Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

Summary: We all want the latest, most current version of Android on our smartphone. So, which version of Android IS the current one?

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TOPICS: Android, Google
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Android has a bad reputation among those who follow smartphones, for having a fragmentation problem with too many versions of the OS floating around. We're quick to bash the OEMs for not rolling out that shiny new version of Android for every single handset on the market. We all want the latest, most current version of Android on our smartphone. So, which version of Android is the current one?

This came up during a Twitter conversation today, with good thoughts presented by Dwight Silverman and Jason Hiner, among others. It pointed out how big a problem Google has with Android OS fragmentation, as the more I thought about the "current version", the more I realized I have no idea what that is. I can't remember ever not knowing which version of a platform was the current one.

We've heard the buzz about Honeycomb, presumably Android 3.0, but it's not shipping on anything yet so it really isn't the current version. Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread, is shipping so it must be the current version. The problem is it's only available on the Nexus S and nothing else. It's kind of hard to call it the current version of the OS when it's not really shipping on anything. Google can't even get it running on its own first generation flagship phone, the Nexus One. At least it hasn't been released for that handset, yet.

Maybe Android 2.2, aka Froyo, is really the current version, based on the fact it's shipping on far more handsets than version 2.3. But then, version 2.1 is still shipping on a lot of devices, too. Maybe that's the current version.

The fact that there is no easy answer to the simple question shows how bad a problem Google has created with fragmentation. It's time to get all the little robots in the same row, Google.

Topics: Android, Google

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  • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

    This is the number one reason I've stayed with the iPhone. Android is tempting, but it seems every time a cool new feature comes to light, it's part of the "latest" release, and I have no idea which phone I'd have to buy to get it.
    jeff.edsell@...
    • This is why Google is removing applications from the OS image, so that they

      can be updated without updating the OS. That should help remove some of the confusion, and make it so you do not need to upgrade the OS to get the latest applications.
      DonnieBoy
    • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

      @jeff.edsell@...

      Android is starting to remind me of another wonderful OS that had a few critical flaws that led to its downfall....PC/GEOS.

      It came out before Windows 95, was fully object oriented and had a very slick MOTIF GUI interface that rivaled anything on the market at the time....even the Mac OS looked like crap in comparison. It was light years ahead of its time and through it I was a charter member on AOL. This was in 1990.

      It had a few major flaws though that led to its demise, one was that the small company that created it failed to market it very well.

      Android obviously doesn't have this problem....it has the reverse problem....it is being marketed too well....including its Achilles's heel, fragmentation....which is why Netflix cannot be found on a single Android device, but showed up on Windows 7 devices within days of their product launch.

      I hope Google can get all their robots to line up....and soon.
      VRSpock
      • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

        @VRSpock
        Netflix is running into a problem due to the open source and thus easily maneuvered around DRM found on Android, not the OS.
        hoaxoner
      • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

        @VRSpock
        This appears to be a DRM issue related to the open source nature of Android. Qualcomm stated that their newest snapdragon processors have hardware features that have gotten Netflix and studio approval, and they claim to be working with an OEM to bring Netflix pre-loaded to a future phone (no mention of the specific OEM(s) or model(s) that I've seen yet). Time will tell.
        DBEvans
    • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

      @jeff.edsell@... While I understand your "cool new feature" issue, a little research easily solves this. Realistically, it only takes a couple minutes online to know which phone has which features built in.

      And if always having the "cool new feature" is that important, you can't buy an Apple iPhone on contract anyway. Those with iPhone 3GS will never get to utilize FaceTime, for example.
      jglopic
      • That list is only temporary

        @jglopic When a new version comes out ... you are back to being stuck with an older version with no fix to your problems.

        So far, I haven't seen Google providing bug fixes for older versions of Android. To get a fix you have to get update the OS to the latest version ... something that most phones can't do (without a "hacked" version of the OS, created by unknown sources).
        wackoae
    • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

      @jeff.edsell wrote:
      > I have no idea which phone I'd have to buy to get it.

      Really? Aw. :sniff:

      Based on this reasoning, staying in the cozy confines of iPhoneland was definitely the way to go, in your case. We wouldn't want folks like you straining a synapse or rupturing their cerebrums or anything, the poor little dears. LOL
      Justa Notherguy
    • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

      @jeff.edsell@...

      If you don't like your current version of Android, just wait a day.

      Oh and buy another phone.
      tonymcs@...
    • Turd Burger

      @jeff.edsell@... Yeah but then you get the cool new features of the iPhone too, time takes time to see whats better overall
      LLisa80
  • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

    While I agree that there is fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, I am not sure it is the problem others are complaining about. I purchased my wife a phone for Christmas, and it works as we expect. If there is ever an issue, I will look for a custom ROM, probably, but I really don't expect to have to do this. The phone works. That is what matters to me. I certainly wouldn't go to Apple just because all the iPhones have the same OS on them.

    Conversely, I am not going to WinPhone 7 right now either, for the opposite reason - they have issues and are not updating quickly enough. Maybe when SP1 comes out. :)
    jglopic
  • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

    This one's hard to agree with. We know 2.3 *is* the latest shipping Android version for smartphones. Its absence on most of them is evidence of a *problem*, not an indicator that somehow it's not "current".
    treestman
  • What ever is in the phone you got

    Sorry you are stuck with it, but the current version is what ever you have installed.

    Manufacturers have no incentive to provide an upgrade to the OS after they sold you the product.
    wackoae
    • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

      @wackoae You are more correct than you know. This is for the simple reason that OTA/"No Hard Reset of Your Data" type updates are apparently not a concern for Google, notwithstanding the fact that they are of IMMENSE importance to us the customer.

      In MY case the "current version of Android " (Samsung Moment) is Vers.1.5 (with a HIGHLY corrupted and completely unfixable browser).

      I can't/won't do a hard reset of my data, until recently didn't have a (so-called "regular") computer, and won't connect the two for any reason--and until last year was COMPLETELY unaware of the ridiculous fact that Google/Samsung/Sprint had FAILED(!!) to make a simple OTA (over the air) "Windows type" of simple "no fuss" update of the OS even possible!!

      I had been assured by Sprints normally "on the ball" Advanced Tech people on several occasions before buying the Moment, that OTA (without a computer) updating was built into 1.5...No mention of my data being hard reset was even mentioned!!...What a frickin' joke!!! Now my browser doesn't work (and can't be fixed without a hard reset!. Am using Opera (which seems to be progressively getting corrupted itself), and am permanently marooned on 1.5...Where I will stay, until deciding which type of OS to try next.

      In ANY event I WILL NOT EVER get another smart or superphone or ANYTHING until and unless I am assured in legally enforcible writing that simple, practical and no fuss, "no data loss" updating (and "un-corrupting/de-corrupting") of all OS components is UNQUESTIONABLY baked in from the start!!

      GOOGLE ARE YOU LISTENING!!!

      Now, as for that nincompoop "Droid101"--the ONLY thing you said that was correct was in the last line, wherein you said something about [a phone not]..."having to be tethered to a computer, ever"...That much is correct--double especially regarding getting the OS updated (whether you meant it that way or not)...The rest of what you said was brain-dead, execrable nonsense. Delvardo is correct, except to call YOU a fanboi is an insult to the intelligence of real Android fanboys, who would prefer that Android be improved as rapidly as possible--and be FULLY AND EASILY UPDATED---LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FROM THE VERY START!!!

      AGAIN!!! GOOGLE ARE YOU LISTENING!!! I'm STUCK on version 1.5, because you "ASSUMED" that we all had "regular" computers, and "ASSUMED" that we were all willing to (and technically capable of) doing backups on said computer, AND you "ASSUMED" we were ALL willing to USE a regular computer to update YOUR computer (the phone), and "ASSUMED" we were all willing to go along with loss of all our data, and "ASSUMED" we would just accept being marooned on a "too hard to update" version of your OS. And your ASSUMPTIONS are ALL incorrect. You have to do better than that Google!!! DON'T screw us again Google!! GET your S--T TOGETHER and make your product user friendly or pay the consequences in a rapid slowdown of your growth as an OS this year!

      Think about this folks--what would you all say if Microsoft and Apple (and Linux for f--ks sake) all "ASSUMED" that we all should just go out and purchase a mainframe costing 10X as much $$ as a conventional computer--for NO other reason than to backup and update the Windows or Mac or Linux OS. THAT is PRECISELY the requirement Google saddled us with!! Buy a $200 phone, then buy a $2000 "so-called regular" computer for NO OTHER REASON than to just update the $200 phone!?! [Yes I know you can get a cheap PC for $500--but I'm making a point here--and the point still works whether it's $2000 or $500]

      It's EXACTLY like being "required" by Chevrolet to buy a $200,000 Ferrari in order to use the Ferrari engine to "update" the oil by sucking the old oil out and blowing new oil in to the Chevy. And using the Ferrari to "hold" the contents of the Chevrolet so they aren't somehow lost forever in the oil changing process. That would be STUPID beyond ALL belief, both the "buy a mainframe to update a PC" scenario, AND the "buy a Ferrari to change/update the oil in the Chevy" scenario. WHY does Google get a pass for that kind of blythe, unfeeling, geekly stupidity?? The logic of why Google should get away with this assault on our free time and bank accounts only makes sense to a fanboy--and a totally braindead one at that... There IS NO technical reason why Android was designed that way. It was just a cost saving measure. Whatever had to have been done to make the updates work as I described, should, AND COULD(!), have been built into the VERY FIRST version of Android!!! If it "couldn't" for some arcane reason--then Android should have been held up until the programming improvements and/or hardware was developed to MAKE it possible--end of story.

      And, with respect, anyone who disagrees--can go straight to hell!!
      NoNeed4This!
  • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

    It's only a "problem" because writers like you get bored.

    Normal people don't give a shit what "version" of Android they are on. They just care that they have a great phone that works and does anything they want it to without having to be tethered to a computer, ever.
    Droid101
    • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

      @Droid101

      Typical Android fanboi response... they don't even care about updates that fix bugs. Pathetic.
      Delvardo
      • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

        @Delvardo
        Carriers do ship updates when there are bugs or security flaws. It's the "feature updates" they seem to have a problem with.
        Theli
    • That would be true ... if Android didn't have a large number of bugs

      @Droid101 Bug fixes. <br><br>You forget that unlike with desktops OSs, older versions of Android will never bug fixes. And the list of bug fixes between versions is HUGE.<br><br>For mobile phones, bug fixes are only provided with the latest version.
      wackoae
    • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

      @Droid101 Typical. Are you ticked off that the viPhone gave VZW their most successful first day product launch to date? That presales of the viPhone have completely blown away presales figures of any Android device out there?

      Yeah I pulled a Droid101 and did a drive by trolling...
      athynz
      • RE: Which exactly IS the current version of Android?

        @athynz
        LOL. good one.
        Ram U