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"Predictions" that need to stop in 2012 - Part 2: Google, Android & "fragmentation"

0. phoneArena posted on 11 Jan 2012, 12:47

Now is the time for "predictions" on what the coming year will have for us, but we're not really the clairvoyant types, so we'd rather just mention the things we all know will happen and talk about why we don't need to hear any more about it...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:10 16

1. ilia1986 (unregistered)

An excellent article, Michael. Truly well spoken. You have not left a stone unturned - or should I say - untouched.

I would also like to add that people who have an Android device - and want Google to be more like Apple - are akin to those who come to a premium restaurant, only to be dissapointed that it doesn't serve McRoyal with fries.

That said - the very idea of people *desiring* that their freedom regarding mobile operating system control and customization - be taken away, or limited in one way or another - is quite a disturbing phenomenon, really.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:55 13

7. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

It just goes to show that customers often don't know what they really want.

Thanks for the comment!

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 10:00

49. pattypatterson (Posts: 48; Member since: 28 May 2010)

what the heck is a Mcroyal???

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 16:27 2

51. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Euro version of the Quarter Pounder. Haven't you ever seen Pulp Fiction?

posted on 14 Jan 2012, 08:12

52. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

say what again?! i dare ya!

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:35 9

2. audiblenarcotic (Posts: 114; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Your articles are always very well written, informative, and usually from a very neutral standpoint. That being said, it's always a pleasure to read them and get your perspective on things happening in the industry. Keep up the great work.


posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:55 6

8. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)


posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:37 4

3. ayephoner (Posts: 850; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)

I found a few details that I wanted to nitpick, but won't. All in all, I completely agree with what you've written.

I missed pt1, which I assume is on iOS. You might want to link it. Again, great job!!

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:56 2

9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Added the link, sorry about that. Thanks for pointing it out though!

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:38 2

4. Arpad (Posts: 40; Member since: 05 Jan 2012)

Nice read! I am anticipating the (doom of) BlackBerry part.
Apple still have the momentum from 4s. Wonder how long it will keep it in 2012?

I wonder can the current Android OS have more then 1Gb memory? I have not seen any phone or tablet having more. Or it can but there is no need for it atm?

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:57 5

10. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I haven't heard about any limitation as far as the amount of RAM Android can handle, but there have been rumors of devices with 1.5 or 2 Gb of RAM on the way this year.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 19:36 1

33. ningaman999 (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)

Not only that but there is a problem that sometimes, usually Samsung it shows 833 Mb Ram compared to 1 Gb or 323 compared 1/2 Gb. Is there any explanation for this? Because the bigger the number, the more it could lose.

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 08:36

44. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

As far as I know, there's no way to check how much RAM you have on your device, at least not without an app from the Market. Are you sure you're not looking at the Internal storage? That would explain the disparity, because storage drives always are listed at larger than the actual usable space.

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 19:25

46. ningaman999 (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)

For Samsung devices you hold down the home key to open the task manager, and in the top you can click in the Ram category and it tells you how much you are using/how much you have. For my Samsung Captivate it says x/329 Mb, for the Galaxy S II I see in videos x/ 833 Mb.

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 22:09 1

48. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Good point. I have looked at that in the running apps menu tons of times, I can't believe I never really paid attention. I'm not sure how that works, because you're right, my Galaxy Nexus claims I have 695MB of RAM (when adding the used and free), when it should add up to 1Gb.

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 14:12

50. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

The phones actually do have 1Gb of RAM like they say, but when you factor in the needed apps/bloatware you get down to the actual RAM you have available, and that's where the discrepancy comes in

posted on 23 Mar 2012, 22:57

54. corrifa (Posts: 34; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)

The other RAM that isn't shown from the 1gb is reserved for the OS so it wont crash itself or run out of memory for itself.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:09 5

14. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

there is no limitation. its lack of a need. memory isnt free. If it making it 1.5gb of memory doesnt really affect performance more than 1gb of memory does, then why spend the cost? Michael is right though, there are rumors (aka SGS3) of phones coming with 1.5gigs and higher this year... but they also acompany the quad core chips.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:46 4

5. DROIDX0430 (Posts: 469; Member since: 24 Nov 2010)

Wow! I am speechless. Well spoken article!!! Best article I've read on PA!!! and like I said before in a posting about Nokia and WP7....Android needs to polish the UI.....make sure the apps works across all versions of Android...froyo, gingerbread and icecream...not catching up...I remember when I first got the Thunderbolt..My Verizon app would not even work, NFL App would not even work...Google Talk doesn't work on anything less than Gingerbread 2.3.4...Google + bugs everywhere--just got fixed on the Flagship Nexus phone--how could that phone even be released as a pure Google phone and not even have a Google app properly working on it....the Verizon branding on the back--not Nexus material----and to date the most EXPENSIVE Google phone ever released.....

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:59 7

11. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

To be fair, all of your criticisms with the Nexus are specific to Verizon. The international version has the Google branding front and center, and it was also very cheap, even free on many carriers in Europe.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:04 3

12. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Also - as a person who has both a username and a profile picture related to Android - you should know that the problem of having only 2.1\2.2\2.3 version of the OS - can easily be negated by installing a custom rom.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:14 3

15. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

i stil dont see the problem. 99.999% of android apps work on 2.1 and up. There are fewer and fewer phones on 2.1 and most of those phones will be coming up for renewal soon if they are not already, so 2.1 is on its way out the door. As far as I know there isnt a single app that is compatible with 2.2 that isnt compatible with 2.3 which make up the vast majority of phones (everything not nexus). By the time ICS updates roll out to current devices the ICS app incompatibilities should be solved.

Im glad you touched on fragmentation. Its a joke issue. Im still wondering why not one single issue on apple's fragmentation has ever been written on this site though. yet we get monthly updates on android "fragmentation". Apple's policy of "point the finger at everyone and yell so no one looks at me" obviously works as most people dont believe apple has a frag issue.. which is worse than android's by far.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:30 1

18. DROIDX0430 (Posts: 469; Member since: 24 Nov 2010)

#12 you must be talking about me...So I will lead to why...the latest release of lte phones on VW have lead to many returns...customs ROMS and other builds void the warranty...So I learned my lesson to just deal with it!!!!!

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 15:26 2

26. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Switch carrier. If you say that there is a high return rate - because of a carrier related problem - just go to AT&T\Tmo\Sprint.

"To deal with it" is never the best solution.

posted on 14 Jan 2012, 08:17

53. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

or he could get a new phone and not switch to a junk carrier.

Verizon might be an elitist company (as they know they're the best), however if I'm going to pay for a cellphone I want it to work.

having had sprint, tmobile, and ATT I can assure you Verizon is worth the money. Sprint doesnt send text messages properly.

ATT has awful customer service and has limited 4g.

Tmobile....i wont talk about tmobile ;)

In his case I dont think he should "just deal with it" (manufacturer warranty enough times to get a new device), however switching carriers is an awful idea

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:46 5

6. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Michael, you should be a ceo of some great tech company. Google should hire you on a high position at least :p

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:07 4

13. fraydoe (Posts: 57; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)

First of all, you've done another great article Michael, I do believe that you have great potential and actually should maybe expand your abilities to say, a tech or phone magazine?

Second of all, as an iPhone owner, I do believe Android users are more fascinated with what is under the hood while Apple users are gawking at the outside. However the possibilities and functionality with each are pretty much equal.

I also do not think that Apple users desire to be limited, but rather have things simplistically presented to them, hence the very small learning curve of apple products.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:30 4

17. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Yeah, that matches pretty much with what I've said before: Android is for tinkerers, and Apple is for those who can't be bothered. I may love Android, but I certainly know better than to suggest that my wife or sister get an Android when they would be far happier with an iPhone.

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:29 5

16. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Another excellent article, Michael. I'm happy that you tackled the fragmentation issue so brutally head on.

I'd like to add my own thoughts, repeated from a post I wrote about a year ago. I wrote that "fragmentation," in the sense of different UIs, phone sizes, designs, and price points, is the result of Android's ecosystem being the embodiment of a free market economy. Yes, there will be some crap phones, but customers usually move away from them once they learn that the phones are crap and move on to something better. Now sometimes this can be an iPhone, but many times if they're shown that they can get a QUALITY Android device they will pick that up too, for the same price or less than an iPhone.

There was more to my original post, but I have to forgo typing it for now, as I need to eat and get ready for work.

Keep writing MOAR articles, Michael!

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 14:33 3

19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

You have a good point, and it completely embodies my argument that "fragmentation" is simply a bad word to describe what we're seeing. There is no such thing as "fragmentation" with the different UIs, sizes, form factors, and prices, that is a simple matter of differentiation (to use Google's new buzzword) and choice. Saying that is "fragmentation" connotes that there is something bad in that system, when there isn't.

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