Why can't all Android phones get latest Android OS?


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  1. Poldie

    Poldie Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Is there any reason why any Android phone ever released can't handle all versions of Android? Sure, if an app needs a compass, GPS, multitouch, 200 megs of ram, 4 inch screen etc etc then that app might well fail to load/run, but the OS itself should be fine, right? It seems that currently some combination of Google, the manufacturer and the network which gives you the phone all need to get involved so that enhancements like HTC's Sense can be added but I'm sure a lot of people would rather have the latest Google branded version than a souped-up Android 1.5/6.
     

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  2. 150_cav

    150_cav Well-Known Member

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    it's cuz manufactures are adding their own apps and i believe the wireless carrier must also approve the OS, but most of that is just make sure it can connect to the network

    but Froyo is supposed to bridge the gap!!!!

    come save us Froyo lol
     
  3. Ten10

    Ten10 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Froyo is apparently looking at reducing the OS to just the core features and then having additional downloads for more capable devices.
     
  4. Poldie

    Poldie Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear, but i'm purely interested in whether a phone can technically support each version of android, not whether a given ntwork wants to roll it out! But yes, I've read that Google wants to solve this problem, and I've also read that *all* phones will get an upgrade - just looking for solid reasons for why this might not be the case. Cheers.
     
  5. 150_cav

    150_cav Well-Known Member

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    well i don't work for google, so word word is about as valuable as the walmart greeter, but anyways last i heard is that even the G1 was going to 2.1 eventually
     
  6. Poldie

    Poldie Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Let's hope the Desire (the phone I'm after) supports Froyo then!
     
  7. ttaylor0024

    ttaylor0024 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, im pretty sure 2.1 is going to be the one that starts the even upgrades.
     
  8. OstrichSaK

    OstrichSaK Well-Known Member

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    To answer the actual question asked, it comes down to two things generally: hardware & money. The phones being made for Android are fairly robust devices so theoretically it will be some time before the OS and programs being run overpower the resources the device has to offer, i.e. /hardware (processor, memory, storage, power, yada). The next is money. Devices are generally supported for a length of time that the provider deems profitible. At some point they know if they drop support consumers will be forced to buy the latest device to get that new whizz-bang feature. And it works. The tricky part is timing it so that the previkous device has run it's life enough to where thbose who bought the device aren't up in arms over abandoning their still somewhat new device. With rooting and all the 3rd party developement happening this won't be as big an issue as there will be 'updates' and what not available as long as developers want to keep working on them which will be longer than providers want to support them so long as they're still popular w/the end users. Eventually there will be some sort of technology shift that requires new hardware to support it & then those who wish to take advantage of that would need a new device if some sort of add-on piece isn't created. A good example of a hardware add-on was back in the day when Sony/Ericsson released one of the first smart phone/palm devices. It didn't have a camera because they worked so hard on the device itself and camera phones were njust coming out so they released a software update and a camera module that connected to the bottom of the phone. Not ideal but it worked and saved the phone from becomming obsolete in less than a year's time. Other things are more difficult however. 4G is a good example where if it's different frequencies (which it is) then the existing 3G radios won't work and you would need a new device to utilize. Some will want that & others could care less. When new devices are launched they have to give them something new to set them apart from the rest to drive sales. In time this will trickle down to the older devices but after time they will be phased out of developement based on age or hardware limitations. We'll see this first in the first Android based phone, the G1. May not be anytime soon but it will eventually be phased out of support.

    So, that should answer your question about ujpdates. No matter hbow you slice it every day a new mobile device is out is one day closer to it's end. The only unknown is how long that lifespan will be.
     
  9. Poldie

    Poldie Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks, but again I'm purely interested in technical problems/requirements, and nothing to do with business/politics etc.
     
  10. OstrichSaK

    OstrichSaK Well-Known Member

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    Didn't I also cover the technical aspect?
     
  11. vbetts

    vbetts Well-Known Member

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    Truth be told Android is setup exactly how a PC system built on Unix would be, or any other computer system.

    You have your kernel, your extensions, your drivers, your batch files, your executions, and your GUI. As long as there are drivers, or codes written to understand the hardware there technically is no technical issues. Except in the case where 1.5 doesn't support CDMA natively, but Sprint wrote a code for this.(Not all that amazing, but that's what 2.1 is for) As long as the system is written to take advantage of the hardware, it'll work just fine. That's the problem with the Moment. The Moment should kill the Droid in almost every application out there. But Android 1.5 more or less was ported to the CDMA phone, and not written to take advantage of it. 2.1 is suppose to address this issue. The biggest reason is because the phone companies and the phone makers are the one writing the code for Android to be used on their system. In the case of common architecture for cpus and platforms, arm7 is very common. Arm7 is found in the Iphone I believe, the Droid, and the Palm Pre. The Palm pre could have Android ported over, since Android supports the basic system. But then things like the transmitter, bluetooth, keyboard interface, among other things may have no drivers for it written. As well as how WebOS is loaded onto the phone which is almost opposite from how Android does it.

    The reason why Android is growing so fast, is because the kernel and the system is so flexible to work on many different platforms. So 1.5 more or less is a ground breaker to have Android boot up on the Moment, and 2.1 is the code written specifically for the Moment to use the hardware, and actually have full acceleration.

    Unix(Which android code is based off of) runs on x86, x64, itanium, PPC, Cell, ARM, and other platforms, and can do it without being completely rewritten. I love Unix, and I wish more PC's would go along the Unix platform, seeing how fast Os X is and how well it grows that's proof right there. Os X moved from PPC to x86 within a matter of months. It would take probably years for say the NT kernel that Windows uses to be rewritten and used on PPC to be even half as fast as it would be on x86.
     

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