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Is rapid Upgrades killing Android Development?

OP socos25

10th June 2014, 05:11 AM   |  #1  
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Coming from the Epic, and then from the S3, I have noticed the fragmentation of Android with just the dilution of good development.

With that said, I acknowledge I am a user, not a Developer. I've tried to get interested in development, it is just not where my passion lies.

This is one of those useless posts you see on XDA, however, I feel like there is not much going on in this forum so maybe this is the best discussion we could have.

Take Apple, they have one product to focus on, no one to share the spotlight with. Android on the other hand has several, I have no idea how many, to share the spot light with. S3, S4, S5, Oppo, One, name your poison.

I say all this because I remember back to the Epic... It was Epic. The phone was amazing when it came out, the development was even better.

Now that I'm on the S4, while I don't want to take away anything from what the developers on this phone have done, it is not their fault, but developers will flock to where the demand is. And it just doesn't seem to be here.

Maybe this is Sprints fault? I stay with Sprint because they're the cheapest option I have. Certainly not the best, but definitely the cheapest.

Just trying to promote a discussion, not a flame war. Start now.
10th June 2014, 05:58 AM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socos25

Coming from the Epic, and then from the S3, I have noticed the fragmentation of Android with just the dilution of good development.

With that said, I acknowledge I am a user, not a Developer. I've tried to get interested in development, it is just not where my passion lies.

This is one of those useless posts you see on XDA, however, I feel like there is not much going on in this forum so maybe this is the best discussion we could have.

Take Apple, they have one product to focus on, no one to share the spotlight with. Android on the other hand has several, I have no idea how many, to share the spot light with. S3, S4, S5, Oppo, One, name your poison.

I say all this because I remember back to the Epic... It was Epic. The phone was amazing when it came out, the development was even better.

Now that I'm on the S4, while I don't want to take away anything from what the developers on this phone have done, it is not their fault, but developers will flock to where the demand is. And it just doesn't seem to be here.

Maybe this is Sprints fault? I stay with Sprint because they're the cheapest option I have. Certainly not the best, but definitely the cheapest.

Just trying to promote a discussion, not a flame war. Start now.

With unified builds, awesome devs are still contributing to our device! Its cool that a talented dev who builds aosp but is with verizon can build for us too. There is no shortage of great development going on, but I'll admit the sprint s4 forums are not as active as I remember the e4gt forums being.

To address your other point, sure - the sheer amount of android devices available will mean the pool of talented devs are spread more thinly across the spectrum of devices, but this community rocks and with a little google-fu (xda helps those who help themselves) I don't think development has really stalled. The forums are just a little less active. What IS a shame is that users here will drive talented devs away from releasing their work publicly on the forums by driving them insane with questions that have been answered 100s of times, petty politics, and flame wars, etc.

But at the end of the day, I would rather have an open OS with a vibrant (or dull) community than a locked down device I can never truly have full control over. But frequent upgrades have always been pushed by manufacturers, at the end of the day profits are the bottom line for them. Thats what is so great about this community, is that the devs here do work that would have gotten them a decent commission or wage elsewhere, FOR FREE. God bless
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10th June 2014, 08:53 PM   |  #3  
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All good points, and I would have to say I agree with you, especially with the shame that developers sometimes are driven away by lazy users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxmr

With unified builds, awesome devs are still contributing to our device! Its cool that a talented dev who builds aosp but is with verizon can build for us too. There is no shortage of great development going on, but I'll admit the sprint s4 forums are not as active as I remember the e4gt forums being.

To address your other point, sure - the sheer amount of android devices available will mean the pool of talented devs are spread more thinly across the spectrum of devices, but this community rocks and with a little google-fu (xda helps those who help themselves) I don't think development has really stalled. The forums are just a little less active. What IS a shame is that users here will drive talented devs away from releasing their work publicly on the forums by driving them insane with questions that have been answered 100s of times, petty politics, and flame wars, etc.

But at the end of the day, I would rather have an open OS with a vibrant (or dull) community than a locked down device I can never truly have full control over. But frequent upgrades have always been pushed by manufacturers, at the end of the day profits are the bottom line for them. Thats what is so great about this community, is that the devs here do work that would have gotten them a decent commission or wage elsewhere, FOR FREE. God bless

16th June 2014, 05:27 PM   |  #4  
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I'm not a developer either (well of any roms/android mods at least). But as a long time computer power user and burgeoning programmer (3rd year comp sci major) the development on the S4 is very lack luster. We could get into comparing S4 vs development on older platforms, but I'd rather just discuss the generally bad development in the sprint S4 non-original android dev. forum. Most roms are not suited for daily drivers. I have personally tried 2-3 different versions of Sac's Rom and negalite's rom( as well as 1 try on various other roms) and none was with out major flaws.

The problem as I see it is this: The demand is for the newest rom with the most up to date android features. So as rom developers are getting closer to making a stable working version of their roms, Sprint releases an update at which point most developers switch and start working on new release with out ever making a fully functioning rom. To make matters worse most Rom's are presented as a finished product. Some have a known issues section in the first post ,but I challenge any one who disagrees with me to find a known issues section on a rom that actually contains all the know issues. It doesn't exsist. Instead each user is left to download an unfinished product and only after discovering an issue and digging though 10 pages of forums you find others have the same issue and that there may or may not be a soultion. How f'ing hard is it when a god damn issues is reported to update the orginal post?????? I understand these developers are doing this out of the good of their hearts, but anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. If it is to much work to keep an up to date list of ALL known issues, have one of the roms users do so. Not much work for one fan of a rom to keep list of issues if dev cant be bothered.

You help no one when custom roms break things working in the stock version and present it as a working rom. Custom roms used to add fucntion to a device now, it adds somethings and breaks others. Till this trend changes, the best rom is stock rooted + w/e mod a user desires. When a bunch of things dont work label your Rom alpha when most things work call it beta and only when everything works call it stable. This kind of common sense would improve everyone's experience greatly.
18th June 2014, 03:30 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysongranhills

I'm not a developer either (well of any roms/android mods at least). But as a long time computer power user and burgeoning programmer (3rd year comp sci major) the development on the S4 is very lack luster. We could get into comparing S4 vs development on older platforms, but I'd rather just discuss the generally bad development in the sprint S4 non-original android dev. forum. Most roms are not suited for daily drivers. I have personally tried 2-3 different versions of Sac's Rom and negalite's rom( as well as 1 try on various other roms) and none was with out major flaws.

The problem as I see it is this: The demand is for the newest rom with the most up to date android features. So as rom developers are getting closer to making a stable working version of their roms, Sprint releases an update at which point most developers switch and start working on new release with out ever making a fully functioning rom. To make matters worse most Rom's are presented as a finished product. Some have a known issues section in the first post ,but I challenge any one who disagrees with me to find a known issues section on a rom that actually contains all the know issues. It doesn't exsist. Instead each user is left to download an unfinished product and only after discovering an issue and digging though 10 pages of forums you find others have the same issue and that there may or may not be a soultion. How f'ing hard is it when a god damn issues is reported to update the orginal post?????? I understand these developers are doing this out of the good of their hearts, but anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. If it is to much work to keep an up to date list of ALL known issues, have one of the roms users do so. Not much work for one fan of a rom to keep list of issues if dev cant be bothered.

You help no one when custom roms break things working in the stock version and present it as a working rom. Custom roms used to add fucntion to a device now, it adds somethings and breaks others. Till this trend changes, the best rom is stock rooted + w/e mod a user desires. When a bunch of things dont work label your Rom alpha when most things work call it beta and only when everything works call it stable. This kind of common sense would improve everyone's experience greatly.

To a degree, I definitely am with you on this. I have been with this forum since the days of my old HTC thunderbolt. There are AT LEAST 5 popular daily drivers that worked worlds better than the stock rom for that phone. My particular phone glitches out on the dialer/phone app for all Original Android ROM's meaning I am automatically limited to a TW rom. I've tried everything to fix this but nothing seems to. However, there is one that works flawlessly, Triforce 5.4. It's perfect, so far as I can tell, but is starting to show its age. It may be the only perfect ROM for our phones but is almost completely without bells and whistles, unlike the Thunderbolt, which you could save multiple working images to SD and restore if you felt like using sense one day, CM the next, and I do recall a few completely custom ones loosely based on CM that worked awesome. Anyway that's my say on it. I am sad NAE firmware capabilities don't have a nice Triforce release to go with it, but the PRL and firmware seem to work great with the ROM, so I guess I'll stick to it, even if it is boring. It definitely does everything I need for it to do. Still, finding the issues with each one and helping the developers is part of the process. It's fun and part of the reason why I do what I do. Take my ASUS Transformer. That thing is old as the hills, but has multi window, android 4.4.3, windowed apps, and all manner of other things and it runs super smooth. timduru is the dang wizard of that device and refuses to let it die peacefully.
18th June 2014, 05:46 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arikdahn

To a degree, I definitely am with you on this. I have been with this forum since the days of my old HTC thunderbolt. There are AT LEAST 5 popular daily drivers that worked worlds better than the stock rom for that phone. My particular phone glitches out on the dialer/phone app for all Original Android ROM's meaning I am automatically limited to a TW rom. I've tried everything to fix this but nothing seems to. However, there is one that works flawlessly, Triforce 5.4. It's perfect, so far as I can tell, but is starting to show its age. It may be the only perfect ROM for our phones but is almost completely without bells and whistles, unlike the Thunderbolt, which you could save multiple working images to SD and restore if you felt like using sense one day, CM the next, and I do recall a few completely custom ones loosely based on CM that worked awesome. Anyway that's my say on it. I am sad NAE firmware capabilities don't have a nice Triforce release to go with it, but the PRL and firmware seem to work great with the ROM, so I guess I'll stick to it, even if it is boring. It definitely does everything I need for it to do. Still, finding the issues with each one and helping the developers is part of the process. It's fun and part of the reason why I do what I do. Take my ASUS Transformer. That thing is old as the hills, but has multi window, android 4.4.3, windowed apps, and all manner of other things and it runs super smooth. timduru is the dang wizard of that device and refuses to let it die peacefully.

I just recently got off heavily modded stock and flashed Super S4 and so far it is awesome. Ktoonz's Kernel is baked in and after using recommended recovery to flash I've had no problems. It isn't heavily modded (mostly other mods baked in and some init.d tweaks) but is fast and stable and is one of the very few TW roms I'd recommend.

When I was on HTC Inspire 4G, There were easily 10 Roms (ASOP and Sense) suitable for a daily driver. For the S4 I'd be hard pressed to find 3 stable usable TW roms at a time.

I think android as a platform is changing a lot philosophically, as well. Older custom roms used to be a must have and were the main reason most users wanted root. Now everything is much more framework centric. Now root is used to add functionality through Xposed framework modules,or audio mods like Viper. Previously each and every mod had to be rom specific.
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