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My Message to Android Device Makers

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#16 vcfan

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 14:32

Google needs needs to separate the basic OS from the bloatware the carriers put on it. That way they could update Android on any device and then the carriers could do just whatever it is that they do.


but android is open source.




#17 articuno1au

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 14:48

Also, this thread: http://arstechnica.c...agging-android/

 

Might have linked the wrong one..



#18 adrynalyne

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 14:59

It's mainly a carrier problem. For example, my carrier AT&T, has to put their proprietary crap on their phones, and Google can't update the phones without going through the carriers. It's just a big mess. Apple never allowed the carriers to have that much control of their platforms. 

It has nothing to do with proprietary crap they add.

 

The carriers just send the compiled apps to the OEM, which drops them in.  The process takes minutes at most.

 

Carriers do not build their own bloatware crap.  They hire an outside source, which creates and maintains it for them.  The carrier also does not crack open the firmware update to drop them in, especially since much of an Android update is patch files, and not full versions (depending on what is updated).

 

It is the custom OEM skins,  approval process, and testing from the carrier that slows things down.



#19 adrynalyne

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 15:00

but android is open source.

Parts are.

 

Not really relevant to the discussion though.



#20 articuno1au

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 15:02

It has nothing to do with proprietary crap they add.

 

The carriers just send them to the OEM, which drops them in.  The process takes minutes at most.

 

It is the custom OEM skins,  approval process, and testing from the OEM that slows things down.

Nope. Carriers regularly block updates because all updates "must" be tested to ensure they won't affect the network adversely.

 

Thus many carriers just choose not to do the tests, deny the updates because they aren't tested and subsequently force people to buy a new phone if they want the more recent software.

 

Epicly scum baggy..

 

EDIT::

The skins don't usually take much time to update, but they do occasionally add to update delays.



#21 AJerman

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 15:14

Android devices require drivers. Kernel changes result in changed in the way drivers interact with the OS. This requires work from the driver providers to keep the devices functioning.

 

It's not as easy as simply "updating" to the latest version. This is evidenced by tablets where in there are no carriers to affect the issue.

 

Anyone who has spent serious time on XDA can tell you that each time an update for Android comes out, it takes noteworthy time to fix the previous versions of code up to work with the new android release.

 

The issue above is amplified by carriers when it comes to phones. The above alongside carriers actively resisting patches means that phone users get well ****ed in the end. The problem is the above is much more nuanced than I believe a lot of people in this thread understand.

 

I have 4.3.3 running on my Acer Iconia a500. It's a 4 year old or so tablet. Still works nicely, but there are a couple of extremely dedicated devs who do nothing but fix driver issues and software issues whenever a new version of Android releases. Imagine this process for 100 different devices, and you can see why a lot of companies don't contribute much time to it.

 

Regarding GDR2 on WP8, when GDR3 releases, you'll definitely get pushed to it. Carriers can delay patches, but there is a requirement that they publish them eventually. On top of this, you can also flash the new rom directly onto the device. I for instance have a Telstra Lumia 920 that I have a debranded ROM for just sitting here waiting to flash. The process works nicely and is low risk.

 

Lastly, I would recommend reading this article: http://arstechnica.c...ng-version-4-3/

 

Google have been working on it for a while, it'll get better over time.

Damn! How'd you get 4.3.3?! Lemme get some future Android too! :laugh:

 

Also, from my experience it's about an equal amount of time for OEMs and carriers to approve a new build. If anything it takes the carriers a lot longer sometimes, though carriers and OEMs both are getting better at speeding up the process.



#22 articuno1au

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 15:17

ALL THE TYPO..

 

I meant 4.2.3 and I'm now on 4.3. EITHER WAY..

 

Shush you >.>



#23 AJerman

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 15:25

ALL THE TYPO..

 

I meant 4.2.3 and I'm now on 4.3. EITHER WAY..

 

Shush you >.>

:D

 

I have to admit, ever since I converted my One to Google Edition with it's mostly AOSP set up and OTA updates I kind of forgot about updating to other ROMs. The quick OTAs are nice.



#24 articuno1au

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 15:26

If only my Iconia could do that :p

 

I'm running CM10.2 on mine. It's pretty awesome, just a lingering bug with the mic and youtube being gaylord.

 

It's coming along nicely :D Got to love Randomblame (the dev who works on it).



#25 adrynalyne

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:36

Nope. Carriers regularly block updates because all updates "must" be tested to ensure they won't affect the network adversely.

 

Thus many carriers just choose not to do the tests, deny the updates because they aren't tested and subsequently force people to buy a new phone if they want the more recent software.

 

Epicly scum baggy..

 

EDIT::

The skins don't usually take much time to update, but they do occasionally add to update delays.

Sorry, I had a typo in there.  It is the carrier approval process, not the OEM.  You caught me editing ;)

 

In regards to the skins, they can take some time if it is a new (major change such as 4.0 to 4.1) version of Android because they have to tie it into the stock framework, usually.  It depends on how many changes were made to Android between releases.  I'd like to think that they can just drop their source in and compile, but I think that might be a little too optimistic.



#26 AJerman

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:51

Sorry, I had a typo in there.  It is the carrier approval process, not the OEM.  You caught me editing ;)

 

In regards to the skins, they can take some time if it is a new (major change such as 4.0 to 4.1) version of Android because they have to tie it into the stock framework, usually.  It depends on how many changes were made to Android between releases.  I'd like to think that they can just drop their source in and compile, but I think that might be a little too optimistic.

Skins I assume are negligible when considering other things. Like articuno said earlier, there is still a lot of code that has to be ported to an updated kernel and OS when updating the OS. That's what takes the most time. Proprietary drivers have to have code written to hook into them since they aren't open source. Even the open source drivers have to be updated and recompiled to work on the new kernel. That's the advantage and disadvantage of Android. It allows anyone to make a phone with whatever parts they want, but Google can't just push out a broad OS update that works on everything unless they were at least going to lock down the kernel to one version and just update the system files on top, and even then you'd have a lot of limitations on innovation from version to version without breaking that compatibility with easy updates.

 

I can only assume that on top of the fact that Android used to be pretty plain without skins back in the early days, they probably have the time while the kernel and drivers are being worked into the new OS update to have some people work on some stuff on top like skins and apps as well, but that's probably rarely a hold up.



#27 Anibal P

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:44

:D

 

I have to admit, ever since I converted my One to Google Edition with it's mostly AOSP set up and OTA updates I kind of forgot about updating to other ROMs. The quick OTAs are nice.

 

Been meaning to throw a GPE ROM on my One, I kinda sorta like Blinkfeed, but it's not a deal breaker for me, been researching which one to use on my T-Mobile One lately



#28 HoochieMamma

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:57

Buy only Nexus, Play Editions, Moto X, and the new line of Motorola Droids. They all have vanilla, or close to it, OS installs and will always get updates faster than any other OEM.

This ^

 

Also, never get a phone through a telco, they will block updates and load it with crap! If you're forced to then flash the stock ROM from the manufacturer.