Android 6.0 Marshmallow / 7 Nougat for FP2?

Well, Fairphone may be too small a company to be heard, but maybe Sony or somebody in that league might talk QC into maintaining that line of chipset?

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Actually I meant the general software crisis. Means that new software always overstrain old Hardware by resources requirements. Taking the Nexus products it doesnot become obvious because hardware & software was designed to overcome more years than e.g. LGs products especially cheaper ones. But the main question is how I use it after years . Gaming is one aspect but performance may suffer from the years even if all features are still supported. Software crisis, one fundamental issue I learned at Furtwangen, my IT education.

I buy a fairphone to support the ecologic/ethic idea (And android 6 will be gut enough for me), so I don’t know if it’s possible but perhaps in the future can we buy only a new chipset that support Android 7 or next. And replace the current chipset of the fairphone 2 ? it is technically possible ? Commercially, I think not. But technically ?

Your little knight would fight with the snapdragon from qualcom ? :smile: Maybe you wanted to ask if replacing the main board with a new processor makes sense only regarding the technical side ? This question would make sense if you would not ask for replacement but for a complete new device started over from the beginning of development (point zero for hard- and software). Although you maybe would reuse all peripheral moduls we should agree that a complete new device including more than a year development is like starting over. The next question is about what happens to the former device ? I mean all our FP2 ? Just think about the destiny of the FP1 . Maybe the example of transition between FP1 and FP2 gives you an outsight what a complete replacement could mean, technically … ? .

Here’s an interesting (and somewhat long) article about the inner workings of chip support for Android phones

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after all, we are XDA, the home of the HTC HD2, the longest lasting phone in the world… (just for the record, the crazy geniuses over there are running Android 6.0 on the HD2 these days! Not bad for a phone originally shipped with Windows Mobile 6.5 in 2009)

I wonder if FP2 will break this record (7 years or even more due to Android 6’s lifetime) . I learn from XDA’s success model HTC-HD2 that longvity not only depends on the original producer and his original OS. If I’d have more time to read about it at XDA I’d like to find out what’s the difference between HD2 and most others. I guess HTC cannot be a company with much restriction on hardware information policies especially after stopped production of the HD2. All bets would be off if Qualcomm would be also smart enough to open all sources after retiring FP2 snapdragon processor.

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It looks like having CM (among others, probably) is a (the right?) way to longevity. Looking at the devices from this article, or take the Samsung Galaxy S3 (which my wife’s using for three years now), a very successful CM11 (KitKat) implementation, they skipped Lollipop (at least as an official CM), but now CM13 is officially supported, and they already said they will support CM14 (which would be Nougat) officially. And CM13 is said to be running fine on that HW. So the S3 will also have a life span of many years (> 3)

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Just read this in an article on Arstechnica:

After doing some digging and talking to some people, we can say that it will be either very difficult if not completely impossible for any phone that uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 or 801 to get an official, Google-sanctioned Nougat update (including the [Sony Xperia] Z3). And that’s a pretty big deal, since those two chips powered practically every single Android flagship sold from late 2013 until late 2014 and a few more recent devices to boot.
[…]
Qualcomm could provide Nougat support for older chips, but so few Android phone makers are actually asking for it that Qualcomm has decided not to go to the trouble.

There’s some more interesting bits and bobs in the article. You can read it in its entirety here if you like:

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Hi all,

i just got a FP2 and really liked it from the beginning (I also had none of the known problems). There is just one major flaw that makes it practically unuseable for me: there is no possibility to restrict app-permissions! (I totally forgot when buying it that 5.1 doesn’t have something like that, since i have android6 already for a long time).
I can live with the fact, that the FP2 wil never get Android 7 because of the monthly patching, but I can not live without restricting app-permissions!!

Rooting is not an option for me.

TL;DR: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GIVE US ANDROID 6 ALREADY!!!

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They will, just give them time to stabilize and have the humanpower to port a full Android version, :wink: (they are actually updating two versions of Lollipop monthly and also porting #kitkat to the FP1)

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they are actually updating two versions of Lollipop monthly

I was wondering about this one. It seems like FP maintains two seperate builds and cherry picks changes from the FP OS into the Open OS which is quite some amount of work. Why is this not the same build and a CONFIG option turns off the Google Stuff? Seems like it were way easier from the outside. But it is always easier to have an opinion when all you do is peeking in from the outside :-). I am glad that FP has committed itself to maintaining an Open OS at all.

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I guess the repo for GMS OS has some more singularities, or they don’t want to develop openly (read: work first on the FP Open OS and apply the GMS patches on top for every release, which could make things quicker)

Developing an OS doesn’t seem to be easy, plus we should add the crazy tangled mess of git repositories to sync. Here are some notes from a developer point of view:

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Hey all, it is not much, but what I can officially tell you now is that, with the goal of extending the life cycle of the Fairphone 2, our intention is to keep its software as up-to-date as possible.

At the moment we are researching which version of Android OS we will be able to upgrade the Fairphone 2 to. We will share more information about it after we have explored all different opportunities.

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I see this as the big problem with the fairphone. The fairphone company is dependent to the chipmaker to release the new code. And these chipmakers support those chips only for a short period of time and fairphone cant do anything against that. Mabye they could get anagreement with the chipmaker on a long support of the SoC but that wouldnt be cheap if thats even possible.

The mobile industry has no standard for how they implement their hardware features and thats why you cant just update your old phone to nougat as in the pc industry. There its possible to upgrade a pc from windows xp to win10 anyversery update without a dout… This fundamental problem isn’t easy to fix, and the oem’s have exactly 0 intrest to get that fixed…

So then: to live ethical requires to accept years old software on your mobile device… (or hack unstable software from devGods over at xda onto the device) Sad :frowning:

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Hi Douwe,

I am seriously thinking about buying the FP2. However, one buying argument is, that there will be an update to the Android 6 Version (particularly the app permission feature).

Reading your post, I am wondering if it is official that you have the intention of updating it or it is official that there will be an update to Android 6 .

Can you give any date for the update, because your post reads that you are currently only checking which version to update, so not even yet at a point of adapting the software to the FP2.

Looking forward to read from you!

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To me it’s pretty obvious that it’s the first one.

If he could, I’m sure he would.

From my pov FP simply failed to negotiate a contract which matches their goal of longetivity. Imho, FP should refuse to buy chips from vendors that don’t want to or can’t provide guarantees for long-term support of their chips. Instead, FP should choose other vendors. Or better just go the open source road and buy chips from vendors where support for future Android versions is not dependent on the support of the vendor. It’s that simple.

Not always. Ever tried to update a Pentium-M Banias based laptop to Windows 10? It lacks the PAE capability (hardware limitation) and thus will not run Windows 10. The difference here is just that these incompatibilities do not occur as often as in the Android world. But talking about Windows, many chipsets which had good support in Windows XP don’t work in Windows 7 and later either due to lack of drivers…

Why is this software per se unstable? There are many devices which work with this software much more stable than the official versions…

Sorry, but that’s just a typical FP-style reponse with actually no new information at all: “We really want to and we are trying very hard but we will not tell you anything unless we know for sure and we also don’t know when we will know anything for sure so please be patient and rest assured knowing that we are trying everything we can.”. I once seriously considered supporting FP by buying a FP2 device, but this sort of “transparency and openness” is very disappointing and THE major showstopper for me.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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