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Does anyone else still feel like we're "beta testing" android? (official releases)


Jul 2, 2010
This is just a general question.... Android is up to version 4.1 now (not on the bionic of course, but official released versions out there).... Yet with every release, it's still not "polished".... There's always this that doesn't function right, or that that doesn't perform as it should.... Cycling airplane mode, pulling the battery... I don't know about you guys, but I rarely ever had to do this on the old 3G non-smartphones.... But when I "upgraded" to a smartphone, all I got were these kinds of issues... Verizon's crappy 3g phones sucked, I'll agree... But you know what? Their software wasn't nearly as buggy as Windows phone, and iOS, and Android (which IMHO is probably the worst out of the 3).....

It feels to me like the mobile tech industry took a giant leap BACKWARDS when they introduced the smartphone... (to the point that you start to wonder just how they can call them "smartphones" when they have such dumb issues that older phones NEVER had).....

Hardware and software makers these days seem to be taking a very lackadaisical approach to refining their hard and software. Is it because they truly lack the skill to do it right the first time? Or do they just want to plan their products to be a pain in the ass, so we'll upgrade every year to make them more money? What's your perspective?
I do feel like there is a rush to release new versions without fixing some of the issues of previous versions. The most annoying point is only the newest devices will ever get these new versions, maybe getting 1 upgrade if they are lucky. I have no doubt those of us on the Bionic will never see an official JB release.
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Computers and Phones, they have a way of becoming obsolete in a year or so don't they?
I'll put the Bionic (on ICS .232 or higher) up against any phone you can buy in a store today. We may not get the highest quadrant score anymore but still A duel core cpu with both cores running at 1.2Ghz, HDMI out, 16GB RAM make a formidable Phone that can hold it's own with any app now available.
Combine that with unlimited data and sometimes you just have to enjoy what you have and not worry about the next best thing.
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I can understand why some might say that a smartphone has more problems that the regular flip does. Then again, a flip phone isn't capable of doing all that a smartphone will do. dautley mentioned "computers AND phones", but when you get right down to it these phones are really computers. You are talking about a pocket size computer with a screen, processor, modem, memory, OS and programs that weren't available 6 or 7 years ago in most desktop computers. We have all of this in the palm of our hand now.

In reality no system is completely polished. Windows computers still get updates on a regular basis (long after some of them are even out of date) and so does Linux and Macs. The company that design an OS, create it to work within certain parameters. They have no way of knowing what software you or anyone else will run on it. Programs that may or may not be designed by people that know what they are doing. Then you typically compound all of that by putting an OS on machines running different hardware and communicating with different peripherals on just about every machine and even more problems come into play. All of this and I'm still talking about desktops.

Now, take all of the above possible problems and combine them with a smaller footprint. Then compound that by making the hardware and software responsible for its own internet connection. Add in the need and ability to talk through the device and don't forget that you are more or less running two different modems that require two different sets of software instructions. Then take into account that you are allowing the company that sells the phone to determine when critical or needed updates should be issued (Let's face it, this is like BestBuy deciding if your printer firmware should get an update). Now, push the market into warp speed so that the bigger, faster, better, more principle drives it. Throw in a little competition to drive things forward a little more so that the company designing the OS (remember they are different from the people that build the phone and those that provide the service) feels the need to advance as fast as they can.

Honestly, I get pretty amazed that these things ever work.

BTW, I'm moving this to the Android lounge as it really isn't Bionic specific.
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We are at the cutting edge of technology. It reminds me of the PC's back in the 1980's, many OS & Hardware makers.... Just no connectivity or providers. This, and the cost of hardware, slowed down the updates. I wish Google, the Hardware Companies & the providers would co-ordinate, test & plan more. Right now there is too much money at stake for anyone to slow down & we the users pay the price, but we also have some great toys. Just my $0.02.
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The easiest answer is, because they don't have all the answers. The test device may work perfectly, but not all installations go perfectly either. This is also one of the reasons why manufacturers often skip updates, because its too difficult or not investment friendly to research giving the updates than just making a new phone. Updates have higher chances of screwing up compared to full on factory installation.
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Of course we’re beta testing. Andoids have only been around for a few years -- we’re riding a wave of thought. In a few more years, what we’re marveling at (or disgusted with) now will look pretty silly, and that future technology will also make us wonder if we’re beta testing.
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All smartphones I have used seem to have some minor issues here and there regardless of which model they are or which OS they are running. Even other people I have spoken with have the same issues with their phones regardless of which one. Smartphones are very complex devices. I recall when personal computers started becoming popular in the late 70's and 80's that there were the occasional issue here and there. These issues even happen now, although they happem much less frequently.
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To be completely serious, that's because we are. Mobile phones with the sort of capabilities ours have are extremely recent even in the short history of mobile phones. We have all the problems that traditional desktop PCs have, ALONG with all the issues dumbphones have. Its a world of compromises. Not to mention Android itself is running an actual Linux kernel, not all that different then what is found on your garden variety Linux PCs or servers, so it will inherit all the rewards and flaws to those.

Technically, dumb phones are exactly that. They are purpose built. They are designed to make phone calls, send text messages....maybe take pictures and play MP3's. But they don't really need to factor user installed software INTEGRATING into the actual OS and introducing bugs nor RAM issues because multitasking and large applications aren't really possible.
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I'd say you are test driving the phone for the phone manufacture, not the android software.
If the same problem existed across all android phones, then it would be a software issue.
Since some phones suck with Facebook, brightness, locking up, security holes, etc. This is the mfg not thoroughly testing their phones in the wild for long enough. I don't know how long android mfg test their phones, but seems like apple does a lot and long period of testing in the wild with undercover phones.
Perhaps Moto, Sammy, HTC, etc need to do it also. Then again, Apple can do this easier because they only have ONE phone to test each year. HTC etc. all have probably 15 phones or more a year to test.
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Unlike most of my fellow razr owners I wasn't to upset waiting for ICS. Personally I would rather wait for new software to be tested and have all the bugs worked out rather than having it as soon as it is released and going through all the growing pains that often comes with new software. Especially when gingerbread was a solid OS.
That being said I am loving ICS and don't feel like a beta tester at all. ICS is smooth and full of great features. I have had an iphone, a 3gs, and I mess with my sisters 4s from time to time and in my honest opinion ios is bland, boring, and just plain generic. As for windows and RIM products.... don't even get me started. ;)
So as you probably guessed I feel that androids os is far superior to any other smartphone os that is on the market.
I am sure some will disagree, but that is just my $.02.
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When I was an undergrad in college 30 years ago (Yikes!), one of my professors taught me something rather profound... namely that "A Computer is only as smart as the dummy who programs it". :D

Software is inherently flawed given that it's designed by imperfect creatures (except me of course!!! :p). Programmers make mistakes, management cuts the development budget or reduces manpower, lots of different things can happen in the normal lifecycle of software.

So to make a long story short, yes we are beta testers. And so are PC users and MAC users and Linux users and iPhone users. It's the nature of the beast... :smokingsomb:
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