Android fragmentation but on the same phone

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by michaeljohn, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. michaeljohn macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    As an Android user for the past 5 years, this has really gone from bad to worse to pathetic now. The final straw that led me to get an iPhone 5 was the JB debacle with the S3 here in the US. For those who dont know, Sprint released the JB update for its Galaxy S3 while those of us with AT&t, Verizon and T Mobile versions got the shaft and have been told sometime in 2013. Seriously, WTF? That would be like Sprint iPhone users getting to update to iOS 6 while AT&T and Verizon customers were told they had to wait a good 3-4 months to update. Pathetic.

    I can understand when the international versions get an update and we have to wait longer in the US because we have models with different hardware, but the Sprint version of the S3 is identical to the versions on the other carriers! Where is the explanation from Google or Samsung on why this has happened? Or is it just the fact that the other carriers need more time to add their BS bloatware to the S3, so their customers get left in the dark?

    Android is a great OS completely destroyed by things like this that continue to upset its customers and make them choose other options. I now have an iphone 5 with no intentions on ever going back until something is done. The short answer is to buy the Nexus but as a Verizon customer, I can't and I am not interested in the Nexus phone anyways. Shame.
  2. sarcosis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2006
    These United States
    Don't blame Google or Samsung for this one. Samsung took their time with the actual update, but if Sprint got, the S4 variant for NA should be good to go for the most part. If you want to blame someone, blame the carriers. Once the final build is done, the carriers test it and they get to figure out when it get's released. It's part of Samsung's contract with the carriers that the carriers get to give the ok.

    Apple has the clout to just say whatever, we will do what we want since people want the iPhone. People might want the S3, but Samsung has previously had contracts in place so they have to fulfill their obligations per those contracts. Here's to hoping that Samsung has enough clout to do what Apple does.
  3. TheHateMachine macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    Santa Fe, TX
    Yea brother, this is all the carrier's fault. Android users get **** on because of carriers.
  4. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    I feel really sympathetic for the way carriers screw you over in the U.S.

    The way it seems is a Sprint GSIII is different to an AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile GSIII as each carrier want to add their own crapware/customisations to each firmware release which causes issues like you've mentioned above.

    The GSM/CDMA situation doesn't help things with the same handsets sometimes having different internals thanks to the different radios needed to connect to each network.

    Over here in the UK you can choose to buy a branded phone from one of the big four networks (EE, O2, Vodafone, Three) which will suffer the same wait time as they add crap to the firmware but as all of our networks use the same GSM standards, you also have the ability to buy a vanilla handset which is updated direct from HTC/Samsung/Nokia/LG/Whoever. Companies like CarphoneWarehouse only stock the unlocked, sim free phones for contract handsets so you normaly get all the updates, direct from the manufacturer without any carrier interference (as a matter of fact, the only locked contract phones on offer from CPW are iPhones over here AFAIK)

    I really had hopes for Windows Phone in respect of updates from carriers but even that isn't immune from the BS from the carriers.

    I agree with you on the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon (and sprint). Both of those have been subjected to delayed updates thanks in part to the carriers.

    Enjoy your iPhone 5 going forward. I really do admire Apple's ability to say FU to the carriers worldwide when it comes to distributing and authorising updates. The only phone I know of from the Android camp like that has been the GSM Nexus handsets and is why I'll be choosing the Nexus 4 over any other whizbang android handset in future.

    Great post BTW.
  5. hyteckit Guest

    Jul 29, 2007
    Don't think this is considered fragmentation.

    More like Android is just as a closed system as iOS to consumers.

    Android provides a false sense of being an "open" system.

    It's "open" to carriers and handset makers. However, it's really "closed" to consumers. You can't just take the latest Android OS and install it on your Android phone without some sort of hack.

    You are stuck in the close system of your handset maker and carrier.
  6. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Not if you own a GSM Nexus device.

    The situation also vastly improves when you buy an unlocked device direct from a manufacturer (you only deal with the manufacturer pushing out updates).

    The open side of it does mean that carriers get to take the piss though there is no doubt.
  7. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    The iPhone isn't fragmented? Please, tell me more.


    PS. I hate what the carriers do too. That's why there's the Nexus line. If you can't compromise your carrier, then welcome to life. Sometimes it's tough.

    PPS. If people hate carriers for what they do, there should be nothing but support for the Nexus line and what Google is trying to do (whether they're succeeding or will succeed or not, different story!).
  8. lsvtecjohn3 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    Not true for the Verizon Nexus. People had to wait months before they were able to upgrade to JB.
  9. THE JUICEMAN macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2007
    Most of the blame should go to the carriers in my opinion. They have to test and certify the update on their network. It takes time and money. Also, the popularity of the phones makes a big difference. Even though clearly the S3 is super popular. Shame on the carriers not android.

    Also, although you can't go wrong with the iPhone 5 because its a great phone you didn't have to leave android to solve this problem. You said you liked android. You could get a unlocked nexus and say screw the carrier system all together.
  10. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Yep, the CDMA versions for Sprint and Verizon took an extra 9-10 weeks after GSM versions got JB.

    Not very much time in the overall scheme of things, but still counts as a wait.

    I didn't mind it too much. Used to the extra testing that they do.
  11. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
  12. michaeljohn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    I am on Verizon and would never buy a phone without LTE again anyways.
  13. sixteen12 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    I know that feeling. In my opinion you either buy iPhone or Nexus. The software updates and bug fixes alone make up for any potential shortcomings they might have.

    The flagship phones are awesome until they end up being 2-3 software iterations behind and are lacking what has become fairly stock on new phones.
  14. zbarvian macrumors 68010

    Jul 23, 2011
    What do carriers do when they are "approving" these updates? How could they possibly take so much time ensuring that their bloatware runs well on the new firmware?

    Android is super fragmented by nature, though. If you want the flood of Android devices then don't expect them all to run the latest Android offering or play well with apps/games. Temple Run developers (I believe) were quoted as saying that they receive more complaints from incompatibility than anything else, and they support like 700 devices...
  15. dalbir4444 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2012
    Get the Nexus phones or root and flash. The issues with Android phones from carriers not being updated right away is well known so I'm not sure why you were so surprised.


    The "open" refers to the fact that it's open source, so it's certainly not a "closed" OS. You can install the latest OS by rooting and flashing a new ROM. Rooting is not a hack. It is equivalent to having Administrator privileges on Windows.
  16. hyteckit, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    hyteckit Guest

    Jul 29, 2007
    I understand that part. It's open to handset makers, carriers, and developers.

    Closed to consumers for the most part.
  17. dalbir4444 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2012
    I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say open and closed. What exactly is closed to the consumers?
  18. hyteckit Guest

    Jul 29, 2007
    Because I can't just download Android OS and install it on my Android device without some sort of hack.

    Have to wait for the carrier and handset makers to provide me with their latest Android OS. The carriers and handset makers have the control; I don't.

    Android the most closed open source project according to extremetech.
  19. dalbir4444, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    dalbir4444 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2012
    Rooting a phone is hardly hacking it. That word gets thrown around way too much. For some devices, there is even a one-click solution to rooting. You can't possibly consider that hacking. After rooting, you are in control, not the carriers.

    You originally said that Android is just as closed as iOS for consumers, but that is simply not the case. Firstly, when you say open, are you talking about it being open source or allowing the user to customize their phone in any way possible.

    If you're referring to open source, Android may be the most closed source, but a lot more of it's source code is open as opposed to iOS. If you need to browse Android's source code, then no problem: go here or here. Can't say that about iOS. Also, just take a look at what Amazon has done with Android, and at no cost.

    If you referring to the latter, Android is known to the most customizable mobile OS. It has the largest modding community for mobile phones.

    Edit: Need confirmation? Head on down to XDA.
  20. Sincci macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    With the international Galaxy S and Note devices you can always flash the latest ROM for your phone even if your carrier hasn't approved it yet and without even voiding your warranty. You'll just need an app called Odin for your PC (or a Mac via Bootcamp) and the latest firmware from xda (completely stock, unrooted).
  21. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    If manufacturer-mandated updates are what you are looking for then stick with an iPhone. The android business model is what has led to its huge variety in terms of hardware.

    Yes, carriers carry some of the blame, but when have carriers *not* $#%$'ed up the phones they sell? AT&T has blocked facetime over cellular for how long? Verizon blocked unlocked iphones from AT&T for what reason? The rest of the blame lay with the fact that niether google nor samsung, nor anyone who makes a dozen different varieties of android phones can update them all within a week of an android OS update.

    Well, they could... but their customer support lines would then be flooded with people complaining about all the bugs they missed.

    Android gives you a choice. If you want quick updates as soon as google releases them, either get an HSPA Nexus or root your phone and run a ROM.

    If you want flavored ports of android with manufacturer extras, then you can go with a carrier branded phone.

    Otherwise, stick with the manufacturer that only really has 2 or 3 different models to worry about updating (Apple)
  22. Elit3 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    Get a nexus. Let me explain android to you. It is like having an iPhone (androids nexus), which is always updated, but then because android is open source other companies make their spin, with slow updates etc, so you buy the Nexus range, always updated, no fragmentation. And why don't you want a nexus, buy the Nexus 4, it is cheap and unlocked (there will be no locked versions), chuck your verizon sim in and done, problem solved.
  23. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    Seriously, if anyone really hates carriers delaying updates to devices, you should be in full support of the Nexus 4 and what Google is trying to do.

    But this anti-Google and anti-Android spirit fueled by Apple are blinding some, to the point where even if they aren't getting the Nexus 4, they'll sh** on it every chance they get.

    All the while cursing the carriers for causing precisely the problems they dislike about Android.
  24. michaeljohn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Good replies but its not as simple as "get a Nexus" for those of us on Verizon and Sprint. The Nexus 4 wont even be made for our carriers and the previous CDMA Nexus phones are garbage. Apple can figure out how to make a great phone across all countries and with support for CDMA and LTE, why cant Google?

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