Phones forum

Question

We Are Created Equal?

by Littlethunder / February 12, 2013 1:41 PM PST

Allow me to share my thoughts about Smart Phones:

My first smart phone was bought in the Summer of 2009 i spent a pretty penny for my G1 phone as everyone did. Yet we all enjoyed its various perks.

Recently I had to give up my G1 as it was going on to a better world. May it rest in peace. Instead of getting another Android I went to something different: a Windows Phone } NOKIA Lumia 710

I lost a great deal of apps that I had on my Android but the feel and handling seemed much better.

My thought about smart phones is this, and I guess it really goes out to those who create those fancy apps.

When creating an app for a smart phone could not the app be created to work on any smartphone?

It seems a little unreal that someone would discriminate when creating any kind of app.

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All Answers

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Answer
could not the app be created to work on any smartphone?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 10:57 PM PST
In reply to: We Are Created Equal?

Good question. But are you asking that no app be made if it didn't run on all models of say Android?

If so, we'd have to scrap Android and wait for a new smart phone system to bring out that next great app. I rarely find an older Android owner that doesn't get why this is. That is, if the old device doesn't have a GPU then to mandate that only apps that support the non-GPU model would mean the end of the line for apps. No innovation, no progress and the end of that phone.
Bob

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Answer
The Windows Phone. Under the bus?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 11:01 PM PST
In reply to: We Are Created Equal?
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Expect the Best
by Littlethunder / February 13, 2013 2:51 PM PST

MAYBE I do complain, sorry if it seems that way. However, when I buy ANYTHING I expect the best in every aspect including .customer service. Furthermore, if I am not getting the best then I doubt others are as well n so the providers need to or ought to stop up their game plan.

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I was at the CTIA trade show.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2013 11:50 PM PST
In reply to: Expect the Best

That's a cellular trade show and the big names in the opening seminar were happy to announce that consumers were changing handsets sooner than ever before. Their numbers put the handset was being replaced in under 2 years on average.

The game plan is clear. They plan for you to change the hand set, there is no plan to support it for years.
Bob

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Expect the best does not compute in your rant
by Pepe7 / February 14, 2013 5:34 AM PST
In reply to: Expect the Best

My favorite is when people vent without understanding the entire process involved.

(yes, the magic fairies can wave their wands and 'poof', and app for Windows appears....)

If you expect the best, spend the time doing the research on what you need first. After that, then start complaining loudly Wink

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Answer
Think about the bigger picture
by Pepe7 / February 13, 2013 12:46 AM PST
In reply to: We Are Created Equal?

Look at the cost/time involved of developing any application for a new platform. Your argument seems to completely discount what's involved behind the scenes.

You basically shot yourself in the foot by downgrading to the Windows Phone OS. While the hardware is better on the Lumia (clearly, being a newer model than the G1), the secret sauce is normally the OS & applications that are available. To lose less functionality, you ideally should have moved to another Android powered phone, or possibly iOS.

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Shoot me please
by Littlethunder / February 13, 2013 2:47 PM PST

When my G1 was dying T-Mobile was doing a pilot rewards program. I was please to be part of the program indeed. They had several phones to choose from both high and low end. Due to being on a fixed/low income I had to make a chose fast as the program was ending in days.

Perhpas you are correct on shooting myself in the foot. Yet this has given me the experience needed to run both a Droid and now a Windows phone. My only wish and hope is that app creators would make the apps for any type smartphone. But after reading your comments along with anothers I see what time of day it is, sort of.

One last thing about the Windows phone: When I used the Droid before I had a little hard time getting the laptop to see the Droid, I nearly had to go in via the back door. With a Windows phone I feel like its a nice matchup and mort compatible, (God did that make sense?)

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Yeah, but is that a product of your laptop...
by Pepe7 / February 14, 2013 5:16 AM PST
In reply to: Shoot me please

....e.g. not being up to date, etc, more than the smartphone(?) FWIW, I've had little trouble connecting to all sorts of Windows PCs with handsets running many different flavors of Android. <shrug>

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Ah, it's more than an Android target?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 14, 2013 6:17 AM PST
In reply to: Shoot me please

Now I get it. You want my app when I create it to work on all smart phones. All the companies and authors wish that was so easy.

But there stands Microsoft and Apple, telling everyone what apps you can install. Microsoft is currently asking for a 33% cut so they are the biggest bully or mobster in the group.
Bob

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I would choose to use a different word <ahem>....
by Pepe7 / February 14, 2013 1:15 PM PST

...for MS right now Wink

cheers

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How about thug?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 15, 2013 6:38 AM PST

I like my Redmondite friends but as a company they feel "thuggish."

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That's probably about right (n/t)
by Pepe7 / February 15, 2013 6:50 AM PST
In reply to: How about thug?

n/t

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Answer
If all smartphones were the same...
by Zouch / February 15, 2013 9:39 PM PST
In reply to: We Are Created Equal?

...then all applications might run on all smartphones. Your question is perfectly reasonable, as is your desire for cross system compatibility.

But they aren't all the same. The architecture, Infrastructure, hardware and software are all different and so would require the developer to write multiple versions and that isn't what developers want to do. Let's look at those issues.

Architecture. From the outside, most smartphones "look" more or less the same - give or take an Apple lawsuit or two! But the internal architecture is quite different and there is very little standardization. By architecture, I mean the memory structure and organization, the processor configuration and instruction set, the graphics chip and the system bus structure. There are basically four architectures at large today, Blackberry, Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone. Some applications have been ported to two or more but most haven't.

The approach to infrastructure is quite different across the four platforms. Blackberry achieved its pre-eminence in the business world because it controlled the infrastructure environment. Apple has done the same and that is why businesses that have become disenchanted with Blackberry are choosing Apple over Android - the environment is controlled and heavily policed by Apple. Thus business can be assured of quality, consistency of experience and support, even though some of the Android and Windows Phone functionality may be superior (I'm not going to define "superior" so don't throw rocks!).

Google and Microsoft are much more open and while that offers greater flexibility, it also allows incompatibility and inconsistency to creep in. What they don't control is the hardware design and manufacture or the customization and enhancements Android and WP builders include.

In terms of the hardware, the three basic elements are the screen, the CPU and the GPU. Just look at standard desktop PCs, for example, there are many different screens available, all with different drivers and this for an essentially standardized interface. Come to smart phones and we find Apple Retina screens, HD and non-HD screens, all with different resolutions and drivers. Looking at the CPUs, three of the main options are ARM, Nvidia Tegra and Apple's customized processors; there are others but you get the idea. All of these have different instruction sets and memory structures, which would have to be separately programmed by some means. Similarly the graphics chip, which in some low end models relies heavily on the CPU and in others may be an extremely high performance self-contained unit.

The interface to the hardware is the software. Apple and Blackberry provide all their own operating systems and application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Apple in particular have a very high standard requirement for applications before they are accepted for the Apple Store. Both also move the operating system along in a consistent fashion and provide the backwards compatibility that allows older applications to run on the newer versions of the operating system.

Google and Microsoft are, again, more open and this can affect the compatibility and consistency of experience as the operating systems move forward. For example, many Android devices are still being sold with the Gingerbread version of the operating system (2.3), while the operating system has moved on to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) in general circulation and 4.1 in later models. This allows for more rapid development of the smartphone experience but leaves some models behind. The Microsoft hardware requirements for Windows Phone 8 effectively made obsolete all existing Windows Phone 7 models.

Could all this be resolved? Sadly, not easily. What would be really nice would be an ANSI standardized programming language for smartphones, for which the manufacturers would provide compilers to generate the required machine code. That isn't going to happen, so the alternative is some kind of virtual machine emulation - one might say like Java but would you really want to go down that route?

It's true that smartphones have become much more powerful, who would have thought even 5 years ago, that we'd be carrying so much power and flexibility in our pockets? A lot of that power and functionality comes from writing applications to exploit the specific platform architecture and that is inconsistent with cross-platform applications.

But then, never say "never"!

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Answer
'fraid not, and yet ...
by Gerdd / February 16, 2013 4:59 AM PST
In reply to: We Are Created Equal?

Just like you can't write one program that will work on Windows, Mac-OS and Linux all at the same time you can't write one app for all versions of all smartphone operating systems. The main reason is that these operating systems provide something called an 'Application Programming Interface' (or 'API' for short.)

Those APIs are different for each platform and often even for different versions of the same OS. The reason for the latter is called 'progress.'

Of course, it is quite a challenge for the regular individual app programmer to rewrite the same program in four, five, six versions, so you don't see this happening very often.

And yet - it isn't completely impossible. There are packages out there - well, I know of just one. It is called WorkLight and is from IBM. It allows you to write an app once and then generate versions for all current smartphone platforms. And when a new platform comes out you just have to regenerate your app for that one once IBM has the support for that platform ready.

I am not sure, but for the simple single app there may be some free support, even. But the main reason for Big Blue to get involved in this field is that a need for large corporates to provide apps to all of their partners, regardless if the technology they use, that will all easily and securely connect to the corporate IT structures.

So, even if this sort of solution is aiming at more than just a weather app that you can port from your iPhone to your new Windows phone, there is a technical solution for your request.

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