I got yesterday a nice old-ish tablet that was not working any more. Namely, a Nexus 7 first generation which was flat-lined (and previously made snow on the screen, which is never a good sign in our all-digital era). After some random thoughts and lots of internet searching/buttons fumbling/battery disconnecting/cables checking, it finally decided to recharge and work. I thought I was out of the murky waters. How naive of me!
The next steps includes upgrading various incremental versions of android : 4.0 -> 4.1 -> 4.2 -> 4.3 -> 4.4 -> 5.0 -> 5.1. I might not remember all of them, obviously. The funny part is that each reboot had to “optimize” my apps (meaning some of them disappearing / changing completely).
This led me to think that there are various similarities between modern phones with android and older computer with windows:
- each first tuesday of the month, your heart is beating from fear of losing your device by side effect of a system update
- You have to update steps by steps
- It’s randomly crashing (due to poor quality third party software, often due to overly complex APIs)
- It’s awfully energy hungry
- Each major update confuses the user with an “improved interface” and “shinier” graphics
What Android did nicer:
- we don’t have a shared library mess (or at least, it’s not directly visible)
- no driver mess and decent app isolation, meaning most of the time, kernel survives the userland mess
What windows did better:
- backward compatibility : I can still run some 20 years old applications (some of them at least)
- longevity : Windows 95 lasted a good 10 years, so did XP