Which merely means FP should make their own chipsets. No, it’s not that simple.
Non-billionaire startup life which tries to change how things are made is not simple at all. You can read why and how the industry and Android distribution works some posts above:
…we are updating monthly two different OS flavours for the FP2 while working on an FP1 update"
Disclaimer: Yes, I know Fairphone did things wrong, and I welcome criticism, but FP1 -> FP2 improvements are abysmal. Just noting what FP could have been done in a magical and ideal world is not fair from us. They are working hard and they are becoming better one step at a time.
I confess I reasoned or even argued much like @kuleszdl about FP2’ pretended shortsightes decision for qualcomm. There is still missing some transparency about this decision from FP as every missing openess for open hardware description missing from FP. E.g I criticized FP for even not informing about simple battery pin out since I am still trying to double or enhance FP2’s battery life time.
But I simply don’t know very much about open source hardware alternatives. And I disagree when @Douwe was criticized for any undeclared FP’s crucial decisions e.g. missing proclaiming android 6 development for FP2 before it is feasable. He is community manager and not communication manager e.g. like a government spokesman of his CEO.
Of course it’s out of question that a small startup is not in the position to dictate terms for chipset vendors. Yet, just going for a chipset with no (sufficient) guarantees regarding support terms sounds naive. One of their arguments back then was that they are going for this older chipset because they (think | expect …) that it will be supported for soo long - but this didn’t turn out to be feasible.
I have no doubt that they are working hard. This is not my criticism. But why don’t they just open up their development process so everyone can follow the progress? Just like any serious vendor who cares about openness? How about an open issue tracker where commits are linked?
Google has been criticized for their style of not communicating priorities and just throwing new releases over the wall - but I don’t see FP doing any better at all. Why is it not possible to just get the very bleeding edge code and give it a run or contribute fixes?
Again, this is not my point and @Douwe is not to blame - he just forwarded the question from the community and the “spokesman” did not have anything substantial FP would like to share with the community.
Now, Android 6 was released 3 months before the FP2 hit the market, Android 6 is there for almost a year. Android 7 was released one month ago. But the FP team even can’t say for sure whether Android 6 will ever be supported? Even though many other phones based on the same platform/chipset already shipped the update months ago?
I guess it is not only the pure deployment of Android 6. I rather guess the question behind this is about how many different Androids can be supported concurrently. I noticed that my FP Open OS has been neglected by updates that have been overdue until 16.08. Hence FP may have decided to postpone deployment of Android 6 due to too many issues, bugs etc urgently still need to be fixed with Android 5.1 before. Also they promised to deliver every month updates and security fixes. Do you know how many development ressources does this bind ? This looks plausible to me because the personal ressources of developers are most likely not enough to support 2 androids in parallel.
You say it: it turned out. One thing out of their will changed: Google droped MSM8974 chipset support while developing Android Nougat. Sony didn’t expect that neither and released two Release Candidate Nougat builds for their MSM8974-powered devices. The decision was well-taken on the moment they took it, from my point of view.
I agree with that. I understand too, as a developer, that an open development model could be somewhat complex to manage in the begining. But that’s not something out of their hand, true, and I’d like to see that in the near future.
(Maybe they shoud organize their FP-flavours flow, not treating FP Open as a second-class citizen, and figure how not to release any Google code before. But that’ll be anyway healthy for their development process, I think…)
They need to fix the long list of #software:bug-reports before upgrading and, as @anon9505190 has mentioned, they need manpower for that and they are currently working on a 4.4 obsolescence-fighting update for the FP1.
No, it’s hard to judge. But it would be easier if they would simply communicate that! Just like: 40% of development time goes into 5.1 security updates, 40% goes into bugfixes for 5.1, 15% goes into KK for FP1 and only the last 5% go into Android 6/7 evaluation. But so far, we were not presented with any numbers or even sorted priorities…
To be honest, regarding the Android 4.4 thing my impression is that they have one single student guy (thesis writer) working on this “experimental” project…
I couldn’t agree more except not “maybe” but “for sure”! Of course they should develop FP Open first - it would be for first adaptors who are more tech savvy, do better at bug reporting etc. so they would get a lot of useful feedback for free and would be able to release more stable “regular” versions. The way they are doing that right know (at least as our perception goes) is completely the wrong, opposite way.
Instead of developing a system “with google” and then trying to operate this out and being careful not to leave anything there, they should develop a solid, open and gapps-free system and then integrate the gapps there.
Oh, and one more thing regarding encryption and Android Nougat:
Many devices, like Nexus 5X and 6P also use unique keys that are
accessible only with trusted hardware, such as the ARM TrustZone. Now with 7.0 Nougat, all new capable Android devices must also have this kind of hardware support for key storage and provide brute force protection while verifying your lock screen credential before these keys can be used.
I am not a developer and I cannot say much about chipsets… As a standard user and reading this topic (and others, like Call for Beta Testers - Be the first to test a new update!), I guess that we can say that FP lacks man power and suffers from a sometimes elusive communication.
Nonetheless, when @kuleszdl talks about priorities in development, we shouldn’t forget about the Sailfish project as well (and some prospects with other OS). There will always be people complaining about something, it’s all about priorities, as you say. As a FPOOS user, I read a lot of comments of FPOOS users complaining about updates and bugs. Like you, I would personally be happy if FP would consider FPOOS as a priority over the regular Google OS. But other users (and sometimes even the same, including me), think that FP should put more time and efforts in the Sailfish integration. On the other hand, Fairphone is all about phones being fair. We could talk about fair software, of course, but at the beginning, it was all about conflict-free minerals. The goal is to offer conflict-free minerals phones to the most people, meaning that the fewest miners would work in bad conditions. As 95% of FP owners prefer the google OS, I understand why it is a priority.
Furthermore, we cannot fear the obsolescence of our FP2 and ask FP to give more time to solve the Android 6/7 issue, if this means that they have to neglect FP1 owners and thus make their first model obsolete.
I am not a developer and maybe you can see more efficient ways to develop FP1, FP2, FPOOS and Sailfish at the same time, but at the end, I guess that it is all about priorities and how much man power you have. The only thing that I would advice is to communicate better and to use more the community for testing and advice.
Another thought: do you think it would be better for FP to
focus on selling a good smartphone with conflict-free minerals and a regular Android used by the most people
facilitate the development of another OS (like Sailfish or ubuntu), maybe even delegate it
and drop FPOOS?
I really like FPOOS and I am really happy to have this possibility as long as there isn’t a good alternative to Android, but maybe it represents too much work? With ubuntu or sailfish, FP wouldn’t depend on Android for all the security breaches etc. I don’t know how much work it takes to update FPOOS, given that FP must anyway update the regular OS, but I guess that it is still a lot of time and that they will always be running after the Android updates. Maybe another OS would not ask as many updates, and maybe the community of users of this OS would be bigger (not only on FP, but on other phones as well) and would be able to help more?
Thank you all for contributing to this discussion!
To make something clear: yes: the Fairphone 2 will get an upgrade to a major Android version. This could be 6 or 7. At the moment we are researching which one is the best one to go with.
In order to manage expectations, we only confirm what it will be when we are 99,99% sure.
People here know we’ve had our fair share of “but you promised xyz!”- comments and we are trying to cut down on those
thanks @Douwe for sharing with us!
One question - and I don’t want to sound pedantic, it is more a question of clarification - does this also mean that Android 7 is completely out of the picture. Or will you reevaluate this in the future?
I have a question about android 7. I just read that SoC snapdragon 810 is not support by official CTS of android 7 a due to of missing support of OpenGL ES 3.1. The fact is that no phone using the Snapdragon 800 or 801 (the 801 also uses the Adreno 330 GPU) has been announced to support Android 7.
Is this the technical limitation that does not allow to port android 7 for Fairphone 2?
If yes, it is strange since many old devices can run, even if not officially supported, cyanogenmod 14.1 aka android 7.1.
I think this has been covered above. If you don’t want to read the whole thread, you can either Summarize the topic or search it by clicking the little magnifying glass above and checking Search this topic.
I just got confirmation that Fairphone Open will stay on exactly the same upgrade and update path as Fairphone OS.
So there might be a few days, or 2 weeks difference in release date, but they’ll both be upgraded to Android 6 at virtually the same time.