Just when you think Samsung finally got it together and put a priority on updates for Android on their flagship devices, they do something like this…
Screwing the update pooch
Attention to detail is a tough dI uplink to master.. Samsung tries to make up for their lack of creating a purposeful product, by feature dumping and stuffing anything they can find into the handset, even if the user need has been met by Android organic, or by the data Carrier.
Earlier this week, T-Mobile US Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge users were ecstatic to learn they got OTA’s on the latest Android 5 Lollipop release, which included some improvements to the camera, a parallax disabler and other Samsung specific settings. Hopefully a patch for the IME vulnerability was included. (Be wary of open, unencrypted wifi connections Galaxy S.x users)
in their haste, however, they left out some quick toggles.
This kind of product quality seems to be trending in the Android update program. It’s a well known fact that Android updates are the bane of the Android User Experience. Users have no idea if their 10 month old handset will be EOL’d because of hardware deficiency, or because it’s a model that didn’t generate enough revenue to make it important enough to support.
Why don’t Android users get a clue about product life-cycle and buy a handset that will sell well?
Mostly because Google doesn’t commit or set the expectation publicly. It’s not up to them. And since they don’t require OEM’s release the source code and component level firmware code that they modify the AOSP source with….no one can pick up where the OEM quit…like in real open source projects.
That is the result of Clopen. If you half-ass the commitment to the spirit of an open source project, you get a half-assed product to deliver a half-assed user experience. It’s not because Google isn’t competent enough to manage and set guidelines for Android hardware qualifications, they just don’t tell anyone what the expectations are. Not their users, and they don’t seem to understand that showing little testicular fortitude in setting guidelines and expectations about how they want Android treated by their OEM partners, could vastly improve their malware and security prevention issues.
They don’t document what it takes to get the Google play store access on a hardware platform. That is because there is no criteria to meet for Play Store access on the device.
It’s an arbitrary decision made by Google.
Android is largely ‘make it up as we go’ and has a very reactive posture to competitors technology. This isn’t the first time someone screwed up on updates mind you…Google bricked their own Acer built Nexus 7 with an OTAU.
Google is capable of managing its data siphoning engagement platform software. That is one area where Google pays attention. They are less concerned with customer sat because their philosophy focuses on user engagement analytics.
The majority of Androids malware, privacy and security challenges…and there are many…could be mitigated with a commitment to a standardized life-cycle requirement for every hardware platform that wants to deploy Android. User Experience would be elevated. Android wouldn’t be a gamble. Users would feel comfortable buying replacement hardware in a tech-refresh because they understand or at least have an idea of what the expectations are, if Google would just document their expectations from OEM’s, and then enforced those guidelines.
If they had, Samsung wouldn’t need to rush getting a 5.1.1 update out the door.
Why wouldn’t they?
Because standardized requirements and expectations mean updates roll out for everyone on the same day. A Google engineering component and UX audit team deployed to each OEM would have oversight on things like…3rd party input interface development projects that cause high risk vulnerability in common network environments. Organized developer and User beta testing efforts could help Android be a more secure and stable engagement platform for recording the private user data and harvesting personal data from the Android user whose device isn’t malware infected, or under the control of an unauthorized user.
Back to reality, and those missing toggles
That’s not how Google manages Android, and Samsung does not have a Reputation built on purposefully removing features…or leaving stuff off, it will be chief up to an oversight, and we will just hope they didn’t forget anything else…or something crucial: like a patch for the IME security risk and protecting users from a remote vector that gives the attacker 0777 permissions at the root.
Aside from the security and privacy shortcomings of Google’s version of Android, malware and the fragmentation issues that exacerbate the upgrade support (which results in negatively impacting security and privacy in a crazy vicious cycle)Android updates seem to be regarded as a lottery win in the android ecosystem, rather than an expectation of support by android users. Quite frankly, the user has a lot of responsibility on the Android life-cycle as well. OEM’s should support their post sale activity and have a responsible life-cycle sustainment commitment to their consumers. But the Android community has rewarded Google and Their OEM partners with a substantial market share command.! despite the fact that Google has to practically beg for 24 months of ongoing platform life-cycle. hardware improvements. HTC Honored their commitment…on 1 platform.
What will drive Google to care
Google isn’t concerned with OEM’s, or user experience or sales. What they care about is level of engagement. Increased user engagement results in larger data harvesting yields and right now….the market strategy that works is cheap or free hardware to run ‘free’ engagement platform software used to hold the user still long enough to suck the privacy juice out of his brain.
Does Google have a genuine concern for the Android user customer satisfaction metrics?
The dichotomy between Android and iOS in the context of operating system updates and support posture is something I cannot explain after analysis.
One philosophy says take care of the customer first, and they will stand in line (for days) to give you their money, and travel the world decorated with your logo.
The other says give them things for free under the guise of taking something that generate while using that free product or service. People can’t complain about things they were given for free…but create a valuable service that the user loves, make it Teri 1 awesome and make it useful. That’s the recipe for an engagement experience that will inspire your corporate moniker to be used as a verb an adjective and a noun.
Obviously, both strategies are working. They are even luring each other out to compete in vertical markets that wouldn’t be considered a core competency by either entity:
- Financial Infrastructure
- Government Partner
Apple is trying to be a decent data company with user privacy out front. They have some challenges and have made some progress…but they are no Google. Apple is
changing, disrupting the media distribution space in a way that brings trends, news and buzz back to grass-roots. Where music and news media were once controlled by mega corporations, the biggest mega corporation decided disrupt the way people consume….anything. There is fear and animosity because of it,
Google states that user privacy paramount to them, but anyone who reads this knows it’s BS. Exploiting user privacy for cash money is what google does. And for some people that’s just fine. Google has an ISP venture and now With Fi, they want to be a phone OEM and a carrier.
They both create services or products that the other uses, deploys their own products on, or utilizes for competitive advantage. And for every user that is lured from the Android community to the iOS community because Apple supports hardware that is 4 years old there is still a user who is so addicted to maps, mybusiness, search, SEO, cloud platform development, drive, and now photos…it is unlikely that one will best the other until one really screws the pooch.
They have such a broad spectrum of success, it will take something like scandal or ridiculous legislation to trigger a downfall.
Oh, I almost forgot:
Links to the .apk’s to fix your Samsung S.X on 5.1.1 TMO USA: