Is there ever a time that Fragmentation can be good?

Discussion in 'Android News' started by pc747, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    [​IMG]

    There may be some good to fragmentation, more after the break.​
  2. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I know this may sound sacrilegious but before you burn me at the stake let me ask that you put your pitch forks down long enough for me to explain. We love to be the first to everything: first to get a phone, first to root, first to a custom rom but being first isnt always great. Those of us who bought the thunderbolt when it first came out got to experience the joy (sarcasm) of paying to be a beta tester and we paid dearly for it. Whether it be battery life issues or connection issues we were first to experience it all. One of the issues with new builds whether it be 4.3, 4.4, 5.0, etc is that it takes time for app developers to catch up to the latest software and along the way you can expect bugs. When they first went to 4.3 there were apps that worked great on 4.1 but was horrible on 4.3. Those of us who love to tinker we will just move on to another rom or find a tweak to make things work but customers who do not tinker or know what a rom is will be angry when an update cause one of their favorite apps to not work and when that happens they are not going to google or the manufacturer they are going straight to the carrier. The past few days Apple updated to ios 7 and people either loved it or hated it. Those who were new to apple or not as familiar with the iphone hated it because things were moved around and looked "different". So imagine if after an update caused certain apps to not work people will turn on the manufacturer. So I can understand to a point for manufacturers to not keep up with Google and instead wait for developers to allow their app software along with manufacturer software to catch up with the newest build so that the user experience is to the standard that customers expect when they bought the device. As an alternative I would love to see manufacturers allow users to download google experience software so those that prefer the latest and greatest along with vanilla android can have a choice with the understanding that they will be giving up manufacturer features that come with their software.

    Thoughts?
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  3. newbroot83
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    newbroot83 New Member

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    I could go for that. I dont use verizon apps anyway

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
  4. TOMMYBOT
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    TOMMYBOT Member

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    Would love to try that

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  5. tjk629
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    tjk629 New Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Apple have a "beta" version of their OS a few months before public release, and ways to develop on it? I'm not sure if Google does that or not, I kind of think they do with the SDK.

    Then again, when Apple launches an iOS update, the majority of their popular devices get it. iOS7 covers iPhone 4 and up, and from what I've seen (just in public) the majority of iPhone users have a 4 or 4S. So, iOS app devs have to have their stuff work, because everyone is getting it. While on Android, you are not getting it outside of the NEXUS devices for a couple more months. So, what's the hurry?

    OH, and to sidetrack for a moment. I cannot believe that people are complaining about iOS7. I saw a list of the top complaints, and you can "fix" them or whatever by just going into SETTINGS. Yeah, all those issues and problems, you can change it just by going into settings. And it's not even going super deep into them. IMO, only complain if you cannot change them, or you have to start pushing files into system through a terminal :p
  6. MissionImprobable
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    MissionImprobable Well-Known Member

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    My friend's point of view is that iOS 7 is "trying to be Android." Shes had an iPhone for a while now and doesn't do much more than text, email, FB, etc, so all the changes really do nothing for her. It's funny too seeing how many people I run into complaining about having to open up the apps pane and close out apps because of how iOS handles multi-tasking at this point. Apple certainly needs to figure out what direction it's going to go.
  7. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    It's going in a periscope view of the outside world from inside the walled garden. Their definition of fragmentation.
    For me fragmentation was bad enough with skinned devices but now there's ranging from 2.3 to 4.3 on my devices creating even more frustration with Note2 than just apps . I'm hoping the rumor that I can put 4.4 across my lineup is true.

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  8. squeak
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    squeak Member

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    If there were no fragmentation then apps would be fixed very quickly. The fact that the majority of devices don't see the latest version for weeks or months, if they see it at all, doesn't give app developers tons of incentive to update quickly. I'm not complaining though, I try to select devices that I expect to get updates in a reasonably timely manner, and new versions of Android come often enough that they are usually lots of minor things that I don't mind waiting a few weeks for. To me it's part of the excitement of Android.
  9. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Except google releases the sdk when they release the new build. So I think a lot of it has to do with the first few releases on the new build have a few bugs that eventually gets weeded out. I do think that the app developers are catching up much faster. Manufacturers though ..but at the same time I sort of see the manufacturers stand point. We went from 4.1 to 4.2.2, 4.3, and now 4.4 is around the corner. With a nexus or g.e device updating is easier vs a skinned device where the manufacturer has to make sure all their features work on the new build. That takes time so to get everything set up for one build only to see Google already on to the next software has to be frustrating to oem engineers.
  10. Hugh Jass
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    Hugh Jass Well-Known Member

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    I'm one to suggest that fragmentation has it's benefits as well, and in the worst case it can actually be extremely damaging to the economy. We are in a massive mobile technology bubble right now, and it's going to pop. Consider this, every android phone has the same software updated at the same time. Where's the incentive to upgrade anymore? Your 3 year old phone is renewed and optimized on the latest and greatest. It removes the 2yr cycle of upgrade and begins to push it toward the PC upgrade cycle instead, I'm on a 7yr old laptop running windows 7 just fine, and I won't be upgrading anytime soon either, it's just not worth it. But if I was stuck on Windows XP I'd be rocking a new PC guaranteed. I think if you could take the juggernaut of the smartphone industry and remove it from the worlds equation it would take us to a great depression almost instantly. The mobile tech is the only industry that is thriving globally and the global economy depends on it, when the industry slows (as it will and/or is) it will take the economy with it. There are emerging markets to offset this to some degree, but once the US and then Japan, and China's economy goes, they all go. The smartphone market is worth something like $150 BILLION dollars, and that is a lot of jobs folks. There's something like half a million jobs in the US alone just developing apps and games for mobile. And it will be a chain reaction as well, because the huge companies that are involved with phones are also into many other areas of tech, their capital will diminish and they'll stop funding new research, jobs will vanish in downsizing such as BB is experiencing now industry wide. Consider Google...they're massive. Google's hands are in a thousand cookie jars at once, but if their revenue were to be sliced in half I'm willing to bet they'll stop eating so many cookies. Health, self driving cars, Glasses, future tech...essentially the entire tech industry will take a huge hit.

    And that's just Google. Their must be 10,000 other players in mobile, and thousands of venture capitalists as well that rely on strong numbers to maintain growth. And ironically enough I think the only company that wouldn't be affected by such a turn down is Apple.
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  11. MissionImprobable
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    MissionImprobable Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure I can agree with you about Apple. Even with their less than expected earnings a times, a large portion of their profits relies on the mobile industry. What does Apple have going for it besides aesthetics? The ease of use between various platforms. There are plenty of people who buy multiple Apple devices because of the ease of integration between systems. If the mobile market falls off it hurts all the players. Apple saw a far larger surge in profits from the iPad and iPhone than from their computer hardware. There's a much higher profit margin to be had there, and as you mentioned yourself, there's a lot more incentive as things sit now to upgrade mobile devices regularly, not PCs and laptops.

    How many stories do we see about Apple suing various PC manufacturers? How many stories do we see about them suing mobile market competitors? That also speaks well as to where Apple needs to butter its bread to survive.
  12. Hugh Jass
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    Hugh Jass Well-Known Member

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    However this is irrelevant in this situation. The market is going to slow because of Android and it's corresponding design issues, in this case fragmentation, as well as local economies naturally fluctuating. Apple only has to combat the economic fluctuation because they have no fragmentation. Apple already updates all their devices ubiquitously. All the things that their are to fear from the industry Apple is designed to survive because it's already worst case. Their followers will buy regardless of the rest of the market or competition.

    The only thing that will ever kill Apple is social stigma. Once having an iPhone is ubiquitously looked down upon by the general public, then they'll struggle. We're not there yet.
  13. squeak
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    squeak Member

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    I agree with most of that, but I can't say that I agree with an economic downturn being kick off by slack smartphone sales. I do think the economy will get much worse before it gets much better but I think that as smartphone sales begin to slack off what ever the newest trend is will take it's place, similar to how desktop sales slacked and laptop sales began to pick up. Also consider how iPods and mp3 players were the rage and then gave way to smartphones, how many people do you know who have purchased an mp3 player in the past few years? People in general, but especially techies, will always find something that they have to have and are willing to drop a reasonable amount of money on. It may be wearable tech, it may be something that's yet to be invented, but when smartphones begin to last more than 2 years people will find something else to buy.
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  14. MissionImprobable
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    MissionImprobable Well-Known Member

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    Well I am willing to say that the social aspect will come into play with the new 5c. There was a decent segment who bought the iPhone as a status symbol, same as with iBooks, etc, and the lower cost versions are certainly going to take away from that. I don't even like iPhones, but I do tune in to see what Apple brings to the table each year and the newest release just isn't on par with the polish of their old one size fits all model. Every time commercials came on for the 5c during the game last night I couldn't help but think how underwhelming it is in every way.

    And I wasn't so much saying that fragmentation is an issue for Apple, I was saying that if the mobile market as a whole takes a downturn then it will hurt Apple as well.
  15. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I have been vocal about my opinions about the 5c, but as i begin to look more into it, that may be over exaggeration on my part. You put an otterbox case on it, which many do, and the plastic "feel" is non existent (well except the fact the otterbox is plastic). Apple is going to be alright as they do enough to keep their loyal fan base coming back and the simplicity of the os makes the jump to the smartphone much easier for those who are not considered tech savy. Add to that more and more companies coming off the blackberry are turning to Apple for their business solutions, reason why Samsung is moving to a more locked down and secure software (Samsung Knox). And on the tablet side companies turn to the ipad, Airlines are supplying pilots with ipads as the weight of the manuals are taken into account with fuel costs so going to a light ipad is worth it for them financially. So apple is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
  16. MissionImprobable
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    MissionImprobable Well-Known Member

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    Not saying they're going the way of the dodo, but their overinflated shares have taken marked drops with the releases of the last two iPhones and iOS iterations. If the capital behind them is fickle enough to react to that then they'll certainly dump more stock if there's a move away from mobile technology. Again, I'm in no way stating that Apple is going to bite the dust, but a large downturn in the mobile industry will definitely hurt them.

    As to other picking up iDevices, yes, it's happening, but Samsung seems much more serious about enterprise-level security than Apple, and offers units at a lower costs overall, so over time they will continue to take share away from Apple as they have been.

    Back to the original topic, the spread of Android over so many iterations for current market devices isn't particularly great for us overall. There are many features that I cannot utilize or utilize effectively because individual manufacturers and not Google push OS updates. My D2 is forever stuck on ICS, and there are a number of later devices that will never see JB or greater at any point other than through custom Roms. I think seeing timely updates is going to be what begins to further separate manufacturers from one another. If a friend of mine that I helped recently weren't so into Android I wouldn't be surprised if he jumped ship considering he finds himself in the unfortunate situation of having a carrier-spec device that will never receive upgrades or custom Roms. At least on iOS he could get the latest iteration and then jailbreak if he so chooses.

    I don't really like the idea of being limited by a carrier and manufacturer as to how long I will be able to update my phone. Current fragmentation is not something to be seen as a positive from where I sit.
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  17. Hugh Jass
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    Hugh Jass Well-Known Member

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    Mission, if your device (lets say the D2 you cite in your post) was perpetually updated as well as every other phone and the new phone coming out had the same version as the one you have, would you have paid to upgrade again anyway? I highly doubt it. The lack of upgrades is driving the market for Android right now because people don't just buy the latest and greatest for no reason, they want the new new because it's great. Their devices slow, batteries age and diminish charge, RAM is full, force closes, features are lackluster and most of all they're stuck on old Android. Moving forward this isn't that important anymore. Buying a new device now isn't going to be junk in a year as the market has driven it before because specs are reaching high levels. 2gigs of ram is more than enough. 600-800 processor is more than enough. OEM's software overlays are more than enough to customize your phone without having to root and mod. Phones no longer benefit from screaming faster processors and more gigs of RAM. It's all about the software optimization now and Android is already there. Updates in the future will likely pertain more to security than features.

    I was an avid rooter though all my android experience from the D1 forward and I don't even miss it with the G2. I don't think I'll ever have to root, and paying retail I planned on selling the device in a year to offset new device costs but now I'm second guessing that idea, I think I'll treat this one like a car and drive it till the wheels come off. Once other people start looking at the similarities between this years phones and the phones of two years from now, I'm thinking a lot more will will hold on to their money forcing their money south.

    But time will tell. I predict that fragmentation won't get better, but actually get worse as people keep their older devices longer for a lack of serious incentive to upgrade again and again.
  18. MissionImprobable
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    MissionImprobable Well-Known Member

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    I got your original point. I don't expect updates forever, just saying that Apple's model is better in that regard. The iPhone 4 was released at the same time as the D2, and while it does not have every feature of iOS 7 enabled with the upgrade, the 4 has the majority of them. From an outside perspective, which company has addressed longevity better? As one article put it, "That's not half bad, given that Android-based contemporaries like Samsung's original Galaxy S or the Nexus One have to rely on the hacker community for any kind of software support at this point (and even then, it can be spotty)." Nice to note that those aren't locked down to nearly the extent that the Droid 2 is and even those devices don't have official JB releases. Google Now will run quite well on my phone initially, but over time because the devs had to hack it for spreading across devices it overwhelms the RAM due to lack of device-specific coding and becomes a pain. If done correctly great features like this wouldn't have to be lost for legacy phones.

    I understand that these devices aren't meant to last forever and that over time you simply will have diminishing returns, but again it is the fragmentation of Android that causes a number of the issues we face. It would be no different than if Acer, HP, Dell, etc controlled SP updates to Windows rather than MS; nothing good would come of that. Carrier bloat and lack of optimization only further compound the problem.
  19. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I believe Google tried to help address this issue by releasing its own nexus device so they can control it. Problem is that though the nexus garner a fan base it does not have that glitter factor that will bring the fans. Plus customers over time know who and who do not update. I remember when the Samsung Fascinate came out and Samsung got the rep of not supporting their devices and they took a hit for that. As a result they began to do a better job with that along with providing the eye candy to bring in the average customer base. You right that we need to get to a point with android where we can get beyond fragmentation. I just do not see it likely because of custom skins. If every one had a nexus or nexus like (aka google edition) device then it would be easier to update. But with manufacturer skins plus carrier bloat all of it has to be tested before it can be pushed, that taking in account the carrier do not hold the update so they can push another device. Sadly google does not control that, the only device they can have complete control of the software is with the nexus (unless it is on Verizon :angry: ). At the rate google has been pumping out software (especially this year) it is hard to expect the manufacturers to keep up along with some app devs at times. If manufacturers could get around the carriers' red tape then maybe they can pump out updates a little faster but the reality is manufacturers play the game as well. One thing I give Apple credit for is that a few days before they have a big release for their new i-device they push out the latest software to the previous models. Android manufacturers, including Samsung, hold the update until they sell their new phone and then a few months later update. To me this is what helps the resale value of the iphone along with the fact they are not pumping out a new device every other month bringing down the market for their product. Android manufacturers need to take care of the customers they have because if I see that manufacturer A updates their device for at least a year and a half while manufacturer B pushes one maintenance fix then I am less likely to buy a product from Manufacturer B. One of the reasons I chose my note 2 last year because I looked at 2 gigs of ram and a quad core processor as forward thinking and specs wise should be able to handle future updates for at least 2 years vs Motorola at the time who's phone had outdated specs and had me worried that last year's razr would be like the bionic and the d4 where motorola stopped supporting the device.

    I do think that the moment that manufacturers choose to no longer support the device give the user the option to go google experience and allow them to get their update from google for as long as their device can support the latest google software. This would be fair all around. But like Hugh Jass pointed out, manufacturers are looking to find a way to get Joe to buy the next device and it is easier to feel like they need a new device when manufacturers make it seem like the phone is outdated and can not handle the next software that way they can bank on Joe and his family buying a new phone every other year vs holding on to it like a flip phone where they wait use it for years and years until it just quit working.