Why Is My Android Phone So Much Different Than Yours?

“I didn’t know that I had an older operating system until I compared it with my friends,” Roark says. “They said my Android Market looks very different from theirs.”…

Like Roark, many Android customers are discovering that their new smartphones do not have the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Despite state-of-the art hardware and design, many new Android phones are shipped with older versions of the firmware, cutting off consumers’ access to newer features and apps that require the most recent versions.

Ah, the perils of fragmentation. This is a problem that’s only going to get worse and, despite the dreams of some pundits, there’s very little Google can do about it. This is what so-called “open” begets.

In this case, why would Verizon dole out an upgrade that provides free GPS navigation when they can sell it to him for $10 a month? And that’s even assuming the guy’s phone can run the latest Android. It’s a mess, and getting messier.

I wonder what Google’s new mouthpiece Tim Bray thinks of this? I’m sure he’ll have a good little corporate response after he figures out the difference between the mobile internet and an app store.

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5 thoughts on “Why Is My Android Phone So Much Different Than Yours?

  1. The iPhone lifted Android from a Blackberry imitator (early prototypes) into a modern device. WIthout the iPhone Android would be nothing. Feel free to thank Apple for the ideas Google implemented. I’m not a hater, but there is no iPhone 2.0 fragmentation because any iPhone can upgrade to the latest. Any. One. This is not so with Android.

  2. Constable Odo, That’s great, except the geek market is tiny compared to the consumer market in general. Hardly something worth pursuing to the exclusion of others. And, for all the freedom you talk about, an iPhone user has many, many more app choices than all Android models put together.

  3. Geeks love customization. They want their interface customized so it’s distinctly different from other Android users. Geeks say that interface consistency is for fools and chumps. Conformity is for losers. Every manufacturer wants to slap a different face on their particular branded handset, so it will stand out from the others. I’m fairly certain that users that have one-year old handsets will probably be stranded by some newer Android uπgrade. But the geeks don’t care. They’ll just go out and buy a newer Android handset and problem solved. Good for Android and their users. They have all the freedom in the world.

  4. “after he figures out the difference between the mobile internet and an app store”He did sound a little confused. Guess his blood pressure was a little too high to think it through.

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