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Should Fairphone prioritize on fixing Lollipop Bugs or upgrading to Marshmallow?

@M…Dammer

I see your points but can only agree on some of them. FP has to move forward to stay in business. Producing permanently new hardware or updated modules would be in contrary to their business values. So the only way, as some other companies do as well, is to advance and fix what´s possible by software.

Some bugs like “battery drain” I cannot confirm. It is no general problem of FP2 imho, but rather (mostly) one of an installed app misbehaving. Also using an additional sd card takes influence on this as I have experienced a few weeks ago. My battery performance got a lot better since I received my phone. Coming through the day on one charge now is no problem at all for me.
This point is also highly depending on each individual user.

Again I disagree, updates mostly keep the product usable.

I do not know if you ever had a bug-free conventional mobile in the past.
Lets see how other companies often behave in such cases as customers have experienced and shared elsewhere on the net.

If a customer realizes a bug and steps up to the manufacturer or trader, how often will he get the attention he expects?

The trader may replace the phone or send it back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer very likely will not take any actions unless it is a major problem coming up more often. So there are two solutions usually remaining: Deliver a bug-fix/update whenever the manufacturer feels like doing so, or send back the device with the statement: the problem could not be reconstructed or the installed app was faulty. It is to be assumed that your device was factory-reseted anyway which in most cases solves any bug or problem.

So I think with FP there at least is a chance to get some help on an individual basis, with the drawback of delays.

This clock bug is in FPOOS if I have read correct. Somewhere in this forum I could read that standard FPOS is being treated with higher priority than every alternative OS. Generally spoken I would not expect having too many bugs squashed in FPOOS by FP as their main focus is on FOS. Also I would not blame FP for this, as it is a free give-away for the community to take care of which obviously does not work very well.

@paulakreuzer

Yep - I am most sure about this. This process is not much different than on conventional computers, updates are made to fix bugs - and sometimes bring up new ones which require an update for fixing again…this is and always has been an ongoing process since computers exist. Never ever there was a bug-free Windows on the marked, so why and how FP should ever achieve this state?
Expectation of this kind are simply unrealistic…this is just for consideration.

@Stefan

Yes - I totally agree on this!
Pushing out new hardware regularly is not the right way for FP. But keeping the existing “interesting” for users and potential customers is a way when working on the software side.

Imagine this objective case:

Someone (again) needs a new mobile stepping into a sells shop. Fed up having to replace the old one again. Now there is the FP2 which is sticking out of the mass, but:

  • Developed some when in 2014??
  • Android 5.1 lollipop? (which actually is still one of the most used Android versions next to KitKat)
  • Camera is acceptable, (but maybe therefore is a conventional camera available or a better module soon??)
  • Not shiny and slim as the old handset
  • Not waterproof
  • Not rock stable as the Kyocera Torque
  • Who is this “Fairphone”, never heard of
  • WHAT - >500€

Salesman, what else do you have in your shop here…?

But now the other point of view:

  • Aged hardware, but running Marshmallow anyway…hm
  • Performing as good as or better than the old broken handset…fine
  • True regular updates from the manufacturer…that´s ok
  • Different covers for choice to change…interesting
  • Replaceable battery…oh - well that is the reason for needing a new device again (my personal most important)
  • Reparable, myself if I can without loosing warranty?..that would help for the old device, but…
  • Modularity? Where comes this from…?
  • Different OS can be installed if Android is not preferred…since when this Is possible and legal??
  • Device may be rooted - legally…where are the hidden drawbacks, man?
  • Dual-sim, what? Show me - now…
  • Dedicated sd card slot (up to 200GB!!!)? keep on talking…
  • There may be better modules available at some time due to its modular design…sounds future proof and durable to me
  • 500€, only? - for all this? Are you kidding me?

There were several hundreds of € spent in the past for conventional handsets and not even one could offer half of these features. Not for 100€, not for 500€ and couldn´t even for 1000€. Even Google put their ARA approach to an end after Fairphone made their move.
Good for you Fairphone - very slick move, indeed. “Rogue One” of more to come hopefully…:grin:

@explit

Maybe running a Marshmallow based OS does fix some bugs as well??

But this seems to be business as usual these days. It seems to work perfectly for many big players like: VW, GM, Boeing, M$ (Vista/10), Samsung, LG (spying TV camera bug)…BUT Fairphone is still in its startup phase having to carefully consider which next step to take for not to ruin the s***t as even much bigger companies has done in the past self-overestimating their capabilities. Nokia, GM, Chrysler (there were times of bankruptcy in the near past), CBM…

I don´t know what else other people do with their handsets, beside keeping on dropping, draining them or keeping these fragile items in tight pants pockets wondering why they operate bad, maybe installing apps being buggy as well. Pushing everything to FP seems the most easy way, as developers often do not care if their app is incompatible or buggy. Not every bug can be fixed by the OS.

I guess that is what you get when giving too much freedom to the user. Afterwards I believe FP could do better with simple usual Ale, Sa**ng warranty regulations. They would leave the option of buying a new device if used improperly. Maybe some day the user would learn his lesson, but some just won´t.

Probably it is me not using my phone properly as I am totally satisfied with it and it does all what I bought it.for. I am not pushing it to the limits, not rooting it, maybe then more bugs would show up, but maybe not - who can tell for sure…

@Roboe

Interesting argument. I thought so too by just using it and browsing through folders with total commander. I got Linux to know as a well structures OS knowing what was done and going on, other like this chaotic M$ product. Android looks to me as a quick and dirty setup to new hardware without going into many details…and now it is running and changes require (backwards) compatibility.

@freibadschwimmer

I agree, this counts for users experiencing problems, not me atm.

@Heiner

I had this two weeks ago as I also posted here in the forum after I have had found the cause. It was triggered by my action, not any OS bug.

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I consider FP Open more than a “free give-away for the community to take care of”. It is an officially supported OS and you can expect the same customer support as if you’d be using FPOS with Gxxgle. Plus community members can contribute (code.fairphone.com/gerrit), even if gerrit has a terrible UI, IMO.

I think that’s the crucial point. Fairphone gives its customers freedom, but they are never satisfied and always want more and more.

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I think different here. As FOS is shipped as standard OS with each unit it should have slightly higher priority as this part brings in some money.

But everyone now has the tools needed to build his own OS port.
If someone knows how to he could fix e.g. this clock bug by himself, and better yet - provide the solution to FP and the community.
After all it looks like complaining is the easier way.

I can understand if FPOS has higher priority because the user base is bigger and hence I do agree with you. I was talking about contacting customer support. Your statement from above sounded as if FP Open users were left on their own, which they aren’t. When they contact Customer Support, they get the same attention as a FPOS user, unlike someone, who runs SFOS or Ubuntu Touch.

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I wish, that the FPOOS has the same priority than FPOS. One point is the different release date.
But FP was able, and I hope they will keep able to release monthly updates. And we know from Android devices, they are most times not dying by hw defects. They get unusable with security bugs never be fixed, as the manufacturer abandoned them because of new products without a significant technical improvement.
There are still annoying bugs, but at least we get the latest security updates.

The freedom you have with free software is the requirement, that the device is really yours. I don’t feel, that the users of FPOOS want more and more. They just want to have the annoying bugs fixed. I thank FP, that they released an open variant. I don’t know a manufacturer, who also does it, except Jolla mostly. But it should get the same care.
For me, I would pay a small amount monthly for the OS development. But then I would expect something more.

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Then you know what you need to do. Go start a campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of Open OS to all Fairphoners! :slight_smile:

PS: I just made the first step:

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Nearly impossible. That is what I try since years. Also on PC. You can’t win such a campaign.
People want the playstore with thousands of torches spying. They want whatsapp, facetube and the google services. They do not know the alternatives mostly.
But FP is bringing that a little bit nearer. For a beginner it is somewhat harder to switch to a free OS on other devices.

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Cough, cough. Seems like someone have not read the clock bug thread. I tried. I will tell you one thing only: time services are part of the Qualcomm proprietary parts. BLOBs. End. We can’t fix it, Fairphone should, and there has passed eight months already.

Also, as a power user of Android, a developer and a person with deep understanding of Android (which is built on top of Linux but it never was anounced as GNU, Google tricked all of you, as always), I feel insulted when the bunch of bug my FP2 suffer for is reduced and simplified to “buggy apps installed” or “pushed the limits of the phone”. I indeed pushed the limits for my former Nexus 4 or my ZTE Skate, but not for my FP2. I also don’t run any buggy app, but my phone register a 20% of battery drop as “Android System”. Come on, Patrick. We all support the Fairphone project, but their product is far from perfect. Don’t be political or religious here.

(Also, I have physical access to two other FP2. My FP2 is not the only bugged)

I really hope that with the Marshmallow update Fairphone successfully fix this unpleassant issues and their build proccess too. Unifying FPoOS and FPOS codebases would improve their workflow, efforts, working hours and their users lives. Long live Fairphone! :grinning:

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Ehm, yes - got me…just wanted to test how attentive you were…:slight_smile: I did not go through the full thread and there are several concerning a clock issue.
I see, well those BLOBS are delivered by the chip manufacturer Qualcomm afaik. So its initially their mistake. The provided SDK is relying on these BLOBS but cannot be used to fix errors in them unless someone has access to their source. (I hopefully got it now).

I also don´t think the product is perfect or close to, but as I am hardly experiencing troubles I am wondering how come other users encounter so many massive problems having the same product as me. This is my first smartphone, so there is not much experience with.

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A humble developer chiming in here to just offer a couple of points of view. While I haven’t worked much with Android, I’ve recently done development and coordination of moving a project from a legacy version to a new architecture requiring rewriting of a whole lot of code. From this experience I can offer a couple of observations:

  1. It’s a heavy burden to work on two versions at the same. Even if they’re similar, switching the context all the time is time and brain consuming.

  2. It’s often much easier to fix issues with the old version when porting the features to a new version. You can see how something you hacked together in the old version didn’t quite work out and have a chance to reimplement it properly. This leads to the new version having a better architecture and being of much higher quality. In a way you can see the old version as an experiment that allowed you to gain knowledge and expertise on how to do things better in the new version.

  3. Maybe FPOS and FPOOS development can be unified to the same codebase in Marshmallow, which makes things way easier for further development. That’s at least something I’d try to work on.

  4. Moving to a new version provides a natural opportunity to further improve processes, which include source code management, issue handling, building, testing and everything else related to the development.

  5. Fixing known issues while porting changes to a new version is often easier than trying to add more hacks to the hacky old version. If not for any other reason, because you’ll have to test the features anyway. I’ve no idea how hacky FPOS 5.1 is, but generally this is often the case.

  6. We don’t have nearly enough information on what’s happening with the development of FPOS to actually answer the question in the thread title.

  7. It’s probably incredibly hard for FP to tell us how far the Marshmallow development is. My first estimates in the forementioned project were wildly off, and in the hindsight all the work on the old version while the new version was being developed added heavily to the burden of porting them to the new version. And it’s very easy to overlook how much work there’s still left to do.

  8. The less you customise the base software, the easier the upgrade obviously is, but even if FPOS is not too very far from AOSP, there can be e.g. new requirements on the build environment, drivers etc. that cause a lot of work to be spent on upgrading stuff auxiliar to the actual code (“This requires GCC version x and make y.* but please avoid version z of a tool because, while it’s the default one in a recent Linux distribution, it has a serious bug”).

To summarise, I’m not too worried about FP not giving us updates on the progress. I’m sure they’re concentrating on what makes the most sense considering everything the know. Your mileage may vary of course. :slight_smile:

And since the camera improvements were mentioned, that’s something that can make a huge difference to a non-technical user. You know, there are probably quite a few FP users that don’t have any of the common issues discussed in these forums, and they’ll appreciate improvements in photo and video quality. I’m actually one of them. While my phone has a badly fitting old-style cover and I consider myself a heavy user, I’m still pretty satisfied with the phone. Well, I’m currently avoiding using anything that requires the proximity sensor, but then again I also have Greenify installed mostly because of Spotify that would otherwise kill the battery pretty quickly… And none of my phones or other devices to that matter have been perfect. I’m hopeful to find many of the forementioned issues fixed in Marsmallow, but even if they still exist in the initial versions, maybe the groundlaying work will allow them to be fixed quickly after that.

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Concerning ugly hacks: I assume there are many, as for example native Dual SIM support was only introduced into Android in version 5.1. It should be much more stable in Android 6 and 7.

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Those binary blobs are also present in FPOOS. I never tested the stock OS, but I think, the only difference is that google services stuff. All custom rom developers release their rom without gapps, because of the terms of service. People flash gapps on top of their open OS. And they survive OS updates.
I did not get, why FP has to develop 2 branches with open and stock. And why there are such differeces of bugs? It’s just with or without google.
And why is there a completely different version numbering between the 2 branches?
Explain this to me?

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I have a FP1, so I’m not directly affected by the choice “Bugfix vs. Version Update”. And thus, you could easily ignore my opinion.

The thing is, if my FP1 breaks down, I would probably not buy the FP2 if it was still on Lollipop. At the moment my FP1 is almost exactly 3 years old and I would like to use my next phone at least that long, too. But running with an OS that’s near the end-of-life when I buy it? Without the new Marshmallow rights system? With a manufacturer who doesn’t provide OS upgrades? I think not.

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Another problem with the FP2 that I would have if I had to buy a new phone:
It has the specs of a three years old phone and still costs more than 500€.

(At least, if I remeber correctly. Nothing happens for me when I click the “View all specifications” link at https://shop.fairphone.com/en/ .)

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The SoC Snapdragon 801 is from early 2014, but it is perfectly able to run Android Marshmallow (see other phones that have been upgraded). I’ve heard that Marshmallow is even more resource-efficient. No problem here in my opinion.

I think so, too. Even the Samsung Galaxy S3 is supposed to be snappy on lineageos 14.1 (in the near future I’ll see that myself as I’ll upgrade my wife’s S3 to that version). Only gripe i have with the disk os development, but i said that in other threads already, i think it might be easier for Fairphone to switch to lineage los ( née CyanogenMod) as the development might be faster and it might be cheaper easier to stay up to date. But i don’t know anything about the inner workings at Fairphone so i might be wrong as well…

I don’t disagree with you that the FP2 is a great phone now and likely next year, too.

But if I bought something new for that price it would have to last longer than two years.
And seeing that Nougat isn’t officially supported because of some missing graphics features doesn’t give me much hope in the long term.

But luckily, I don’t have to make that decision (now). I’ll try to keep using my FP1 as long as possible. And hopefully there’s a new motherboard for the FP2 or a FP3 then.

It’s great to keep using devices for a long time.

But the S3 is not exactly new. In fact, it is older than the FP2. :slight_smile:

Gxxgle doesn’t officially pester AOSP with their “Services”, but they will still work. Fairphone could at least port FP Open to Nougat and offer a Gxxgle Services installation widget like with FP1.

If I understood this correctly, then, yes, a port of Nougat for the FP2 would be technically* possible.

But the FP2 doesn’t pass the CTS for Nougat. This is what I meant.


* Probably. But:

I would not consider buying a new phone which uses a chipset that is no longer supported in AOSP. And that was what I was trying to say.

If I had bought a FP2 when it first came out, that wouldn’t have been a problem.

1 Like