Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1.    #1  
    and can they ??

    Surely the carriers and the OEMs like having their sweating fists round the wind pipes of their customers, dictating when, how, and if Android is updated.

    Their interests are in selling customers new phones. and new data plans -- not in "wasting" resources in customizing and updating old phones , an effort from which they derive no revenue.

    And carriers and OEMs like having the ability to put a custom face on Android -- a front end that helps them differentiate their particular gizmo from the gadzillion of other competing gizmos.

    Verizon insists for example, on testing each and every change made to software and hardware that might negatively effect their network.

    But the result has been a fragmentation of the Android market to the extent that App developers are growing increasingly unhappy and restless.

    Should Google require, as part of its next major release, that carriers and OEMs include a raw native Android interface (ala Nexus 1) alongside the customized interface that phone makers and carriers now deploy ??

    Is Google powerful enough to insist that carriers and OEMs allow at least that native Android interface, to be accessible to direct Google upgrades ??



    An excellent article in the Register addresses much of this:

    ...Some issues will be addressed naturally as the platform gains maturity, but ironically, the solution Google itself favors is to increase its control over the user experience the OEMs and operators deliver – bringing it closer to Apple and Microsoft. But if it really succeeds in imposing common rules about Android 3.0 implementation, it could alienate some of its largest supporters. Already, Samsung is indicating that it will weight its handset release roadmap for 2011 towards WP7, despite the success of its Android based Galaxy S. In other words, it is easy to forget, amid the progress of Android and iOS, that smartphones are a very young market and many players are still jostling for position. It is not yet a foregone conclusion that Android will keep its lead, and Google‘s decisions on how to balance control versus anarchy will be as important as Microsoft‘s in deciding the fortunes of their respective OSs...

    ...Video-streaming king Netflix is also out of patience with Android. Although its Watch Instantly subscription service is available on about 200 connected consumer devices, it is still struggling with the Google OS. In the mobile space, it supports the iPhone and iPad, Symbian, WP7 and others, but it says Android suffers too much from device fragmentation and lack of a common digital rights management (DRM) solution...

    ...He also pointed to the problems of fragmentation, especially when carriers add their own features. "Unfortunately, this ... leads to a fragmented experience on Android, in which some handsets will have access to Netflix and others won‘t...

    ...In the short term, some OEMs or carriers may welcome the chance to lure users to upgrade to a new phone that does support a key app like Netflix, but overall they will be wary of any signs of consumer and developer backlash...

    ...At last week‘s Web 2.0 Summit, (Google Ceo Eric Schmidt) had his head firmly in the sand, saying the contracts made with the Open Handset Alliance (the group of Android supporters) were good enough to prevent a splintering of Android Market, and that Market apps would run across all handsets. Netflix and Rovio say otherwise, and Google needs to address the issue before it suffers the ultimate humiliation of losing out to Microsoft.
    Last edited by BARYE; 11/28/2010 at 11:56 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Should Google require minimum commonality & upgradability for next version
    They already do. Some of the manufacturers simply choose to ignore it. If a phone manufacturer or wireless provider wants to wander off the Android baseline path, they should be allowed to do so and let the market determine whether or not their idea is a worthwhile one. So long as Google continues to publish the established Android hardware requirements, APIs, and API levels, it should be up to the manufacturers to be disciplined and talented enough make functional, useful, current, and compliant devices. If a manufacturer chooses to release a device running version 1.5 when version 2.2 is already on the market (**cough**DELL**cough**), then they should suffer the bad sales rates they deserve.

    As for Netflix, I feel their pain. I'm surprised Android doesn't have an OS-level DRM mechanism already in place. I guess Google is intent on keeping the Android phones "open" ... to a fault. Not that they truly are.
    Last edited by Kupe; 11/28/2010 at 08:11 PM.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    They already do. Some of the manufacturers simply choose to ignore it. If a phone manufacturer or wireless provider wants to wander off the Android baseline path, they should be allowed to do so and let the market determine whether or not their idea is a worthwhile one. So long as Google continues to publish the established Android hardware requirements, APIs, and API levels, it should be up to the manufacturers to be disciplined and talented enough make functional, useful, current, and compliant devices. If a manufacturer chooses to release a device running version 1.5 when version 2.2 is already on the market (**cough**DELL**cough**), then they should suffer the bad sales rates they deserve.

    As for Netflix, I feel their pain. I'm surprised Android doesn't have an OS-level DRM mechanism already in place. I guess Google is intent on keeping the Android phones "open" ... to a fault. Not that they truly are.
    I confess that my Android expertise is especially limited, but from what I know the only sanction that Google imposes on non compliant OEMs is exclusion from the Android Market.

    What you're effectively advocating is chaos -- a Linux level of anarchy that could eventually so splinter and Balkanize the ecosystem that developers lose interest and consumers become confused.

    I don't see why Google does not impose at least a base line of OS conformity -- a commonality sufficient to ensure that every device released using 3.0 going forward has a stock Android skin accessible to the user, and a pipeline for updates of at least that stock interface.

    OEMs could continue to differentiate by installing Sense or whatever they think is an improvement over the stock -- but the presence of an updatable stock interface that potentially offers greater functionality, would motivate OEMs to update their own device and interfaces much faster than now.

    I don't know the nature of Google's OEM "open source" arrangements around Android -- but presumably these licenses could eventually get renewed with more stringent terms attached as new versions get released.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    What you're effectively advocating is chaos -- a Linux level of anarchy that could eventually so splinter and Balkanize the ecosystem that developers lose interest and consumers become confused.
    Hyperbole aside, Google's Android, like many other OSes in the market, works for balance between a complete lockdown (iOS and WP7), and complete openness (e.g. TuxMobile). Like many things in life, neither extreme is supportable by the marketplace. However, Google seems to have hit the sweet spot pretty well given the success Android is experiencing in the marketplace.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    I don't see why Google does not impose at least a base line of OS conformity -- a commonality sufficient to ensure that every device released using 3.0 going forward has a stock Android skin accessible to the user, and a pipeline for updates of at least that stock interface.
    They do - through their Android API Levels. Luckily, they also encourage competition and innovation by not requiring every device manufacturer to build the same device.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    OEMs could continue to differentiate by installing Sense or whatever they think is an improvement over the stock -- but the presence of an updatable stock interface that potentially offers greater functionality, would motivate OEMs to update their own device and interfaces much faster than now.
    If OEMs continue to create their own differentiating improvements, they will need to test those improvements every time Google comes out with a new baseline, as will the wireless providers. Google lacks the leverage and the control over an open source system to dictate terms to the OEMs and providers. If Google did have this control, they could all too easily pick favorites and leave non-favorite OEMs in the cold through specifically targeted updates. A situation like this would run counter to the spirit (and licensing terms) of OSS.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    I don't know the nature of Google's OEM "open source" arrangements around Android -- but presumably these licenses could eventually get renewed with more stringent terms attached as new versions get released.
    It's easy enough to find. Google's Android Terms and Conditions and commentary regarding Google's use of the Apache Software License in addition to the GPL2 License Android's core falls under. I don't think making Android's licensing agreements will support Google's philosophy of encouraging the broader software community to contribute to the Android experience. It would likely have the opposite effect.
  5. #5  
    [QUOTE=Kupe;2777326]Hyperbole aside, Google's Android, like many other OSes in the market, works for balance between a complete lockdown (iOS and WP7), and complete openness (e.g. TuxMobile). Like many things in life, neither extreme is supportable by the marketplace. However, Google seems to have hit the sweet spot pretty well given the success Android is experiencing in the marketplace.

    @Kupe: The success of Android exist b/c its free and unlike folks here who understands the OS race, etc, the avg user only sees whats on the outside (hardware) and knows that its new. What they dont know/understand and the rep doesnt tell them is they may not have the most recent OS, nor is the user made aware that there device may not get certain updates or have certain compatibilites

    They do - through their Android API Levels. Luckily, they also encourage competition and innovation by not requiring every device manufacturer to build the same device.

    @Kupe: No one is asking them to require the makers to build the same device, b/c of patent laws I dont think this is possible, but what I would like to know and have more consistancy with the actual OS ie; a brand new Dell Streak is running what, the 1.5/1.8 version of Android, heck they should be arrested for this.

    Its like having a 2011 S550 Mercedes with a 1987 engine and electronics
  6. #6  
    I think that this fragmentation is going to eventually hurt Android, and ultimately either lead to its demise or to Google making Android "closed" or deciding to push out their own phones. I think it hurts Android now, and they have only been in the game for about 2 years.


    My Themes:CLICK HERE
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeisnowonfire View Post
    I think that this fragmentation is going to eventually hurt Android, and ultimately either lead to its demise or to Google making Android "closed" or deciding to push out their own phones. I think it hurts Android now, and they have only been in the game for about 2 years.
    I disagree for the following reasons:

    1. The problems alleged to affect Android devices due to fragmentation remain unproven. The software developer complaints point more to indecision in their development processes than technological problems they can't overcome. Since over 80% of the Androids in the world currently run version 2.1 or higher, it's a fairly straightforward decision to target software at those Android versions ... which also outnumber the iPhone 3GS and 4 combined.

    2. The vast majority of Android users, regardless of the version they're running, could care less about fragmentation - it's a meaningless term to them.

    3. The small minority of savvy users will also know which Android phones to buy to meet their technological needs. These folks are also the ones who are not afraid to root their Androids to put whatever version (or flavor of version) their heart desires, so fragmentation remains a myth to them too.

    In summary, the reality of fragmentation is that it affects no one who knows what it means and bothers no one who doesn't know what it means. It's a red herring, pure and simple.

Posting Permissions