Interesting article about why new Android SW updates are insignificant

ComputerBox34

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http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013...oems-step-aside-google-is-defragging-android/

This gets even more interesting when you consider the implications for future versions of Android. What will the next version of Android have? Well, what is left for it to have? Android is now on more of a steady, continual improvement track than an all-at-once opening of the floodgates like we last saw with Android 4.1. It seems like Google has been slowly moving down this path for some time; the last three releases have all kept the name "Jelly Bean." Huge, monolithic Android OS updates are probably over—"extinct" may be a more appropriate term.

With Google Play Services, it looks like Google as largely worked around the issue of "fragmentation" - they simply built into Android a closed source delivery platform where they can drop whatever they want onto your phone, whenver they want with no consultation from carriers, users, or OEMs. Pretty ingenious. OS updates seem to be nothing more than kernel updates at this point - making the OS run smoother (project butter) and UI tweaks.

I wish tech blogs would stop looking at Android as being the same exact thing across all devices like iOS is - it's not. Every OEM has it's own skin, specific features and gimmicks, and different UI. Android is merely an ecosystem now, all tied together with Google's services and the Play Store.
 

Ocellaris

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So it's an "open" OS being run by a closed source super service that has full control of the phone? And the user has zero control of this and can't disable it? Lovely.

This does nothing for fragmentation since it can't change the Framework API level of the phone. But hey, it updates the API level for Google specific apps so they can keep cramming stuff down people's throats.

This is a headshot to Samsung's alleged attempt to form Android.

"Do no evil" - RIP 2013
 

ComputerBox34

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So it's an "open" OS being run by a closed source super service that has full control of the phone? And the user has zero control of this and can't disable it? Lovely.

This does nothing for fragmentation since it can't change the Framework API level of the phone. But hey, it updates the API level for Google specific apps so they can keep cramming stuff down people's throats.

This is a headshot to Samsung's alleged attempt to form Android.

"Do no evil" - RIP 2013
This is nothing new.

Android has always been open source but Google APPS such as GMail, calendar, contacts, Play Store etc. are not. If you want to include those in your ROM/phone, you must obtain permission and a green light from Google. With Play Services, they have gone a step further and made it easier for them to load whatever they want whenever they want upon the entire Android user base.
 

Trombe

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So it's an "open" OS being run by a closed source super service that has full control of the phone? And the user has zero control of this and can't disable it? Lovely.

This does nothing for fragmentation since it can't change the Framework API level of the phone. But hey, it updates the API level for Google specific apps so they can keep cramming stuff down people's throats.

This is a headshot to Samsung's alleged attempt to form Android.

"Do no evil" - RIP 2013

I can't recall any time where my phone auto updates any of the play store apps unless I explicitly enable it, play store services aside. Maybe a custom ROM without happs can be a workaround.
 
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CHANG3D

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The reason my Android updates are big before is that it was busy catching up to iOS. Now that Apple is the one playing catch up, all Google has to do is maintain a status quo.
 

kllrnohj

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So it's an "open" OS being run by a closed source super service that has full control of the phone? And the user has zero control of this and can't disable it? Lovely.

It's not a super service, and it doesn't have full control of the phone.

It also only provides Google-specific APIs (+1, Google Maps view, Google-powered location, Google Play Games, etc...), which has never been open source. The support library that most developers use which provide things like Fragments and Action Bar on older platforms *IS* open source, however.

The cool thing here is that this is all done with *public APIs that anyone can use*. If Facebook wants to compete with Google Play Games, it absolutely could do the same thing as Google here. Google is not giving itself preferential treatment, the OS isn't doing something special that's specific to Play Services.

Also you are wrong in that user has zero control here, they can absolutely disable it. You can disable play services independently of the play store app, or you can disable them both.
 

denicin

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I am an Android user and I have full control over the apps, just as the others said. fragmentation is an issue for Android but not that a big of a deal either
 

Trimlock

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I am an Android user and I have full control over the apps, just as the others said. fragmentation is an issue for Android but not that a big of a deal either

Fragmentation is quickly going away with most handsets using the same soc and modems from qualcomm. The problems we have now are shoddy skins/layers plus carrier specific software ruining the experience.

Those i imagine will not go away but lessen in the upcoming year.
 
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