AAA 464: Clean Your Android

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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Thanks @ant_pruitt for trying to talk some sense on the longevity of smartphones and the proposed EU rules to extend support for electronics to 10 years.

You example with the car was good. I drive a 2014 car, which I bought 2 years old in 2016. It will have to last me a few more years. I thought @ronxo was a little disingenuous, with his remark that if you have a 2016 car, you can trade it in at a dealer for a new one. I would guess for the majorty of people that isn’t the case. Most people don’t have a lump sum in the 5-figure range burning a hole in their bank account that would let them buy a new car.

Smartphones are the same for a lot of people.

I know people who are getting 2 year old hand-me-downs from other people (and those hand-me-downs are budget phones to start with). Others buy a new phone, but keep it for between 5 and 7 years. As long as WhatsApp works, they don’t need any more and the photos look “good enough” on the small screens of their smartphone.

My brother-in-law and his wife replaced their Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and S5 mini at the end of last summer. Not because they wanted to, but because they had to, WhatsApp stopped working. They bought cheap, low-end phones again and will expect them to last at least as long.

They have no concept about security on a phone, “hey, it’s a phone!” As long as it works and their apps work, nothing else matters.


@wade_county: arena through week 10: raygun01 27 Flo 23 guests 23 ronxo 17 antpruitt 14

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@big_D fair point - in my defense, I haven’t owned a car since 2007 :wink: That said, I do know alot of people who lease cars and cycle through new ones every 4 years or so.


And I know a lot of people who cycle through 10 - 15 year old cars every 4 - 5 years…

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Yep - just goes to show, as often happens with phones, and other tech - not everything works for everyone - everyone is different

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And we often forget, that we are in a fairly privileged situation, where we can afford current tech gadgets. I splashed out for the new Galaxy S20+, it was a lot more than I wanted to pay, but I decided that it will have to last me at least 3 years. My Mate 10 Pro has lasted over 2 years, but has suddenly stopped getting updates, which is why I switched.

Samsung were selling the S20+ here with a 3 year guarantee and free Buds. As I was looking for a pair of buds anyway, I decided that the price of the S20+ was worth it - wait a couple of months and I’ll save the 180€ the buds cost, but I’d still need to buy the buds…

But a lot of my friends and family are not in a situation where they can do that.

Looking at the people I know, I would say around 10% have (what was at the time of purchase) a high-end smartphone and around 5% have a phone that is under 2 years old.

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On the concept of keeping a phone, for more than a few years; first, you have to make it easy to change out the battery, and on phones with any water-proofing, that means glue or epoxy is standing in your way, and if you succeed, that water-proofing is no longer reliable. And two; you’re going to have to convince devs to write apps the not only functions on today’s hardware, but hardware that goes back five? Six? Seven years? I suppose that might be possible with a PWA, but… Yeah, this proposal was written by someone that never really moved past the functionality of a flip-phone.


Was a good discussion and it continues here. THANKS, my man :fist_right:t5:


HW support:
App developers are not expected to write for the hardware of the devices. They are expected to use legal API functions for a layer that talks to the hardware.
Allowing direct hardware access improved performance but needs ROOT access, and/or you have done something that breaks the android security.

OS support
If a clean install of a new build of Lineage can be put together for free by members of the community, a paid team of devs could also achieve the same.

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Allowing direct hardware access means the app will only work on a very limited number of models, even just a single model. For example going “hardware” in a camer app would mean, just for the current Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra, you would need 3 different versions or 3 sets of libraries - the S20 and S20+ share the same sensors, but the S20+ has an FTL lens as well. The S20 Ultra has the same basic cameras, but also the FTL and the 108MP camera and a different selfie camera. Mix in the Mate 30 and the Mate 30 Pro (same thing) and dozens of other models, you quickly have either a very bloated app or you spam the store with dozens of apps specific to certain models of phone…

The same applies to processors, other sensors, screen and graphics chip etc.

Amiga coders learned a long time ago that if you skip the advantage of banging the metal, and write OS legal code it will likely still work many years down the road, on whatever hardware is in use, as long as the OS or available shared libs still offer the same APIs.

However in the Amiga world they made the wise choice not to keep renaming shared libs or using version numbers in the names.
For example, you have 1 install for a certain type of GUI libs. They get newer and add more functions but as long as the old functions still exist, or are redirected to newer ones the software still loads and does its job.

The main benefit that planning ahead for sustainability in shared libs, is that often updating libs will give an old program new abilities without needing to rebuild the whole project.
eg. a media player built in the 90s on the Amiga can open current formats that were not around then, as long as the codec lib is available now and in the OS.

The Amiga was always a home to banging the metal but as time went on more companies brought out GFX and sound cards.
A standard was accepted for how to do retargetable GFX and sound.
All software written for the APIs still works flawlessly on new hardware, including the x86 builds of Amiga and under emulation.

It is simply not in the interests of a company that has plateaued in customers to allow the products to last.
Smaller companies that do not have a problem finding new customers because they can never run out of them, do not need to worry about repeat sales to the same customers.
Once a company is over a certain critical mass the only option it has is to keep milking the same cattle over and over.

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