Friday, August 14, 2009

Neither bitter nor surprised

This is a pretty good analysis of the situation G1 owners face, and I'm not surprised:
T-Mobile G1 owners: Don’t expect any future Android updates: "

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but someone has to say it. If you currently own a T-Mobile G1, your days of Android updates are numbered. In fact, cupcake might have been your last treat. Users should not expect to receive the Donut update in its full form.

“I don’t think that anybody… can precisely answer your question at the moment. Size remains a constant concern, not just for the G1 but also for other devices.” Jean-Baptiste Queru, Android Software Engineer

“I don’t believe that has been decided yet, and ultimately it will be a decision made in conjunction with the carrier. It is even possible that some carriers may want the update and others won’t. There will come a time in the near future when we won’t be able to fit the latest release on the G1 internal flash.” Dave Sparks, Android Software Engineer

Based on all the information I have, I’m just going to assume no more updates for the G1 till I hear something different. You would be wise to start thinking the same thing to avoid being disappointed.

Why is the G1 going to stop getting updates?

The limited storage space of the G1 is the single reason its days are numbered. It is a bit of a no-win situation. No one will admit it, but the small storage space could have been the reason Cupcake was slow in coming.

“Where the situation is really tricky is that the system partition on the US G1 was already filled to the brim with cupcake, and we were routinely flirting with build sizes that were a few dozen kB under the limit (or several MB over…), which means that even small changes to the core platform could very easily push the system size over the limit and staying under the limit took some effort”. Jean-Baptiste Queru, Android Software Engineer

This is one of the chances you take as a first adopter, but all of us who made Android a hit deserve big props. If the G1 hadn't flown there wouldn't have been the massive rush to market that we'll see at the end of this year.

Cupcake was the really important one to me. It added critical bluetooth and bug fixes, as well as setting up the framework for developers. My only real fear is that newer updates and applications will not run on my Android 1.5 phone after 2.0 rolls out in December or January. I hope to see Donut on my phone, but if it doesn't happen I won't be crushed.

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