On Gingerbread and OS Frag
It’s easy to whine and cry about not having the latest and best Android OS on your smartphone. Google’s approach to their first-party wares is to service devs, which naturally meaning offering the newest thing on the block. It’s pretty awesome consumers can get to use them too, especially now that the Nexus S is slated for several carriers beyond the N1.
But what is the real incentive? People want the latest OS, it’s part of the shopping criteria. Naturally it becomes something of a marketing item. I mean, they can get away with sticking Froyo on a mid-range smartphone now. It’s like saying “oh hey it’s ok that my $400 15″ desktop replacement only runs Windows Vista but my $2000 Alienware runs Windows 7.” Makes no sense.
Of course the nature of RISC and platform specific platforms that are today’s smartphones means you can’t easily do this kind of PnP, but given how fast the ROM community work on the latest Android kernels, I find it a little incredulous. I understand that rolling out a kernel on this stuff, in carrier terms, is not trivial. But I also think people are being played for the Android Sweets upgrade game. I hope people realizes this.
Which is to say I doubt OS version frag is not likely going to be a problem now that we’ve hopped into the 2.1+ bucket. Device frag, though…I guess if you’re still rocking a G1, more power to you.
On privacy and security of personal data
So there’s that Google ad going around. Yea, it’s selling things that are precious. More so than phone hardware or computers, at least. But Goog makes its pay on ads, so ultimately they’re just selling us ads by leveraging all that user data.
If I’m going to make available my personal info (anonymized) for commercial purposes, I should get something in return? I guess at the very least I get better ads, and I think that’s a core goal of Google. But that’s more or less true for everyone doing the same thing. Compare them to Facebook though, Google seems just a safer, less prone-to-what-happened-to-Sony kind of alternative. Despite people still get their Gmail accounts compromised, at least I have a 2-step auth option, and with Android, a very powerful cloud personal computing environment that is basically free to use. Nobody is offering this, at least for free.
So, yeah, I get something for giving up privacy and personal info if I stick to El Goog. And from a trust/security perspective, they’re probably more secure than most! And more scrutinized than most. In light of the ongoing Sony PSN problem, I think it’s safe to say that security is probably a lot more important than the fact that they have your personal info to begin with. I mean, think about it, do I trust Facebook? Probably less than PSN…
You can see that ad here.
Lastly, I pick on FB only because I can’t think of any other honeypot for hackers that is going to ruin more lives. Short of high security/military kind of thing, which are probably a lot more secure on the basis of being less trusting and much more restricted.