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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

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 16:14

53. remixfa (Posts: 14329; 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.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 15:54

50. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

The Nexus one will get it from xda but there will be a lot ripped out of it. It's not so much the CPU or GPU with the N1, it's the small storage

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 16:17

54. remixfa (Posts: 14329; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

forgetting the important factor on the Nexus1 (and many of the other phones).. hard drive space.

it doesnt have any real internal memory to put such a massive update on it. It had just enough for gingerbread which didnt have nearly as many things going on as ICS.

again, if you got to strip down the experience, then its not worth updating.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 18:01

56. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Your argument is getting confused. Yes, the Galaxy S launched as a high end device, so there are lower-end phones from 2 years ago that won't be able to run ICS. But, Google can't slow itself down and waste time and resources to make sure that a modern operating system runs on phones that were low-end 2 years ago. Not even Apple does that. Apple supports right now what was top end 2 years ago. iOS 5 isn't available on the OG iPhone or the iPhone 3G.

The support structure for both Apple and Google is like this: support 2 year old top end devices, 1 year old mid-range devices, and current low-end phones. Everyone else needs to upgrade if they're that desperate to get new features.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 12:12 2

12. snowgator (Posts: 3602; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

Actually, I have found that most of the people in my circle fall into one of two tech groups:

-Those like @AdamW33 described in the first post. They set up their phones, and ignore anything else in the world. It is amazing to me how many of my friends have gone from feature phones to smart phones, but still treat their devices like a feature phone no matter how often I sell the benefits of what they can do. Once they are set, they are set.

-Those I have found who enjoy mobile tech as much as I do fall pretty much in the same catagory as me: If we buy a high end, top of the line device, we expect an upgrade. As in one upgrade. If you bought a GS1 device on froyo, you have every right to expect to get to Gingerbread. If you are onboard with a dual core gingerbread GS2, you have every right to expect ICS. Really, if you got a device 2 years ago and are now on Gingerbread or will be, is it really realistic to expect ICS?

As a WP fan, I do not expect the first generation Windows Phones (Focus, HD7, Trophy, Arrive, ect) to get WP Apollo. Unrealistic. I do expect those who grab a Titan, Focus S or the higher end Nokia's to get it. I worry for those who just jumped on OS7 for Blackberry- will they get BBX? I have heard both yes and no.

I cannot imagine a large group of techies really expect more than one upgrade. Am I wrong?

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 14:01 1

34. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

carriers have 2 years contract. so it is reasonable to get all of the updates within the 2years span (from release date). example the Nexus One was released early 2010, it should have the latest software up until early 2012. So it SHOULD get the ICS. But it's not. And if it's not getting the ICS, so as other low end phones. Kudos to Apple for giving the iOS5 for the 3GS even if it's already more than 2 years since release date.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 23:44

82. remixfa (Posts: 14329; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

your wrong gator,
you should expect ZERO upgrades. you SHOULD expect bug support for any known issues, but NEVER an upgrade... unless explicity told that by the carrier AND manufacturer BEFORE you bought it. If you dont get 100% of both, dont expect it.

90% of the WP7 devices that come with mango are in the same "league" as the original Wp7 devices... so if one should get it, so should the other. The hardware isnt a major leap forward.. in fact, its a very minor leap forward for the most part. yea, one might have an overclocked snapdragon or hummingbird, but its still the same chips as the first generation.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 12:20 1

15. cncrim (Posts: 873; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

I love this kind article b/c it's make sense and we all can learn good and bad about other instead some seem to favor this over that.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 12:36

17. bigboss (Posts: 80; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

If you want upgrades then you should go for superphones. I do not think that the present widows phone or blackberry os are going to be updated.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 12:38 1

20. bigboss (Posts: 80; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

Popular phones with a large user base are more likely to get updates than those less popular good phones.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 12:48

22. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Great atricle man :D

when you gonna talk task manager and android?

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 18:05 1

57. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I don't know. The topic seems played out to me. I feel like there have been so many pieces around the web talking about them and the myth around them that there isn't much new I could add. Besides, I'm pretty sure the only people who use them are people who have never heard of this website and don't bother coming around here.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 18:22

59. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5712; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

it's okay man, it's just a really emotional topic for some people. i still have nightmares about my Devour devouring my hopes for some Eclair. *shivers*

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 22:48

77. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Oh no I was talking about task killers and why you don't need them.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 22:49

78. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Tried :-(

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 23:47

83. remixfa (Posts: 14329; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

i still use a task manager. ive done with.. and without. and i can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, if my tablet/phone starts getting a lil laggy/jaggy.. i can kill everything for the most part on that ATK list and 5 seconds later my phone is running smooth as butter. Of course, it doesnt kill all apps like that stupid wifi calling app or other syncing apps that drain battery (menu, settings, apps, running apps.. turn it off!) but it definately clears some memory quickly.

posted on 28 Oct 2011, 07:03

85. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

You Must E-mail ME NAO


I'll have some tricks to share ;) regarding this matter

I killed my task manager on 2.1-2.2 and I've never lived happier

posted on 28 Oct 2011, 09:37

89. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

That's why people don't need task killers exactly, just grab Watchdog from the market. It watches for runaway processes that will cause lag.

posted on 28 Oct 2011, 20:41 1

99. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I deal with those personally =) I have a processor logger when I see an app is getting loose on that I follow track on it and mail the dev with pics telling him his app is resource abusing, few updates later app performs great again

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 13:23

23. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

I can always tell when I read an article from you without looking at the authors name :)) Great job as always Michael!

I think that a 2yr life is perfect. Also what slows down the phones are the continuous updates the apps get as well. My old droid went all the way to froyo and that was fine for me. What was the point of getting gengerbread if the phone was already running pretty slow on froyo?

I noticed that every time I would update my apps my OG Droid would run a tad slower and that continued exponentially throught out the continues app updates.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 18:05

58. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


posted on 27 Oct 2011, 13:39

28. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

Nice engaging article!

After reading the title, I didn't think it would be about "software" updates in relation to legacy devices, but about designing to legacy ports and form factors.

It begs my question...When do you think Apple will ditch its 30-pin connector and 3.5mm headphone jack? Are we nearing a time where we simply have no ports at all? A time of charging inductively, listening to bluetooth headphones, and transferring all data wirelessly?

How long is my stereo dock going to be compatible with iPhone? Can the 30-pin connector support USB 3.0?

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 14:02

35. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

30 pin connector will support 3.0 as long as the device supports it, apple has being requested to use the USB standard (companies are enforced to do so) some countries apple has o ship an adapter to micro USB. the law is being trying to enforce certain standards for consumer satisfaction and ease of use, Ive being on the smartphone business for as long a I can remember and you needed a charger for SE one for moto one for HTC, sammy and so on, and even some chargers wont work on phones of the same brand, then an agreement was made so this wont be happening anymore. apple so far is the only one not doing it (dont know why), but they might go soon

3.5mm will be here for a while until we need to have it removed to make phones thinner and lighter, its being there because of quality.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 13:59 4

32. dorfoz (Posts: 149; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

I can understand Apple's viewpoint. 3gs was released 2 years ago, which is usually the length of your contract. And by this time, just like many of my friends who has 3gs' they've upgraded to 4s which is timely. Apple's decision to include iOS 5 to 3gs is kind to the consumers with legacy devices. Anything prior to 3gs technology is obviously obsolete. Who the heck still carries a 3+ year old phones around anyway? At least the Apple's IOS doesn't leave it's consumers behind.

Android on the other hand, indeed, I do agree is such a great os with massive potential, yet with this potential, Google doesn't mandate any basis of requirement to each phone company. Hence the consumer looses. It sucks to see many of my android friends who are loyal to the brand and get thrown under the bus 3-6 months after buying a flagship phone whom they paid premium price in the first place.

I do have a Galaxy S phone which I bought last year, thinking it was the best, and truly it still performs well, however, to those chumps who have no clue how to root and use roms in their phones to actually get a mandated update from Google, they're the suckers who shelled out $200.00 and is the reason why I really hate android. In addition, last year's Galaxy S lines, or HTC's Flagship phones, Motorola Droid, LG's flagship phones may or may not even get a taste of ICS, let alone Gingerbread this year or the next -- and they were released a year after the 3gs! It's really boggling how Android doesn't care.

Android is like a company who just throws out an OS and let 10 Phone manufacturers beat the s**t out of each other and do a spec war amongst themselves, whereas, Windows and Apple have strict requirements for each phone in order for them to perform well. There's no quality control, integrity and loyalty. Android fanboys will always say it's the best cuz they know it inside out, but for the average consumer, you either learn it inside out or get taken advantaged of by the hype of android's so called user customization and "Freedom".

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 14:14 2

37. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

i couldn't agree more. cheers!

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 16:20 2

55. remixfa (Posts: 14329; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


If the manufacturers didnt give the phone enough internal memory to hold the ICS system, it cant have it.. if it didnt sell enough its not going to be a priority update. Carriers want you to want to upgrade so they prolong or refuse updates from manufacturers.. the GalaxyS is a perfect example of that. The ENTIRE WORLD got 2.3 for their galaxyS phones like 6-8 months ago.. NO carrier in america has allowed the update.. why? to make u want the SGS2 more.

Android provides everything that the manufacturers and carriers need. Its not android's fault that the phones arent updated.

and again for the 4 billionth time
NEVER buy a phone expecting an update. LOVE IT for what it is RIGHT THEN or dont buy it.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 18:46 2

61. Stuntman (Posts: 836; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)

First of all, I would like to say this is one of the best articles I have read in a while. It is very informative and detailed without any obvious bias. I feel truely enlightend. It is articles such as this that also draw many meaniful and intelligent comments from readers.

As for a user of smartphones, I tend to fall somewhere in between the power user and one who doesn't care about updates. I am drawn to wanting to get updates, but I have been burned on a few apps where an update broke things and took some time before another update fixes it. It has made me take a step back to assess what I really need and if I'm happy with what I currently have now.

I have an HTC Desire Z and it was released with Froyo just before Gingerbread was released. It took until this summer before I got my Gingerbread update. While still on Froyo, I personnally was not over anxious about Gingerbread as I was happy with Froyo. I am happy with Gingerbread now.

I am impressed with ICS. I don't think that it would be available for my phone. Keyboard sliders tend not to be as popular as touch screen only phones. Also, the hardware is probably just below the minimum that would make ICS run well. Also, since it is an HTC phone, Sense would also increase the strain on the hardware. There wasn't anything in ICS that I really wanted other than resizable widgets, but that is certainly not a deal breaker that would make me want to ditch my phone. My contract doesn't end for another year and a half and I plan to keep using my phone until then and perhaps a little bit beyond if I am still happy with my phone then.

posted on 28 Oct 2011, 09:42

90. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Thanks for the comment!

I'd expect the Desire Z to get ICS. It's essentially just the G2 with Sense, so I'd think that could happen pretty easily. Your feelings are understandable though, because Gingerbread didn't have much as far as overt features that users would be clamoring for, just under the hood stuff that only those who were really interested would know about.

Aren't resizeable widgets part of Sense? Or am I getting that confused with TouchWiz? There are certainly launchers that offer it, like LauncherPro.

posted on 28 Oct 2011, 10:11

95. remixfa (Posts: 14329; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

your confusing it with motoblur. sense doesnt have resizable widgets. TW4 might but it doesnt ring a bell off the top of my head.

posted on 28 Oct 2011, 10:48

97. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5712; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

TW4 does have resizable widgets.

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