Why isn't Google Edition available on all Android phones?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by nutmac, May 17, 2013.

  1. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #1
    I would think that if vendors offer a choice of pure Android (aka Google Edition, aka Google Experience) as well as custom version (TouchWiz, Sense, Motoblur, etc.), the choice would only make their products more appealing to a wider range of customers.

    So why isn't it?
     
  2. Internaut, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013

    Internaut macrumors 6502a

    #2
    Quite simply, the companies who license Android attempt to differentiate themselves with their own layer of software. Some are quite good (I quite like HTC Sense), but I agree Touchwiz is a bit mad and not always usable. My own theory on Samsung is they try too hard; they need to chill out and focus on the end user experience. When you compete with Apple, having the Whiz Bang 5000 octa-core quantum processor, and half arsed eye movement recognition, then all you're going to do is produce an experience that isn't polished.

    Google's approach is to set an example through its Nexus devices. Pure Google isn't perfect, but it is at least clean and simple, and doesn't look like it was designed by committee.
     
  3. Explicitic macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Google doesn't require it. It's as simple as that.
     
  4. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #4
    I wish they did.

    It would help stop Android fragmentation, increase the speed of software rollouts to our devices, increase the software longevity/support of our devices and force google to add and improve features to their OS (that some manufacturers now do via their own software additions) ...

    In fact manufacturers could still discern themselves by offering those software additions to only their users via PlayStore download - whilst still giving us users the basic building block of pure google from outset.

    HTC could still offer 'Sense music app, sense widgets' etc.. Samsung could still offer S-Apps etc.. But it would be the user ho chooses to use them or not or whether to have them on their phone or not.

    Its probably too late for Google to go down this route and demand manufacturers to start shipping with stock google. Google's openness is a strength and a weakness. Its openness is more to manufacturers than it is to consumers who face bootlocked, s-on devices with manufacturers skinned Android versions with often infuriating software rollouts between carriers and territories.
     
  5. skratch77, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013

    skratch77 macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Guys its not that easy,you cant just slap pure android on any device and if you have ever owned an android and went asop source roms you would know how long it takes to get a stable solid build made.It takes months if not years to get a perfect asop rom on a phone and there are literally updates every day that fix things.

    like take it when I first went asop on my gs3 50% of the features would not work,I had no 4g,no mms support in text messages and once you rebooted the phone you would lose audio or had huge issues with mms and wifi.This is because pure android is made by google for the nexus phone hardware and devs take that asop source and patch it up with drivers and binaries to make it come together on another phones hardware.

    this google gs4 is not just slapped on android on the gs4,its the nexus google team of software engineers that built a specific asop full google rom designed and made for the gs4 from the ground up and made specifically for its hardware.

    I am still having wakelock and battery issues on my romed gs3 and it is nothing as close to as fast and stable as my old galaxy nexus was because that phone had its os made perfectly for that phone and now we get to have this same experience on the gs4s hardware without needing to wait every day for new roms that fix little bug like the camera app freezing or the phone not supporting hdmi and so on.

    this google gs4 will blow the doors off of any other android running benchmarks also as its running pure android coded perfectly for its hardware.

    Samsung has nothing to do with this software and google made it and installed it on the phone

    Its almost like Samsung listened to me when I first got my gs3 and for the first 2 weeks I kept on taking my sim out and going back to my galaxy nexus wishing the gs3 hardware was the nexus device with the perfect asop rom right from google.

    Samsung has stepped up big time teaming with google to give us this phone,its what every nexus owner has ever dreamed of as nexus device were never top end specs but were for devs to get the next software going for the rest of us and now we have the very best hardware with the very best software in one phone.

    and for you people new to running custom roms its like going over to xda and finding your phone and seeing all the different people that have there own custom rom for your phone and then scrolling down and seeing one guys thread called pure nexus experience for your gs4 and the guys name that made the thread is google nexus team lol
     
  6. jeffe macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Every android phone is AOSP based. In fact if you compile Android yourself you'll see the device specific parts are just a small part of it.


    I really can't fanthom why any manufacturer with access to the correct drivers would have more difficulty compiling a stock like aosp for their devicr than their own modified "enhanced" version of that same aosp code.
     
  7. skratch77, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013

    skratch77 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    up until the gs3 most phones were still glitchy and would not run nearly as smooth as a pure nexus device.

    Its not as easy as you think as even cyanogenmod that helped make the touchwiz rom on the gs3 is still trying to make a perfect rom

    just take a look at how much code is changed day to day in a cyanogenmod rom

    http://changelog.bbqdroid.org/

    you can click on each fix and see how much code they change day to day to get the rom perfect

    having the people that made android build a rom for a specific device will always beat out any company trying to make a asop rom
     
  8. torana355 macrumors 68000

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    #8
    How do you explain the great performance of Custom roms for Nexus devices then? The rom im using atm on my Nexus 4 (RasSaber) benchmarks WAY better then stock and is just as stable.
     
  9. ChrisTX macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

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    #9
    Pure Google is a much better experience than say Bloatware Google.
     
  10. skratch77 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    simple they are changing the kernel and clock straps along with changing memory management but there are drawbacks in some areas as you will trade stability for speed.Everything still goes back to your base rom made by google though and you don't have to worry about your new tweaked rom freezing when someone turns the phone landscaped in the camera app because the code for the gyroscope is shot to hell.

    there will be roms for the nexus gs4 that will speed it up but the base asop rom has 99% of all the issues fixed that devs go threw porting your nexus rom to there phones

    I should of clarified it better as what I ment to say is this google rom will blow the doors off of asop ports that devs are working on and will be a huge base rom to build off of once someone dumps the image from a google gs4
     
  11. rockitdog macrumors 68020

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    Mar 25, 2013
    #11
    Stock android doesn't appeal to the mainstream consumer. There is a small number of techies that like vanilla android but not enough to market it or to even produce them.

    Like it or not, bloatware does provide a value add to android devices.
     
  12. jeffe macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I have contributed code to CyanogenMod and it is a great project but they are far from being an OEM or having access to all the same proprietary code as a OEM.

    The reason why updates can take so long on non nexus devices is because the OEMS have to literally take the changes made to aosp and then combine those changes with their own changes...what do you think would happen if the OEMs didn't overlay their changes like touchwiz when compiling? Probably something like stock aosp.
     
  13. skratch77 macrumors 65816

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    #13
    You do know cyanogen was hired by Samsung as there head software engineer right
     
  14. torana355 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Ahh that makes more sense :)
     
  15. adder7712 macrumors 68000

    adder7712

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    #15
    Worked with Windows Phone. The OS is identical on HTC, Samsung and Nokia WP devices.
     
  16. jeffe macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Sure Kondik was hired by Samsung and then later left. This doesn't really change that CyanogenMod is not an OEM and doesn't have access to all the proprietary code that they would like to.
     
  17. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #17
    What's being overlooked here is business and economies of scale.

    The vast majority of customers don't care about custom skins on their Android phones. Plus, manufacturers want to differentiate themselves from their Android competition. So the vast majority of the phones these companies make will be skinned Android because that's what your average joe buys, and it's what networks give to contract customers.

    On the other hand, it's only a small minority of geeks who want an AOSP phone, and the more of them that're made the more competition there is for what is actually a very small market. And, because those stock phones will be produced in smaller quantities due to lower demand, they cost more to make per unit (even if the hardware is the same, producing small separate batches of phones with different software in the factory costs more).

    So the simple reason is there is no real incentive for most companies to make AOSP versions of all their flagships. Samsung did it because they can. I think it was mostly about getting more good publicity among the tech crowd, getting Google to like them again since they seem to feel a little threatened by Sammy right now, and to show off how much money they have to throw about.
     
  18. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    #18
    Hopefully Google will do more of these "Google Edition" phones in the future. Maybe they saw the demand for the Nexus 4 and how people praised stock Jelly Bean and thought the effort will be worth the cost. I hope the Google GS4 sells like hot cakes.
     
  19. Dreamliner330 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Agreed.

    This could be the way Google makes its way into every carrier. Just use existing hardware and convince carriers to allow a flash to "Google Edition".

    I sure don't want to pay $600 for a GE S4, but I am willing to ROM my carrier S4. It'd be sweet if it was a legit option.

    I've said from the beginning, all Android devices should be stock with a User guided setup to choose customized software choices.
     
  20. YourAvgUser macrumors member

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    #20
    I don't see this as a viable thing for Android manufacturers. There would be no reason to upgrade whatsoever. Android OS isn't exactly accelerating at a pace that 2.0-4.1 was. And likely any major product Google releases will come through the playstore, unlike Apple where you need a system update.

    Also, the idea of choice is good, but isn't this a step backwards? What happened to all the innovative features of TW? They're simply just ripped out now...
     
  21. jaymzuk macrumors regular

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    #21
    It's only a matter of time before every flagship device will be available as a 'Google Edition'.

    People are now realising the levels of bloat put onto smartphones these days, and that Android as a platform is incredibly capable since Jelly Bean, therefore they want to go out and assess Android rather than TouchWiz or Sense or whatever.

    Samsung is the first to do this, and rumour is that a HTC One GE will be released later this summer.
     
  22. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

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  23. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    #23
    The amount of people who want or even know about pure android is so small. It seems larger on the Internet, but in real life I know one other person I can talk about this nerdy stuff with. I also only know one other person with a nexus. The market is too small to tailor a device for it. Samsung doing it with the s4 is an extreme anomaly
     
  24. rockitdog macrumors 68020

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    #24
    That's exactly what I said. The popularity of the Nexus4 it's also based in part in the attractive price tag of $350 for the 16 GB model.
     
  25. ChrisTX macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

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    #25
    I also believe that in the beginning OEMS had to skin Android to add functionality that was missing in pure Android. IMO it wasn't until ICS that Android became usable, and a legitimate competitor to iOS, and the iPhone. Plus like others have said, the skinning makes each device unique to the OEM.
     

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