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Android is a dead end
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-07-16 23:26:41

Dieter Bohn at The Verge:

So while Microsoft didn't do itself any favors, I'd argue strongly that all these machinations and flailings weren't a response (or weren't only a response) to the iPhone. The real enemy was the company that had set its sights on Microsoft's phone ambitions since before the iPhone was released.

That company was Google, of course, and it only tangentially wanted to take on the iPhone. Google's real target was always Microsoft, and it hit the bullseye.

This article looks at the past, so let me take this opportunity to posit something that might come as a surprise to some.

Android is a dead end.

I really want to write a far more detailed and in-depth article explaining why I think Android is a dead end, but I can't yet fully articulate my thoughts or pinpoint why, exactly, I've felt like this for months now. All this doesn't mean Google is going to get out of mobile operating systems, and it doesn't even mean that the name "Android" is going away. All it means is that what we think of today as "Android" - a Linux kernel with libraries, the Android Runtime, and so on on top - has served its hackjob, we-need-to-compete purpose and is going to go away.

Android in its current form suffers from several key architectural problems - it's not nearly as resource-efficient as, say, iOS, has consistent update problems, and despite hefty hardware, still suffers from the occasional performance problems, among other things - that Google clearly hasn't been able to solve. It feels like Android is in limbo, waiting for something, as if Google is working on something else that will eventually succeed Android.

Is that something Fuchsia? Is Project Treble part of the plan, to make it easier for Google to eventually replace Android's Linux base with something else? If Android as it exists today was salvageable, why are some of the world's greatest operating systems engineers employed by Google not working on Android, but on Fuchsia? If Fuchsia is just a research operating system, why did its developers recently add actual wallpapers to the repository? Why does every design choice for Fuchsia seem specifically designed for and targeted at solving Android's core problems?

I don't like making broad predictions based on gut feelings and spidey senses, since they can be incredibly misleading and hard to read, but I'm still pretty confident on this one: over the coming two to three years, Android will undergo a radical transformation. This transformation will be mostly transparent to users - their next Android phone won't actually be "Android" anymore, but still run the same applications, and they literally won't care - but it won't be a Linux device, and it won't suffer from Android's core problems.

In a few years, Google's Pixel phone will have a fully custom, Google-designed SoC, and run an operating system that is Android in brand name only.

Bookmark this.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-50 -- 51-60 -- 61-70 -- 71-71
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Comment by CATs
By CATs on 2017-07-17 07:27:10
Android is (and always was) inconceivably shitty OS for a device as critical as phone. It is slow, unreliable, insecure, unstable, inconsistent and is getting more and more retarded limitations (such as not allowing apps to enable "airplane mode", removing USB Mass Storage mode etc.). It trashes phone's battery like there's no tomorrow, constantly doing shit in the background no one asked it to do, scanning environment using all the possible radios it can find on the device, leaving actual user needs at the very end of it's priority scale.
And you know what is most appalling? There aren't any real alternatives. Well, I guess you could count iOS as an alternative... Maybe. But apart from that, if you need a reliable phone that actually does what you want it to do (and not what it's mothership asks it to do) the only alternative is to get a dumbphone.
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Comment by lighans
By lighans on 2017-07-17 08:34:24
I always look at when my phone is stable for alternative roms. I usually buy an older phone so I can flash it right away. I still need Gmail and calendar. But who needs Google Books, Google Movies, Google Play anyway?

Google has a strong hate-love relationship with Gnu/Linux. It made them rule the smartphone market, but it also made them weak in controlling what we are doing on that same phone.

Their biggest problem is that it is opensource (duh). They can use it, but not control it. Fuchsia might solve it. But don't we get another iOS clone? I certainly don't want to buy it. Hoping there are alternatives of other companies who keep android alive. Heck, maybe a Chinese branded phone will be a better option in the future.
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The Good OS.
By Z.S. on 2017-07-17 08:53:41
Fuchsia? Could it be... The Good OS? :)

A successor to BeOS that itself claimed to be a successor to the Amiga.

I expect atleast 0.2ms latency hardware accelerated audio, so that it can compete with the original "instant response" Amiga. (realtime response as many amiga-sources say).

..and it should play my old modules https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l...

:-)

Edited 2017-07-17 08:57 UTC
Permalink - Score: 4
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Android fix
By codifies on 2017-07-17 10:32:58
Android can be a horrid experience especially after dipping your toe in to the cesspit that is the Play portal.

get rid of all the google framework, better yet wipe the phone and never install it and you have a *much* faster experience with greater battery life, oh and if you care better privacy (but who cares about that these days)

I have had to provide some services on my own "cloud" (or web server as we used to call it) but there are lots and lots of alternatives out there with various pros and cons for all manner of services...

The google framework is not there for user benefit, rather for google to make money from your activity. Superficially it looks advantageous.

At least unlike the iphone, you can wipe you phone and replace vendor bloat ware with only the things you want...
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RE: You Contradict Yourself
By Thom_Holwerda on 2017-07-17 10:42:42
> "This transformation will be mostly transparant to users"

If this is true, then it isn't a dead end is it? And transparent is spelled incorrectly.


You clearly missed the part about "Android as it exists today", which was explicitly stated several times over.

> I tell you what a dead end is...and non mobile friendly website like osnews...amirite?!

Mobile sites are garbage. OSNews as it is works perfectly fine on mobile.
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RE: Android fix
By CATs on 2017-07-17 11:15:17
> Android can be a horrid experience especially after dipping your toe in to the cesspit that is the Play portal.

get rid of all the google framework, better yet wipe the phone and never install it and you have a *much* faster experience with greater battery life, oh and if you care better privacy (but who cares about that these days)

Yeah, right. If only it was that easy. I have CAT S60 (one of the very few modern smartphones that I can bear to live with) and it's impossible to even root it, not even talking about removing Google's crap... Heck, I am even prepared to PAY someone to root it and allow me to remove all the shitware from it, but so far no one is able to do that.
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RE: Comment by CATs
By Sidux on 2017-07-17 11:49:10
You have alternatives.. It's called a desktop / laptop with whatever you want to install on it.
Buying phones (i.e dumbphones) is getting as hard as any other "smart-less" device that gets into your house.
Add this the "lack of" options from your service provider to not include additional services you don't want to use in your bill.
Android runs on any cheap device and most people don't care enough about security or don't have any idea of what a smooth application is. It just works good enough.

I wouldn't call this dead end for Android.
Google cares less about which type of devices people use as long as they are using their bundled services.
Even today they are still making money out of Google search for "unofficially" supported devices (Windows Phone, Blackberry .. ).
The money that they have right now allows them to try anything. It's the implementation that counts.
This shift from an already working design model already killed too many "working" platforms.
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RE[2]: Comment by CATs
By CATs on 2017-07-17 12:09:52
> You have alternatives.. It's called a desktop / laptop with whatever you want to install on it.
I am talking about phones, and you offer me desktop computer as an alternative? WTF is wrong with you? It's as if I was looking for a shovel and you would offer me plasma screen TV.
The one and only reason why I am forced to use smartphone and not my beloved dumbphone is that I need to have access to taxi services such as Uber, Taxify etc. in my pocket. Regular old fashioned call-ordered taxi is too limited and often does not have enough cars in my area. I fail to imagine how would a desktop, or even a laptop computer would help me in this case.
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RE: Not linux that is holding it back.
By moondevil on 2017-07-17 12:16:40
Given that they gave up on C++ frameworks when they pivoted Brillo into Android Things, and that Fuchsia uses Dart for user space, this should give you an hit what Google teams think about supporting something like the NDK.
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RE[3]: You Contradict Yourself
By The123king on 2017-07-17 13:46:06
I remember doing this with the /. beta
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