Poll: Should Google roll out Android OS updates to all android users directly?

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Hacking' started by highroller, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. highroller

    highroller Member

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    Hi,
    Google should roll out Android OS updates to to all users directly, like Linux apt-get or Windows updates. It seems that we either have to install custom roms which is too technical for regular users, or we are in mercy of the service providers like Verizon. Why can't Google do it like linux's apt-get or Windows updates? The major problem is that many custom roms are not compatible to all devices. So many android users of less popular android devices are being left out when new Android OS comes out. I am one of those users, I have a Craig CMP741e and no custom roms support it, and I have no service provider.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello highroller, the issue with the custom ROMs being unique to each device is the same problem Google would have. There is no master Android that can be supplied by Google to all devices like Windows and linux. Android has to be specifically customized for each device it runs on at a hardware level. The device manufacturers are responsible for this (not the service providers like Verizon though they may push the update through for the manufacturer). You will have to continue to wait on them for the updates of for the good will of enthusiast developers who take their own time and effort to make custom ROMs.

    JP
     
  3. highroller

    highroller Member

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    I just don't see the problem. Of course every device is different, but they are just device drivers. I think Android OS have lots in common no matter what device it is. The only difference maybe device drivers. So Google can roll out the core Android OS directly. The manufacturers add something unique of course, but they are mostly app, widget or UI stuff.

     
  4. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No, it actually doesn't work like that. The manufacturers can add skins, apps and widgets but they don't have to. The entire kernel has to be recompiled for each chipset as well as other "driver" changes necessary to get the hardware to work. On top of that Android is open source so each of those ROMs for the hardware are actually the unique property of the manufacturer not Google but based on Google's release of the source code under AOSP. They can choose to make minimal changes and keep Android "stock" but it isn't gong to be exactly the same as the source code.

    At the end of the day you can think of it as Google making the reference ROM but they have no control over it after that. The only control they have is that they can have minimum requirements for the OEM ROMs to meet in order for the OEMs to get access to the Google Apps including the Play store. This is why you will see many lower end tablets without access to the Google Play store because they haven't been approved by Google.

    It is both the beauty and curse of open source :)
     
  5. highroller

    highroller Member

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    Why doesn't Google do it like Linux? Linux is also open source too. Linux works well with many different components too.

     
  6. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Android does work like linux in some ways. Linux isn't any one thing, it is maintained by the different distributors of each version (Ubuntu, RedHat, SUSE, Fedora, debian, etc.) which is like Android and the device makers. In other ways it is not like linux where for the most part there is only one chip architecture to support, which like Windows, is x86 processors. Even though the "devices" are different they all run x86 processors (Intel and AMD). For ARM processors (Android) each one is different (nvidia, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Samsung, etc.) and requires the software to me modified just for that chip.
     

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