Android open? “Clopen”, more like!

Android open? “Clopen”, more like!Marketing Land’s Danny Sullivan has penned a rather interesting article about the supposed openness of Android.

Ultimately Danny doesn’t say anything we’re not already aware of, but he makes some interesting observations and throws around words like “absurd” and that. Great stuff.

Google is predictably keen to play down the fragmentation thing, and recently announced that Gingerbread (Android 2.3) distribution had surpassed 50%. But waitaminute… aren’t we supposed to be in the Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) era?

Au contraire, only the Samsung Galaxy Nexus currently ships with Ice Cream Sandwich, while a few Google Nexus S owners have received the update OTA.

Part of the problem, as Danny observes, is that manufacturers are keen to set themselves apart with their own unique take on Android. Samsung has TouchWiz, HTC has Sense, the Amazon Kindle Fire does its own thing entirely…

Indeed, Sammo recently pointed to TouchWiz when it explained why the Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Tab were incapable of hosting Ice Cream Sandwich.

Danny also notes the absurdity in not knowing if or when your device will receive the latest version of software. Clearly it’s not fair making comparisons with iOS, as there only a handful of current iDevices, but Microsoft seems to manage alright with Windows.

While we’re dissing Android, let’s take a moment to remember the recent infographic which defined Google’s OS as the least open of eight open source mobile projects. I believe the word “autocratic” was used. Oh dear.

Read more about: Android

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AndroidUser127  Jan. 3, 2012 at 17:07

Wonder if it will get as bad as apple ? ?

htc wildfire apps

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 4, 2012 at 09:10

It's all a bit messy if you ask me.
When a-year-old phones suddenly aren't 'good enough' for an update, something smells. A LOT of people are on 18- or even 24-months contracts. And not only are they expected to suspend hopes in updates, no, it'll also affect future compatibility of apps they may spend money on.
WP7, of course, is a whole different kettle of fish: MS have very restrictive T&Cs for OEMs - no option to skin etc etc. So, there's good in bad because all devices are designed with future changes in mind.

What'd interest me is this: do OEMs know something we don't? I suspect - without real data it's just a hunch -, I suspect many Android device owners may not be that upset - at least in the past few folks actually bothered with firmware updates. And maybe Sammy & co reckon, the rest can suck it up or go to XDA?
Ironically, those most concerned with high performance, tweaks and updates should probably ditch resOurce hogs such as Sense and TouchWiz, anyway.

And now coffee.


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