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INNOVATION AT ANDROID IS UPSIDE DOWN

Fast charging

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A charger to recharge smartphones from all manufacturers at the same speed – that would be a dream, right? The new USB standard type C might be precisely this uniform standard with its power delivery. Qualcomm’s expensive Quickcharge or proprietary solutions such as Samsung Adaptive Fastcharge or Huawei Supercharge or OnePlus Dash would then be at least not a very important purchase argument.

Power Delivery, Quick Charge and the rest: Battle of the Quick Charge Standards

Have you ever tried to charge a Huawei smartphone with a Samsung charger? Or an LG with a Honor charger? Sometimes the equipment is very warm when charging, often the process takes several hours. The USB Implementers Forum (IF) praises improvement in the field and licensed for free, delivering a unit standard for fast charging under strict conditions with power delivery. Even Apple wanted to plug the next iPhone a PD-compatible Lightning port, analysts rumored . With 34 seats in the USB-IF , Apple has worked with the standard.

With Android it is a matter of time, when Google leverages the lever. Currently it is in the Compatibility Definition to Android 7.1, Power Delivery is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED . The next step might be that it becomes a MUST . The same applies to the use of certain proprietary load standards. The text states:

“While this is called out as” STRONGLY RECOMMENDED “, in future Android versions we could REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type C chargers.”

 

If you do not upgrade, you will not get the Play Store anymore.

Will Google fix this? Proprietary charging standards will most likely come to the collar. This is particularly good in terms of environmental protection, as the number of low-end chargers can be hoped for.

Dual cameras

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The approach is understandable: Large cameras capture more light than small ones. For a large but no space in a smartphone, so you just take two small cameras and put your data together into a picture. How to do this? Secret! Huawei and Qualcomm are the big adversaries when it comes to developing and licensing the underlying logic.

Google would have to intervene to eliminate the probem. If you install a dual camera, each individual sensor should be distinguishable by hardware ID. Then third-party apps could drive them individually. But this is apparently still not the case, as at least from the corresponding discussion with Open Camera as well as the section in the compatibility criteria catalog.

Interestingly, we noticed when using an iPhone 7 Plus that it is there. The third-party camera SILKYPIX Shot offers buttons to switch from one main camera to the other. For the sake of fairness, it should be noted here that Apple produced both iOS and 100% of the iOS devices themselves and thus was not surprised by the dual camera. But since since the HTC One M8 also has Android dual camera setups to be taken seriously, it is questionable why Google has not yet entered as with the fast-charging technologies.

Will Google fix this? This depends on many factors. The number of dual camera smartphones is growing continuously, but each manufacturer implements the new setup differently. For third-party apps, access would only be relevant if the user could use each of the two main cameras as a full-fledged camera. This would be the case, for example, with the OnePlus 5 , which offers a standard camera and a telephoto camera. With the Huawei Mate 9, on the other hand, one of the sensors supplies only black-and-white material, which becomes meaningful only by merging with the data from the color sensor. And this is again possible only with proprietary camera software, be it by Huawei or in other cases by Qualcomm. And this would be unaffected by an adjustment of the compatibility guidelines.

Perfect backups

samsung
Huawei has a perfect backup or relocation solution with Phone Clone. If you exchange the P9 with a P10 , an assistant guides you step by step through a process in which SMS, pictures, contacts, apps and app settings as well as the log-in accounts are encrypted and password-protected on a MicroSD card get saved. Of course, the whole thing also by cable or by WLAN. Derselbe Assistant restores exactly this data on the new Huawei smartphone and even rearranges the Homescreen icons as in the old device. So you can reuse your new device with the old habits.

Many manufacturers offer similar processes, however, only Huawei gets it so Apple iCloud moderately perfect that the relocation really restores a hair-like image of your old setup. Especially with the app data, many other manufacturers have to fit for lack of authorization, but Huawei seems to have found a way.

However, the manufacturer does not want to share with the others and also Google does not deliver such a nice solution , especially not so that it is made available to AOSP for all. Instead, Google itself relies on a proprietary, drive-based solution. (And that is not available in the Huawei country of China.)

Will Google fix this? This seems unlikely. Google can offer its platform well for the necessary backups. The change from HTC to Samsung is so easy. The change Samsung to the iPhone, on the other hand, is not Google’s problem anyway. So … why would you solve that?

Today still a single feature, tomorrow a hurdle

In the short term, these features may be nice unique features. However, especially with the last example, it becomes clear that they represent a problem in the long term. Manufacturers create unpleasant hurdles to make the change from the device of the one to the device of another manufacturer more difficult. Various economic experts have defined a special term for this phenomenon. According to Wikipedia, the current definition consensus is as follows:

Under the lock-in effect (English lock in “include” or “lock up”) is generally understood in economics and especially in marketing the close customer loyalty to products / services or a provider that allows the customer due to emerging switching costs and other barriers to change To change the product or the provider. ( Wikipedia, July 4, 2017 )

Admittedly, the Wall between the manufacturers is relatively low. Backups in Google Drive can now catch the most essential: WhatsApp protocols, call logs, contacts and photos can now be transferred effortlessly from device to device; The rest of the equipment is then distributed over the following days if necessary. But some things can not be changed and some of the loading accessories can be used with the successor model, but unbearably lame.

According to the motto “Me first and the gimmicks, gimmicks”, smartphone manufacturers present amazingly many proprietary features, which are not shared with the rest, actually as open-ended Android ecosystem initially. This creates barriers between the devices, which Google often have to remove afterwards, if that is still possible.

Examples from the history show that this is possible. The fingerprint sensor has got its own API, the SD card support was reasonably returned, secondary displays can be addressed. But now we are facing new construction sites.

Google’s first-use, then-standard approach to Android is facing major new challenges. Many manufacturers will demand similar augmented reality approaches, as they were shown by Apple with the ARKit. If you want to be able to address with them a sufficiently large user base, it needs such gimmicks from the first day for all Android smartphones uniform. And not five different ones, of which four or even five will be obsolete in two years, because none has reached the critical mass or has suddenly been made obsolete by a new over-all standard. And Google is not allowed to stroll, otherwise something like Daydream happens again .


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