Why Doesn't Android have a BIOS and hardware drivers like Windows?


  1. murphylas

    murphylas Member

    I have been programming Windows computers for over 20 years. A Windows computer has a BIOS and hardware drivers for the computers which means that many times Microsoft can issue new versions of the operating system without totally reprogramming the computers. I have an old HP computer which is over 10 years old. I has the same BIOS. I am using Windows Vista on this computer. The drivers had to be updated because Microsoft changed the driver specs. Some of the old drivers still worked however.

    Android devices seem to break any time Google comes up with a new version of the operating system. In fact, the breakage is so severe that the manufacturers themselves cannot get their devices to work. Cameras don't work, speakers don't work, touch screens don't work, microphones don't work, antennas don't work, and so on.

    Does Android have device driver software? Does each phone have a BIOS? Is there some place where one can get updated Android device drivers?

    Is there a more intelligent approach to software development than letting Google just dump new versions of Android on the market and expecting everyone to get the software to work on their devices?

    What can end users do to make this process easier for developers? Contact Google? Contact the manufacturers? Contact the FCC? Contact Congress?

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  2. soundping

    soundping Well-Known Member

    Android needs generic drivers.
  3. dsmryder

    dsmryder Well-Known Member Developer

    An IBM based PC has a BOIS. And even Windows can ignore the BIOS if it has drivers to do so. Our phones have a very different achitecture that's base on the ARM processor.
    Android uses Linux as the core and it's useally a matter of connecting the Dalvic side to the kernel side. On top of that the kernel itself is evolving. It's the same as trying to keep the Windows NT drivers for Windows 2k or later. Or DOS for that mater.
    One would need to make an awesome achitecture that made so much sence that noone would see the need to try to make it better for the driver problem to go away. With the Android side and the Linux side. Remember, we have two computers running on our phones. A real world one and a virtual one.:cool:
    JarGnex likes this.
  4. markzombie82

    markzombie82 Well-Known Member

    Really we need a way make thongs universal. Lol thongs yeah that's what we need universal thongs
    . Its to much for me ha ha
    Neptik likes this.
  5. ace

    ace Member

    Would be awesome if this were to happen some day. Universal updates. Considering how now intel has joined the game, could such a thing be a future possibility? Would really banish all this drama!
  6. OverByter

    OverByter Resident Slide Rule Guru

    Universal isn't quite the correct term in this case, I think you mean generic. In the future there may be generic drivers but as with Windows drivers being generic sometimes doesn't enable the full functionality of the hardware. Such is life.
  7. murphylas

    murphylas Member

    The reality is that if there were generic drivers supplied by hardware manufacturers. The useful life of our phones would increase significantly instead of being essentially obsolete in 6 months. As it is, Android does not have a long future because of corporate greed and corruption.

    As an IT person, I would never recommend Android and especially Motorola for corporate use. I like my job too much. I need suppliers who are reliable and software updates that are timely. Android and Motorola do not fit the bill.

    I hope that someone at Google will get clue and start taking responsibility for generic drivers (as Microsoft does) when manufacturers refuse to support their products.
  8. daseinredux

    daseinredux Well-Known Member

    Not true. Generic drivers would only make phones obsolete sooner because they would only provide access to generic features. Manufacturers use specific drivers to provide all the features they want owners to have. Waiting for google or a third party to deliver a new driver could slow down the turnover of phones - but principally because it would delay the introduction of new designs and features.

    Corporate greed and corruption will not have any negligible effect on android as the continuing existence of Apple and Microsoft goes to show. Android will continue as long as google finds it helpful in promoting their applications and services.

    Service providers like VM decide what updates will be made available - not google (android) or motorola. Google makes android updates readily available (along with the latest version of their OS) because it is open source. Manufacturers can make updates for any of their phones at any time, but they obviously will not do this for free. If there is no update for a phone, this is generally because the provider does not want to pay for it - or it does not like the impact the improvements might have on their network or bottomline. For instance, a phone that works faster and more efficiently would translate into heavier bandwidth use.

    Microsoft makes drivers because they make huge amounts of money selling their OS. If you want google to do the same with android, we would probably have to start paying for the android OS.

    In general, it is the service provider that controls the availability of updates for any particular phone - not google or the manufacturer of the phone.
    ace and pxtoro like this.
  9. ace

    ace Member

    If it was a nominal or close to nominal fee it would work, like a "nexus release" or something, basically what CM is doing for free but does not guarantee releases, if google were to take helm of a similar project outside the official realm and charge this fee for continuous phone support, it would be awesome! Anyways, doubt that would EVER happen seeing how sucky they are with nexus updates!

    I think the underlying cause is Humans in general give up efficiency over MONEY! if we were to stick to certain standards with controlled and agree hardware updates generic drivers would not be a concern. But that too is a mindset change, seeing how it only took us like 15 years to iron out and stick to universal chargers! (sans Apple) and electic cars not being forced upon us simply because how much money oil/gas brings in I seriously think its at the end just a disadvantage of a capitalist / greedy economy.
  10. ace

    ace Member

    but its not just about drivers and hardware, the OS alone has a number of added features, updates, security fixes and even those are not routed directly.
  11. piper_

    piper_ Well-Known Member

    First of all, google is not M$, thank god for that, Ballmer should be fired, as an IT man myself, ( and I would never recommend a virus malware infested operating system to any business or home user) but not with anything M$, again thank god for that, and soon, you won't find a BIOS (basic input output system)

    UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is now where it's at and that will also change.

    The BIOS you use now in your "windows" world hamper's development as 64-bit computing became more common.

    Open Firmware and Coreboot are also very nice alternatives and both work well on my systems.

    Basically you don't need m$ or windows to make profit, ask google, red hat and the list goes on and on, microsoft is NOT what it used to be and never will be again.

    Open Source is the future and is a very bright one indeed.

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