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Googles biggest mistake IMO...

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Outlaw71, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I love Android, I love my DX, I love this forum.... however I have to say that I feel Google has made a very big, glaring mistake in one area. I realize that all they do is write the software, and it's up to OEM's to implement it into thier lineup of devices. But I think Google should do more than just sit back and let the OEM's do this on their own time frame. Because it's hurting the reputation of Android if you ask me.

    I was just reading the article about how Google says only tablets will ship with Honeycomb, and that other devices will see some of Honeycombs features show up eventually, though it's not known how much of it, or when exactly this will happen. I see this as seeming VERY unorganized, even to a huge fan of the Android OS like myself. Being in direct competition with the iPhone Google has to look at the strengths Apple has over them and try to match those strengths at the very least. And one of Apples strenghts is, when they come out with an update, EVERY iPhone gets it.

    But of course you say, there's only one iPhone. It's only natural. Well I know that, and it seemed to me that perhaps I was overlooking the fact that it may actually be an advantage to have a full range of devices, from those that carry 'top of the line' support (currently 2.2.1), to those devices which are still on 1.6. It's an advantage because it gives the customer a choice. If you don't have $200 bucks to get one of the higher end Android devices, at least you can get one of the cheaper ones that might not get all the updates, but at least it's an Android smartphone, and it saves the customer money! :)

    Ok so yes, it is somewhat of an advantage to have a host of choices out there for consumers. But what is missing is that there is no structured tier system of Android devices. In other words, when a customer buys an iPhone, he knows what he's getting. But when a customer chooses an Android device, it's not clear what he's going to get out of it. Those of us like me who bought the DX last summer thought we were getting one of the 'top of the line' Android models. And so far it has been, but so far all we have is speculation when it comes to the question of whether or not we'll be getting Gingerbread. We think we will... we don't know we will... and we certainly have no clue at all if we'll see ANY of the Honeycomb features down the line.

    Then you have all the poor saps who bought into Samsung Galaxy devices who figured, "hey this is Samsungs premier Android handset... of course they're going to upgrade it to Froyo ASAP".... WRONG! None of them have, and that has to be disappointing to those who bought them. And that's exactly what I think their biggest problem is... ok sure we get that not every Android device is going to get the same support as the rest, but we should know when we purchase an Android phone, what level of support we can expect.

    It would make shelling out $300 bucks (with a $100 dollar rebate) a lot more comforting if we knew that paying that money would ensure us that we'd be getting top level support, and the quickest updates available... those would be considered 1st tier devices. Then perhaps you could have a 2nd tier level of devices that were up do date at the time of purchase, but was limited to slower updates, and maybe limited to only one guaranteed update during it's life. They could sell those for $150 or so. 3rd tier would be something like the Samsung Galaxy series that weren't up to date, and may never get an update for all those customers knew. Sell them for $100... and on down the line. I mean the tiers wouldn't have to be exactly like this, I'm just throwing out examples.

    The most important thing to me is, I think over the past year a lot of Android customers have been frusterated and let down when the found out that their device wouldn't be updated as soon as some of the other devices were.... IF they were updated at all. And I'm pretty sure that there would be a lot of people interested in shelling out a little extra cash upon purchase to get a device that would be considered a 'top tier' device. It would sure beat having to guess which phone will get the quickest/best support.

    The fact that there is no such structure in Android I think is a major failure, and a black mark against them. But I don't think the OEM's would ever implement such a program themselves because they're already making plenty of money selling devices for two an three hundred dollars, and then have no obligation to live up to supporting them quickly or at all even.

    And since in the end it's Google reputation that's on the line, only they can really do something about it. They should do something about it for their own sake.

    tommy_ed likes this.

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  2. Drhyde

    Drhyde Android Enthusiast

    This is sort of the caveat with open source software. Google can't really do anything to the carriers or manufacturers if they choose to use an old version or not upgrade their phones. I think the only fault here would be if Google kept offering these companies the option to get the earlier versions of Android. Otherwise, the only thing I thought Google could do would be to force compliance indirectly with upgrading and using new version of Android by saying they won't allow them to use the Google Suite applications. For the most part that consists of the Android Market.

    However, as we have seen recently, we have alternatives to Google's apps so trying to do anything with the carriers and manufacturers is pretty pointless. I'm making it a point to only purchase the Nexus line or phones that are really easy to root. If the companies aren't going to upgrade, I might as well take it into my own hands.
  3. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Yeah I read the article by Andy Rubin declaring that by the terms of the Apache agreement all Google software is free for them to use and what not. But I think it's time to make an amendment to the agreement (actually, I can think of several I'd like to see. But I'll stick to just this one for this argument) in there own interest to preserve their namesake. I feel they have the right to demand certain standards for anyone who is going to use their software. In other words, change the literature from, "this software is for anyone to use freely" to, "this software is for anyone to use freely under the certain conditions..."!

    So long as the conditions are met, then everything is kosher. But I feel as if they've been taking advantage of the fact that Android is free, and have damaged the name by not living up to it's potential. While we do have some wicked good devices at our disposal, the aformentioned problems still remain where consumers really have no way of knowing how well they will be supported. Even if the OEM puts a sticker on it saying, "this device will not recieve any future updates", well hey at least that would be better than what we have now.

    Just my two cents. I'm certain I'm just throwing the dishwater out with the rain but I felt like venting. :D
  4. Kelmar

    Kelmar Done by choice

    I can't help but agree. If the manufacturers aren't going to issue timely updates, I would love to see google offer vanilla android updates (after 3 months or so).

    On the flip side, only people like us would care... I would guess that of all the people who have android, less than 5% (random number) have any idea what the difference is or even care about getting an update. Plus google would then have to do extra work for a variety of processors, etc that they could care less about.

    Catch 22... ;)
  5. Hrethgir

    Hrethgir Android Expert

    Don't be upset that Honeycomb is only going to ship with tablets, Google has said that would be the case from day 1. And don't buy a phone for what you think the carrier is going to do with it in the future, buy it for what it can do now. And Google has no control over the skinned versions of Android, that is totally on the manufacturer, so complain about them, not Google. Being open source, Google can't tell them they can't use it unless they only use it vanilla, they have no control over it once the manufacturers take it. But when it comes to updates, look at a manufacturers track history. Samsung has awful history in that department, and it was one of the big reasons I got the DX instead of a Galaxy S phone.
  6. Tre Lawrence

    Tre Lawrence Android Expert

    I think one thing is sometimes forgotten... I don't think Google cares about Android for Android's sake. Everything they do is geared towards one thing: ad dollars.

    Thus, the approach that they take is a bit looser than I would.

    I think, in the end, Android of a tool.

    Contrast that to Apple, which is a hardware company, and which needs innovative hardware to keep the profits going.

    Two different types of revenue streams, and consequently, two different levels of involvement.

    But yes, as a consumer, I'd love to see Google be more "involved."
  7. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    i agree about it being an issue...

    but.. open source is free to use as you want... cant give restrictions.
    google wants..... marketing revenue.. eyeballs to screen. so they want makers to use google.. that is all they need.

    one of the biggest reasons.. they are growing so damn fast... makers have no reason not to make an android phone. more out there... more eyeballs to screen

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