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5615 posts

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  #538923 29-Oct-2011 00:25
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robjg63: Having now dipped my toes into the android market (parallel imported Samsung Galaxy Ace) with Gingerbread 2.3.3 already installed (fortunately) I can see the problem.

Its much like the reason Linux hasnt taken off like it should have done. There isnt ONE linux distribution. There isnt one Android distribution. In both cases the OS is somewhat fragmented.

Seeing how Samsung handles it (officially) - that doesnt look ideal either. I think I am correct with the following - someone will correct me if I'm not ;-)

You buy a handset that has a slightly customised version of Android on it. It might identify as Vodafone and have a code to identify NZ. The SIM presumably has code to identify the provider as well.

So you install the Samsung kies program on your PC (Guess other manufacturers have their own proprietary programs). You hook the phone up the PC and the software seems to check against your telco and the codes in your phone. If the telco can be bothered/does support the phone - they may have a firmware update for you to install. If they dont support that phone - or cant be bothered circulating the update - then you wont get it.

Now I purchased a parallel import SG ace which has a european coded OS. Even if my telco (2 degrees as it happens) decided to distribute the latest OS version my phone wont be allowed to download it.

Its bad enough that Samsung may take quite a while to get around to developing an upgrade - but unless you root and tinker with other firmwares off the net its made as difficult as possible to get updates. I dont know why you cant just obtain the firmware directly from the manufacturers site....

I guess where some people see "fragmentation" others see choice. If you don't want choice, get an iPhone. 

The way I see it, if the phone is on v2.2 or higher it can almost every app there is. I can't think of any exceptions at the moment...

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  #538956 29-Oct-2011 09:14
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^ agreed

for me, 2.2 is what most ppl need. the next useful update is 4.0.


1923 posts

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  #539096 29-Oct-2011 21:33
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If you're really trying to compare OS upgrades on an err... Apples to Android basis, then surely the comparison should only be made on an original device V device basis against available official OS update releases. (no rooting or jailbreaking)

And on that count where do you draw that comparison line?
The available range of iOS devices is small (by comparison with android devices) and all would be considered 'high-end' units.

So should the Thread tittle actually be:
Are high end Android device owners getting stiffed on OS updates?

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  #539111 29-Oct-2011 22:33
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I read online last week, and heard on NZ Tech Podcasts that Google is looking to reduce this fragmentation. That is positive. While there are benefits in an open system, this heavy defragmentation is a negative. Multiply the manufacturers by the sceen form factors, by the OS verions and you get a big number. iOS for example will have a version for the iPod Touch, one for the 3GS, 4 and 4S, all of which have the same screen size. Plus iPad 1 and 2, so a limited number of versions. I assume Google will aim to have a set number of screen form factor versions and that the manufacturer overlays onto that? Thereby making OS Android upgrades easier to manage by Android.

Linixluver - "I guess where some people see "fragmentation" others see choice. If you don't want choice, get an iPhone. " With genuine respect that seems like a fanboy comment. Can you clarify? And no, I am not looking at an argument. Cheers.

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Master Geek

  #539174 30-Oct-2011 02:38
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I bought an olde worlde Sony Ericsson X10i just proir to the Gingerbread 2.3 upgrade.
As a non-telecoms phone, I was able to download the OS the moment Sony Ericsson made it available and easily install it.

This gives the best overall OS build, given the phones age and abilities.
Let's face it, it start out life with 1.6 Donut.

Sony Ericsson has shared info with CyanogenMod to allow a better product going forward for those purchasing a late model Sony Ericsson phone. This may help phones like the X10i remain relevant as OS versions move ever upwards.

It's the Icecream sandwhich 4.0 upgrade on the Android phones which'll be the kicker for those that bought an early 2011 model.

LG has indicated (and then withdrawn) a line stating that LG Optimus 2X won't be upgraded to 4.0
Not a lot of love shown to LG by Optimus 2X owners, so it'll be interesting to see how that all pans out.

For techie people or people who know a techie, there's generally a way to get the best OS for a given devices for at least a couple of years.

Once the developers change focus onto newer models the development life  cycle for a give device will wane.

Even the hardware probably won't see you much beyond two years if you want to take advantage of the latest technology.

For example, very few phones came with NFC and who doesn't need/want a faster GPU, so it's not just about the OS.


3166 posts

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  #539199 30-Oct-2011 09:05
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I guess where some people see "fragmentation" others see choice. If you don't want choice, get an iPhone. 

The way I see it, if the phone is on v2.2 or higher it can almost every app there is. I can't think of any exceptions at the moment...

Being able to get updates (for security and functionality reasons) should be easy and forums are littered with 'average' users getting annoyed about how hard it is. The points were:
Q Are the manufacturers actually providing the latest (hopefully best) versions of Android available?
A No - often a new phone is hitting the market with old software

Q Are they providing easy to install/regular updates
A No - Looking at the number of average users complaining on forums. 

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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