to take the time and are happy the way it is.
Most people don't need the best thing on the market. They just want something that is easy to use and has the features they need. Hence the iPhone domination.
Me personally? I'd rather a top-of-the-line Android device.
3. Alantef (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)
word for word...totally agree!...wonderful post!
43. Retro-touch (Posts: 233; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
This reflects the vast majority of people I come across. They don't even know updates exist, they're too busy living to worry about having the best tech on their phone. The phone is mainly for communication, somewhere along the line we outgrew that and people saw the need to have an all-in-one device hence the smartphones today. The majority of people are blissfully ignorant and I can't blame them, it doesn't benefit anyone knowing excessive info about phones unless your in the business of selling phones, although I'd rather be in the minority that's in the know and glad sites like PA exist.
5. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2563; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Yeah, the next version is rumored to be Jelly Bean. I'm hoping for Key Lime Pie after that.
65. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2800; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
The thing is, Android is completely advancing over IOS and quickly. IOS has a 2 year lead on Android but look how advanced Android has become already. IOS has made improvements and some changes but for the most part they are slight and don't impact the device it's running on nearly as much as Android.
The Nexus One was a super phone when it first launched nearly 2 years ago but just about a year ago we got the first dual core phone with 1GB of RAM and a much superior graphics processor.
Android phones become outdated very quickly due to the fast and powerful advancing of their own OS. ICS is going to require a lot of horsepower and rightfully so. We all want change, we all want advancement, we don't want the same Gingerbread all over again.
Put a 1.5ghz dual core processor with 1GB of RAM and only give it 2.0 and can you imagine how blazing fast it would be? It would be complete overkill just like the dual core processor is on the iPhone 4S. In the past, android devices have not been able to meet the system requires it's own OS has required.
But they have quickly made those changes with overclocking their dual core processors and giving them nearly double the RAM. Not only that but ICS is made for dual core processors as it is off of Honeycomb and no longer running from Gingerbread.
So yes I predict that the Galaxy Nexus will get android 5.0 but after that it will be too outdated. That's just the way it goes and rightfully so.
67. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
they become outdated due to a poor os that can't manage resources
68. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2800; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Now taco, that isn't true. Every update that Android has had has required much more processor power and RAM and devices couldn't hold up.
70. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2563; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I wondered when you'd show up with something that makes no sense. The problem is that Google never mandated minimum internal storage and older phones don't have the space to store ICS. It has nothing to do with resource management.
P.S. Taco, not even a mention of the incredibly fair treatment of iOS in the article? No credit at all?
72. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2800; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Agreed Michael. To truely understand both OS's you'd actually have to use one. I assume Taco has either never actually used an android device or looked at one of the cheap low end devices.
You can't expect to put ICS on a phone with a 600mph processor and only 200 some mbs of ram and then expect it to run smooth and fast. JUST not going to happen, that's not googles fault and it sure isnt android's.
The device was designed for certain versions of android.
OG Droid was designed for android 2.0, Droid X 2.1, etc etc etc. Two factors come in to play to affect how well or poorly an update does to the device. How powerful is the processor and ram? And if the OS is running on a different UI(Motoblur, Sense, Touchwiz, etc)
That's not android's fault if the update screws up the device and makes it buggy and laggy. It's who made the device and uses a different UI on top of it.
Basically if Google forced everyone to use thesame specs and did not allow any kind of customer user interface then a lot of these problems wouldnt exist.
HOWEVER, Android is and has always been an open source system and it's worth these problems old devices had to begin with. It seems like they will at least make a requirement for ICS and hopefully limit the custom ui on future devices to prevent bugs and prevent slow updates. But still in the end remain as a open os.
74. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i never had any problems with my X until Gingerbread. i guess i've had much better luck with Motorola. i'm like Motorola's chosen one. xD
75. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2800; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
I had the OG Droid when it first came out. Loved it on 2.0, works flawlessly. 2.1 came and it went to hell, no different from 2.2
Droid X the same thing. It was AMAZING on 2.1, then 2.2 came and it went to hell. 2.3 helped make it less laggy but the bugs remained.
Seems like you should ONLY use the phone you have with the current version it runs to avoid problems lol.
86. ayephoner (Posts: 831; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)
guys, i have an X that i want to sell soon.
i'd like to get the official GB update, but it wont show up on my phone. i have it rooted, but no roms. did the update not roll out 100%? is there something i can do to get the official update?
93. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
go to Swappa.com. best place to sell Android devices.
94. ayephoner (Posts: 831; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)
im going to sell locally on craigslist. i would like to have gb as a selling point though.
96. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
you can get that sold for a much better price on Swappa. i sold my Droid X with a car mount for 400 something dollars in August.
98. protozeloz (Posts: 5186; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
if your phone is rooted you wont see ota, but the good old cable might help out, otherwise just remove root
101. ayephoner (Posts: 831; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)
removed the root, rebooted, still wont recognize the need to update (says OS is up to date).
79. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2800; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Nailed it. I don't have a problem with Taco, I respect his loyalty to Apple but some of the others I really can't stand.
81. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2800; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
You are either pro apple with these guys or you are against them. There's no middle ground, in between. You can't like both, you can only love apple and never question or discredit apple.
88. Dark4o90 (Posts: 205; Member since: 20 Feb 2011)
sooooo blinded in every article hahahaha :D:D:D
4. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
"We here are burdened with knowledge."
omg i know just what you mean. xD
good article Michael.
something else i noticed with Android updates is that sales are a factor too. i mean why devote time and resources to a small group of buyers? that's a lesson i unfortunately had to learn the hard way with the Motorola Devour. when i was in the market for my first smartphone i really wanted one with a good keyboard because of the Touchscreen woes i had with the LG Dare and so it ultimately came down between the Droid and the Devour and i decided on the Devour because it had a much better build quality, (damn thing was a tank) a better keyboard plus i thought it looked better and being that they both had the same processor clock speed, same amount of RAM and Internal Storage (i had limited knowledge of mobile SoCs then) i thought the Devour was sure to get the Eclair update. wrong! it was to be left on Android 1.6 for the rest of it's life. it was a good phone, i liked it a lot but i couldn't deal with being stuck on Cupcake so i was able to get a Droid 2 warranty replacement. moral of the story: always go for high-end, vastly marketed phones.
6. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2563; Member since: 26 May 2011)
That's another big reason why the Nexus One isn't being updated. It never had that many users to begin with, and most who own it are the people who update either every year, or every two years on a strict schedule.
14. snowgator (Posts: 3015; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Very good post King- as usual. I am really starting to look for your name when I read the comments section.
Excellent and detailed article, Mr. Heller - as usual. I forgot to give you props when I posted. Phone Arena is lucky to have you. A slight bonus should be awarded for your abilities, I think....
19. protozeloz (Posts: 5186; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
don't know if you know but KingKurogiii is trump3r
*plays the cue music*
25. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
xD Trump3r? lol it was Thump3r. you know the Rabbit from Bambi.
24. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
thanks snowgator. i appreciate your posts too. (:
it's true. you've known me all along. i'm Thump3r. i decided to make a new account.
39. remixfa (Posts: 13882; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
screw that.. i EXPECT you to have good posts, KK :)
46. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
oh poop. i'm too lazy to have expectations. i like having you as a fall back for all the long ass SoC posts. xD
51. remixfa (Posts: 13882; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
i feel the same way thum3333rrrrr...KK :) lol
48. snowgator (Posts: 3015; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Somehow I feel so ... used!!! Geez, Thump.. er ...King... a little notice!! :-D
Why, no proto... I did NOT know who da King was. Look who just caught up with the rest of the class.....
49. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
hehehe! got ya didn't i? ;)
i'm still having to make my true identity be known to other usuals around here.
64. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
then you'll be getting to know me as KingKurogiii. c:
66. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2800; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Yea I LOVED the build design of the Devour, it was amazing. The keyboard was also very nice as well. Design + Keyboard was way better than the OG Droid. But the OG Droid had better screen resolution, larger screen, and STOCK android 2.0. Moto made a HUGE mistake out of trying to use their first ever Motoblur UI with the Devour. I soley blame Motoblur for the failure of the Devour. That is why so many people till this day hate Motoblur and refuse to use any android phone with it. Even though they have made a lot of changes, that kind of a rep just doesnt go away. I am convinced that if the Devour had stock android, it would have been a hit. But horrible lag and bugs completely destroyed it.
73. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i never really got the big fuss about Motoblur. i think it went way out of proportion. i never really had any problems out of my Devour. it worked just fine for me. i just wanted more. xD
7. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
Great article Michael, as always.
but I still think that Google should've done atleast a "LITE" version of the ICS for old or low end models mainly for this reason, Android is about choice. Not all Android users have top of the line models. They have the option to buy a low end model. So if models like Nexus One which is supposed to be a high end model before way back early 2010 wont be getting the ICS, what about the 2011 low end models like Wildfire S and Samsung Replenish(which has a relatively lower specs than Nexus One even though it's a new model)? If you will realize, there are features that are missing on low end gingerbread models that are present on high end models. So in my opinion, Google could have done better in terms of that aspect.
8. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
low-end Gingerbread models might not get ICS...
11. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah it does. that's why i told my story and Michael posted this article, to raise awareness. always go for the super phones. always.
21. protozeloz (Posts: 5186; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
Its why I cry on heaven and hell that low end android phones are
1. the ones causing the trouble
2. they are actually featuresmarphones (DumbSmarphones)
simple, with their low end capabilities and lots of limitation for example I can say that I played with the Galaxy Ace, It has a super small memory (only 50 apps at max WTF!!!!) they cant run several apps at the same time and dont pack a lot of tuff, yeah they have a smartphone OS but they aren't fully smartphones because they where meant to perform with little to no stuff (mostly chat and social networks) those phones hurt android a lot and also manufacturers.
27. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
Well, Google Android is about choices. Choices because not all people have the same needs etc. You're probably a heavy user if 50 apps arent enough. So what I'm saying is, Google and friends should stand behind their products. Update everything that needs to be updated.
41. remixfa (Posts: 13882; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
i completely dissagree arcq,
one of the main points of ICS is to reduce and eventually kill fragmentation as much as possible. Making a "lite" version would only complicate the matter, not help it.
Eventually what is high end will be the "free" phone. ICS will solve the bulk of fragmentation eventually. In a few months SGS1's will be clearance models. Samsung said they will bring ICS to the SGS1 since its basically the same as the nexusS.
There is your free/ cheap ICS phone that is already available on most carriers, without compromising the system.
44. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
Fragmentation can't be killed at this point, it can only be lessen. The SGS1 should definitely get the ICS no matter what. So it should be brought up, my argument are the REAL low end Androids such as Wildfire S, Replenish, Optimus S, Transform and a lot more. Those are just recent models on which the Nexus One is still a higher end in comparison.
53. remixfa (Posts: 13882; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
none of those have the specs for it. those are 528-800mhz processors with crap GPUs and little system memory.
That is the exact reason why they SHOULDNT be given ICS.
If people get educated over time on ICS and it becomes the version to "have", people will stop buying sub par phones.
Personally, in America, i think that fragmentation will be all but gone by this time next year, exept in prepaid devices and prepaid networks as the bulk of the models that came out this year will be ICS compatible, ICS phones come out to show everyone the differences (hence they will buy ICS over older models).
Fragmentation probably wont disappear within the next few years (everything that is top of the line is eventually bargain basement) at best, but in the main markets like europe, america, and places where higher end handsets are "the norm", it will be a minor issue. The ONLY cheap handset to make it into the top sales brackets are the LG optimus series since its literally on every carrier around the globe it seems.
When ICS gets to about 70% or so adoption among active handsets, i think the issue will be officially "over". ICS wont be seen in poor markets for some time, so u cant get 100% just yet.
10. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2563; Member since: 26 May 2011)
The only way to make a "lite" version would be to strip out most of the UI improvements, meaning there would be two different looking versions of stock Android. Given the crap Google has been getting for allowing manufacturer skins, and that kind of fragmentation of the market, there's no way it could release two versions of stock that look different.
The point was to create a consistent and prettier UI.
Wow, you really are good at getting me to synthesize ideas. I have to add that into the article.
13. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
Because without a "LITE" version of the ICS, I can't imagine manufacturers to still make Gingerbread models all throughout 2012 for low end levels.
16. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2563; Member since: 26 May 2011)
But the low end phones coming out this and next year will still have enough juice to run ICS. The original Galaxy S seems to be around the baseline, and that's a $49 phone right now. Also, manufacturers are always pushed to have the newest version in launch phones because they need to compete as best they can. ICS could lead to a slower upgrade for low-end devices, or it could push low-end phones to be just a bit better to support it.
26. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
I just realized that even if the Nexus One was released to date, it is still better than other new lower end phones now like the HTC Explorer, HTC Rhyme, Samsung Transform etc.
So if these lower end has enough juice for the ICS, so as the Nexus One. And I'm pretty sure XDA will run it on Nexus One pretty soon and it will proove me right.
Bottom line is, Google and its manufacturers are pushing consumers to a new device if they wanna be up to date with the ICS. And it even looks like they want everyone to get a high end model which makes it even worse. The sense of choice is being deminished, at least to me on what it looks like. And as I've said before, for Google and friends, its more profit and less work.
29. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
the Rhyme is actually more powerful than the Nexus One and might get ICS. i doubt the Transform and the Explorer will though. the Explorer will probably be just like the Devour.
30. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
yeah I guess the Rhyme is just a little better.
so hopefully they realize this sooner rather than never. they managed to make a low end versions of Android since Cupcake up to Gingerbread for low end models, so why not for ICS right?
33. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
relevant low end models start where Michael said, the Galaxy S line with 1GHz Hummingbirds.
36. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
Galaxy S line were released as Top of the line/High end models. What I mean are the likes of the free androids on different carriers. Those things shouldnt be left in the dark.
40. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
but they will. that's what i had to learn the hard way.
45. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
and that's what I'm saying. Google is bad when it comes to software updates, made worse by manufacturers and even worse by carriers.
I'm pretty sure XDA can turn on the lights for those lower end and old models.
Makes me think that Google and friends are getting greedy in a different way being blinded by the technology.
47. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5424; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
it's not really...bad. it's bad for people that expect updates when they get them but you get what you pay for. you don't get that guarantee of at least one update with low end phones especially when it comes to an update as major as ICS. that's why i say no getty the low-ends.