Another Apple fanboy makes the switch

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Hanson, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    They get updates, it's just not as even as everyone else. I'll give an example.. when say, Apple comes out with new IOS or MS comes out with an update to Windows Phone, or even Blackberry to their OS, it gets pushed uniform. You're pretty much going to have it in a few weeks and everyone is about the same as long as same level device. (ie, don't expect Gen1 iPhone running 6.x.x etc.)
    With Android, though, updates are out there, but carriers and devices may not update on the same timeframe. Therefore, you may.. or may not.. receive updates easily. This is a bit of an issue with fragmentation. Some devices are better about this than others, but it isn't as uniform as their competitors.
    But yes, there are upgrades and they do happen in the field.
     
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Basically, I'd say don't count on any major OS upgrades for most any Android phone other than Google's own Nexus phones, especially if you're on Verizon. OTOH, I suspect you'll get more opps w/ Android than iOS to improve your phone's functionalities and experience via other ways instead of waiting for the periodic major OS update. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the OS update thing unless I'm choosing a phone w/ known issues that make me reluctant about it. It's not like Apple will actually do what you want fixed and/or enhanced anyway by the next OS update or two anyway. And any major OS update can come w/ new issues you may not want/like too... _Man_
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Having said that, Samsung (even on Verizon these days) seems alright enough to me so far as I did receive a couple *minor* OS updates since getting my GS3 a couple months ago -- likewise for my wife's GN2. You probably have a better shot w/ flagship models on the top brands. And the situation may also have evolved now to a point where OS updates become more accessible for such... OTOH, FWIW, I still haven't bothered to update my iPad3 to iOS6 yet... _Man_
     
  4. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Yes Dave, your conventional wisdom is mostly out of date.

    Pretty much all Android phones have received at least one .X upgrade. Most of the higher end models have received two. The only exceptions I can think of are a few Gingerbread Motorola devices that did not receive ICS.

    The real problem is the lag between the release of the new version and the actual update to the phone. That may take up to a year for some models to catch up.

    That said, Samsung is very aggressive about updates. The S3 was released with ICS and got Jellybean within months. The S4 will release with 4.2.2, which makes it the first phone outside of the Nexus line to ship with the most up to date OS. They will probably get KLP within months after release.

    On the tablet front, my Transformer Prime went from HC to ICS to JB, and will likely get JB 4.2 in the near future. So that's 3 full upgrades. Of course, they have a foot in the door with Google because of the Nexus 7 line and they don't have to deal with carriers, so it's to be expected.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Let's see if I've am to speed. My perception of the past couple of years was:

    * new iPhone model would launch with new iOS version. The prior two phone models would also get the iOS upgrade, getting some new features, though not necessarily the top new feature (e.g. Siri). You could count on two (maybe three?) major iOS upgrades, with new features, for the next two iterations; and also point upgrades for bug fixes and security. (You could also count on complaints of battery life and sync problems on older hardware.)

    * new Android phone would launch, with year old OS version. It would lag current OS version for 6-12 months, getting the version current as of launch perhaps before the next major version came out. After a year or two after launch, the phone would get no more OS upgrades (and presumably no more software upgrades).


    Circa 2013, Samsung is launching new phones with latest Android OS. Is this true of other manufacturers? I'm unclear, and perhaps there's no history yet, if Samsung is providing OS updates to 1-2 year old phones shortly after the software release. Is this happening?

    The iOS upgrades from 3 to 4, and 4 to 5, were significant. (5 to 6, I'm not sure about. I got a seemingly useless Passbook app I can't delete. I'm ambivalent about Maps. I like Facebook integration.)

    So I don't know about Android updates. Maybe Android phones are so advanced at launch that no upgrades are desired. Or being on the bleeding edge of hardware compensates for lagging software by a year or two.



    I stopped by Verizon today with questions about Fios DVR and phone plans (maybe switch from AT&T). Fiddled with the S3 for a few minutes; no S4 demo yet. (Sighed over the plastic Note mockup, and the dead Note2 demo.) I talked with the cellphone guy for a few minutes and he said the S4 models wouldn't be out for a month or more. I'll try again this summer, when we're looking seriously at our phone upgrade.
     
  6. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    There is a very clear divide in Android between 2.x and 4.x.

    2.x is old school Android that relied on SD cards. 4.x is the revamped user experience where they moved to internal memory and did away with app partitions. For a lot of phones that shipped with 2.x, upgrading to 4.0 was quite complicated and problematic. It was so problematic that a lot of manufacturers, notably Motorola, scrapped their 4.0 upgrades. We're still seeing phones just now getting 4.0 upgrades because it took so long to iron out the bugs. This is one of the reasons Gingerbread was the most dominant Android OS for such a long time -- the upgrade path was messy and the only sure fire way to get to 4.x was to buy a new phone. Now that we're two cycles past GB, were seeing 4.x adoption finally approaching 50% (4.x finally eked out a 1% lead in install base just this month).

    With that little history lesson out of the way, what we're seeing with 4.x phones are better and more updates, as the path from 4.0 to 4.1 and 4.2 is much smoother than 2.3 to 4.0. Pretty much all S3 versions (including the notoriously pokey Verizon) got 4.1 updates in 2012. 4.2 has released on international versions and should soon start trickling out to the US carriers. So that would be two upgrades within a year. Of course, that only happened because the S3 launched with 4.0 when 4.1 had just been released. The S4 will launch with 4.2.2 out of the gate, which would be the first time a non-Nexus phone released with the most current OS.

    So the bottom line is:
    1) the situation is getting better
    2) Technical hurdles with upgrades slowed the initial adoption of 4.0
    3) There will always be a delay between version release and an upgrade specific to your non-Nexus phone, but it's tightened up a lot.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Got it. Thanks.
     

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