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Inside Google's Android and Apple's iPhone OS as advancing technology

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Google's Android supplies smartphone makers with the core software they can use to sell devices that compete against the iPhone. This article is the third in a series examining how Android stacks up in comparison to the iPhone as a smartphone software platform, looking particularly how core system and bundled software is delivered, updated, and maintained.

Articles in this series:
Inside Google's Android and Apple's iPhone OS as core platforms
Inside Google's Android and Apple's iPhone OS as business models
Inside Google's Android and Apple's iPhone OS as advancing technology
Inside Google's Android and Apple's iPhone OS as software markets

Previous articles in this series have examined the underlying core technology and business models used by Apple and Google to create their smartphone platforms. This segment looks at how each platform manages software updates and delivers platform advancement in the form of new operating system features and bundled apps.

Software updates: iPhone

Apple's software updates for the iPhone have followed the pattern of one major new reference release each summer, with regular minor updates released about every month or two in between. All updates install on all versions of the iPhone dating back to 2007. Any software features that require new hardware support are simply missing on earlier models, with abstracted functionality that falls back to work on the available hardware.

After the release of iPhone 2.0, Apple issued a final update for devices running 1.0, primarily for iPod touch users who needed to pay a nominal fee in order to download the 2.0 update. With the introduction of iPhone 3.0, the company signaled the intention to avoid any sort of backwards compatibility conflicts between app developers and the OS version by forcing all third party titles to certify their compatibility with iPhone 3.0.

This helped to cleanly move all iPhone users to 3.0 quickly, negating any reason to maintain support for the previous 2.x platform. This frees Apple from having to split its efforts between different versions, and works to keep the platform feature-progressive and yet simple. Users don't have to think about their phone or app software versions, it all just works.

In the chart below, updates introducing significant new features are indicated in darker colors while bug fix and performance improvement releases are lighter. Apple has delivered three or four new feature updates per year, each padded by three or four general improvement updates. In its first year, Android shipped two feature updates and two general improvement updates; that's half the pace Apple set for the iPhone in its first year.


Software updates: Android

Once a new Android update becomes available, users will need to obtain it themselves or wait for their mobile operator to deliver it. Because mobile providers and hardware makers can make significant, proprietary changes to the standard Android software, the platform's users don't all have a single, simple way to install the latest version of Android.

In other words, in order to get the HTC-specific or Verizon-specific or model-specific version of the latest Android release, users will face the same issues that RIM BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile users are all familiar with: a waiting game that involves lining up the platform vendor with the hardware vendor and then rollout by the mobile provider.

Sony Ericsson just announced its Xperia X10, a new Android model it expects to release early next year, but says it will ship with Android 1.6 rather than the latest 2.0 version. Verizon's Droid (by Motorola) and Droid Eris (made by HTC) currently ship with Android 2.0 and Android 1.5 respectively.

This is mind boggling to users familiar with Apple's updates, but again it's common practice among other smartphone platforms. Users who want to upgrade to Android 2.0 themselves will have to figure out on their own how to get Sony Ericsson's or HTC's custom user interfaces and other modifications to support their model's unique hardware until the vendor decides to adopt the most recent version. Among other software platforms, this process can take months after an update is originally released.

Additionally, depending on the hardware specifications of a given Android phone, future Android updates that Google releases may or may not install at all, or may require hacking to scale back or drop features so that they fit on the phone.

For example, Google has warned that the original, year-old T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream doesn't have enough built-in memory to accommodate future Android updates. Somewhere along the line, the software platform developer (Google), the hardware manufacturer (HTC) and the service provider (T-Mobile) delivered a phone without thinking about how it might accommodate future updates released within the next year or two.

Apple was criticized for not supporting video capture on earlier models in the iPhone 3.0 update, despite those phones actually lacking the processing power to deliver quality recording. Will Android users make excuses for Google once they find that they can't even install the latest software at all?

If this sounds familiar, it should be. These kind of issues were pandemic on Windows Mobile, where the part of Google was played by Microsoft. WiMo 5 introduced an entirely new memory design that instantly made nearly all previous phones ineligible for upgrade. WiMo 6, 6.1 and 6.5 have similarly introduced hardware/software integration obstacles that either complicated or completely blocked users from installing the latest version of their platform's software.

Today's Android phones are typically the same devices running a free alternative operating system by a vendor that exercises even less control over the platform; the Motorola Droid, HTC models, and Sony Ericsson's Xperia were all originally developed as Windows Mobile phones.

Google's Android software platform is more modern and capable than Windows Mobile (which was originally developed to run simpler PDAs), but the core problems facing Windows Mobile aren't particularly due to technology limitations; they're linked to its fractionalized, poorly integrated hardware and software model, where apps aren't guaranteed to look good or perform well and different form factors, hardware specifications, and OS versions introduce complications that are simply difficult to manage. Android's better operating system technology at less cost and with greater licensing freedom does nothing to solve these these core problems.

Platform advancement: iPhone

In addition to the problems of users just obtaining the latest updates, Android also lacks Apple's integrated business model which provides a strong motivation for delivering compelling new features. Apple's regular major updates are designed to sell hardware and keep user satisfaction high. Apple makes enough money from hardware sales to reinvest considerable efforts to keep its software platform fresh and innovative, just as it did with the iPod.

Progressive software updates were so core to Apple's business model that it changed how it accounted for iPhones in order to ensure that its planned software updates would be quickly adopted by users without any cost barriers. The result has been a rapidly advancing platform that introduces novel features and quickly matches new advances appearing on other platforms.

Even in areas where Apple has chosen not to support a particular technology, such as third party background apps or Adobe Flash Player, it has introduced alternatives that blunt the impact of those missing features, such as its centralized Push Notification Server or support for H.264 YouTube streaming.

Again, Apple's centralized control over the iPhone platform allows it to introduce new features that work across all iPhone models and then push these out to all users quickly, ensuring that new operating system features are broadly available to developers. That results in a cohesive, advancing platform that can quickly shed legacy issues while rapidly deploying new system-wide functionality.

Platform advancement: Android

Android lacks the same financial motivation. Google only wants to give phone makers and providers enough code to allow them to deliver their own customized, distinguished products so that it can continue its core business of selling ads and paid search to mobile users. Those partners actually want to have control over differentiated, compelling features that they can use to sell their Android phones in competition with other Android makers.

So rather than Android being a platform being pushed forward by Google, it will largely be advanced by Motorola, HTC, Sony Ericsson, and other makers who all have a history of making dozens of phones with terrible user interfaces and bizarre bundled apps and hardware features that are poorly implemented.

The commonality between these devices will be that they all run Dalvik bytecode and have an open source kernel, something that few Android users will care anything about. Essentially, Android isn't Google's phone platform, it's an open alternative for failing hardware makers to use in place of Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Linux to create the same type of convoluted, fractionalized, and poorly integrated products they're already making. This is also why Symbian, Windows Mobile, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson are all failing commercially.

Google's primary and most significant contribution won't be any major innovation in the core Android platform but rather in its own bundled apps, where Google plans to earn its revenues from via, to put it bluntly, adware and spyware. It should not be a surprise to see that Google is motivated to do things that advance the company's profitability rather than create free value for other companies at monumental expense to itself.

Google has no interest in making Android phones work well with a media app like iTunes because it doesn't have one; it has no motive to develop hardware integration with home theater or WiFi products because it doesn't sell them; it has no need to line up major software vendors or games developers for Android because it doesn't make any money selling hardware, and there's really very little money involved in creating and maintaining a third party software store.

This all happened before

This was the same issue with Microsoft's PlaysForSure strategy, which similarly hoped third party MP3 hardware makers and music store vendors would contribute major efforts to create an ecosystem around it so that Microsoft could then tax the platform as its core software vendor.

The problem was that there wasn't much money involved in running music stores and the margins on hardware were impacted by Microsoft's licensing fees. The only difference in Google's case is that the company isn't planning to levy a software tax for the platform itself, and instead will only try to make money from ads and paid search. But those sources provide even less revenue that can be used to advance the platform.

In effect, with the iPhone Apple acts like a club promotor funding a party for which it collects a cover charge from people who want to attend; Google has invited companies to pay for various elements of the party, each collect their own cover charges, and manage all the promotional elements among themselves even as they each compete for credit and customers and revenues. That's not going to result in a very well orchestrated nor popular party. Additionally, because Google also wants its same apps on the iPhone, there won't really be anything unique about the Android experience compared to the iPhone.

Bundled Apps: iPhone

Apple shipped the original iPhone with a series of bundled apps and no provision for third party software. Apple's own apps set a high standard for iPhone software, astronomically higher than anything that had ever existed in the mobile space before.

Rather than trying to be a small desktop computer (like previous attempts by Microsoft in its Handheld PC, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, and UltraMobile PC offerings), the original iPhone presented a series of functional but simple apps for primarily viewing local and Internet data, including a new gold standard for the mobile web browser, a central Maps app based on the Google Maps service, a universal YouTube player, a universal QuickTime player, Office and PDF viewers, a rich email client, and the typical organizer apps: Contacts, Calendar and widgets like Calculator, Stocks, and Weather.

Apple enhanced and expanded its bundled apps over the first year, incorporating support for Skyhook Wireless' WiFi geolocation in Maps and direct media downloads from the iTunes Store. With iPhone 2.0, Apple added official support for third party apps; it has continued to bundle its own new first party apps in releases since, including push features for Exchange ActiveSync and MobileMe, the addition of Nike+, Google Street Views, and iTunes features such as Genius playlists.

iPhone 3.0 introduced new bundled apps including Compass, Spotlight search, Voice Memo and Voice Control and broadly upgraded all the existing apps with multimedia copy/paste, video recording, and accessibility features. Bundled apps are updated in the same software updates as OS releases, because they all come from Apple. There's no interference or delay from the service provider, and of course, there's also no variety in hardware makers to manage.

In most cases, Apple has advanced bundled app features ahead of Android, simply because the company started more than a year earlier. However, Google has also demonstrated unique new Android features in advance of Apple. Last year, it showed off compass-activated Street Views on the T-Mobile G1, a feature that was rolled into the iPhone 3GS.

This year, Google debuted Maps Navigation, a turn by turn directions enhancement to the company's Maps. This feature will be even easier for Apple to adopt on the iPhone, as it does not require hardware upgrades. Because Google is advancing its new features to sell search rather than its own phones, there is no reason for the company to deliver unique features exclusive to Android phones, and it has shown no desire to do so.

On the other hand. Google has tried to release features that aren't supported on the iPhone, such as a native Latitude app that allows users to constantly report their location to Google. Apple doesn't currently allow third party developers to install listening or reporting software in the background. Apple also blocked Google Voice, an app that takes over the iPhone interface to supply an alternative, ad-supported phone service that competes with the iPhone's subsidizing mobile partners.

This indicates that Android users will have unique feature access to certain types of apps that Apple blocks third parties from delivering, even in cases where Google would like to make them available to iPhone users. The next segment on third party apps will look at this issue in greater detail.

Apple also offers additional apps that are available alongside third party apps in the App Store, including the free Remote and iDisk, and the $5 Texas Hold'em game. All of Apple's bundled apps are closed and proprietary. All bundled iPhone apps also run on the iPod touch, unless they require some hardware feature unique to the iPhone. Service providers are also capable of offering their own third party apps via the App Store, but can't push software directly to their subscribers.

Bundled Apps: Google

Google similarly delivers a series of closed, proprietary apps for Android. These are an optional install for hardware vendors and service providers, so these may or may not appear on Android devices. If they do, they can't be modified under the terms of Google's license, or distributed without Google's permission for use on unauthorized versions of Android firmware.

Essentially, Google's bundled apps are to Android what Office is to Windows: it may come bundled on a new system, but it's not part of the core platform. When Android is described as "free and open source software," this only pertains to the core OS; much of the value Google offers to Android comes from its bundled apps, which are not free and open source. These bundled apps are referred to as the "Google Experience," and include Google Search, Google Calendar, Google Maps, and its Gmail client. When an Android phone is advertised as "with Google," it means that it is bundling these apps.

Google also develops additional apps that are available alongside third party apps in the Android Market, and often also ports these apps to the iPhone App Store (although Apple has blocked features or complete apps on occasion, from background updates in Google Latitude to the entirety of Google Voice). This means that the majority of the core value that Google delivers for Android is not unique to Android. The only features that are unique to Android and not the iPhone are those few Google apps that Apple does not approve for the iPhone.

In addition to Google's "experience" apps that are optionally bundled with Android, hardware makers and mobile operators may also install their own closed, proprietary apps (or may include FOSS apps of their own or from other sources). These can be used to replace or augment Google's experience apps, creating flavors of Android phones that have next to nothing in common apart from their underlying platform.

If Google's apps are Androids's "Office suite," this mobile provider or hardware maker software is the platform's "preinstalled junkware," although Android phones have yet to establish their reputation for being loaded up with bloated adware, trialware, spyware and other efforts by various parties to cash in on having some control over the user's experience.

The last decade of Windows PC makers' experiences in trying to differentiate themselves before the sale and then to cash in on having claimed the eyeballs of their customers after the sale should provide plenty of evidence that Android hardware vendors will do the same kinds of things. The only difference is that Microsoft attempted to strictly limit what OEMs added to their own Windows PCs; Google is wide open to finding out how far its partners will go to load up their smartphones with advertising revenue potential.

Third party software solutions

These out of the box issues related to the business models of Apple and Google are already evident. The iPhone ships with a full complement of bundled apps that are optimized for the device, and along with the iPod touch, all devices from Apple ship with the latest version of all bundled apps and core software and can update to new versions as they become available.

Android phones such as Verizon's Droid by Motorola ship with apps that don't consistently take advantage of core operating system features (such as multitouch gestures), and don't look right on the device's unusually high resolution screen because they were designed to run on Android phones with a different display.

Droid's camera has impressive software and hardware feature specifications, but it doesn't take good pictures because the hardware and software weren't optimized to work well together. Verizon's Droid Eris, which is made by HTC, ships with an entirely different platform version: Android 1.5, with different features and fewer bundled apps. It's not clear how, when, or even if older or cheaper phones will be able to be updated to the newest Android releases.

Beyond these integration issues related to the differing business models and development motivations of Apple and Google, the two platforms also have an array of third party titles available through their mobile software markets. In both cases, the expandability and forward utility of iPhone and Android phones will be impacted by how rich and diverse and interesting their third party offerings are. The next segment will take a look at how the two mobile platform's software markets compare.
post #2 of 57
Quote:
although Apple has blocked features or complete apps on occasion,

Now that's an understatment if ever there was one.

Check this out- Apple's latest victim:

http://earthlink.com.com/8301-13506_...part=earthlink

Does Google have a censor board as well?
post #3 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


Now that's an understatment if ever there was one.

Check this out- Apple's latest victim:

http://earthlink.com.com/8301-13506_...part=earthlink

What is Voice Control?

Something that a lot of us would like to use on you.
post #4 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Something that a lot of us would like to use on you.

Touche
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Now that's an understatment if ever there was one.

Check this out- Apple's latest victim:

http://earthlink.com.com/8301-13506_...part=earthlink

Does Google have a censor board as well?



yes, Google has removed apps from the android store
post #6 of 57
Quote:
These kind of issues were pandemic on Windows Mobile

Perhaps you meant "endemic to" instead of "pandemic on"? Although, overall this series is better written than most AI stuff.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Touche

(fix my quote in your post cause you post makes no sense)

As I posted in the reasons for the edit, you originally wrote, "What is Voice Control?" and have subsequently changed it.
post #8 of 57
Which all points towards the iPhone being the iPod of smartphones.

50+ percent market share is very very likely.
post #9 of 57
You have a few problems with facts here.

First, you are missing an Android release -- 1.1. This was actually the closest to all of these that was a "maintenance" release, though it still introduced some significant new features like voice search. And certainly 1.6 counts as a significant release: though user visible features were a little less (but significant such as global search and associated APIs), there were also major advances such as the new support for a wide variety of screen sizes.

You also miss that there have been a few smaller platform updates during that time, mostly to address security issues. Maybe that is understandable since for the vast majority of users Android updates are delivered over-the-air automatically, another point you seem to miss.

And if you want to talk about motivation for advancement: how about comparing Android 2.0 changes from Android 1.0 vs. either of the major iPhone updates which occurred over a corresponding amount of time. I think you'll see the Android platform is progressing at least as fast as the iPhone.

As far as all the choices, well at this point I think it is all speculation and we'll have to see. Will Apple take over the smart phone market from everyone else? What will happen to the non-smartphone market? Are these things more comparable to MP3 players or PCs? Personally, I think a strong argument can be made for choice: for example if you want to run the stock Android platform, where you know you will be getting OTA updates to the latest platform as they are available, then you can buy a Google experience device. If you want some other experience, you can buy another device. Whether choice or the close iPhone experience will win is not something anyone can claim to know at this point.

One final comment about your statement "Android phones such as Verizon's Droid by Motorola ship with apps that don't consistently take advantage of core operating system features (such as multitouch gestures), and don't look right on the device's unusually high resolution screen because they were designed to run on Android phones with a different display." Do you actually have facts to back this up, or are you just making things up? Because I worked on that product, and I am pretty sure that every app that shipped on it was updated for high resolution screens. And as far as taking advantage of multitouch... the apps take advantage of it as much as intended for that release. There was nothing here about the bundled apps that compromised things.
post #10 of 57
This article is silly. I love my iPhone, I really do. And I own a bunch of Apple products. But this article reads like it was written by a fanboy and doesn't highlight Apple's own problems and how Android answers those problems.

Apple is to be commended for its uniformity. But in that same token, because Apple controls everything, there's a lack of freedom. It's Apple's way or no way. Take the numerous apps that have been rejected by Apple for instance. I won't bother naming them. We should all know by now.

That in an of itself is important. Early on, Apple rejected 3rd party browsers in the iPhone because it duplicated the functionality of Safari. That's like Microsoft saying no 3rd party browsers in Windows because there's already Internet Explorer. While Apple's policy has softened on that, the "duplicate functionality" policy is still there.

There are plenty of other policies on apps that are causing headaches for developers and users.

What's more is, Apple doesn't review apps until they are complete and submitted. If Apple rejects the app, the development costs of that app is wasted.

How about Adobe not being able to develop Flash for the iPhone? Flash for Android is already in the works and demoed on an HTC Hero. That's another consequence of Apple controlling every aspect of the iPhone.

Since the article is full of predictions, how about this: because of the open nature of Android, developers see more freedom to write the apps they want, and not risk having their apps rejected. We could see a mass migration of developers moving to the Android platform leaving the iPhone with a limited selection of apps.

And yes, we have seen Google reject apps... but they are mostly because they do things like tethering which is not allowed by the carrier.

Other benefits of Android include integration with Google which lets you sync data over the air (and with other devices and software that also sync with Google) for free vs. needing to subscribe to MobileMe?

Or the level of customizations Android allows. Some people love uniformity. Others like to make the phone reflect their personality and style. But Apple has always been a hit with the creative crowd, so I'm sure there are lots of iPhone users who would love to customize their phone more.

Or how Android allows developing apps that you can't even do on the iPhone without jailbreaking, such as call blacklists, call recorder, alternative keyboards?

Lastly, because Android is open and different handset manufacturers can implement it, it allows for competition. Manufacturers will be pushed to develop handsets that are better than their competitors at lower price points. This is a good thing.

So while I'm not an Android fanboy--I don't even own an Android, there are lots of benefits to the Android that I think the author of this article doesn't see, or doesn't want to acknowledge.
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post


Apple is to be commended for its uniformity. But in that same token, because Apple controls everything, there's a lack of freedom. It's Apple's way or no way. Take the numerous apps that have been rejected by Apple for instance. I won't bother naming them. We should all know by now.

Numerous out of 100,000 have been rejected?

I asked my lab staff to name them. Came up with a couple.

Can you name them? I would be interested in passing the information on.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post

There are plenty of other policies on apps that are causing headaches for developers and users.

Like what?

Quote:
What's more is, Apple doesn't review apps until they are complete and submitted. If Apple rejects the app, the development costs of that app is wasted.

I gather you don't know how much support Apple provides during the developing process.

Quote:
How about Adobe not being able to develop Flash for the iPhone? Flash for Android is already in the works and demoed on an HTC Hero. That's another consequence of Apple controlling every aspect of the iPhone.

Is that so? Not according to Adobe. http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/f...ppsfor_iphone/

Quote:
Lastly, because Android is open and different handset manufacturers can implement it, it allows for competition. Manufacturers will be pushed to develop handsets that are better than their competitors at lower price points. This is a good thing.

Interesting. So why weren't they able to do so for the past 20 years or so?

Quote:
So while I'm not an Android fanboy--I don't even own an Android, there are lots of benefits to the Android that I think the author of this article doesn't see, or doesn't want to acknowledge.

So click on his name and address him directly.
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

As I posted in the reasons for the edit, you originally wrote, "What is Voice Control?" and have subsequently changed it.

Why- am I mouse to your cat? I thought "Voice Commands" were standard on most phones since 2001. As I just got my iPhone in July I hadn't realized this was some woop-dee-do new feature with a new moniker "Voice Control". I hadn't realized Apple just got the memo in 2009- big deal!
post #14 of 57
hackbod, big thanks for your work on Android. But please don't lose your valuable time commenting this biased article, I feel like reading MacDailyNews \

Don't know who wrote this, but you should save your time by just resuming "iPhone is king, the rest is crap...". And, please check your facts, for example:

Quote:
Android's better operating system technology at less cost and with greater licensing freedom does nothing to solve these these core problems.

You could check what the Android SDK is offering on this topic before claiming this...
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Numerous out of 100,000 have been rejected?

I asked my lab staff to name them. Came up with a couple.

Can you name them? I would be interested in passing the information on.

Pleeze - 2 rejected apps! HA! Who do you think you're fooling? preposterous- don't you read anywhere else besides here? I just gave you a link for the latest one.
post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post

This article is silly. I love my iPhone, I really do. And I own a bunch of Apple products. But this article reads like it was written by a fanboy and doesn't highlight Apple's own problems and how Android answers those problems.

Seems like the article does present the pros/cons of each pretty fairly. Your comment seems to be less fair.

Quote:
Apple is to be commended for its uniformity. But in that same token, because Apple controls everything, there's a lack of freedom. It's Apple's way or no way. Take the numerous apps that have been rejected by Apple for instance. I won't bother naming them. We should all know by now.

Out of 100,000 apps, there have been a dozen rejections, many of which were later resolved. People keep bringing this us like its a) a big deal b) statistically relevant c) uncommon to other platforms (including Android). It isn't.

Quote:
That in an of itself is important. Early on, Apple rejected 3rd party browsers in the iPhone because it duplicated the functionality of Safari. That's like Microsoft saying no 3rd party browsers in Windows because there's already Internet Explorer. While Apple's policy has softened on that, the "duplicate functionality" policy is still there.

Another fallacy. Apple never rejected a 3rd party browser. Firefox doesn't have a mobile browser ready yet, and Opera decided not to attempt an iPhone port because it assumed there would be no market. And there isn't really: Safari is still the best mobile browser. Additionally, there are 3rd party browsers available for the iPhone using webkit. Search the store.

In contrast, Microsoft killed off existing new software to take that over itself. It's not like MS said, "hey, no unique desktop software on your PCs Dell and HP, because only we get to do that." Oh wait, yes it did.

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There are plenty of other policies on apps that are causing headaches for developers and users.

Perish the thought! Perhaps Android developers are also suffering headaches because there is no real market for Android apps? According to real developers, there's no money to be made. It's a hobbyist market.

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What's more is, Apple doesn't review apps until they are complete and submitted. If Apple rejects the app, the development costs of that app is wasted.

How exactly would Apple be able to approve an app that isn't completed? How do you come up with this stuff? Does Google approve apps before they are completed?

Quote:
How about Adobe not being able to develop Flash for the iPhone? Flash for Android is already in the works and demoed on an HTC Hero. That's another consequence of Apple controlling every aspect of the iPhone.

The article mentioned Flash. But most people aren't clamoring for Flash games and Flash ads on the web. It's just pundits who don't really even understand what Flash is. I'm glad Flash is being scraped off the web. It's terrible.

Quote:
Since the article is full of predictions, how about this: because of the open nature of Android, developers see more freedom to write the apps they want, and not risk having their apps rejected. We could see a mass migration of developers moving to the Android platform leaving the iPhone with a limited selection of apps.

That's what everyone has been saying. But they've all been wrong.

Quote:
And yes, we have seen Google reject apps... but they are mostly because they do things like tethering which is not allowed by the carrier.

Other benefits of Android include integration with Google which lets you sync data over the air (and with other devices and software that also sync with Google) for free vs. needing to subscribe to MobileMe?

The iPhone can sync with free Google services like Gmail and calendar. MobileMe is a superior (in my experience) option that isn't available on Android phones.

Quote:
Or the level of customizations Android allows. Some people love uniformity. Others like to make the phone reflect their personality and style. But Apple has always been a hit with the creative crowd, so I'm sure there are lots of iPhone users who would love to customize their phone more.

Or how Android allows developing apps that you can't even do on the iPhone without jailbreaking, such as call blacklists, call recorder, alternative keyboards?

I'd prefer knowing that third parties can't record my calls or do other adware/spyware stuff. On Android, you have to hope Google finds out about this before your data is stolen.

Quote:
Lastly, because Android is open and different handset manufacturers can implement it, it allows for competition. Manufacturers will be pushed to develop handsets that are better than their competitors at lower price points. This is a good thing.

Well it's a nice idea, but where are the Android phones that are so much cheaper? They seem to cost just as much if not more for the specs they offer. As this article and the last said, competition within Android is causing problems as the various parties fight over revenue.

Quote:
So while I'm not an Android fanboy--I don't even own an Android, there are lots of benefits to the Android that I think the author of this article doesn't see, or doesn't want to acknowledge.

I don't see anything novel in your comments - it's pretty much the same "choice is good" speech Microsoft gave on PlaysForSure. But it wasn't. And what's there to recommend Android today for real, apart from unicorn rainbow promises that the two biggest mobile losers (Mot & Sony Ericsson) are going to break new ground and do amazing things with it they haven't done before?
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post

This article is silly. I love my iPhone, I really do. And I own a bunch of Apple products. But this article reads like it was written by a fanboy and doesn't highlight Apple's own problems and how Android answers those problems.

Apple is to be commended for its uniformity. But in that same token, because Apple controls everything, there's a lack of freedom. It's Apple's way or no way. Take the numerous apps that have been rejected by Apple for instance. I won't bother naming them. We should all know by now.

That in an of itself is important. Early on, Apple rejected 3rd party browsers in the iPhone because it duplicated the functionality of Safari. That's like Microsoft saying no 3rd party browsers in Windows because there's already Internet Explorer. While Apple's policy has softened on that, the "duplicate functionality" policy is still there.

There are plenty of other policies on apps that are causing headaches for developers and users.

What's more is, Apple doesn't review apps until they are complete and submitted. If Apple rejects the app, the development costs of that app is wasted.

How about Adobe not being able to develop Flash for the iPhone? Flash for Android is already in the works and demoed on an HTC Hero. That's another consequence of Apple controlling every aspect of the iPhone.

Since the article is full of predictions, how about this: because of the open nature of Android, developers see more freedom to write the apps they want, and not risk having their apps rejected. We could see a mass migration of developers moving to the Android platform leaving the iPhone with a limited selection of apps.

And yes, we have seen Google reject apps... but they are mostly because they do things like tethering which is not allowed by the carrier.

Other benefits of Android include integration with Google which lets you sync data over the air (and with other devices and software that also sync with Google) for free vs. needing to subscribe to MobileMe?

Or the level of customizations Android allows. Some people love uniformity. Others like to make the phone reflect their personality and style. But Apple has always been a hit with the creative crowd, so I'm sure there are lots of iPhone users who would love to customize their phone more.

Or how Android allows developing apps that you can't even do on the iPhone without jailbreaking, such as call blacklists, call recorder, alternative keyboards?

Lastly, because Android is open and different handset manufacturers can implement it, it allows for competition. Manufacturers will be pushed to develop handsets that are better than their competitors at lower price points. This is a good thing.

So while I'm not an Android fanboy--I don't even own an Android, there are lots of benefits to the Android that I think the author of this article doesn't see, or doesn't want to acknowledge.

Apple wants their iphone to remain just that, an iphone. Having people replace your core apps and dialer to them, at least, means a dilution of their image. To them, whenever you see an iphone, they always want you to see their home screen and their stuff.

The whole "we don't know" if Apple will reject an app is ridiculous; that article quoted clearly states their rules, and the app was clearly rejected for defamatory reasons. The last time Apple decided not to follow those rules they ended up with bad PR over the baby shaker app. Notice how Apple took all the flak, and not the developer of the app.

If you think developers will jump ship to a platform with so little users, you are wrong. If people start buying Android phones in mass, then they will consider it.

Google doesn't care because they aren't in the business of selling phones or Android - all they want is ad revenue, so they don't care if one phone works completely different than another.
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

As I posted in the reasons for the edit, you originally wrote, "What is Voice Control?" and have subsequently changed it.

So what is it you want: to Voice Control or to Censor?
post #19 of 57
I have an iPhone and wouldn't trade it for the world. However, I want Android to flourish because it will force Apple to continue innovating and hopefully drive down service prices at AT&T. Having said that, I am quite discouraged because the cell phone providers control the innovation (hence the success of the iPhone, AT&T has little to do with the platform). Does anyone think Verizon will do anything truly noteworthy? Nope, they'll just look for ways to make a little extra cash when and where they can.
post #20 of 57
"Apple was criticized for not supporting video capture on earlier models in the iPhone 3.0 update, despite those phones actually lacking the processing power to deliver quality recording. "

I think you meant to use "containing" instead of "lacking." I believe jailbroken phones can record video.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackbod View Post

You have a few problems with facts here.

Quote:
Posts: 1

It's really obvious that you are new here otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to state the obvious. AppleInsider is to tech news what Fox News is to regular news.
post #22 of 57
There are folks that are completely over-glorifying (as usual) their cause in the never-ending evil-Apple vs. Open Android debacle.

I was always wondering how updates to the Android OS would occur and from what the article states, my worries were justified.

If all the phone vendors will tailor / customize Android to their specific model, then Android will go down the same road and mess as the PC industry, the 100 flavors of linux, and numerous badly designed phone OS'es.

It's only a matter of time that users of a 1-year old Android phone will complain to their provider why they can't upgrade to Android version X only to realize that provider does not support their one-year old hardware and will not provide any OS upgrade path. Their phones will essentially be "disposable" hardware.

I'll take Apples "closed" ecosystem over Android's anytime. At least Apple does everything they can to provide a consistent and OS-upgradable path to all their iPhone generations and keep their users happy with new features and enhancements. I'm an iPhone 2G owner and still am impressed that they provide OS support. Let's see the Android makers support all the different flavors of Android that they are going to be hacking up to provide their version of a "unique" experience.

They just never learn.
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erunno View Post

It's really obvious that you are new here otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to state the obvious. AppleInsider is to tech news what Fox News is to regular news.

Only difference: AppleInsider isn't claiming they're unbiased.
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Why- am I mouse to your cat? I thought "Voice Commands" were standard on most phones since 2001. As I just got my iPhone in July I hadn't realized this was some woop-dee-do new feature with a new moniker "Voice Control". I hadn't realized Apple just got the memo in 2009- big deal!

I wasn't questioning you at all. I just responded to your initial posting before you revised it.

No big deal.
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockpop View Post

Another fallacy. Apple never rejected a 3rd party browser. Firefox doesn't have a mobile browser ready yet, and Opera decided not to attempt an iPhone port because it assumed there would be no market. And there isn't really: Safari is still the best mobile browser. Additionally, there are 3rd party browsers available for the iPhone using webkit. Search the store.

Correct me if I'm wrong but iPhone SDK doesn't allow using other framework than Apple's one. So, the only browsers you can develop are browsers using webkit and Gecko engine and Opera engine can't be used.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockpop View Post

I'd prefer knowing that third parties can't record my calls or do other adware/spyware stuff. On Android, you have to hope Google finds out about this before your data is stolen.

Like some applications in the App Store did?
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong but iPhone SDK doesn't allow using other framework than Apple's one. So, the only browsers you can develop are browsers using webkit and Gecko engine and Opera engine can't be used.

Gecko can't be used by default since it's much more than a web engine: It's a complete development environment including GUI toolkit, network handling, etc. Mozilla is close to releasing their first mobile browser (Fennec) and hell will freeze over before Apple allows it on the iPhone.
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post

Or how Android allows developing apps that you can't even do on the iPhone without jailbreaking, such as call blacklists, call recorder, alternative keyboards?


I can't speak about all of your claims without checking up on them, but at the very least, there is a third party app for call recording.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/recor...284428991?mt=8
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockpop View Post

The article mentioned Flash. But most people aren't clamoring for Flash games and Flash ads on the web. It's just pundits who don't really even understand what Flash is.

And from your comment, I can only assume that your one of those people who "don't really even understand what Flash is." It is more than games and ads. There are whole web sites that will not function at all or have extremely limited usability with the lack of Flash.
post #29 of 57
1. It's not possible to know (outside of Apple) how many apps have been rejected. Apple actually changed their iPhone developer agreement to prohibit developers from publicizing rejections (although some still do). It is impossible (again, outside of Apple) to know whether it is better to keep trying to resolve issues with the app store rejection team to get your app approved, or after trying for a month or two, going public to try to embarrass Apple into actually dealing with the problem. From the reports where developers "go public", it appears to help, as it seems to actually escalate the issue to someone who actually works with the developer to resolve the issues. Reports from developers who don't go public (who just publish a blog of their experience after the fact) seem to indicate that the front-line 'reviewers' (at least the ones rejecting apps for seemingly non-sensicle reasons), you (the developer) can't expect ANY movement from the reviewer. You have to make whatever changes they direct, and there is NO discussion/compromise on any issue.

2. The problem faced by other's trying to make a 'better' OS than the iPhone OS available for licensing by multiple phone manufacturers is that there's no money in it for anybody to provide upgrades. Google effectively has do it for free (update Android), just so manufacturers will use it in their phones (so Google can advertise on them). Microsoft licenses it, and doesn't provide free upgrades for major revisions of the OS. Phone manufacturers have no incentive to upgrade the OS for existing, sold phones unless there is a widespread problem with the OS (a vulnerability or significant problem that is actually being exploited) as again, it's work being done for free. They would much rather have you buy a new phone to get a new OS with new capabilities instead. And the carriers (who also 'work' on the OS by crippling it and/or making it so it points to using their services) also don't make any additional money by providing free upgrades to end-users. This free upgrade model only works for Apple because there isn't anybody between them and end-users (as in, they don't let carriers cripple the OS for the carriers benefit). Everybody gets the same OS.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Even in areas where Apple has chosen not to support a particular technology, such as third party background apps or Adobe Flash Player, it has introduced alternatives that blunt the impact of those missing features, such as its centralized Push Notification Server or support for H.264 YouTube streaming.

I'm not buying this obvious side-effect of the Reality Distortion Field. Push Notification Server is not Apple's solution to background apps, but a meager attempt at bandaging what is a serious lack of multitasking functionality.

Try using Skype on the iPhone, then let me know what happens when you receive that first phone call after it's launched.
post #31 of 57
No doubt you'll be pleased to know that "Pull my Finger" is available in the Android market along with many other similar applications.

If I remember correctly "Pull my Finger" was originally rejected by the App store but was approved after howls of protest from aficionados of fart Apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Pleeze - 2 rejected apps! HA! Who do you think you're fooling? preposterous- don't you read anywhere else besides here? I just gave you a link for the latest one.
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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

1. It's not possible to know (outside of Apple) how many apps have been rejected. Apple actually changed their iPhone developer agreement to prohibit developers from publicizing rejections (although some still do).

For a moment I thought perhaps I missed the update.

So I reread my initial iPhone SDK Agreement and the most recent copy I had on file. I couldn't find any reference to the changes you stated were made

So, I logged into my ADC account and pulled off the most recent copy of the SDK Agreement. Turns out it id identical to our last filing.

Bottom Line: Your contention is bullshit. As is much of the rest of your posting in part 1.

I can't comment on the second part, as I have not bothered to read it.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

For a moment I thought perhaps I missed the update.

So I reread my initial iPhone SDK Agreement and the most recent copy I had on file. I couldn't find any reference to the changes you stated were made

So, I logged into my ADC account and pulled off the most recent copy of the SDK Agreement. Turns out it id identical to our last filing.

Bottom Line: Your contention is bullshit. As is much of the rest of your posting in part 1.

I can't comment on the second part, as I have not bothered to read it.

Sorry, my mistake. They didn't change the SDK agreement, but rather their rejection letters.

http://www.macrumors.com/2008/09/23/...ction-letters/

Basically, they are using section 5.1 of the SDK agreement to keep rejection letters confidential, by explicitly marking the rejection letters as being confidential.
post #34 of 57
Then those websites are not targeted at mobile web browsing devices, any web developer worth his salt will provide alternatives for other platforms, specifically the iPhone which has consistently been shown to dominate mobile web browsing.

Flash 10 for mobiles hasn't even been released yet, Nokia's N900 will have Flash 9 support but this is incompatible with Flash 10, so again who should purely Flash based web site developers target?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

And from your comment, I can only assume that your one of those people who "don't really even understand what Flash is." It is more than games and ads. There are whole web sites that will not function at all or have extremely limited usability with the lack of Flash.
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post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Sorry, my mistake. They didn't change the SDK agreement, but rather their rejection letters.

http://www.macrumors.com/2008/09/23/...ction-letters/

Basically, they are using section 5.1 of the SDK agreement to keep rejection letters confidential, by explicitly marking the rejection letters as being confidential.

It doesn't stop one from announcing that their app has been rejected.

Incidentally, the site you referenced was dated over a year ago and the Agreement re NON-CONFIDENTIALITY has been revised since.

According to Tom Richmond rejection letter of his MAD app, there was not mention of it being CONFIDENTIAL.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackbod View Post

You have a few problems with facts here.

Well, it is Dan.

Quote:
First, you are missing ...

Right. I can't say I care about your list. But I'm sure you're right.

Quote:
... Android updates are delivered over-the-air automatically

However, that is interesting.

Quote:
Personally, I think a strong argument can be made for choice...

Oh, dear, this is the point at which my eyes start to glaze over. An iPhone is a choice, too, and if it's a better one, that's the one I'll make.

I think there's a certain type of American mind that throws words like "choice" down like magical tokens. (The same is done with "freedom".) Perhaps it's a relic of the Cold War ...

But we shouldn't stop thinking just because someone uses a talismanic word such as "choice". And we shouldn't assume that just because someone uses the word he's offering us what we want.

Now, some choices are meaningful: shall I listen to some quiet impressionistic piano music or to some rousing orchestral piece? Some choices exclude others: you can't serve two moods at once.

It seems to me it's just not like that with smartphones. They all do much the same. The only question is how well they do it. What this scenario might be about is: do I want a device that succeeds superbly at what it sets out to do, or do I want one of a set of devices that all fail in slightly different ways?

Am I supposed to be more likely to buy an Android device without a keyboard because I know I could have bought one with a keyboard? That just doesn't make sense.

Or is this some kind of ideological shibboleth? I buy an Android device, because I want to bathe in the warm glow that comes from knowing that Google is "serving choice" and I'm part of that? Maybe so that I can boast that I've done that. But that's just crazy.

Or maybe "choice" is supposed to be some sort of strategic advantage: because of choice Google gets to mop up people who want square devices really badly and people who will touch no device that isn't oblong ... or something. Well, good luck with that.

I don't own an iPhone. I use a pay-as-you-go but also have a Touch for the PDA stuff. But, while I'm sure you have put the journalist right on a few details, nothing you've said would convince me to buy an Android device, if I were in the market for a smartphone. You seem to be arguing for the platform, but all you can really say in its favour is that it offers "choice" -- so what? -- and not that it is in any way better than any rival -- iPhone, Palm Pre, whathaveyou ...

This is the kind of thing that matters -- Google only offering 256MB storage for apps:

http://androidandme.com/2009/10/news...d-android-2-0/

I can tell you for nothing that if there were no other advantages enjoyed by the iPhone (and there are many) people will not be binning their iPhones any time soon in favour of a device that doesn't give them space to let them run all the apps they might want.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

There are whole web sites that will not function at all or have extremely limited usability with the lack of Flash.

That's their problem. When you decide to code your site using a proprietary non-standard technology you run the risk of it being unusable by some (often significant) percentage of your visitors.

And then you have people like me, who tend to run with browser plugins turned off. That way I don't have Flash hogging the CPU, leaking memory like a sieve, or continually crashing my browser. Not to mention that most web pages load faster and that I'm spared seeing tons of animated Flash-based advertising.

And I most especially don't want it on my phone, swamping my 3G connection by downloading megabytes upon megabytes of "rich" advertising.

Flash sucks. Flash needs to go away. Far, far away.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

That's their problem. When you decide to code your site using a proprietary non-standard technology you run the risk of it being unusable by some (often significant) percentage of your visitors.

And then you have people like me, who tend to run with browser plugins turned off. That way I don't have Flash hogging the CPU, leaking memory like a sieve, or continually crashing my browser. Not to mention that most web pages load faster and that I'm spared seeing tons of animated Flash-based advertising.

And I most especially don't want it on my phone, swamping my 3G connection by downloading megabytes upon megabytes of "rich" advertising.

Flash sucks. Flash needs to go away. Far, far away.

YOu're not even getting the full AI experience. AI uses flash- do you have a problem with that?
It's a windows world and flash helped design it.
post #39 of 57
Don't you think it's kind of ironic that AI also offered a solution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

YOu're not even getting the full AI experience. AI uses flash- do you have a problem with that?
It's a windows world and flash helped design it.
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post #40 of 57
At the rate things are heating up and the press that the Droid phones are getting, Apple will probably release a major update in their OS. I believe this is why they bought PA Semi and mapping company Placebase. They will be able to have tighter control on how the maps work and possibly caching so that if you use it as GPS you won't have to worry about loosing signal. Even though Verizon has better coverage nationally, there have been issues where users loose the signal and have no maps.

Add to the fact that the 3GS really isn't a breakthrough product, but more of a stop gap solution. They have something impressive in the works. Why else would Foxconn badger one of their engineers who committed suicide after one of the 4G prototypes went missing?? There are also a slew of interesting patents that have been awarded to Apple in the past year, so for Verizon/Google it could be the Zune all over again, they catch up to Apple and realize that they caught up to last years Apple.

I do hope that Droid does better than the Palm Pre or the Blackberry Storm (ugh). The pressure keeps Apple innovating and listening to us, the users so that we can get the basics in our phone like cut and paste and more customization, or else we'll go somewhere else.
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