[Updated with Gallery!] Google's Android Event, with Honeycomb and more!by Mithun Chandrasekhar on February 2, 2011 10:29 AM EST
We're at Google's Android event here at Mountain View. Sumptuous breakfast aside, we expect Google to talk in-depth about their Honeycomb release, other updates to the Android ecosystem and some hands-on time with tablets running Honeycomb and possibly other devices.
Breakfast and Android...
Youtube app on the Motorola Xoom Tablet running Honeycomb
Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis of the event later today.
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Exodite - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - linkI actually don't think it's that important.
Sure, as a computer enthusiast I love tinkering and getting the latest and greatest in the way of soft- and hardware all the time but I question if that's relevant. Frankly I don't think the term 'fragmentation' has any real meaning, save diversity.
Android is doing extremely well, in no small part due to offering real and strong smartphones over a wide spectrum from the low-end and midrange up to the ultra-high end.
While the iPhone and WP7 platforms offers different experiences, appealing to different crowds of consumers, these devices are all in the $800-$1200 range and for most people the 'integrated' experience isn't worth the premium.
Perhaps even more importantly is the fact that smartphones are service-enabling platforms far more than they are software-execution platforms. In other words the hardware, OS and software are pretty much all irrelevant as long as the device enables the services the consumer wants.
Phone functionality, texting, browsing, media/music consumption, social media, decent camera, casual gaming, email and file transfer/sync are all on the desired list. Does it matter what you're using to accomplish this though?
For the vast majority I dare say the answer is no.
Heck, SE took a lot of flack from the geeks and tech sites for releasing phones running Android 1.6 but most people getting an X8 or the like haven't rushed to update, let alone have any idea what version of the platform they're using.
It works for their purposes, which is really all that matters.
Zoomer - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - linkSo charge a licensing fee, but waive part/all of it if updates are rolled out out at least ~ on time. Now that android is the success it is, the vendors have no choice but to comply. Sure, they can roll their own, or go with Symbian, but how much would these cost them?
Impulses - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - linkGoogle has actually stated that Android's already profitable... Just because they aren't making any money on it upfront doesn't mean they aren't making any money on it at all... And besides geeks and enthusiasts, most users don't really care what version of an OS their phone (or computer) is running, unless the version they're running gets a lot of bad press (<cough> Vista) or just happens to be lacking some major feature that suddenly becomes all the rage.
Most manufacturers are doing a pretty decent job w/updates anyway, HTC/Moto have been pushing out updates within 6 months (took 2-3 for Froyo on my EVO) for their more popular/current phones, and LG's latest phones have mostly come out w/pretty vanilla looking versions of 2.2... It's mostly Samsung & Sony Ericsson bringing up the rear, and the Galaxy S phones in Europe got 2.2 at the end of last year so there's obviously something wrong w/the way Samsung interacts w/US carriers to deploy updates.
HTC/Sprint have released half a dozen updates for the EVO in the same time frame, literally half a dozen... If a customer really cares about this he/she can do as Schmidt suggested, and speak with his money (i.e. don't buy Samsung/SE). You shouldn't expect timely updates for phones nearing their usable lifetime (Hero, etc.), but it's not like Apple's latest updates work w/older iPhone models (3G or original), and even when they do they don't include core functionality of the new versions (multitasking).
Fragmentation's a bogey man, the only people that will really lose because of any possible fragmentation are the manufacturers that fall behind the curve... Luckily, when it comes to Android hardware there's enough competition and choices that an informed consumer has little to worry about imo.
sciwizam - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - linkLooks like Gizmodo captured Mithun and Anandtech on the Xoom.
Look around 2:30.
mythun.chandra - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - linkI'm famous! :)
LostPassword - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - linkGoogle have trouble updating their own phone. How are third parties gonna do it. 6 months is probably going to be the norm for updates for phone companies if they even update at all.
ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - linkIt seems like they're making full use of the GPU this time.