Google in control: Does Android need to be more like iOS?

by: John DyeNovember 13, 2015

nexus 6p vs iphone 6s plus aa (12 of 26)

Word on the street is that Google is in talks with chip manufacturers in an effort to gain more control over the chip design process. Clearly the company is striving to patch up the fragmented Android ecosystem, but is this a step toward becoming more like Apple? And would such standardization be a good thing?

If Google succeeds in convincing microchip producers to start building their chips based on Google’s specs, this could bring a lot of uniformity to Android smartphones. On the one hand, this may make Android more competitive with iOS and make developing for the operating system simpler. On the other, the Android ecosystem stands to lose the very thing that originally defined it: diversity.

If Google succeeds in convincing microchip producers to start building their chips based on Google’s specs, this could bring a lot of uniformity to Android smartphones.

Google has quite a few hoops to jump through if they’re to succeed in this endeavor. For one, convincing chip manufacturers to produce chips not of the their own design is fraught with complications. If they’re unsuccessful on that front, there’s talk of Google going rogue and making their own phone entirely, but that’s a complex issue as well.

One thing is certain, and that is that the mobile market is viciously competitive and that profit margins tend to be fickle and razor thin. If Android is going to thrive in this ever-changing environment, will it need to become more like iOS? And what would that even look like?

Effects of iOSification

Apple has full control over every last physical detail that goes into making the product that their operating system runs on.  I mean, they even designed their own core processor.  Their devices are rigidly standardized – some even say stiflingly so.

However, with that standardization comes a high degree of efficiency and economic safety. Apple consistently makes massive profits year after year selling upgraded versions of the same device, and that means app developers for iOS don’t have to consider how their program will run on a vast array of different devices.

Google is in a completely different boat. The Android ecosystem is colorful and diverse, but a less pleasant way to say that is “fragmented.” Although Google has a lot of control over how Nexus devices come out, there is still no ‘standard’ Android device, and Google doesn’t have the liberty to dictate hardware specifications. They must ask.

Also, if you’re an app developer, developing on iOS means you only have to make sure that your app runs well on, like, five different iPhone and iPad models. If you’re an Android developer, your stupid little balloon popping game or whatever has to run smoothly on more than 24,000 different devices, and you better believe that your inbox is going to be destroyed by the thousands of bugs that users are experiencing on models you never took into consideration.

android fragmentation open signal

To be fair, Android has gone out of their way to make developing apps for the OS more streamlined. With improved development tools and Google-provided data, it’s easier for devs to strategize app development. But this is still a far cry from iOS dev work, and it remains one reason why a lot of apps release on iOS first and then eventually migrate over to Android.

What benefits might come from standardizing Android hardware? Faster updates, for one. iPhone updates roll out far quicker than Android updates, which can sometimes take months. Hell, I’m still waiting for Marshmallow to hit my phone and there are other devices that never even saw Lollipop or are still waiting. Keeping phones up to date is obviously a security concern as well, though Google has been making important moves there by introducing security updates to the mix. Another possible benefit is general speed and optimization. If Google has more control over the chip building process, it becomes easier to optimize the OS, allowing Android to run smoother even on devices with less cutting edge hardware.

What benefits might come from standardizing Android hardware? Faster updates, for one.

Having greater control would also allow Google to ensure that all Android phones are capable of the same kinds of hardware/software features. Apple’s absolute control over hardware specifications means the company will have no trouble integrating the latest technological innovations into their iPhones, but Google has less control over how this situation evolves, with its individual OEMs playing a greater role in deciding what tech they wish to include, and what they don’t. For example, the OnePlus 2 is famous (infamous?) for its decision to leave out NFC because they felt “their users didn’t need it”. What might have been good for OnePlus isn’t so great for Google, as the lack of NFC closes the door to Android Pay and many other NFC features that Google might want to offer Android users. 

Going into 2017, phones are expected to have more advanced sensor hubs that take in a vast amount of information from their surroundings, and new detectors will make interacting with these devices a much more fluid experience. Software can’t pull this off; it’s a hardware issue. Fragmentation across Android means the best Google can do is plead with OEMs to build the designs they need to integrate the features that will keep Android competitive with iOS in the near future.

If Apple is able to offer hardware features that Android can’t guarantee due to fragmentation, it will be a hard hit to Android in the court of public opinion.

However, if hardware manufacturers bend to Google’s will and start making standardized components, then Android devices across the map will start looking and behaving much more similarly. This may take pressure off of app developers and accelerate update rollouts, but it will also make the Android ecosystem a lot more… samey. After all, one of the main points of the Android operating system was to offer users choice, right? It’s a backlash against the ivory monotony that befell the MP3 marketplace, which might as well have been called the iPod marketplace. An Android device is whatever you make it to be, and if Google moves toward iOSification, don’t we lose some of that?

What will an Android smartphone look like in 2017?

Android update Google Logo

Maybe we have to chart this course by coming at it backwards. Let’s take a look at the potential future of Android devices and see what strategies Google will have to consider to get there.

In their talks with chip manufacturers, Google has reportedly expressed interest in nurturing camera components, sensors, and the main processor. If Google were to build their own ideal phone, a kind of showcase to demonstrate Android’s full capabilities with no compromises, what would such a device look like two years down the line? Where does Google want to take their products?

First of all, Google wants to kick up image processing capabilities so that the time between snapping photos is functionally zero. A top-of-the-line Android device in 2017 should be able to capture a “video-like stream” of photos that the device can then push to Google for comprehensive analysis. This would apply not only to smartphones, but to wearables that will act as a “third eye,” giving the user feedback and information about their surroundings whenever they need it. This will require adding memory to main processors so that they don’t have to rely on separate memory chips to accomplish this and other tasks. Google has the camera processing designs they want manufacturers to use to implement this technology, but chipmakers may be reluctant to license these for a variety of reasons (we’ll get to reluctant chipmakers in a second).

In their talks with chip manufacturers, Google has reportedly expressed interest in nurturing camera components, sensors, and the main processor.

Android devices are also expected to have support for a wider array of sensors in the next two years, including Tango, a component that Google is currently developing that can measure distance. These sensors will assist in virtual and augmented reality, and they’ll help collect more useful information about the phone’s surroundings.

What kind of useful information? Google wants these advanced sensor hubs to quietly collect data without waking up the device’s application processor. If some bit of information is important enough, the device will wake up and perform whatever function is necessary.


Consider the always-on microphone that a few Android devices use to respond to “OK Google” without having to be manually woken up. Just a few years ago, such a feature drastically drained battery life, but now the device doesn’t even bother the main processor unless it senses that key phrase. Another example can be found in phones that activate their ambient display when they’re picked up. Extrapolate these abilities out to a variety of sensors, and you have a lot of potential for the device to react organically to a number of situations.

To pull this off, Google simply must increase uniformity. Many Android devices don’t have that passive listening feature, for example. To really make the most of these upgrades, Google has to be able to lean on device makers to ensure smartphones to have the same key hardware.

You said something earlier about reluctant chipmunks or something?

Yeah. So, why don’t chipmakers just build what Google is asking of them? These aren’t new technologies, after all, the capabilities just have to be taken into consideration during chip manufacturing. Google is offering the designs, why not just make what they want? Ultimately, these chipmakers are looking out for themselves, and you can’t really blame them for that. Like I said, it’s a cutthroat market.

Consider the big names in chip manufacturing like MediaTek and Qualcomm. These guys don’t want to be Google’s errand boys. They want to be creating their own technology and licensing their own intellectual property, not cranking out chips designed by Google that are probably going to be exactly like those produced by anybody else that Google is partnering with.

Processor chip on circuitboard Shutterstock

Nevertheless, the chip business is chaos right now. A lot of companies have been forced to cut back amid falling hardware prices, and competition is vicious. Google may find someone in the fray who is willing to take their deal in return for brand recognition.

However, you’ve still got the device manufacturers to think about. Even if chipmakers create Google-specific products, adding in these features jacks the price of chips up. If you’re an Android device manufacturer, and profit margins on these devices are extremely tight, then it’s hard to justify the cost of these high-dollar chips when you can get a whole batch of good-enough chips for a lower price.

So, is this even possible?

Maybe. One solution on the table, as I noted briefly earlier, is for Google to build their own phone. If Google is able to set a high bar, OEMs may follow suit. In fact, this may even be the only way any sort of standardization can move forward since experts in the industry are dubious that chipmakers will adhere to Google’s checklist of design specifications.

But hey, a Google-designed phone standard is not unprecedented. Google hand-crafted the Android One as a smartphone platform designed specifically for first-time users in developing nations. They had full control over the minimum hardware specifications and even ordered the parts themselves. They handled distribution, orchestrated software updates, the whole shebang.

How’d that go?

Android One Bloomberg

 Not so great.

It turns out that the $100 devices just can’t hack it against $60 and $70 Android devices created by ZTE and other brands. Also, a lot of partners aren’t really thrilled about selling Android One phones since they were basically identical to any Android One phones being sold by their competitors. Marketing it is a nightmare because there’s no way for a specific model of Android One phone to distinguish itself.

Man, standardizing the ecosystem is hard.


If Android aims to become more like iOS, at least when it comes to component/OS integration, then it’s got a long road ahead of it. It seems like the operating system needs some kind of hardware standardization if it’s going to move forward into an era in which smartphones are increasingly adept at anticipating our needs. If Google fails to standardize, the Android ecosystem risks becoming increasingly fragmented.

In practical terms, what we would see is a handful of elite devices living up to Android’s full potential, presiding over a peasant soup of mix-and-match hardware. All this while the iPhone marches on, unencumbered by the negative aura of a divided lower caste of devices. As far as first-world orwellian scenarios go, that one pretty much takes the cake. Nevertheless, it’s the situation Google is going to be striving to avoid in the months and years to come. This is  a complicated problem, but then again, Google is a notoriously good problem solver. It will be interesting to watch how this all shakes out.

What do you think? Is Android going to start looking more like iOS over the next few years? And would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

  • Hotbod Handsomeface

    Open letter to Google: If I wanted to have iOS, I’d buy a fvkken iphone.

    • Xeo

      The truth has been spoken

      • Nancy Johson

        .❝my neighbor’s mom is making $98 HOURLY on the internet❞….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h..Learn More right Here….
        ➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportHome/GetPaid/$97hourly… ❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦

    • Asif Hasan

      Yeah that’s exactly the point. What is Google even thinking?

      • Lisa Lowman

        Yahoo CEO, Marissa Meyer has gone so far as to Support the practice “Work at home” that I have been doing since last year. In this year till now I have earned 68k dollars with my pc, despite the fact that I am a college student. Even a newbies can make 34 an hour easily and the average goes up with time.

    • OrionBeast

      So… you don’t want ‘per app authorization control / reliable GPS (yes! most phones suck) / same day updates to every device (for 3-4 years of the phone) / reliability of ‘customer service’ ? Gotcha. You’re not very smart.

      • Hotbod Handsomeface

        Go away, Apple fanboy.

        Nothing wrong with my GPS (don’t know what kind of [email protected] you are that you can’t get yours to work – oh right, Apple fanboy…), I already have “per-app” control, and can customize apps at will. Customer service? You mean, the same customer service that threw two black men out of a store because the employees thought they were going to steal stuff? No thanks, I can do without that negative presumptive attitude when dealing with me.

        • OrionBeast

          Lolol trollfanboypost

          • Hotbod Handsomeface

            Oh no. Apple fanboy got me. Let me go cry in the corner. #HashtagOrionBeastIsTheBestAtComebacks #HashtagNoRebuttalJustChildishNameCalling #HashtagTypicalAppleFanboy

          • OrionBeast

            Good job. Not.

  • eprisencc

    What does Windows do? They are successful working with different OEM partners and are still able to deliver OS upgrades without the OEM’s consent. A majority of windows peripherals can get by with standardize drivers produce by Microsoft. That’s not to say its perfect. Upgrading a system to the latest OS is not always smooth since there is always likely to be peripherals and parts that do not have drivers and thus will not work with your system using the latest OS. However, Android’s development seems to be following a similar approach to Windows. Maybe Google should mandate that all android phones can receive upgrades like Windows and its just the responsibility of the OEM to develop drivers for the latest OS. Ideally, you could still update or upgrade with the knowledge that not everything may work right out of the box. Also standardizing hardware and drivers as Windows do would do wonders to speed up the update process for Android.

    • Hans Pedersen

      Windows is closed source with open (not open source) APIs and such. This is the model I hope Google will adopt one day, but I doubt it will ever happen as Google doesn’t really have any incentive to take full responsibility for the source code. As it is now, any Android OEM will have to deal with litigations separately.

      • coldspring22 .

        It’s already too late for that. If Google decides to take Android to closed source, then alternative Android forks (such as cyanogenmod) will gain strength and dethrone Google as main driver of future development in Android space.. Being open source, Android is much like Linux, and does not depend on any single company for it’s existence. By contrast, IOS/OSX is completely dependent on Apple’s survival as a company. Should Apple cease to exist one day (companies come and go), then so will all iOS/OSX devices – they all will become garbage. .

        • Hans Pedersen

          The worries (FUD) about the fork is actually less relevant if Google takes responsibility for Android. That does not mean they’d have to make it close source, look at RHL, SUSE etc. Many have tried forking Android and no one has succeeded for the obvious reason, Google Play. That part with be even more obvious if Google would take more control of Android.

          • mobilemann

            speaking of FUD, it’s hans, who refuses to understand that the play store, play services chrome, keep, any service / backup / photos etc, that’s all closed source. The control is there, it has been taken. What he doesn’t understand is that he doesn’t use AOSP, he uses android, which aren’t really the same thing as we know it today:D Android is a bit more open than iOS.

            What you don’t know, but talk about is that OS X’s core, like android’s is Darwin, which is opensource, and who has been forked multiple times.

            You’re both obnoxious, wrong, and actively making more people less informed. Do me a favor and shut the fuck up, both of you.


        • ichuck7

          No way that cyanogen would dethrone Google. The common consumer doesn’t care about open or closed source. All they want is Google Play. I know it comes down to manufacturers, but if cyanogen was going to take the bull by the horns, they already would have done it. Cyanogen doesn’t release new Android versions. They simply release some features. They are completely dependent on the android source code which is made by Google. I know I’m probably not saying anything that you don’t already know. In fact, I’m probably preaching to the choir.

  • 1213 1213

    I don’t mind if android is fundamentally still android, especially since we will probably still have Chinese OEMS hindering Google’s efforts of making a standard.

    • Scr-U-gle

      So now you want iOS, you need to make up your mind.

      Funny how you argue against iOS but really wish you had it.

  • Luka Bulatović

    I absolutely think Google should do something. Maybe not to be as strict as with Android Wear, but they should really do something considering software updates. They had an idea once, but I don’t know what happened to it.
    OEM modifications of Android are OK, people who like that will buy it, but loading a bunch of bloatware on a phone is unacceptable.

    At the end, I think they should go for it. They have nothing to lose (except money, of course), and who knows maybe they’ll make something good. But the way things are going, with security problems and fragmentation, if they don’t do something, the only winner here would be Apple.

    • Roberto Tomás

      If software updates were important to real people than the market would reward manufacturers who were prompt with their updates — Nexus phones would be the top selling phones and those who update later would sell less. It would self-correct.

      What doesn’t self-correct is the uniformity of the platform for developers. Having many different targets for development limits all phones the same way, so purchasers can’t effect that part of the market with buying preference. To a degree they can, but only for software most android fans currently think of as “bloatware” — that situation has to reverse, and it has reversed in things like custom camera software for “raw” controls like with LG’s V10, but even there the reception is luke-warm.

      • Marunio77

        But timely updates ARE important for real people and it DOES prompt oems to push updates as soon as possible because that’s what customers want. Just look at update history of LG devices or success of moto g which delivered mainly in two areas : 1- price 2-quick updates and went to be the best selling phone, Motorola has ever created. If google think they can make it better, then by all means, do it!

        • Roberto Tomás

          I’m saying the need for timely updates can be well met by an open market system. People don’t buy inferior devices when they have the option, and the heterogeneous Android ecosystem is well-suited to supply people with timely updates as much as they actually do have a need for it.

  • AbbyZFresh

    Make Android more like iOS, and the manufactuers will take their business elsewhere. They didn’t come into this market only for Google to restrict the OS to where manufactuers have little differenation from one another outside of hardware. They adopted Android to have more control over their offerings(since its open source and all) that they don’t have in the PC market.

    • Steve Brain

      Differenation? That’s a new one lol
      Try Differentiation :-)

    • coldspring22 .

      Manufacturers in PC market can also differentiate themselves on basis of hardware – look at for example stylish new laptop – tablet hybrids. But of course, degree of differentiation is much greater in Android space, as manufacturers can modify OS to much greater degree. And if Google decided that it needs to become another Apple, then Androids OEM will simply ditch Google and use forked Android. Once a software becomes open source, it’s almost impossible for the originator to reimpose total control over the future development. That’s the beauty of it.

    • Scr-U-gle

      No, they came into it to make money, which they are not.

      They thought that with Google allowing carriers to dictate so much, they would get pushed hard as the carriers are paying over the odds to phone sales staff to push two year contracts.

      The irony is that Google only want your data, so there are three opposing directions by the pyramid scheme of interested parties, the winners being Carriers and Google.

      Facts are Carriers are not going bankrupt, Google isn’t going bankrupt, manufacturers are.

      • AbbyZFresh

        And when manufacturers go bankrupt, who will make the hardware for Android? Let alone cheap phones?

        • mobilemann

          what OEMs are pushing massive profits? None save samsung and apple.

        • Scr-U-gle

          Your question should be ‘who cares?’.

          Google are still getting their data, carriers are still getting their two year contracts.

          Google are a company, carriers are companies, who is there to care? You all have a massive misunderstanding of what a company is, and a huge misunderstanding of what Google are and their reasoning. You actually believe the hyperbole of Page, Brin & Shit.

          They pretend to have started in a garage, but really went to the most expensive Uni in the world and were seed funded by government, all checkable facts.

          They claim to be innovative, but no one can name an actual innovation.

          Iphone is such a success because of the app Eco system, Windows and Blackerry were failures because they had weak ecosystems. Google recognised this and paid Devs over the odds for apps just to get off the ground. They are now using the same trick as Microsft Certification to tie in Devs to their ecosystem, even though they make no or very little money.

          Why else does their store allow copy-cat apps, virus and malware etc, to give the impression of more apps.

          Android is all smoke and mirrors, exposed in their T&Cs. They state that they ‘might’ offer updates for upto 18 months, at what point do carriers offer phone upgrades on two year contracts? That’s right: 18 months.

          It’s a blatant shell game.

    • mobilemann

      idiot, android is already more like iOS.

      The store is getting curated more and more, you got doze, you got better permissions on a per app and service basis, and phones on most of the major carriers are bootloader locked.

      the nexus is kinda the last android android phone out there.

  • nikitastaf1996

    Starting from 4.0(may be 4.4) it is not the big problem anymore.One “big” problem is low end android dont have updates like ios.Only some mid and high.But is usable now.It will be great if Google will deliver core and manufacturers other stuff.

  • Roberto Tomás

    “Fragmentation across Android means the best Google can do is plead with OEMs to build the designs they need to integrate the features that will keep Android competitive with iOS in the near future.” —to my mind, this is totally backwards. The author forgets that Apple doesn’t invest in original hardware R&D, nor does it manufacture hardware. It invests in OEM hardware R&D (developing systems of interconnected things which are each already patented on their own), and it buys manufactured products, ships them to assembly lines it rents, and then sells the product.

    Original hardware doesn’t come from Apple, so they don’t lead anything that way. It comes from Android, is poorly or incompletely implemented in a first implementation, just barely enough to prove the concept, and then is “perfected” by Apple designers (ie, they buy a nice unibody design from a small indonesian company, and then refine it with higher quality metal —or they take I think it was ITO-BTA sensors from Xiaomi and call it “Force Touch”).

    • tiger

      You don’t really understand much…what you wrote is pure ignorance. Sorry. So many things wrong…it hurts just reading it!

      • Roberto Tomás

        well you neither said anything important nor managed to please anyone .. I feel pretty good still :)

  • Martin Chan

    We don’t really have much of a choice. Google’s heading in that direction, chip manufacturing to tune and control software for hardware, even the permissions are a head towards the iOS type of control.
    I mean what are people going to do? Move to another OS?

  • Daggett Beaver

    If Google starts strangling Android I’ll just buy an iPhone or wait for something like Tizen (gag, spit) to mature.

    • Sinan Cagrı Kurt

      Ubuntu would be my choice

  • patstar5

    So what about project Ara? Google wants more control but there developing a modular phone?

  • Ridge

    If the android experience becomes better, than so be it! Putting restrictions on hardware is not a bad move if it improves android as a whole.

    But I would NOT call this “iOSification”, nor would I stand for anything that restricts the software experience. If I have to use some iTunes type garbage to backup and sync or transfer files, I’m out. If I can’t customize my device to no end without restriction, I’m out.

    I don’t see Android restricting the software, only making the hardware and software more cohesive. That, I’m okay with.

  • BareThingz

    And before android each OEM had is own proprietary OS…

    • onstrike112

      Which was in ways a lot better than Android.

  • Patrick Smithopolis

    Nope. Not at all. All they need to do is continue making Nexus phones and showcase their vision through that line of phones. Android OEMs need a way to differentiate themselves from each other otherwise you’ll end up with a situation like Windows phone where all the phones are the same and OEMs abandoning the platform.

  • Jonathon Rios

    The only way android should be more like ios is with the developer community. Apps on android are always second banana when it comes to getting new features, timely updates and bug fixes. Crack down on developers and get rid if those who make shoddy apps. And knock it off with the free download model and plague users with ads and in app purchase systems. More polish.

  • Bobby Wright

    I want everything to work as it was intended. I want updates in a timely manner. Cut ties Google. DO it yourself.
    I’ll follow.

  • J

    I’d say that there is a sweet spot between iOS and Android. If Google manages to find it, they’re onto something.

  • Marunio77

    I chose android over ios few years ago for how open it was and for “drag and drop” capabilities but when it comes to personalisation and so called diversity, the novelty and excitement of it has worn out and all I want now is stock android, that just works every time, 100% of the time and I would happily sacrifice some of the the cosmetic facilities in favour of reliable and stable os, challenging ios in that respect. That would be awesome if there was such device

    • coldspring22 .

      I used Galaxy Note 2 for three years, and it’s been completely rock solid for me. Of course, rooted the phone to disable OTA updates, and installed Nova launcher. I also use Note 4 with Lollipop 5.1.1, but Note 2 on Jellybean is just as good in most respects (except for vastly improved camera on Note 4). Oddly, Note 2 gets better battery life on standby (up to 4 days) than Note 4 (3 days) with improved power management in Lollipop.

      • tiger

        How’s security? Stage fright?

  • This article is great. Well Android really needs standardization just like iOS ecosystem does. That’s why many people choose iOS because of it’s optimized software for their own hardware. Google really needs to plan for Android’s future.

  • Lurch

    How about we start this conversation by NOT immediately trying to make comparisons to iOS which will naturally get 9/10ths of the readership to explode?
    How about we ask, what can Android LEARN from iOS? Or more simply in relation to hardware, Can Android benefit from some consistency in its hardware base and how does it go about it?
    So, can Android benefit from some consistency in hardware? Abso-f**king-lutely. Right now, from an application dev point of view, the vast array of possible hardware platforms is killing Android. As the author points out, more and more often we see AAA titles arriving on iOS first for the simple reason that it’s easier. And ease = less time spent, less time spent = less expenditure of the app developer.
    How does Google go about this tho? Well, first it needs to work out a set of GUIDELINES (note that I didn’t say rules) in consultation with current hardware makers. Those guidelines are then released publicly. Those guidelines are also updated regularly to keep them relevant. Then Google starts building Android releases, optimised towards those guidelines. With optimisations in place, those manufacturers making, well, crap will soon be obvious as Google will run poorly. But there is still nothing stoping a manufacturer going straight to the source code and doing their own thing, but I honestly don’t think any cheap phone maker is really interested in that.
    But here is the kicker. You don’t want guidelines that only target the high end of town. At the end of the day it’s actually the low and middle end phones that keep everyone in business. So you don’t want guidelines that will end up pushing the prices up. Also today Google has positioned itself that it has a social responsibility towards this low end market both in western society and in developing countries. It has become a major part of bringing tech to parts of the world that wouldn’t have it otherwise. So whatever hardware guidelines still needs to keep this in the picture.

    Also, I write this on my iPad, while my Nexus 5x sits next to me, and my wife checks Facebook on her Nokia 1020, so each to their own.

    • mobilemann

      “which will naturally get 9/10ths of the readership to explode?”

      I actively encourage them to do just that. People who can’t handle iOS being as good or better than their OS are the types of people who should not be allowed to comment. The types of people who do NOTHING technical with their phone but hold it like it’s their membership pass to a club;

      they generally don’t know enough to do anything more than hang themselves with those sad shreds of information anyway, like @disqus_owgoGmHUkr:disqus

  • Pedro Gonsalez

    Standardization is essential to Android’s survival

    • Sinan Cagrı Kurt

      Then I would go and buy iPhone if I just wanna buy the phone everybody has. Android should be diverse like peoples…

  • ImNoHero

    Google can dk whatever they want .. All I care about is That i get marshmallow on my s6

  • Diego

    Both of them would crash to the ground.

  • krishna

    I have written a simple way to solve this problem. Please go through my suggestions on this topic.

  • Fida Mehran

    Don’t quite agree with the author(s). But I do believe Android should
    have a standardized tier of smartphone line for Nexus, restrict it
    partially hardware and software wise, allow other OEMs to follow suit if
    they want; and another open source tier so that cheap hardware
    manufacturers and OEMs can create low cost Android phones out of that
    model. Best of both worlds…

  • Guest123

    Skinning Android seem to have put people off rather than making themselves stand out. Yeah, they do stand out in a way…..

  • Clinton

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sure, there are problems with Android, but it has still survived for so long. I guess it all comes down to patience. If you everything before anyone else, then iOS is the way to go. But if you can wait a bit, then you can still get what you want if you know where to look.

    • onstrike112

      Survived? More like barely limped on for years, being just barely adequate for any use at all, whatsoever. Android needs to be replaced entirely at this point. As a BlackBerry user, I’m saddened by the fact that even BlackBerry has all but been forced to just join the sea of Crapdroid OEMs. All of which suck. BlackBerry 10 is a good system, but idiotic people think that BlackBerry 10 is BlackBerry OS 7, and that’s just pathetic.

      • 1213 1213

        A BB OS user of all people saying android is limping. Hope I don’t need to point out the irony.

        • onstrike112

          Yes, from a security standpoint, Android is the definition of “limping” lol

          • coldspring22 .

            Now BB has joined Android with Priv, BB is limping along with Android?

          • onstrike112

            Any Android phone they make will be.

      • tiger

        80% due to it being on cheap free phones in 3rd world nations….

    • coldspring22 .

      Survive? how does that apply to the dominant mobile OS which is being used by thousands of companies and over 80% of population in the world? Even if Google goes belly up, Android’s survival is pretty much guaranteed by virtue of it being one of the most popular open source platform.

  • Saeed Okoroji

    Uniformity of features Google wants to deliver across manufacturers is a nice thing.

  • Manas

    how about amanufacturer losing the google trust mark if they dont provide proper and timly updates?

    • Sinan Cagrı Kurt

      A lot of people in android community doesn’t understands a lot of people doesn’t even upgrade their os even when OTA asked? That is especially true in the developing world. Peoples but phone and want to keep the way they bought it. Trust mark or that sort of stuff wouldn’t mean a lot…

      • coldspring22 .

        Exactly, OTA updates often introduce instability and degrade existing functionality rather than enhancement.. If I were going to apply an OTA update, I would do it only if it’s possible to rollback to previous release. Verizon for example introduced locked boot loader through OTA.

  • hoggleboggle

    I am surprised a website called android authority still perpetuates the myth that ios is upgraded more quickly than android. That simply isn’t true as a blanket statement. Many parts of the os are certainly upgraded quicker and with greater dispersion on ios but not everything. This is because Google has separated out several core items of the os and made them device and firmware independent, allowing them to update virtually all android devices much more frequently than ios ever has. All of Google’s services are updated completely independently, brining the sort of new features that ios users have to wait on ios updates for. This why upgrading to the latest os doesn’t make as much of a difference on Android as it does with ios.

    • Sinan Cagrı Kurt

      I think you kinda right and Google need to focus on adding most of the new features directly into play services instead of these money sucking stuff…

    • Scr-U-gle

      Hilarious, that’s a great piece of satire, next you’ll be telling us Android was released first or that it wasn’t stuck in the 90’s until it started copying iOS.

      Very funny.

    • mobilemann

      @hoggleboggle:disqus You’re simply a liar. In specific instances stuff was left out (back in the day it was siri in the ipad 2) but it supports everything the hardware will allow for the last 3 major updates. what devices from 2010 are on marshmallow? You dont’ know what youre talking about.

      • hoggleboggle

        You clearly have a problem with reading comprehension, so I will try and simplify it for you: on ios all features and functionalities are installed via ios updates, on Android features and functionality are updated both with os updates and outside of the os directly from Google. Improvements to siri require an os update, whilst Google split Google now off and updates it like an app, more frequently and irrespective of which os version you are running. Same goes for mail, maps, the app store and dozens of other items.

        • mobilemann

          i’m well aware of google play services being updated, i use android. All major features, have always been with OS updates. Lockscreen widgets, multi user accounts for tablets, project butter, doze, etc.

          • seniya

            you simply don’t see what hogleboggle is trying to say.
            What if many of the features you find in marshmallow is brought to lollipop via google play service updates, directly from google, rather than waiting for OS updates from OEMs and carriers? then the only thing missing will be the OS version in the settings.
            (project butter first came in jellybean if I recall correctly)
            As for doze, google can very easily develop an app mimicking the functionality, don’t you think?

          • mobilemann

            there is no what if. The app permissions, doze all of that is coming not through GPS, because it’s not possible, you idiot. What exactly did i fail to see?

            Doze is a part of marshmallow. You, as hoggle is, are greatly over estimating what GPS is able to update, and making yourself look like an idiot in the process.

          • seniya

            You fail to see the possibilities, friend.

            How can you specify the boundaries of GPS? compare 2 years before and now. we have most google services independent of the OS. FYI you do not need marshmallow to have app permissions (i.e one plus 2 running on 5.1.1)

            You really do have a problem with reading comprehension. I wrote “an APP” could be developed with features of doze, not updating the OS via GPS.

          • mobilemann

            “FYI you do not need marshmallow to have app permissions”

            that cannot be updated via GPS, is he using xposed? And no, an app wouldn’t have the rights (without root) to modify the way android handles background processes.

            You can keep trying, but you’re wrong, and you know just enough to hang yourself with it, so i’m down, kinda enjoying it.

  • Glenn Gore

    The essence of this article, and what the entire situation boils down to is this: There are some instances where you can buy a “flagship”, top-dollar, latest/greatest, Android phone, and over the life of that phone, it could very well be that it will NEVER see an OS update. Google might issue subsequent OS updates but the manufacturer or carrier may never allow or even bother to push out those updates at all. All this while Apple pushes out large iOS updates on a regular annual schedule with minor iOS updates whenever they are needed and ALL iOS users can download and install whatever updates they choose without interference from a phone manufacturer or carrier, for the life of their phone or until such time as iOS will just cease to be relevant to their device. I will choose the latter option by far. I have bought and used Android devices that never saw any sort of OS update over the entire time I had them, and that is just not acceptable to me.

  • ichuck7

    I used to completely mock the specs of iPhones when compared to their android counterparts. Then when I started to use an iPhone (thought not as a daily driver or to replace my android), I realized something. Android is incredibly inefficient. Apple can make a phone that flies with a dual core 1.4 ghz processor. Compare that with some android devices with hexacores and octacores, with the high processor running at 2.1 and the low at 1.5. My point is apple gets more out of less because of hardware optimization.

    • tiger

      Except that Apple dual core 1.4 Ghz chip architecture is FAR more advance than Android counterpart. This is why it outperforms Android chips. And THEN you have software optimization.

  • Major_Pita

    Apple=the tech world’s version of ‘The Truman Show’….Google it.

    • Scr-U-gle

      So you prefer a poor copy filmed from the back of the cinema on Nokia 8210.

  • Marty

    Pirates will kill any open source system. The only way to manage pirates is by closing down the system..sad to say.

  • Javid Nazim Mammadov

    Google can easily force OEMs to make phones as it wishes. No one is going to make their own OS, they have to use Android.

  • ddd

    What are they talking about this andriod and ios? People don’t know nothing about technology and this is bullshit information.
    Google makes own ideas to create new ui and ux for android phones like kitkat and lollipop, marshmellow os. Google innovate millions ideas that other companies can’t create.
    Piece of garbage apple company copy android os features that google made features from previous os. Jackass tim cook tells to people that we made features for new ios 8 and 9, but they copy everything android os features. Apple can’t compete to android because tim cook and steve wozianiak are biggest pussies in the market.
    Android is more open source so apps are free and fully customized, but ios is close source so piece of apps are paid for everything. All apple products are same ui and layout so it is extremely boring products.

    Android is trillion times better than piece of garbage ios.

    Android rules bitches

    • Scr-U-gle

      Except that those ‘innovations have all come directly from iOS or the iOS jailbreak community.

      You talk a lot about ‘innovations by the millions’ but can’t name one.

      I suggest you go look up Andy Rubin and Chris deSalvo, the people who made android, not people who sit in their bed room pretending to be experts in areas they don’t really understand, they freely say that Androne is a piss poor knock of that is iOS hadn’t come along, would still be stuck in the 90’s with a blackberry knock off.

  • iTriune

    Yes, Google should have the manufacturers push all of their changes to the app store and standardize more things on Android. Fragmentation hurts the platform a lot.

  • Scr-U-gle

    So basically, you wish you had iOS and there are no reasonable reasons to argue that androids lack of updates, poor performance and the fact is users really don’t know jackshit.

    I was wondering how long it would take for this to be acknowledged.

  • iKrontologist

    What a crock of FUD and Misinformation you Cult of the Rotten Bitten Apple logo fans are pumping out here. You should just rename this site CrApple Authority! xD

    Apple is a Design House ONLY…. iTrinket Software company. They don’t own a single factory of their own don’t look now, but iOS has become the most Bug Infested Mobile OS on the Planet…. since Tim Crook FIRED… the Only OS Coding Genius they they ever had in Scott Forstall. Then put what comes out of a monkey’s arse in charge of coding iOS??? Are you kidding me???? A design engineer can’t code diddly-squat or find his way out of a compiler or paper bag!!! haha……. And iOS has been looking more like Android used to look…. but with far more kernel bugs and vulnerabilities!

    • tiger

      Does Qualcomm make their own chips?

  • Hell no! The last thing we need is for Android to be like iOS! I moved away from that crap company and their phones for a reason and I never want to go back. Ever. Google, just carry on as you are and leave the device making to the manufacturers. Thanks

  • Q

    2x Nexus 5X & 1x Nexus 6P here —–>

  • OrionBeast

    Well written article. Good read.

  • Harold Anteau

    If Android was anything like Apple, I would not use any of them. I would go over to Ubutu. Apple is so far behind with their software, and lame as heck. IOS has barely evolved since the device was originally stolen from LG years ago.

  • TJ

    I’d go straight AOSP if this ever happened.

  • Brett Watson

    I’m no expert, but it seems that becoming more iOSish doesn’t mean that much of the flexibility of Android would be lost. Tighter hardware and software integration shouldn’t prevent me from using Nova Launcher.