Sunday, May 17, 2015

Arbour №38: the cycle of updates Android – Mobile-review

This week, your attention is invited to the argument about whether Android benefit from the transition to a precise schedule updates. Address the fragmentation of safety aspects in the operating system and the possible impact of the new model for ordinary users.


In 2010, he has headed the Android Andy Rubin in an interview with Mercury News said: “The cycle of manufacture of our products currently fall under the scheme” twice a year “, but in the long term, to the extent that, how everything will take its course, will move in the direction of the annual update, because developers hard to keep up with the ever-changing platform. I’d like to see in the face of development “arm” of our innovations, and not those who are trying to predict them ».

If you look at the version history of Android, it is impossible not to notice how chaotic schedule had announcements. At the beginning of the history of the platform, it was important to hurry: the Android OS was the role of catch-up, and had a lot of work. Each new version brings a lot of inherent features, but at this stage it is not so.


There are prerequisites for the transition to the annual cycle of Google Pack [OS], let it will be a little later. Android 5.0 Lollipop was released a year after the 4.4 KitKat. Google announced a new version of the conference Google I / O 2014, giving developers time to familiarize themselves with the appropriate preview-version upgrade to the mass start in November. Smaller updates with the elimination of the “bugs” will inevitably arise during the year, but it goes to the fact that the Android M will be in accordance with the same scenario.

Many advantages ..

You can suggest that a clear timetable for a new release will benefit the work of the Android team at Google. No one will rush to announce new software features on the go making decisions about the start of sales. The new strategy should theoretically increase the chances of a stable release, properly planned and tested updates.

The predictability and stability – these are potentially large “plus” for developers and OEM-manufacturers. If they know the date of the publication of the new version, in accordance with it and will line up their work. In an attempt to guess there is nothing good, rather the contrary. For manufacturers release new order updates will be a good base for the annual announcement of its flagship solutions. Some manufacturers employ for this great event, such as the MWC, the date of the announcement of the others vary each year, however, a clear scheme will help spur public interest and understand customer expectations.

Also, manufacturers and developers will be easier to schedule updates. Preview-version of the software developers to help ensure the stability of their own applications and games in the first day of the update deployment. Manufacturers theoretically can make the necessary adjustments to the user interface of their devices, and distribute updates through a new version of «over-the-air» (OTA). The situation today is such that all the hurry. Often, by the time you’re ready update, Google has released a new version of Android.

For consumers, the new release schedule updates Android also will be a positive change. The situation with the fragmentation may be sorely disappointed seeking the latest and best features users. After Google decides to update your Android, you have to wait to see who among manufacturers will update their devices, and then – again, wait until the operator will make the necessary changes before the release upgrade. Infographics from HTC illustrates this process. You can come to the conclusion that a stable schedule and a longer period between releases can get rid of the problem. Annual update release fragmentation totally win, but it will certainly make the situation more transparent.


The annual cycle also means a more interesting announcement of the list of new features, not the flow of minor updates. With it will be obvious differences between versions, and producers will be more difficult to justify their inaction in terms of updates. Perhaps, if no longer need to work with several updates, and the device will have a longer support.

.. and a few shortcomings

The reason why Google still has not passed an annual update cycle is the speed of innovation. More frequent releases provide an opportunity to gain access to new features and functionality as they are developed. With an annual update schedule we will have to wait longer.

As for manufacturers, at this stage, they act in accordance with the actions of competitors, pushing them to innovate and a constant stream of new devices appearing on the market all year round. The new model may suspend innovation and reduce speed in this race announcements.

Safety, here’s the catch. One of the updates that do not want to wait a long time, is a patch of existing vulnerabilities. No one plans to update their availability, but until Google released a new level of fighting “bugs” in the new version of Android, waiting may be delayed even more. Even with an annual schedule of announcements of new versions of software, small updates related to security will be simply necessary.

Is it worth it?

There is another compelling reason to move to a new model of security update , which is not discussed. There is a process of bringing new features to the product under Google. For Android from something bigger is not always necessary to upgrade the platform. Regardless of your opinion on this trend and motivation of Google, hiding behind him, there is no doubt its relevance.


It is also necessary to remember that Google began to promote Android for Work aiming at corporate users. Companies, IT-departments and corporate application developers want stability and expect a stable schedule updates. For planning purposes, this condition is mandatory and failure to comply with yet a negative impact on the credibility of Android.

Android as a platform has reached maturity. There is always room for innovation and improvement, but we have seen important new features not in every update. As soon as Google moves towards improving its OS, it seems reasonable to slow down and extending the refresh cycle. It is difficult to determine whether it will have any impact on the rate of innovation, while the process and without it slowing down, but there is hope that the potential advantages for developers and manufacturers and end-users will appreciate.

The original article, the author – Simon Hill

Elir: in his pursuit of confused all the cards in the smartphone market, and Apple iOS Android had to sacrifice some essential component of the platform. Nevertheless, the company listens to users and tries to neutralize the disadvantages. Described in the article approach to upgrades in theory can improve the Android from several sides, including become painfully familiar with fragmentation. Do you think that the problem is far-fetched, or actually change in the update schedule can help Android?



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