Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Android engineer: five months a 'reasonable' time for update

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Fri April 27, 2012

AOSP vet sees no issue with Android update delays

Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP) engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru drew flak late Thursday after comments that many have interpreted as giving a pass on slow Android upgrade intervals. He saw Sony's Android 4.0 upgrades having rolled out in a "very reasonable time," five months after 4.0 was available, given the nature of the OS. Sony had even had a head start, since its AOSP code contributions gave it an idea of what to expect for its own upgrades, he said.

To Queru, the real obstacles were carriers, whose approval processes meant that Nexus-badged phones or the Motorola Xoom either weren't getting Android 4.0 at all or weren't up to the most recent 4.0.4 version. The engineer and followers would later confirm that it was a direct allusion to Verizon, which has left its own Galaxy Nexus on an older version, although even unlocked HSPA+ versions are sometimes stuck on 4.0.2.

He was thankful Google was now selling phones directly to guarantee that customers didn't have "middlemen" carriers interfering with updates.

The remarks have already drawn some criticism by underscoring the inherent problems with timely Android version upgrades. Despite the Galaxy Nexus having shipped in November for some users, most phones that are either technically capable of running Android 4.0 or have had promised upgrades still don't have the new version. Most hardware makers outside of Samsung have complained that they didn't even see Android 4.0 code until the Galaxy Nexus was ready, making it difficult to get their software ready in a timely way.

Google has usually downplayed the worries about OS version gaps, but observers have pointed out potentially serious consequences for delays on the part of Google, carriers, and hardware designers. Devices without 4.0 can't run some modern apps and the features they bring, including Google's own Chrome for Android. On a wider level, it also leaves devices potentially vulnerable to substantial technical flaws and security exploits that aren't necessarily fixable through an interim update.

Claims of reasonableness likewise contrast sharply with Apple's experience updating iOS. Where just a small percentage of all Android users have 4.0, most iOS users got 5.1 in days. A delay for Android is somewhat unavoidable without Google having the luxury of direct hardware integration, but the lack of steps to accelerate the process for carriers and OEMs has magnified the difference. [via Droid-Life]



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. bigmig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004

    +7

    Drrrrroid!

    Of course it's reasonable. Apple is just being unreasonable by getting its updates to users so quickly. That's nice of them to do, but it's not a reasonable standard to go by.

  1. fmlogue

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    0

    Re: Drrrrrrrroid

    I asume you are being sarcastic.

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010

    +2

    Drrrrrrroid!

    All that work to design, so few people to appreciate.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004

    +1

    Waterfall development versus agile?

    It seems like Google and MSFT are using waterfall while Apple are using agile methodology with more frequent releases and patches.

  1. UmarOMC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    It actually does sound reasonable...

    Considering the wide range of hardware and the 'open,' Linux-based software (by mentioning Linux, I attempt to draw a picture of something not quite Apple-elegance) there's a bit more testing that has to be done than with, well, iOS.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +1

    The latest Android release is irrelevant

    Re: "Most hardware makers outside of Samsung have complained that they didn't even see Android 4.0 code until the Galaxy Nexus was ready..."

    Amazon doesn't care what Google does with Android any more. They've got their own fork for Kindle Fire, based on 2.3, and it now dominates US Android market share at 54%. If Amazon had a bigger presence outside the US, the Amazon fork would dominate overseas as well.

    It's only a matter of time before Samsung forks their own version of Android. It will give them yet another advantage over all those second-class Android hardware partners, since they could optimize their fork for their specific hardware. And screen sizes. It could let Samsung put the final nail in the HTC Android coffin.

    And it's also only a matter of time before Google forks Android themselves. For Motorola. To help cut the losses on that enormous $12.5 billion money pit. They can claim that the main release of Android is still relatively "open" yet develop their own proprietary, closed Motorola branch. It's inevitable.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: Drrrrroid!

    Of course it's reasonable. Apple is just being unreasonable by getting its updates to users so quickly. That's nice of them to do, but it's not a reasonable standard to go by.

    Apple has the ability to make one software for one or two handsets and one or two tablets, and test while making it. Android is a true stand-alone OS. But I know, you all want just one big OS that everyone runs and every device is exactly the same. That's what makes the device, um, different.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...

VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD

USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...

Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News