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LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 20, 2013
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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: faster, smoother, more delightful (ars technica)
Posted Jun 28, 2012 8:08 UTC (Thu) by Tomasu (subscriber, #39889)
Posted Jun 28, 2012 10:03 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Posted Jun 28, 2012 15:05 UTC (Thu) by cabrilo (guest, #72372)
Posted Jun 28, 2012 15:17 UTC (Thu) by bpeebles (subscriber, #70111)
GSM/HSPA+ only, but it's unlocked etc. Works great on American T-Mobile. It is already a 7 month old phone, so it's unclear exactly how long it'll get updates for (Nexus One isn't getting official 4.0.) My guess is that the Galaxy will get updates for longer, but who knows.
Get updates longer!
Posted Jun 29, 2012 11:04 UTC (Fri) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
I have a Nexus S, and Google is still updating it. Hope to get official 4.1 soon! Otherwise, it's time for CyanogenMod.
Posted Jun 30, 2012 8:17 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
I purchased an unlocked tablet, and have effectively been orphaned because of lack of vendor support and documentation (video and camera)
This is in spite of there being a bounty of >$1000 for someone producing a working android 4.1 build for the device.
Posted Jun 30, 2012 8:24 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
From my limited and anecdotal research, that is one of the reasons why HTC phones have largely stopped being popular: they are locked and are not updated by the manufacturer. And in a very short space of time! In a sense, market forces favor unlocked, updated devices, which is good; but the market is notoriously difficult to read in advance.
Posted Jul 3, 2012 8:21 UTC (Tue) by rich0 (guest, #55509)
However, there is still no official CM v9 build for this device. Andromadus is the closest to the CM experience as there is, but is moving along slowly. I think one of the issues is that the modding community has essentially become fragmented by the large number of phones - when there were only a few phones the effort to keep them supported as long as possible was MUCH more concentrated.
A further complication is that the more prolific developers tend to get new phones very often funded by donations. That tends to mean that much of the development effort gets focused on the latest and greatest phones.
Obviously the free software developers don't owe anybody anything - the community benefits from whatever work they donate to the cause. However, these sorts of factors make it unlikely that any new phone is going to have the support that the HTC Dream originally enjoyed (I hear you can get ICS for it), despite the huge hardware limitations on the Dream (a bit of a hacker's target as a result - plus just about all the devs have one lying around).
The Nexus phones by far have the best official support, however you'll only get ~18 months of releases if you buy one the day they come out. Since Google sells them until a new one comes out and they seem to come out about annually, if you happen to buy one the day before the next one is announced you will be lucky to get updates for a year. The downside to the Nexus phones is that they tend to be unsubsidized - though that can vary by carrier.
Posted Jul 3, 2012 9:23 UTC (Tue) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
This means that any work done to get a device working with one version of Android is completely lost when the next version is released (by which time there are new devices out for the more prolific developers to work on)
Posted Jun 28, 2012 15:08 UTC (Thu) by bpeebles (subscriber, #70111)
So by mid-July, there will be at least 4 devices that it officially runs on. Which isn't ideal, of course. I assume the Galaxy S II and S III will get 4.1 whenever Samsung ports TouchWiz to 4.1, modulo providers.
Posted Jun 28, 2012 18:09 UTC (Thu) by b7j0c (subscriber, #27559)
Posted Jun 29, 2012 4:48 UTC (Fri) by mastro (subscriber, #72665)
I apologize if the following sounds like FUD (and I admit I don't have proof) but I would also suggest to avoid buying a Galaxy Nexus from sources other than Google, since I've heard rumors that there are small hardware variations and some get their updates sooner than others.
Buying it directly from Google offers some hope for timely updates:
You can also find the (small) tablet, Nexus 7, at: https://www.google.com/nexus
Posted Jun 29, 2012 11:08 UTC (Fri) by cesarb (subscriber, #6266)
Other than the GSM (maguro) versus CDMA (toro), I did not hear anything about hardware variations, only software. The Google software variant for GSM (yakju) is the one which updates quickest; the others (yakju followed by two letters) update slower, and some of them did not update from 4.0.2 to 4.0.4 yet (for instance, the yakjuvs which is the variant sold here in Brazil).
But as long as you have the GSM hardware (maguro), you can unlock the bootloader (a simple command from Linux, erases all data on the device for privacy reasons) and flash the standard "yakju" variant. It is not officially supported, but I have seen forum posts from several people who did it with zero problems.
> Buying it directly from Google offers some hope for timely updates
Buying a Galaxy Nexus directly from Google only shows an "unavailable on your country" page, it is much easier to buy from a local carrier. The Galaxy Nexus has no carrier customizations, AFAIK all local carriers are using the same yakjuvs build.
Posted Jul 2, 2012 16:51 UTC (Mon) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
Mine came with MyVerizon (which I would have installed anyways, but the latest update removing the widget and something about the login requiring a second app that doesn't work on ICS makes me wary of whether it will continue being useful at all; still haven't upgraded) and Wallet can't be updated from the store (I got the APK from the XDA forums though).
Posted Jul 1, 2012 5:28 UTC (Sun) by aryonoco (subscriber, #55563)
To the OP: In Android-land, if you want to get the maximum lifespan out of your device and know that your device is going to get official updates for a long time to come, only buy from Google's Nexus line.
Posted Jul 3, 2012 8:28 UTC (Tue) by rich0 (guest, #55509)
The other big issue with the Nexus line is lack of subsidy (varies by carrier). $400 is a lot to pay for a phone if you don't get a break on your monthly rate. The only carrier I'm aware of that will give you a break on the rate is T-Mobile, and for 4 lines you're looking at a savings of $900 every 18 months which is hardly the value of four free phones (two smart and two dumb).
The math probably works better for individual plans.
Posted Jul 3, 2012 23:20 UTC (Tue) by jimparis (subscriber, #38647)
It's also half the original price by now, so that still seems like a reasonable purchase.
Posted Jun 28, 2012 18:08 UTC (Thu) by b7j0c (subscriber, #27559)
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