Getting Android updates isn't as important as iOS.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by TacticalDesire, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #1
    Let me start by saying I use both iOS and Android extensively everyday. I have a lot of mileage built up on both platforms and I'm pretty much OS agnostic. I use what works for me at the given time. I'm going to make this as objective as possible.

    I see a lot of discussion about the frequency of non nexus devices getting Android updates and I want to address a few points.

    -In iOS, you get a major OS release once per year, it contains most of the new features you're going to see for that year until the next update. During these yearly updates is when the core apps such as mail, maps, app store, calendar etc. get updated as well. Outside of the yearly major releases, the only other time the core apps have a chance of being updates is with the occasional, and infrequent X.1 release.

    -Older devices don't get the full update and miss out on many of the features that make upgrading to the new OS worth while.

    -Updating is seamless and apple supports their hardware much longer than the typical android device. The 3.5+ year old iPhone 3GS is still running the latest version of iOS. Updates are received the day they come out, mainly due to how apple handles updates and that they have enough clout to not be pushed around by carriers.

    Things are VASTLY different on Android.

    -On Android, new versions are release every 6-9 months. Each major update, much like iOS contains the bulk of the features to be seen throughout the update cycle. But that's pretty much where the similarities end. The core apps are also updated with the new OS, but unlike iOS, the are updated separately on older versions of android too. For example, say I got a new version of maps with Android 5.0. While many devices won't get the 5.0 update, maps will also get updated on Jellybean, ICS, and GB as well. So while they may be running the older versions of Android, they will all have the latest versions of the core apps. Albeit maybe missing some features and UI themes that require something in the newer OS. This is the main point I wanted to highlight with this thread. While iOS users depend on OS updates to get the latest core apps, Android users don't. They get the latest versions anyway (for the most part) despite the older OS. And even an Android 2.2 phone can still download many of the apps available today.

    -Many phones miss out on OS updates thanks to carriers and manufacturers. But the ones that do get updates generally get the full OS.

    -Updates are a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to android. You can't really depend on getting an update. Basically, as a general rule, if you're not happy with the OS/features that come pre installed, find a different phone/manufacturer. Getting an update would just be icing on the cake. The exception being Nexus devices. Android phones generally don't get as many updates as iOS devices do, again the exception being Nexus devices. Things are getting better however. The 2011 Galaxy S2 is getting/has gotten Jelly Bean and other manufacturers are slowly starting to follow suit. But like I said, OS updates aren't AS important as getting them on iOS.


    Hopefully this thread wasn't a bunch of useless rambling.
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #2
    That's a good point, which I think a lot of people forget.
     
  3. Beeplance macrumors 65816

    Beeplance

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    #3
    Nice explanation and elaboration. Then again, I think Android bug fixes updates like some x.x.1 are quite significant as well.
     
  4. mib1800 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Very good point. But unfortunately most apple fans cannot comprehend this concept. To them the phone is only "upgraded" when apple gives them an update.
     
  5. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #5
    And then you have the jailbroken aspect of updating iOS. Want the newest iOS features, update and kill your jailbreak, then hope a new jailbreak arrives soon. Or just hold out. Something I don't miss at all.

    In defense of iOS, Android updates do includes features that are not available on older versions. Ex: Google Now is not available on ICS and below. Same goes with some miscellaneous stuff.

    But I will say that Apple has been very blatant in excluding features from older devices that it can obviously run on, not just an older OS version.
     
  6. LSUtigers03 macrumors 68020

    LSUtigers03

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    #6
    When I had an iPhone I was always jailbroken so I was waiting for the newest update to be jailbroken before I would update. When I switched to Android I used custom roms so I was able to get the new updates quicker than I was used to on iOS. Most iOS updates are worthless anyway unless your phone has a bug.
     
  7. chrismarle macrumors 6502

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    #7
    What about Chrome? You know, Google's browser that is available to more iOS users than Android users.

    I did get your point BUT I do not agree. Some updates include optimization through the entire OS (see Project Butter).
     
  8. F123D macrumors 68040

    F123D

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    #8
    One of the reasons I decided to switch. Everyone who upgraded to an iPhone 5 were stuck with stock iOS for 4 months. Jailbreak is finally out and before you know it, here comes iOS7 and the next iPhone and it's the waiting game all over again.
     
  9. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #9
    Chrome on iOS can hardly be constituted as a browser. It's just a fancy ui wrapped around UiWebView. :p Chrome on android is far more than what they offer on the iOS version which is why it's probably offered to such a limited selection of android handsets. Chrome is one app that must take advantage newer APIs available in ICS and beyond.

    Still, I do feel that updates are important to the core OS, especially when considering security related fixes and general bugs. The android sms bug comes to mind, the one where sms's got sent to the wrong recipient without any knowledge to the user.
    This was fixed relatively quickly on my Nexus One but other OEMs that were using the AOSP sms application would need to push out a new build pretty quickly to keep up.

    Then there is carrier certification where they sit on the update and add their bloat to it, slowing up the process. :(

    This is why I prefer Nexus handsets above all others on Android.
     
  10. Beeplance macrumors 65816

    Beeplance

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    #10
    I thought Nexus devices' updates have to go through the carriers as well?

    I remember alot of people complaining about the Verizon Galaxy Nexus bug fix update took sooo long to arrive...
     
  11. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #11
    Only CDMA Nexus's suffer in that way afaik. The GSM variants are (generally) updated direct from Google and are all sim unlocked to be used on any GSM network (as long as the radio is supported).

    There were some GSM Galaxy Nexus's that were not updated by Google (yakjux models for example) but since the Nexus 4 and 7 were released, all of them are controlled by Google direct.

    I've had each generation of GSM nexus hardware and have had no issues with updating thankfully.
     
  12. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #12
    Chrome is not like every other browser on Android though. It uses hardware vs software to do a lot of things. Gingerbread doesn't have that feature, so it's not possible to make it backwards compatible with it.
     
  13. Wide opeN macrumors 6502

    Wide opeN

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    #13
    Can you elaborate on this please!?
     
  14. zbarvian macrumors 68010

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    #14
    I understand your points but I still don't agree with the overall thesis. As others have mentioned, it's not just apps. Google Now and Project Butter are unavailable to many devices because they aren't being updated. Sure the Maps app gets updated, but the refinements to the OS don't. And this is all nice to say in the context of Android not having a milestone upgrade in 1.5 years (ICS), I'm sure Android 5.0 will change this sentiment and users will feel the need to update.
     
  15. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #15
    Neither do I! All I hear about now is the 6.x jailbreak, as if the last 5 months prior didn't matter. Glad to be off that merry-go-round.




    Michael
     
  16. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #16
    Hardware acceleration isn't properly documented in Gingerbread, if I remember correctly. And if you don't have it, it just crashes and doesn't work.

    This might help you understand it:

    http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/graphics/hardware-accel.html#model

    Look at the Software-based drawing model and Hardware accelerated drawing model.
     
  17. TacticalDesire thread starter macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #17
    Because iOS 6 is so much different than iOS 5 :rolleyes:. People on android feel the need to upgrade to a degree. But it's not AS necessary. At least for many.
     
  18. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    #18
    IOS6 is hopefully just an anomaly. If you look at each of the previous generations, each iteration of IOS typically brings with it 1-2 major features that significantly improves how your IOS device works (multitasking in IOS4, notifications and icloud in IOS5).
     
  19. matttye macrumors 601

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    #19
    Both methods have their advantages; iOS devices are supported longer and get more updates, but Android devices can update apps independently of the OS itself. If iOS would allow core apps to update independently of the OS, it would be superior. If Android was supported for longer by manufacturers (and Google), it would be superior.

    I would say the experience of software updates on a Nexus IS superior to iOS.

    Copy&paste in iOS 3, apps in iOS 2.

    Maps would've been the major feature for me in iOS 6 if it wasn't executed so poorly.
     
  20. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #20
    1. Android 2.2 froyo was major update. Many android phones were never updated. 2.2 supported mobile flash

    2.3 gingerbread minor update

    2. Android 4.0 major update many devices never updated. Remember google chrome required android 4.0

    Android 4.1 more of a minor update. Made things smoother and google now.
     
  21. tjl3 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #21
    I'd say updates are pretty important. My 2010 iPhone 4 supports the latest iOS 6.1, while my 2011 Droid Incredible 2 is stuck on Android 2.3.
     
  22. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

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    #22
    I'm not sure what the problem is. Everyone says Android is open source, right? So download the Android kernel and compile it for your phone model.
     
  23. RandomKamikaze, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2013

    RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

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    #23
    Getting the update and having the full feature set is two different things though. Having features removed because Apple thinks it's not a good user experience always annoyed me.

    And that is one thing that will keep me on the Nexus line up of phones. Timely updates, that, if they are crap, I can just flash a custom ROM that fixes the problems
     
  24. Irishman macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Which, for most iPhone users, is often enough to do what they need to do.

    ----------

    lol
     
  25. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    #25
    Android updates are just as important, because Google is working on the performance of the OS itself more and more. Project Butter isn't through.
     

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