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Home of my tech rants, free programs, and a story or two…

Open Android vs. Apple iPhone

I’m not denying that Android is more open and that it does allow for the user to change a lot of stuff but outside a small circle of geeks, most people don’t change a thing about their Android phones. Geeks like to say that on Android you can change your launcher, your default web browser, email client, text messaging app, image/photo viewer, music player, camera, phone app, calendar, and everything else under the sun. But let me tell you something… 99% of users that aren’t geeks don’t change a thing about their Android phones, heck… most people don’t even change their ring tone for God’s sake. Do you have any idea how many people still have the default T-Mobile ring tone? Yeah… lots of people.

For those people who really couldn’t care one bit about how their phones work and just want it work, an iPhone is the best choice. It gives that category of users everything that they could ever need right out of the box with little to no tweaking or adding of things. If there is one thing that Apple excels at more than anyone else in the industry, it is ease of use. Everything a normal person could ever want is already on an iPhone ready to be used the moment they pick it up.

And the best part is, the device is supported. If you have a problem or a question and you don’t know the answer and you would rather talk to someone and not just a faceless user on a forum, you can call Apple or walk into any Apple Store and talk to a Genius Bar person and they can walk you through on how to do something. There’s no safety net for Android users and their devices.

And best of all, every iPhone no matter where you are in the world, no matter the carrier, it gets iOS updates the same day that everyone across the world gets it. If you ask me, that’s a big huge plus in my book. Android is an absolute mess when it comes to software updates.

For geeks, yes, Android may very well be a better platform but for the vast majority of people who just want it to work… Apple is best. There’s no arguing this.

New theme

I have installed a new theme on the site to give it a fresh new look. The old theme was getting old, I’ve used it for years. Now for a new look. I hope you like it.

Why doesn’t my Android device enjoy the same updates that iPhone users enjoy? Part 2…

In Part 1 we talked about the economics of Android, namely the fact that Android is practically a money printing machine. In Part 2 we’re going to talk about the technical side of things and how the carriers in the US manage to screw things up royally for everyone involved.

In the United States the updates are not only being bogged down by the OEMs but by the carriers as well. So here is the process by which Android updates have to go through for users in the United States.

  1. New software released by Google.
  2. OEMs get the update which then they have to merge in any changes that Google made into their bastardized version Android that they’re using (TouchWiz, Sense, etc.) and hope to God that whatever Google changed didn’t break the whole house of cards in the process.
  3. The OEM sends the update pack to the carrier which the carrier then sends back to the OEM containing the changes they want added to it be it additional bloatware, carrier network changes, network additions like VoLTE, etc.
  4. The OEM then gets these change requests from the carrier and makes those changes.
  5. The OEM then sends what it thinks that the carrier wants the update to be like to the carrier which… oh wait, did you think it would be finalized now? Nope. The carriers then submit more changes to the OEM.
  6. The OEM does those changes and submits the changes back to the carrier.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 a couple of times.
  8. And now finally, eight months later the end user finally gets the update only to have the whole entire shitty process start all over again when Google releases a new version of Android.

And now you know why Android phones are notorious for not getting updates on time in the United States.

Not only that but the OEMs also make it that much more difficult for themselves because they also make different variations of the same device. For instance, in Europe they have one model (using one processor) and in the United States they have another model (using another processor). So not only do they have to maintain Android distributions for every single carrier but distributions for every variation of the same device. Some carriers want added stuff in it like additional bloatware, settings, icons, etc. and another carrier wants different stuff. All in all, it’s a headache and a half to maintain.

So why can’t we all just have one variation of a device and be done with it much like Apple does? Well… we can’t do that in the Android world, everyone has to be different. Every device has to be different. We can’t have standardization. That would make Android more like Apple. But at the same time it would make things lot easier on the Android OEMs since they would only have to maintain one distribution of Android to be used on all of their hardware thus making and keeping devices up to date a relative breeze according to the mess that they have now.

Oh… and we have to tell the carriers to go f*** off. Something that Apple did from the very start. This is the way we’re going to do things and no one can tell us otherwise. This is why regardless of what carrier you have, regardless of where in the world you are, your iPhone will always get the same iOS updates on the same date.

Why doesn’t my Android device enjoy the same updates that iPhone users enjoy?

Alright, let’s get something straight here… I’m going to argue this topic purely from an economic point of view, not a technical one, but an economic point of view. With that being said, let’s continue…

When an Android OEM is about to come out with a new device what does the Android OEM do? Think about this for a moment. Have you thought about it?

When an Android OEM is about to come out with a new device they start off with a marketing blitz. In the case of Samsung (the OEM I’ve chosen for this blog post), they market the device as “The Next Big Thing”©. Why is that? I’ll give you some more time to think…

OK, time’s up. The reason why they do this is because this marketing strategy practically prints the cash for them. It practically hauls the cash in for the OEM by the semi-truck full. All they need to do is come out with a new device every year and it’s like a gold mine for the company.

So with that being said, we now ask the question which is also the title of this post. Why doesn’t my Android device enjoy the same updates that iPhone users enjoy?

To answer that question we have to think about the economics of Android. Android is a money printing machine for any company that makes Android devices. The hard work is already is done for them, the base OS is handed to them free of charge and not only that but they can modify it all they want and change it into whatever they want it to be. Not only that but every time an OEM releases a new model device it practically prints cash for them. So from a purely economic point of view, there’s no good business reason for the OEM to develop software updates for their older devices.

Let’s face some things here… If you were an executive in one of these OEMs, Samsung for instance. What would you rather do?

  1. Develop software updates for your older devices which not only costs the company money but also takes away from the R&D of new devices.
  2. Put the effort into making “The Next Big Thing”© which is pretty damn well guaranteed to bring in the cash like nobody’s business.

Hmm… if I were an executive which one of those choices would I choose? Choice #2 of course, silly.

So basically from a purely economic point of view there’s really no reason why the OEM should update your phone. They already have your money after all. The OEMs consider it a done deal the moment you hand over your cash.

And now you know why your Android device will never see updates like iPhone users enjoy. This is purely economics here folks, you can’t argue with economics.

Windows OS Support

As of right now, all of the programs that I make available on this web site and any future programs will continue to support older versions of Windows including versions of Windows going back to Vista. Windows XP support will be phased out starting with System Restore Point Creator. The amount of people using Windows XP is dwindling fast so at this point I feel that keeping support for Windows XP is an undue burden on me to continue.

As I stated before, older versions of Windows including Windows Vista will continue to be supported. If that means I can’t move past utilizing Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, then so be it. .NET 4.0 is the oldest version of .NET that’s still supported on Windows 10 and Windows Vista. Yes, there’s a lot of things in future versions of .NET that could make my life easier but that would eliminate support for Windows Vista and that’s something I simply don’t want to do.

I need to maintain support for as many versions of Windows as I can. Despite Microsoft’s heavy handed approach to upgrading users to Windows 10, there will always be people who will choose to stay with an older version of Windows and I intend to support these people now and in the future for as long as I can.

Downloads were broken…

Yes, I know downloads were offline much of today and a part of yesterday. I was working on the download count script that I use to track how many people download my programs.

Right now, downloads are fixed so things should be back to normal.

The biggest mistake Google made was…

Unfortunately, when Google licensed Android to their OEM partners they made one fatal mistake; they didn’t put anything in the licensing agreement that the OEMs had to agree to to use Android stating that they had to maintain their devices. Google can release all the Android versions that they want but the OEMs can turn around say… “Meh… We don’t care.”

Proof of this is that you can still find new devices being sold today with Android 4.1 Jellybean. No, I’m NOT kidding here! Yes, Android 4.1! How Google is even allowing devices to be sold with an OS that old should be not allowed. Oh.. but wait, Google doesn’t have any control here.

If we look back in history Google was releasing Android right around the time Apple was releasing the iPhone 3G. In order to get a leg up on the iPhone Google decided to license Android to their OEM partners at the time with a very open-ended licensing agreement which, if you ask me, gave the OEMs way too much control leaving Google with very little.

Google has no control over the destiny of Android, the OEMs do. They’re the ones that ultimately decide if Android is going to die or not. But wait.. I know, you’re going to say that I’m stupid for saying that but read on and you’ll find out why I said that.

As of right now, Google has no control on whether or not your device will be updated or not. Lately they’ve been trying to take back some of the control that the OEMs have by putting a lot of things into what’s known as Google Play Services. That’s good for consumers because that’s the one thing Google has ultimate control over. But, Google has to tread carefully because if they move too fast in trying to take back the control they never should have given up to begin with, the OEMs can turn around and say “Fine Google, you want that control back? Here it is, we’re going to make our own mobile OS or we’ll just move to Tizen.” And what would happen if that scenario played out? Android would experience an instant death.

You see, without the OEMs Android is virtually dead. Yes, Google does have their own devices but they make up such a small piece of the Google Android marketshare that you might as well not even say that they exist. The biggest players in the Android ecosystem is Samsung, HTC, Sony, and a few others. If Google were to piss these players off it would be the death of Android.

Windows 10… Very good Microsoft!

Well, I upgraded all on my computers to Windows 10 and so far it been an excellent experience. Well done, Microsoft, well done; you’ve really pulled through with Windows 10!

The Windows 10 Start Menu

My Windows 10 Start Menu

That above is my Windows 10 Start Menu.

I spent about five minutes customizing it, pinning program icons, and categorizing them under headers on my Start Menu. All of my most used programs and apps, all there, pinned and ready to go.

This new Start Menu is actually more useful than the Windows 7 Start Menu. You couldn’t do the kind of categorizing I did on Windows 7’s Start Menu, hell… you couldn’t pin that many apps to the Windows 7 Start Menu. The Windows 10 Start Menu is infinitely more useful than Windows 7’s Start Menu because everything you need can be right there, ready for your click.

Yes it takes some time to set it up to be the way you want it to be but once it’s set up, it’s excellent!

 

Upgrading to Windows 10 under very adverse conditions…

I installed Windows 10 as an upgrade from Windows 7 on my father’s notebook and it went perfectly. Note, this is a machine that flat-out refused to run Windows 8.x because the notebook has one of those funky dual-GPU setups in which it has an ATi/AMD Radeon GPU and an Intel GPU (yes, I said it was a funky setup).

Under Windows 8.x the ATi/AMD and Intel GPU drivers never meshed right under Windows 8.x which resulted in video card support being well… completely FUBAR.

I said, what the hell… it’s a free upgrade, might as well try it. I did a Macrium Reflect disk image of the system disk just in case Windows 10 resulted in a FUBAR video situation. But, much to my surprise, Windows 10 supports this dual-GPU setup flawlessly.

WELL DONE MICROSOFT! God, I can’t believe I just said that. Let me go wash out my mouth, it tastes bad now.

Windows 10’s release date is near…

Windows 10’s release date is near and I’m excited. The moment Windows 10 is released on July 29th is the moment I’ll be telling my computer to start downloading Windows 10.