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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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Comment by dionicio
By dionicio on 2017-07-18 15:01:26
"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. "

See security reasons for having their flag products on "of-the-house" hardware.

See no reasons on abandoning monetization to the rest of ARM market.
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Nope
By just-me on 2017-07-18 19:59:43
IMHO both articles are wrong - or at least misleading.

Android was a strategic move by Google.
Mobile was going to explode. Whether that's MS and/or Google is irrelevant from Googles POV. In either case a big tech giant controls a relatively closed platform and acts as a gateway for software that is allowed on their mobile OS.

Google is mostly making money with search.

If MS and/or Apple control a large percentage of the market then they could easily (and eventually would) use their own search engine on mobile devices.

That would drastically limit Googles ability to compete.

And Android is not a dead end.
No sane company is going to dead-end the most successful mobile os of all time and replace it with something new. That would needlessly annoy both devs and customers and makes zero sense from Googles POV.

Sure they might replace the Linux Kernel with something else and they already are replacing old Java libs.

But all that will be gradual while slowly evolving the APIs that devs use.
Same for the UI. There won't be a bg break - just gradual evolution.

Given enough time all OS and libs change gradually.
Windows is not the same system as 20 years ago - and neither is Linux.

And that genius programmers hack a new kernel (this time Fuchsia) doesn't mean much. MS has done so for decades - but none of the experimental new kernels ever made it into real world OSs so far.

Perhaps Google replaces Linux - perhaps not.

And Android does not have a big resource problem compared to ios.
It runs suffiently efficient on cheap modern hardware- and that's all a system ever needs to do.

All OSs have room for optimizations that are not realized because the risks of major rewrites don't justify the gains.
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RE[2]: Oracle is causing this
By modmans2ndcoming on 2017-07-18 21:29:08
Microsoft should go all Samsung on Android and make Cortana a first class citizen through the launcher.
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RE[3]: Android fix
By phoenix on 2017-07-18 22:28:06
IOW, you want a phone, not a pocket computer. Definitely a valid usecase.

Personally, I want less of a phone and more of a pocket computer. I'm still waiting for a landscape slider with modern specs to be released to make this a reality. I don't want a media consumption device (which is what most slab phones are these days). I want a palm-sized computer that can replace all my other portable computers (tablet+keyboard case, netbook, laptop).

Stick a slider keyboard onto a Galaxy S7 and we'll have reached portable computer nirvana. :)
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RE: Oracle is causing this
By warhawk on 2017-07-19 02:01:00
You really have no idea of what you're talking about. Android apps have been available on a large selection of Chromebooks for some time. I'm even running Android apps on my Chromebook.

https://www.chromium.org/chromium...
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RE[2]: Oracle is causing this
By warhawk on 2017-07-19 02:13:18
>
Google has almost no power to control anyone. The majority of Android devices (the Chinese market) don't use Google services. Their is also nothing stoppkng the big OEMs from forking Android or replacing the Google sevices with another suite of services. (MS could even produce their own version of Android with Hotmail, Here Maps, Bing etc.)



The ignorance must be bliss. By the way, do you know Jack? Google Play Services is the control. Why do you think no phone has ever succeeded without it outside of China? Why do you think those Chinese OEM's quickly install Google Play Services the second they try to sell their phones outside of China? Google Play store and the rest of the Google apps are all of the control Google needs to make those OEM's do whatever Google wants them to do.

Edited 2017-07-19 02:25 UTC
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RE: Comment by CATs
By warhawk on 2017-07-19 02:24:11
> 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.



Perhaps you should stop using cheap and shitty Chinese phones. Android has already proven to be more efficient than iOS. Just look the recent PhoneBuff speed test between the OnePlus 5 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The OP5 costs half as much, has a weaker CPU and slower storage and it still beats the iPhone 7 Plus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h...

Be sure to watch every second of that video because it shows just how ignorant your comments are.

As for battery life, lets have a look at a battery drain comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z...

Whatever happened to the iPhone 7 Plus being so efficient? It can't even render video properly and handily gets beaten by a OP5 and Pixel XL.

You know what I think? I think you're one of those disgruntled little Microsoft fanboys that can't accept the fact that their phone platform is dead. You probably still use that piece of garbage windows phone because you're so loyal to MS and, of course, apps don't really matter, right?
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RE: Nope
By moondevil on 2017-07-19 06:34:07
> but none of the experimental new kernels ever made it into real world OSs so far.

Actually they did, the picoprocess used for supporting the new Linux subsystem are based on Drawbridge.
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RE[2]: Comment by CATs
By CATs on 2017-07-19 07:28:40
> Perhaps you should stop using cheap and shitty Chinese phones.
I have always used only top of the line phones: Galaxy S II, Galaxy S7 Edge and HTC's most expensive ones.
> Android has already proven to be more efficient than iOS. Just look the recent PhoneBuff speed test between the OnePlus 5 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The OP5 costs half as much, has a weaker CPU and slower storage and it still beats the iPhone 7 Plus.
Did I ever say iOS is considerably better? No. I said iOS might be considered an alternative, but it's quite a shitty alternative, too. It's more of a matter of taste: you can choose between crap and shit.

> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h...
Be sure to watch every second of that video because it shows just how ignorant your comments are.

I don't need any video, I have used Android first-hand long enough on several most expensive and most powerful smartphones on the planet.

> As for battery life, lets have a look at a battery drain comparison:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z...
Whatever happened to the iPhone 7 Plus being so efficient? It can't even render video properly and handily gets beaten by a OP5 and Pixel XL.

You are so clueless, it hurts. Let me tell you what I mean: my current Android smartphone, CAT S60, used to last for about 2 days out-of-box. Then I started removing all the crap I could, disabled all the shit that is completely useless for me as a user, installed an app that watches OS activity and (very) aggressively kicks the butt of any app, activity or feature that decides to wake up for no reason and do some shit no one asked it to do. Now my phone lasts for 11 days on a single charge! Do you see just how retarded you look now with all your benchmarks and comparisons?

> You know what I think? I think you're one of those disgruntled little Microsoft fanboys that can't accept the fact that their phone platform is dead. You probably still use that piece of garbage windows phone because you're so loyal to MS and, of course, apps don't really matter, right?
Microsoft? Ar you totally retarded? I have never even tried any Microsoft phone in my life. Just by this totally made up comment you have proven to be a huge Android fanboy yourself. And quite a butt-hurt one, I might say... Because you have to be seriously butt-hurt to make up such hilarious conclusions from thin air.
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RE[4]: Android fix
By CATs on 2017-07-19 07:47:41
> IOW, you want a phone, not a pocket computer. Definitely a valid usecase.

Personally, I want less of a phone and more of a pocket computer. I'm still waiting for a landscape slider with modern specs to be released to make this a reality. I don't want a media consumption device (which is what most slab phones are these days). I want a palm-sized computer that can replace all my other portable computers (tablet+keyboard case, netbook, laptop).

Stick a slider keyboard onto a Galaxy S7 and we'll have reached portable computer nirvana. :)

Well, actually, I completely understand you. I would also like a pocket computer with integrated phone capability (a smartphone, yes), given these requirements are met:
1. Physical keyboard. Landscape slider would be perfect, maybe even with additional number keyboard on the front (like old Nokia E90 communicator).
2. Good battery life (at leas a week on a single charge).
3. Big and thick enough to hold in your hand comfortably (goes well with requirement nr. 2).
4. Proper, well optimized OS that puts user needs first and gives user a complete control of the device.
5. Some resistance to elements (water, cold) and bumps would be great.
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