Thanks Apple?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by nviz22, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. nviz22 macrumors 68040

    nviz22

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    #1
    With iOS having a public beta program, do we have to thank Apple for being proactive? Now, the Nexus has a public beta program for Android. Samsung might be doing the same thing. I am not saying Apple is revolutionary, it is just that their decision to be a proactive OEM led to people focusing more on software support and less w/ just ignoring loyal customers could be forcing competitors to reconsider themselves? Beta programs are nothing new btw. Just wanted to see if you guys like the idea of new software being tested sooner means faster updates for our phones?
     
  2. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #2
    I wouldn't call the release of the N preview yesterday a "public beta". What was released yesterday was more of an alpha and is geared toward developers to start getting apps ready for the new OS. In fact, it's a DEVELOPER PREVIEW. Also, it is definitely not intended to be used on a "daily driver" device, there is a lot of work to still be done.

    Keep in mind, the original intent of the Nexus devices was so developers could have hardware they could play with to get their apps working on upcoming versions of Android, to have a very clean or pure version to test apps on, to be able to freely re-flash the OS when something goes really haywire. That's still where Nexus is, though it's being broadened to include devices that the average Joe will be interested in buying to use every day.
     
  3. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

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    #3
    samsung doing beta/updates? can't see that happening.
     
  4. Blaze4G macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I think the main reason for Google releasing it so early that has already been highlighted is for developers but also for phone manufacturers to start working on their skins.
    I read that manufacturers should get the final version around July.
     
  5. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #5
    They did it with S6 and S6 Edge owners in the UK and Korea with Marshmallow.
     
  6. mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

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    #6
    Nexus has always been a development platform and the ROM images have always been public so nothing new.
     
  7. Mernak macrumors 6502

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    #7
    The ease of installation for the beta program is great though. I've had my iPad on the Public Beta track for a while now (I think the initial 9.0 beta), because it was super easy, and I got to play with new features. For something like my Nexus 5X, I'm don't care enough willing to take the time to connect the phone to my computer (I don't even know if my micro-USB -> USB-C adapter does data or if it is just power), download the ROM, and flash it onto my device, but I'll gladly follow a link, type in my e-mail, and click the notification prompt to update just like any other system update (and the back to M process was pretty easy for when N inevitably was not worth the frustration, at least ignoring some missing data that was never backed up for some reason).
     
  8. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #8
    I wish google would just grow a pair and cut the carriers completely out like Apple does. They can release whatever beta they like, but I still won't get to experience it on my Samsung for at least a year or more.
     
  9. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #9
    Both Microsoft and Google have been doing pre-releases of their OS's long before Apple. Apple is actually late to the game.
     
  10. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #10
    It's not Google you have a complaint with then, it's the manufacturers that continue to release carrier-specific devices that then need carrier approval for updates. It's the device manufacturers that feel the need to manipulate Android to the point that only they can provide updates.

    It's Samsung, LG, HTC that need to "grow some balls". Motorola already has, with the exception of the "Droid" line their devices are carrier-agnostic and updates come from Motorola directly.
     
  11. Surf Donkey Suspended

    Surf Donkey

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    #11
    Agreed with the poster above. Google doesn't use carriers, they only sell unlocked phones. They sell exactly like Apple does.

    And HTC did grow their balls with the HTC 10 release (this is getting gross).
     
  12. Ludatyk macrumors 65816

    Ludatyk

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    #12
    I think partial blame goes on customers as well... They are buying Samsung devices.

    Google has sidestepped carriers and decided to sell their Nexus directly online. If customers speak with their wallet and choose to go with Nexus over carrier bloated Samsung phones that feeds into the equation as well.

    When Apple started out with the iPhone... They didn't have the traditional 2 year contract. In order to buy it.. Customers had to pay full price. Granted, Apple has a huge following. But my point is customers can help in derailing carrier influencing manufacturers.
     
  13. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #13
    No it's Google I have a complaint with. I also have a complaint with the carriers, but they are further downstream and could be avoided if Google did the right thing. Samsung also needs to do the right thing, but once again they are further downstream. Of course google uses carriers, the carriers sell phones for them, in addition to google selling their own phones. Look at the fragmentation, look at the utterly pitiful numbers out there. Wasn't it a couple of weeks ago the news media was crying for joy because Marshmallow doubled their rate to 4.6%. 4.6% ?! That's supposed to be a reason to celebrate?

    Google needs to take control of their OS and cut out at the very least the carriers. I can see cutting out the manufacturers might be more difficult due to unique hardware and such, but it is possible and Micrsoft has been doing it with windows for decades.

    Is this a concern for the regular consumer, no probably not. The typical consumer is probably utterly oblivious to things like software updates. So I understand it will never happen. But it is apparent that Google is aware of this, that's the reason they started separating their services and offering them on the Play store instead of on the OS update, but that doesn't go far enough.
     
  14. Surf Donkey Suspended

    Surf Donkey

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    #14
    Not sure what you don't get, Google does not distribute updates through carriers.

    Are you saying Google should close source Android?
     
  15. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #15
    There are other ways besides making it closed source, and I mentioned that Google already started going in this direction. I see they are trying so hopefully it comes sooner than later: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/17/google_android_takeover/

    Although personally I have no issue making Android closed source, what it's going to stifle touchwiz? sense UI? I could care less, these are things the oems can make overlays and launchers for. Are they afraid the oems will make their own OS? I haven't seen them doing well with Tizen for example, the app market is just not there, and it's still a threat even with Android open source anyway.

    Or the most extreme example would be Google simply producing their own hardware like Apple does and either closing everyone else out, or licensing the OS but retaining control over it. Google has already shown itself to be excellent at the hardware game. They owned Motorola for a bit and they are also excellent at hardware. This is an option, although one that would incite major competition. But maybe competition is what we need. Maybe we do need Tizen to become huge and compete against Android/iOS, which would be good and bad.

    But a change IS needed. How the heck can I not have marshmallow on my phone yet?!!?
     
  16. Surf Donkey Suspended

    Surf Donkey

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    #16
    Again, none of that is Google's fault. The whole point of introducing AOSP was to prevent Microsoft from owning the mobile market and closed to newcomers. In the very nature of open source software, it is up to the consumers of the code to integrate updates. This has nothing to do with Google. And close sourcing it is against the very purpose of the product.

    Think about it like this. Apple has a core iOS development team. They release the iOS code to the platform teams months before GA (even before it goes to public beta). The platform teams then need to integrate with their products (iPhones, iPads) test it, etc. Then Apple releases it when everyone is ready. And Apple has control over how to staff the team and schedule to make this possible.

    Complaining about Google releasing Marshmallow months before Samsung does is like knowing about that the core iOS team is done. But you are still waiting for the iPhone 5 software team to catch up and get their integration and testing done. But this team is poorly staffed, college interns mostly, and very slow (kinda like Samsung). You just have more exposure of the code being released by the core team given that it is open source.

    I personally think Android is fine with its model. People can vote with their wallets. The pressure on the OEMs to improve hopefully will work if people support OEM's who provide better updates. The hardware is getting boring mostly, so the software updates are more in demand. And as far as Google owning the hardware......um..... I don't think you have much experience with Google's hardware. Doesn't have a great track record. And it would totally stifle innovation.

    https://source.android.com/source/faqs.html

     
  17. gotluck, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016

    gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #17
    I dont think google can push updates like microsoft does on windows mobile because there is way too much different hardware. Windows mobile phones have a set list of hardware they utilize if I am not mistaken. On android oems are free to use whatever hardware they want, but they have to do the driver support themselves. The only phones google handles the drivers on is nexus.

    I believe the main issue is the lack of some kind of bios system like on PC's (or a standard hardware driver cache like windows x86/64 has too), where the system can natively recognize hardware, and if optimized drivers are available the oem can have them sent via update once the device is already booted (just like x86, 64 windows). or you have to go the windows mobile route and give vendors a fixed hardware list.

    there is just way too much incentive for planned obsolescence on android, google would love for everyone to get the update. but oems as we've seen can drag their feet. carriers are the worst here and have flat out denied updates that were otherwise ready in the past, or ruined updates by causing problems that dont exist in noncarrier variants

    google needs to figure out a way to circumvent them both, because I dont know that the public (usa at least) is smart enough to do whats best for themselves and not buy android phones from carriers :p

    I keep waiting for the day they fix this, then android phones could last (be secure) for 10 years or as long as you could stand the hardware, just like PCs.. and I will say byby to iOS


    that article spinedoc: looks like google may push for a fixed hardware list a la windows mobile - I would be for that! just do something!
     
  18. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #18
    You've missed the point of my post. GOOGLE doesn't control the update process for devices that they don't sell themselves. Samsung controls the update process for Samsung phones, which then goes through carrier certification for carrier-branded devices. Same goes for HTC, LG and Motorola (though now for fewer devices as only the "Droid" devices are carrier-specific - for Verizon). Samsung, HTC, LG and (to a lesser extent) Motorola have sales agreements with the carriers, those agreements include stipulations for OS update certification as well as add-on apps that need to be included. Unless Google strong-arms the manufacturers to start stepping away from those kinds of agreements, it'll never happen. One of the benefits to Samsung by having these agreements is that their $800 phones are more attractive on the pricing as it's spread out over 2 years.

    Google actually tried direct-sales a few years ago, I think with the Galaxy S4 and a couple other devices. They were not carrier-specific and they did not have manufacturer overlays, it was called "Google Play Edition" and Google sold the devices for the manufacturers. It must not have sold well as they abandoned it after a year.

    This is from HTC but it applies to all devices, even Nexus devices, read it carefully. http://www.htc.com/us/go/htc-software-updates-process/ The only thing is, for Nexus devices there is no carrier certification, no OS overlay to re-design and Google is testing against the hardware they have specified as well as tested with during the preview phase such as with N. Consider the Nexus devices the iPhones of the Android world, it's just that the OS is open to other devices being used with it. Notice the only devices the N preview is available for are Nexus? That's because those are a controlled group as it relates to hardware and any software overlays (or lack of).

    Think of it this way, if Apple allowed other manufacturers to build devices to use with iOS, the update process would be VERY similar as those manufacturers would have to test the new OS against the hardware in their devices. The only way for everyone to get updates quickly is to control what hardware the OS is running on. That would end up making the platform bland.

    I don't understand why people feel the need to vilify Google on this. Samsung has an OS called Tizen in its back pocket that could replace Android if Samsung felt the need to spite Google, Tizen already runs on some of Samsung's smart watches. The fragmentation is caused by the phone manufacturers, and the chipset makers since they need to provide support for new versions of Android before the device manufacturer can update the OS.
     
  19. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #19
    "GOOGLE doesn't control the update process for devices that they don't sell themselves." With all due respect, no sh$*, that's what the debate is about. They should control the process. The glaring hole in what you say is Microsoft Windows. They license the OS to any hardware maker that wants to utilize it, but the hardware maker doesn't have direct control over the updates. Certainly they communicate with Microsoft for drivers and special features, but when Microsoft releases a new Windows edition it works on ALL PC's, regardless of hardware, manufacturer, unique hardware or special features. At the end of the day Microsoft controls the update process. Of course Windows isn't open source, and I've addressed that in my previous post. If Apple decided to license their OS you can bet they would still control the update process, I HIGHLY doubt they would relinquish that and don't agree with your scenario. Certainly oem's have to test Windows on their hardware, and that may affect the initial hardware release, but it won't affect updates.

    The bottom line is that the fragmentation is hurting Google. They cannot release new, money making features such as Now on Tap.
     
  20. Surf Donkey, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016

    Surf Donkey Suspended

    Surf Donkey

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    #20
    Edit: nevermind I can't type that much again.

    Bottom line, Samsung could just use pure AOSP. They choose not to for a variety of reasons. That is not Google's fault. That is Samsung's business decision.

    There are flavors of Linux out there that lag behind as well. The distance to which they trail is variable. It is just the nature of open source software.
     
  21. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #21
    I don't agree with the analogy. Apple releasing the iOS code to the platform teams is quite different from Google releasing their OS to ANY consumer with a compatible device, in other words to the public. No, Samsung releasing Marshmallow months after Google does is exactly what it sounds like. Google also does not seem to be fine with this model, I did provide a link to an interesting article on how Google is trying to extricate themselves from the situation. I understand it's tough because they don't want to close source Android, and they also want to make the oem's happy.

    As for Google owning the hardware, this isn't my primary solution at all. Although I don't necessarily think it would stifle innovation, look at Apple. At the same time if it stimulated competing OS' from other manufacturers that might be a good thing. I'm not saying this is my stance at all, just discussing it.

    In any event Google looks to already be taking steps to do exactly what some of you say isn't necessary, so it's out of our hands. The question isn't if, but when.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2016 ---
    If and when Google moves the Android OS to its services layer it won't matter what Samsung does, the end user will be able to update their OS without Samsung having any say in it.
     
  22. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #22
    I would rather they pushed for 'google approved hardware' versus pushing everything through a services layer, just because I dont think there is another example of anyone successfully doing that?
     
  23. Surf Donkey Suspended

    Surf Donkey

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    #23
    I totally wish it would be better. That would be great for everyone. And a service layer would be a great way to do it and has been discussed here in length I believe. But an Analyst opinion (in the article you link) is no difference from me or you rambling here. Not proof at all that something is changing. I don't see ODMs adding their drivers to ASOP any time soon. The manufacturers make features that differentiate themselves from Android.

    Imagine trying to put the LG plug and play stuff in AOSP.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2016 ---
    Isn't that what Project Ara tried to do?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Ara
     
  24. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #24
    I wouldnt know!, moving everything into Google play services is scary to me though, but I dont know much!

    I feel like something like windows mobile's 'approved hardware list' is much more realistic
     
  25. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #25
    Yeah, of course we are just throwing things back and forth, who knows what the reality will be. You have to cut me some slack as I'm just massively frustrated that my Note 5 doesn't have Marshmallow yet. That's why I love my windows tablets, just like iOS they get updated the same day Microsoft releases the update.
     

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