20141129 Dear +Android , This Open Letter Is Not

Keith I MyersKeith I Myers2014-11-29 20:00:16-0500 – Updated: 2014-11-29 20:00:16-0500Dear +Android ,
This open letter is not easy for me to write but sometimes the best criticism can come from an Android Fanboy like myself. I am a huge fan of your work and use Android as my primary mobile platform on my phones and tablets. I always like to have the latest technology and live on the edge. I own an Android Wear Device, Google Glass, Sony Z Ultra GPE and various Nexus Android Tablets. It is safe to say… I LOVE ANDROID.

With all of that said, there is a 5000 lb elephant in the room when it comes to how you guys treat the OTA Upgrades of your 2012 Nexus 7 3G and 2013 Nexus 7 LTE. I fail to understand why OTA upgrades to these unlocked tablets lag months behind their WiFi Only Devices. My 2013 LTE Nexus 7 just got Android 4.4.4 a few months ago and who knows when it will get a taste of Lollipop. 

I would love to pick up a Nexus 9 LTE in a few months but I am holding off for now. $600 is A LOT of money to put down for a Nexus Tablet that will always be 3-8 months behind in updates. If I wanted delayed updates, I would have gotten a Samsung Galaxy Tab rather then a Nexus. I have purchased a WiFi Only Nexus 9 a month ago and will gladly upgrade to a LTE Nexus 9 to replace my Nexus 7 LTE if I can get a commitment that it will get OTA upgrades in a Timely Matter.

And while we are on this subject, you guys need to also push the hardware manufacturers for “Google Play Edition” Phones to also be more timely. +HTC is the only manufacturer who has commented on their timeline for their 5.0 OTA for the HTC One GPE line. 

Yours Truely,
Keith I MyersImageShared with: Public, Keith I Myers, Android, HTC, Cambo Ford, Siva G, Roger Van Unen, Mitch Miller, Mark Knight, Jeremy Baugh, NATF XDA, Google, Krishean Draconis, Christopher Velez+1’d by: David Lemmo, Siddhant Saldanha, Edwin Valdez, Cassie Gaudette, Emmaly Wilson, Danushka Gayan, Bander Ashehri, NATF XDA, Priyanka Verma, Jasper Linford, mohammed khan, Tr Khan, Xiaorui Du, Adam Simmons, badr samatchi, Mark Nealon, Zubair Abid, Robert Leavitt, hamed farshi, Billy Johnson, M Ahmad, komeil p, Marc Fisher Jr., Diego Fraustro, Mohsen Deylamdeh, obet jurado, The Grumpy Englishman, Joshua Lutz, Martin Holmes, Richard Humphrey, Abu Jawad Almasri N2 Almasri, Christopher Patrick, Hadi Medlej, Dante Montesino, Ramon Gonzales III, Geoffrey Thuku, MR BLAIR W HARD, tariqmehmood qadri, Hafiz sultan, Brendan Carter, Mike Payne, Ash Cooper, Carlos Navarrete, Richard S. Lawson, Juan Luis Delgado Zavala, Michael Lanzarone, Gary Weinberg, a b c d e f g h, Brian D Redmond, Manmeet BhogalReshared by: Zhen Hong, Android Apps Lab, cooing bniz, Jan WildtJeremy Baugh – 2014-11-29 20:37:29-0500Hi Keith! I think you’re answering yourself in the entire letter. Google isn’t responsible for delays with anything labeled 3G or LTE (and if they are, it’s only like 10% their fault). The updates are completed on-time by Google and then handed over to the carriers for their alterations and deployment. The carriers are the ones that hold the other 90% of the blame for delays.

Every WIFI Nexus tablet I’ve owned has received updates first and in a very timely manner. Reason being, there’s no carrier holding it up. Carriers have to alter the settings of the tablets to work with their networks, etc. and they take forever doing it.

Now, I will say that +Google​ needs to push carriers to get updates to their devices on time. When they turn it over to carriers they need to give them deadlines, but how can they really enforce it, ya know? The carriers have all the power… I think the solution is for Google to start their own cell service! Then we’d be set!! 🙂Pablo Arista – 2014-11-29 21:48:43-0500Amen to that +Jeremy Baugh  lol I’m waiting for Google to step their game up. I would definitely switchKeith I Myers – 2014-11-29 21:54:02-0500+Jeremy Baugh – I am not speaking about carrier devices rather specifically the 3G/LTE variants of the Nexus 7 2012 and 2013 which were sold “unlocked” on the Google Play Store. Although a few carriers did stock them in stores, none had any carrier customizations. The key thing that separates Nexus devices from there devices is that Google, not the carrier handles the updates (like the WiFi Nexus Tablets, Nexus 4, 5 and 6)oh really – 2014-11-29 21:55:36-0500If it’s an unlocked device from factory it won’t have a carrier so it must be Google who make the update.Krishean Draconis – 2014-11-29 22:00:01-0500 – Updated: 2014-11-29 22:08:42-0500See also: https://plus.google.com/111530348732890998224/posts/e8HTPk9LFXq

Edit: I own the Nexus 7 (2012) GSM.Jeremy Baugh – 2014-11-29 22:07:51-0500It was always explained to me that even if it’s unlocked, Google still has to pass updates through carriers for approval seeing it’s using various carriers’ 3G and LTE networks.  Hence, carriers COULD be blocking or delaying the update.  I’m just sayin’… not speaking facts, just thoughts.oh really – 2014-11-29 22:13:21-0500Could be true but there’s loads of networks out there so if they had to get all of them to pass the update then it would take for ever for the update to get to the device.

Sent from my Samsung device

——– Original message ——–Keith I Myers – 2014-11-29 22:18:54-0500+Jeremy Baugh – At one time that was true but that ended with the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S had custom versions for Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. The Nexus 4 unified this into one build and removed the crap that was included by the carriers. The AT&T version also removed Google Wallet in favor of ISIS.

As of 3 years ago, all Nexus device updates are directly handled by Google with no carrier intervention.

The best excuse for the delayed updates for 3G/LTE tablets is that the radio manufacturers must compile their custom blobs which they claim takes time.Siva G – 2014-11-29 22:55:38-0500+Keith I Myers​ couldn’t agree with you more. I have the nexus 7 mobile 2012 and it’s stuck without lollipop. This is frustrating and I’m now less inclined to buy an LTE version of nexus. Chris Mincey – 2014-11-29 23:54:09-0500 How about how the lollipop update has basically broken the Nexus 7(2012) WiFi. You were best to stay away from that Nexus 7 update. Jan Wildt – 2014-11-30 04:07:50-0500I agree, but we’ll probably never get an answer by them… But btw there’s hope http://goo.gl/UiHUlfChristopher Velez – 2014-11-30 06:14:16-0500I have a 2014 Nexus 7 and it still has yet to get the lollipop update.Cambo Ford – 2014-11-30 08:15:59-0500Just use your phone as a hotspot and save the money on an lte version in the future. Most places have free WiFi anywayAman Sahil – 2014-11-30 09:20:08-0500Buy a nokia 3310 , no lag , no updating , no bull shitaLeXandEr Schneider – 2014-11-30 09:28:52-0500N7 2012 and N7 2013 both WiFi no update yet.Keith I Myers – 2014-11-30 09:34:32-0500+Cambo Ford – I occasionally do however as I do a fair amount of work of my tablet, having an LTE connection on the tablet is important for me. I don’t care about the cost of the additional data as it gets reimbursedKeith I Myers – 2014-11-30 09:35:34-0500+Matt Deakin – I would not be complaining if there was a slight delay but we are seeing between 3 and 7 months.Keith I Myers – 2014-11-30 09:36:41-0500+An Orrible Monster – I do actually like the visual design of lollipop as I am already using it on a few of my devices. There are a lot of under the hood changes as well aside from the design.Michael Rutherford – 2014-11-30 09:41:27-0500I haven’t received the update for either the 2012 or the 2013 Nexus 7. I’m assuming they were slowed down in order to address some initial problems.Roger Van Unen – 2014-11-30 10:11:09-0500I agree and I would like to add that Google did not improve any of the security options in Lollipop. Apple is still miles ahead of Android.Keith I Myers – 2014-11-30 10:22:32-0500+Roger Van Unen – I respectfully disagree. Android is far more secure then iOS. iOS has been lagging behind for years There are countless lockscreen bypass techniques and TouchID was broken within 2 days. Lollipop did re-vamp several of the security features of Android including
-Encryption is on by default for all new devices
-SELinux is set to enforcing
-Face Unlock actually works very well
-“Trusted Devices” allows you to tell Android to not lock your screen when you are in range of a trusted device such as a smartwatch. 
-“Trusted Places” gives you the option to tell Android to bypass the lockscreen when you are in a specific location. 
-App Pinning – Allows a device owner to lock a user into a specific application, requiring a password to switch between applications.
-“Guest Mode” – Creates a sand boxed setup to allow a user to pass their phone to a friend to use for an emergency phone call without the risk of allowing them access to private/sensitive data like photos and SMS.
-“User Profile” – Do you have kids or other family members to lock them into their own environment. No need to worry about unexpected InApp Purchases or access to your notifications
-Notification Muting – You can choose to hide the notification text on the lockscreen and only show the subject. 

There are countless more advantages Android has over iOS but I dont want to go on record for writing the longest Google Plus Post on record. Charlie Gould – 2014-11-30 10:32:34-0500You’re better off with KitKat…… Lollipop is a lame duck…… Looks good, but half my apps don’t work on N5 and N7………Roy Bevis – 2014-11-30 10:48:25-0500Don t even bother with lollipop…kit kat works 100 per cent…lollipop sucks as its name suggestsKeith I Myers – 2014-11-30 13:06:01-0500+Daniel Buford Nope, not with any Nexus device newer then the Galaxy Nexus. This would be negated by the fact that the 3G/LTE Tablets do not even need to be activated by a carrier.Andrew Davis – 2014-11-30 13:19:39-0500Ive never considered buying a data enabled tablet. Probably never will either. My phone is big enough I can enjoy full websites and games. And if I need internet on my tablet I just toggle my hotspot on.The Tech Lord Asian – 2014-11-30 13:30:09-0500Yeah, I have the same complaint with my Nexus 7 2013 LTE… That’s why I rooted it. I just can’t deal with the belated update. At least with the AOSP ROM, I can get a taste of the Lollipop.Roger Van Unen – 2014-11-30 13:55:27-0500+Keith I Myers well what I don’t understand then is why I can not prevent a VPN application for example reading my contacts or my calendar.

Or for example Air France app reading my calendar. Or Facebook reading my contacts, where I am and my whereabouts.

We have no choice. Like the app? Give them what the want.

Apple has an option to disable this per item. Google had it in 4.2 but opted out. It should be standard.

I have Facebook but I want to share the bare minimum. With android I have to give access to all they ask. No give, no app.

That is taking the user hostage. Android makes that possible. Not good ! Roger Van Unen – 2014-11-30 13:59:22-0500Security is about controlling who can access your data and the app security in Android is lame. I can write an app that sounds great but empty your phone without you ever knowing. That’s why the NSA loves Android. Write an app that sounds great and then access all.Derek M – 2014-11-30 16:57:04-0500Hey Keith, you’re so right. I have two Nexus devices, two Moto X’s. I too I’m tired of waiting especially when you purchase them and part of the sales pitch is you’ll be first to get the updates. Then people tell you to sideload or do other stuff in order to get it. I switched from iOS to Android and I’m bored of waiting. I think your complaint is legitimate and I hear more and more people complaining about it. Maybe Apple had it right. Maybe for me its time to switch back. Chris Jose – 2014-11-30 17:35:32-0500So sad, oh wait NO- I decided to figure out how I can take full advantage of what I have and move on! Fully aware of all this update, but enjoying my phone till it come, so many more important things around me than worry bout this update. Now it will be so Sad if this update affect my smartphone use!Keith I Myers – 2014-11-30 18:02:45-0500+Roger Van Unen – I do understand your concern but this relates more to “privacy” rather then “Security”. Although both are important, they are very different.

The option to deny application permissions (“AppOps”) was actually a development feature that was never actually supposed to have been launched with the OS. This has caused countless Force Closed apps due to people accidentally denying permissions without understanding what they were doing.

Most of the time, the permissions are justified however there are always a few bad apples in the batch… on all platforms.

I cant explain the VPN client wanting access to your calendar without knowing the name of the client. While this is likely an oversight on the developers end, it could serve a purpose. The permissions are declared in a manifest file and many templates define all permissions and it is up to the developer to remove the lines from the app that are not needed.

Facebook looks at your contacts as it has the ability to automatically update contact photos or contact details of a “friend” if they update it in Facebook. The exact same thing happens in iOS except without the permission screen.

AirFrance likely wants access to your Calendar to insert your flight information in the Calendar to make it easier for you if you wish. I doubt they are harvesting personal details as the EU has some pretty tough laws forbidding this.

For the record, this is all done on iOS too, at least Android gives you warning

Also, the NSA likes Apple just as much and there are known Apple backdoors that Apple uses to unlock phones for law enforcement. Vardy Moss – 2014-11-30 21:45:55-0500+Jeremy Baugh amenDerek Gibb – 2014-11-30 21:52:43-0500I own a nexus 7 2012 Wifi only and have not gotten any updates as of today. Wtf Michael Lanzarone – 2014-11-30 22:52:24-0500I own n7 2103 WiFi and still don’t have lollipop so shut up its not just you LTE guys that have to wait Mitch Miller – 2014-11-30 23:42:55-0500I’m sure this has already been said, but you do realize that 3g/LTE/whatever doesn’t magically work when you upgrade the OS. New drivers have to be built to work with the new OS. Google doesn’t make those drivers, the OEM does. For example, if you build android yourself straight from AOSP, it might boot, but lots of stuff won’t work. Proprietary binaries are required to make the device fully functional. I’m sure there are roms up on XDA where people have used the old binaries to build 5.0, or perhaps the preview binaries. However, these probably won’t be super stable. Educate yourself before you go passing the blame to somebody that doesn’t deserve it. Keith I Myers – 2014-11-30 23:45:45-0500+Mitch Miller – Understood however I still cant say that this excuse holds much water or it would also be a problem for the Nexus 4,5 and 6. Google works closely with the manufacturers when it comes to Nexus Devices and this also includes the SOC/Modem Manufacturers. Mitch Miller – 2014-11-30 23:51:11-0500Right, however phones are going to be prioritized before tablets. I’m not saying they shouldn’t hurry their asses up, just that it’s not Google that needs to do the hurrying.Keith I Myers – 2014-11-30 23:54:25-0500+Mitch Miller – And I dont disagree with doing the phones prior to tablets. I am simply saying that the gap needs to be closed faster. Timothy Lim – 2014-12-01 08:22:28-0500Why is everyone so eager to get lollipop even though there are bugs and issues to iron out ?

Don’t you guys want to wait until lollipop is free of bugs and issues ?mat helvie – 2014-12-01 11:09:26-0500Nexus phones and tablets can get update two or three days after Google releases factory image if you root them and flash them. My 2 cents. Mark Knight – 2014-12-01 13:47:15-0500 – Updated: 2014-12-01 13:47:26-0500This is issue should be resolved with the Nexus 6 and 9 having driver partitions.

Google will not need to complied against the drivers to push an OS update.Chris Lockard – 2014-12-01 20:06:45-0500I have the 2012 WiFi nexus and I got lollipop about 2 weeks after it was release. Then I rooted it to use stick mount. Factory reset could the lag away. That is all.NATF XDA – 2014-12-02 06:58:12-0500+Mark Knight​ It’s my understanding that only the Nexus 9 currently has a driver partition. My Nexus 6 doesn’t have one, and the factory image I’ve restored using doesn’t contain an IMG file to push for drivers.Mark Knight – 2014-12-02 07:02:04-0500 – Updated: 2014-12-02 07:05:13-0500+NATF XDA​ its a shame if the N6 doesn’t .. Although I didn’t think drivers would be pushed via the factory images as this defeats the purpose. (Edit – indeed they must be complied with in the OS as there are binary file blobs available for the N6)

Still as the concern is around the Nexus 9.. Will +Keith I Myers​​ concerns not be addressed. Jeremy Baugh – 2014-12-02 21:03:00-0500+Keith I Myers​ looks like I may have been right all along unfortunately… Carriers DO hold up updates on Nexus and GPE devices after all… Bummer. 🙁
https://plus.google.com/111388474868733428500/posts/HGJ1iWxjHJG Keith I Myers – 2014-12-02 21:04:43-0500+Jeremy Baugh – As that was a new addition, I believe it may be in preparation for the next generation of GPE devices that have a partition for the carrier to install bloatware. 

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