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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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RE[4]: Android fix
By CATs on 2017-07-19 07:48:19
> 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.
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[3]: Sounds Familiar....
By dionicio on 2017-07-19 14:44:45
NT being BSD 'estirpe' :D

Betting the ranch on NT and Linux Subsystems being highly related.

Edited 2017-07-19 14:49 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[2]: Oracle is causing this
By jonsmirl on 2017-07-19 18:59:57
I am aware they are there, but the future is dim because Oracle won't leave them alone.

Edited 2017-07-19 19:02 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[3]: Comment by CATs
By warhawk on 2017-07-19 19:01:52
>
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.


If you consider Android and iOS shit, I can only imagine the sewage waste of a phone you must use. Oh, wait you use a CAT S60 so you must work with sewage directly. I guess your attitude comes from ingesting a bit of it everyday.

>
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.


You really should watch it because it puts into perspective just how igonorant your comments really are. How exactly is a phone with a slower CPU, a slower GPU and slower storage beat an iPhone that has faster components? Efficiency. It also helps that iOS apps have become more bloated by the year.

>
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're a liar. Do you really think we're going to believe you extended the battery life of a phone with a 3800 mAh battery from 2 days to 11 days by disabling apps. No, what an idiot like you did was to reduce his phone usage to almost zero and place it in standby mode the majority of it's time.

>
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.


The thing that ejected you probably was because the IQ was certainly passed onto you. Also, let's make one thing very clear, the only one butt hurt here is you because someone stood up to a cantankerous old POS like you and put you in your place.
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Comment by tuxroller
By tuxroller on 2017-07-19 21:37:53
Android is a dead end.

As is this universe. Entropy is cruel.



I really want to write a far more detailed and in-depth article explaining why I think Android is a dead end

Maybe you should've done that rather than posted this.


but I can't yet fully articulate my thoughts or pinpoint why, exactly, I've felt like this for months now

Well, that's a great start for a technical polemic.
My guess is that the recent new book about the coming into being of Android at Google played some role.

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.

Actually this is a better start, but you don't seem to believe so. Perhaps because it's hard to prove these starting points are the case?


Android in its current form suffers from several key architectural problems

Now we get to the difficult parts.
First, define "architectural" and "key architectural".

it's not nearly as resource-efficient as, say, iOS,

Difficult to prove as they run on different hardware.
However it isn't true for Linux and osx, so, we have some reason to think the issue isn't with the kernel.

has consistent update problems

Absolutely. Also not only, or even primarily, at the feet of Android itself.

and despite hefty hardware

Not compared to what iOS uses when looking at single thread, parsing and DOM performance.


still suffers from the occasional performance problems

As does ios, but the pixel seems to have pretty much fixed these problems by using schedtune/eas. We'll know more once that's upstreamed and other oems integrate it.

among other things - that Google clearly hasn't been able to solve

Remove "been able to", add an "ed" to "solve", and your point is better, but the pixel still appears to offer evidence to the contrary.

It feels like Android is in limbo, waiting for something, as if Google is working on something else that will eventually succeed Android

Maybe this should be in you diary?

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?

There's a lot here so I'll just list a few things:
*Google likes to experiment (not sure why this needs to be said as they have a very long history of this)
*Those wallpapers are stock photography (perform a reverse image search)
*Android can be better so it makes sense to explore the problem space with as few constraints as possible to see if there exists a radically better solution
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[4]: Not linux that is holding it back.
By cdude on 2017-07-20 08:04:14
> Instead we got the constrained NDK, in case you didn't noticed, only these APIs are allowed, anything else will kill the application.

What you mean with "constrained" and "kill the application" from a pure technical, rather then emotional or marketing, view?
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[4]: Comment by CATs
By CATs on 2017-07-20 09:13:57
> If you consider Android and iOS shit, I can only imagine the sewage waste of a phone you must use. Oh, wait you use a CAT S60 so you must work with sewage directly. I guess your attitude comes from ingesting a bit of it everyday.
Oh wow, so much arguments, so logical and clever :-D You clearly have nothing to say, apart from plain insults.

> You really should watch it because it puts into perspective just how igonorant your comments really are. How exactly is a phone with a slower CPU, a slower GPU and slower storage beat an iPhone that has faster components? Efficiency. It also helps that iOS apps have become more bloated by the year.
Why in the world would I ever care about Android vs. iOS comparisons?

> You're a liar. Do you really think we're going to believe you extended the battery life of a phone with a 3800 mAh battery from 2 days to 11 days by disabling apps. No, what an idiot like you did was to reduce his phone usage to almost zero and place it in standby mode the majority of it's time.
Ahaha, you now resorted to denial (I suppose the truth is too shocking for you if you have to do that) :-D
Here you go, a screenshot with a proof:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/7s9hZa5...
Note, this was taken while my optimization was still in progress, so battery life now improved even further.
My phone usability is absolutely fine and is in no way "reduced" as far as I am concerned. I don't need Facebooks, Instagrams, GPS, WiFi scanning, Google's telemetry and other similar crap.

> The thing that ejected you probably was because the IQ was certainly passed onto you. Also, let's make one thing very clear, the only one butt hurt here is you because someone stood up to a cantankerous old POS like you and put you in your place.
You sound so "mature", I will make an educated guess that you are most likely between 12 and 14 years old.

Edited 2017-07-20 09:17 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[3]: Oracle is causing this
By warhawk on 2017-07-20 20:24:41
> I am aware they are there, but the future is dim because Oracle won't leave them alone.

If anything, the future looks dim for Oracle as they continue to shed more and more customers. I also wouldn't expect an appeals court to overturn a jury verdict.
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[5]: Comment by CATs
By warhawk on 2017-07-20 20:32:18
>
Oh wow, so much arguments, so logical and clever :-D You clearly have nothing to say, apart from plain insults.

This coming from an person that had to resort to name calling because he was frustrated and couldn't come up with an argument.

>
Why in the world would I ever care about Android vs. iOS comparisons?

To put into perspective and context just how stupid your comments were.


>
Ahaha, you now resorted to denial (I suppose the truth is too shocking for you if you have to do that) :-D
Here you go, a screenshot with a proof:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/7s9hZa5...
Note, this was taken while my optimization was still in progress, so battery life now improved even further.
My phone usability is absolutely fine and is in no way "reduced" as far as I am concerned. I don't need Facebooks, Instagrams, GPS, WiFi scanning, Google's telemetry and other similar crap.


I noticed you had no time on WiFi. Do you also turn your cell radio off every chance you get? You spend so much time trying to micromanage your battery that you might as well get a dumbphone as that probably suits your usecase better.

>
You sound so "mature", I will make an educated guess that you are most likely between 12 and 14 years old.


Say, aren't you the degenerate that started throwing around the "retarded" word? Was there really a need to try and project your mental condition onto others?

Edited 2017-07-20 20:33 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[6]: Comment by CATs
By CATs on 2017-07-21 07:21:44
> To put into perspective and context just how stupid your comments were.
I'm sorry, but would you be able to finally explain HOW is that video comparison at all related to my comments? Furthermore, how is it supposed to "put them into perspective"? I'm not sure you even understand yourself what you are talking about.

> I noticed you had no time on WiFi. Do you also turn your cell radio off every chance you get? You spend so much time trying to micromanage your battery that you might as well get a dumbphone as that probably suits your usecase better.
Well that is exactly what I had and really liked. And I would still use dumbphone-only, but unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I need access to taxi apps, such as Taxify, eTaxi etc. That is the one and only reason why I am forced to use this dreaded, awful parody of an operating system called Android.

> Say, aren't you the degenerate that started throwing around the "retarded" word? Was there really a need to try and project your mental condition onto others?
You see, "retarded" was quite a measured and adequate conclusion to make after reading your comments. I did not make it up out of thin air as you did with "Microsoft fanboy" etc. You don't want to be perceived as retarded 14-year old? Then don't act like one.

Edited 2017-07-21 07:22 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1

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