Future of Android? Take 2
August 26, 2010 1 Comment
A week ago, I discussed the Future of Android and felt that one thing that will come to haunt Google will be the fragmentation of the OS, which will be difficult to correct because each OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) will tweak it differently to make it distinct in the market flooding with Android handsets, and also that this will make it difficult to upgrade to the latest version of the OS.
Well, Dell has just come out with its first handset, the Aero. It runs on version 1.5, which is 16 months old and four versions behind the current Android OS, 2.2. It is the “The ultimate example of Android’s flaws,” says Bill Snyder; “Dell’s new Aero shows yet again that the fragmented Android platform is broken and the carriers still rule idiotically“.
The venerated non-Apple blog, PC World, gives “3 Reasons to Avoid it“. Besides it being a mediocre hardware and being on AT&T, the third reason is that it has “Really Old Software“. It explains that “Dell has customized heavily the user interface on the Aero, something that would delay the company significantly if it ever decides to give Aero users a software update to the latest version of Android. Because of the old software on the Aero, many applications from the Android Market won’t be compatible with the phone, as they require 2.X version of Android, so you would be stuck with a limited selection of software add-ons to your Aero“.
Dell is not alone with this problem. Motorola has recently unveiled a successor to its Droid, the Droid X. However, in another article, PC World believes that the “Motorola’s Android 2.2 Rollout [is] a mess“, which “…is becoming an exercise in frustration“. The reasons are similar: fragmentation, and uncertainty as to when it will have a full functioning Android 2.2. Ken Segall has made a summary of this article:
• The first Android 2.2 (Froyo) upgrades to Droid failed to deliver Flash. An upgrade to the upgrade will shortly fix that.
• The overseas Droid (called Milestone) gets Froyo in late Q4, but only in Europe and Korea. Froyo is “under evaluation” for Canada, Latin America and Mexico.
• Motorola phones with pre-2.1 versions of Android won’t get Froyo anytime soon.
• The Motorola Cliq, Cliq XT and Backflip are waiting for Android 2.1, but the Devour won’t get it.
• Owners of the Droid Incredible are still waiting for their upgrade.
• The brand-spanking-new Dell Streak was delivered with Android 1.6 and won’t get an upgrade till the end of the year.
• Samsung Galaxy phones are expected to get Froyo, but no one knows when.
• The only company to “ace” the Froyo launch was … Google. Nexus One users got their upgrades back at the end of June.
I have no doubt that the Android OS will soon become, and remain, the dominant OS. As I showed in my last article, it will populate the plethora of handsets manufactured by a number of OEMs who will fight with each other the on remaining slice of the profit pie left over by Apple and RIM.
Android is the Windows Mobile of the coming decade.