This is terribly misleading. The format used does contain the password so your password is still being shared:
I'm saying misleading because there is an interpretation of that sentence that is technically correct: Some people might use short passwords so that they can tell them to guests. With this feature, they can use longer secure passwords. In this interpretation, "keeping your passwords secure" would refer to the entropy of the password instead of how shared it is. However, when you normally read this sentence, this isn't the interpretation that comes to your mind.
I guess that some internal document written by people who understood the difference had something like "with this feature you can have now secure passwords and you are still able share them with guests". Then someone without awareness of this difference reformulated it into the current form.
I think it is very misleading phrasing.
Presumably folks will be "sharing" the plaintext value of their Wi-Fi password with friends regardless of whether they use this feature or not, so it appears to neither increase nor decrease THAT aspect of Wi-Fi password security.
Good luck typing that into your playstation with a controller and your chinese IoT product.
The best solution is still the middle ground between readability/memorability + strength. Or stored in a password library until needed.
This way, if you just have them scan the QR code on your phone (and don't let them photograph it), technically you have securely given the password without them knowing it, right?
Yes and this version of Android makes it easy to view saved wifi passwords without a third-party app.
Since Android 9, I really enjoy Android. It feels like a totally different experience with things like split screen, gesture nav, and smart replies. The Android team is doing a great job as of late. I look forward to getting this update. I hope we get to a point where the OEMs stop being the gate keepers of our phone's OSs and these devices become more like laptops, in the sense of being able to run whatever we want.
This provokes me. Are we supposed to be happy with two years? The environmental impact of e-waste and the production of electronics should not be understated. I have a Nexus 5 as a backup phone. It works just as well as my main handset. I know how to duck the G-surveillance and I'm able to keep it alive because I have the knowledge to install roms. Not everyone does. Personally, I much prefer Android over iOS. But when someone asks me what phone they should get I always tell them to buy an iPhone. This is one of the reasons why.
Can you elaborate on this? Because I'm thinking of the amount of garbage I put in the bin over a period of two whole years, and the size of my phone, its packaging, chargers, cables, and manuals all together is just not even comparable. Even if you add in the environmental cost of the manufacturing I can't imagine it's even a drop in the bucket compared to other waste.
I'm sure it is a good idea to optimize for waste in some respect, but cell phones seem like they must contribute such a minuscule relative amount so as to be safely ignored for now.
Also plenty of other elements in your smartphone that you wouldn't find in your normal bin
And how much of that impact is mitigated from recycling phones after you upgrade?
Those numbers are pretty substantial - we shouldn't underestimate the environmental impact of our smartphone and gadget addictions.
Yes your own immediate impact on global waste is much higher from your kitchen trash than your device purchases. But people buying a new device every year, regardless of what they do with it after, encourages companies to keep producing these products at tremendous rates, which in turn results in far more environmental impacts due to everything that comes with it.
It’s sometimes hard to see the effects beyond the scope of what we see on a day to day basis, but they are absolutely there at the societal level.
I'm afraid of how much it'll cost me to replace it when it eventually breaks, if I can't fix it. Have already refurbished the speaker surrounds once, about 10 years go.
Guy at Speakerbits (Melbourne AUS) said the speakers would be worth more than when I bought them, as the mid range quality market just didn't exist anymore - either cheap throw away after a few years crap, or you'd have to go really high end.
I thought I'd check, and it seems like Speakerbits have now closed down. That's such a shame, they did a most excellent job. I guess that's a reflection of the times, people aren't willing to repair anymore. :(
Great, at least I know where I'll go if I wear out the current surrounds or anything else.
Somehow I doubt that Apple just throws my phone away.
Note it's 2 years of feature updates not 2 years and it turns into a brick. Everything will still work and you'll still get new apps and app updates for far longer than 2 years. Security updates go for longer, too.
Basically for an android phone to get an update, Google, the Carrier, the Manufacturer, etc. all have to update the OS for that specific model, of which there are hundreds/thousands of models of phones.
Apple doesn't let the carriers configure the OS, and is also the manufacturer. They also have only like a dozen models. So they basically get to skip all of the parts that slow down updating your IOS version.
If you're not getting updates from the chip vendor, you're going to have a hard time moving to later version of Linux, for example. It would cost a lot of money to port new software to the platform, and then the question is... who's going to pay for it?
If everyone still using a Nexus 5X chips in $50 USD to fund continued development, then maybe that could continue. But it is easier at some point to just buy a new phone.
No, not really.
First comes the reality of retail pricing. The "leaving the factory door with everything amortized in" unit price of a $400 phone is likely around $250 or less. The rest of that is markup for the store, shipping, warranty returns, marketing, and a bunch else.
A good chuck of that $250 (if it is even that high), pays for the actual hardware, patent licenses, carrier testing, and a bunch of other stuff.
That doesn't leave much left to actually pay for development.
And since most consumers aren't thinking about operating system updates a couple years down the road, the lower selling price will generate more profits than long-term support will.
1. If it was really $400, the problem is most ( pretty much all apart from Apple ) gives plenty of Retail margin and incentive to carriers. That means on average it is highly likely not even getting $250 out of it.
It is like those Flagship Samsung and Huawei phone, their pricing strategy is always $100 lower than comparative official iPhone price, except they are often retailing for 20% lower. Compared to Apple, you could hardly find any decent discount on iPhone, and iPhone has much lower margin for Carrier and Retail, from low end of 10s to even single digit percentage.
2. Only if it is sold for 100 millions unit +. And Google didn't even manage 10. You need Scale for it to work. That is why iPhone is unprecedented, when was the last time you saw a product in its segment taking 20% of shipment and 80-90% of industry profits?
The answer often to all these question is simple, paid up, and find enough people to paid up, in business terms this means market fit. Unfortunately apart from small bunch of people on HN, no one is willing to paid extra $50 - $100 more just for Software update, they expect it to be free, or they would rather not update at all.
It is a shame Android's update story is bad, but realistically it also doesn't matter much. Non-enthusiasts tend to not even want major updates in the first place (it's a chore - especially if anything changed on them).
It sucks for app developers a lot more than it matters to the majority consumer.
Only when the hardware does not support the features.
Example: with ios7 siri was disabled for some devices. Worked just fine on jailbroken devices.
Samsung for example is still updating 4 year old note devices.
If it was a laptop of desktop definitely not. And initially I wasn't happy with 2 years on a mobile phone because I thought they would age like their bigger brethren.
The reality is none of my mobile phones have aged gracefully. They've all slowed down to almost unusable some time after the 2 year mark, despite me fighting my way past the glue and tape to replace the non-replaceable battery. The really annoying part for me, a veteran embedded programmer who has rolled his own multitasking operating systems, is I have no idea what is causing this slowdown. Nothing I've done fixes it, up to and including including re-imaging the flash.
With my latest phone I've come to accept that I'll be replacing it in 2 years. My previous phone was a Nexus 6P which cost me around $1200, which I planned to have for about 5 years (but didn't). This time around it is a Nokia 8.1 which cost me a tad over $400, so even on a 2 year vs 5 year replacement schedule it would cost me less than the 6P.
The thing that did catch me by surprise is the Nokia 8.1 is a better phone than the 6P ever was - faster, better screen. Do things really move that fast in the mobile space? Maybe they do - everyone is adding bigger and bigger IPU's now. Compare that to desktop CPU's: I don't think they don't have IPU's yet.
Which brings me back to my original point. That 5 year expectation was set by my experience with desktop's. It seems for all sorts of reasons that experience doesn't translate to mobile phones.
This is unconvincing. The Nexus 5 is prone to hardware failure. My ability to install roms didn't help at all when the phone stopped recognizing its own permanent storage.
As someone who buys a new phone around every 2-3 years, two years is perfect for me. I know the developers are focusing on making the update work as well as they can on just the last two years' worth of hardware, and not "wasting time" on making it work well on lesser/older hardware.
Take "wasting time" here defined as selfishly as possible. If I'm buying a new phone every 2 years, any amount of development time that goes into making sure that update works on 3+-year-old phones is wasted on me, and explicitly means less development time was spent on features that are actually relevant to me.
Honestly, I'd be just as happy if updates were guaranteed for just 1 year (though I'd probably just sit for a year without updates between upgrades), and I'd definitely be less happy if they were guaranteed for 5 years because I feel like a significantly larger portion of development time would go towards backwards compatibility instead of pushing tech forward.
In what ways do you feel that cell phones need to be pushed forward? Phones have been capable of doing everything I want and more for many years now. My biggest complaint is how quickly they become insecure.
Until her birthday this year, my mother-in-law was using my old iPhone 5S, a 6-year-old phone which still runs the latest iOS. Now she got my wife's old iPhone 6S (4 years old), and my wife has my old iPhone X (3 years old).
Throwing away a phone after 2 years is incredibly wasteful.
The only phone/tablet I've actually thrown away was my 2012 Nexus 7 that finally completely died last year. Everything else finds a home somewhere. :)
I bought a mid range phone for my parents, they find its camera amazing.
It does not hold a candle to a pixel, but it is adequate. For users that don't feel the need for the best in class phone camera, it is already enough.
I wonder what will be the distinguishing factor in 5 years.
> Pixel 1/Pixel 1 XL: No guaranteed Android version updates after October 2018, no guaranteed security updates after October 2019.
but I've been running Android 10 for a couple months now, since the beta. Pixels (all of them) are the only phones that could be enrolled in the beta. In general, they get new features first, for example the offline voice recognition in Gboard https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/12/googles-new-voice-recognit...
The new Pixel 3a XL has only slightly better Geekbench scores than the Pixel 1 XL (347 vs 307 respectively), so at least there shouldn't be any performance reasons to not support this phone for another 3 years.
So, officially, not anymore. Unofficially, I'd baselessly speculate for another year? But you're right, I take back my recommendation. Security updates must be guaranteed.
I'll probably replace it soon anyway since the battery life is starting to slip away. That's probably the worst aspect of the phone, since I bought it in Feb 2018.
Even knowing it was meant to be a lower end device it routinely gets frustrating to use for even the most simple tasks, such as Chrome tab switching, keyboard response and even just plain navigation.
We have had similar, buy not as bad, reactions to other low end device we use for testing.
I genuinely feel sorry for people who use these devices as their primary phones.
It as even more remarkable because if you went back a few short years WinPhone was the worst phone OS on the planet. It crashed regularly, a misbehaving app could drain it's batter in no time, and the UI was horrible.
So much for "if you build a better mouse trap them will come" I guess, especially if your reputation is for making crap mousetraps.
Let me guess -- Nexus 5X? I use one as my primary phone, and the slowness is noticeable but usually tolerable.
Tangential to your point, but is there anything useful that isn't backed up more or less by default in the standard Android workflow? I get that the privacy-concerned wouldn't use eg Google Photos, but they also likely heavily overlap with the set of people savvy enough to set up backup solutions for important data.
I'm not going to say you should pay $1000 for a phone, but just because you have no issues with a $120 phone doesn't mean no-one does.
In my experience that $140 phone actually does end up being laggier and less responsive which can be super annoying when scrolling and tapping with your fingers. I'm not a hardware engineer, but somehow this seems to hold true even if the memory is sized the same and the CPUs seem comparable. There must be something deeper in the specs involved that leads to UI slowness.
Honestly, why do icons change so much? Is it some psychological thing? I'm going to get used to whatever layout it is anyway and most popular apps have gone through a few designs and figured out what works. Like HN has not changed its layout. Why change it? Job security?
I own a Lenovo x13 convertible. Bios updates come in Windows executables only and whenever there is a Windows update the GPT is reconfigured, wiping my options to dual-boot Linux. It's been a while in the Laptop segment that there was free choice and you really had the feeling to own your device, sadly.
By the way, have you considered the fairphone 3?
OS updates for 2 years assuming you buy it on launch day, for the vast majority of owners it will be significantly shorter than 2 years.
Also as a Nokia 3 owner, don't count on those updates actually working, mines been getting stuck in a boot loop when updating for a year now.
Of course there is an optimum between price, workload and battery life that will differ per person.
Wow that's really not a lot of phones (just 1) available with Android One and a removable battery.
The dark theme is uncomfortable for my eyes (ok, maybe it's fault of my poor quality TN matrix, but anyway I don't want to see it). I doubt anyone wants to read white text on a black background.
The letters are gigantic and are optimized for hi-resolution monitors.
Also, as I understand despite new release Google still haven't solved the problem of apps and Google itself siphoning all available data from the phone.
Also I hate how Google manages updates. I had to install a Hangouts app. First, it copied the Google Account details I entered into it, into the phone and now all other apps can access them which I never wanted. Luckily I was smart enough to make a separate account for this purpose. Second, sometimes when I start it it says that it is updating Google Play Services (so I have to humbly wait until Hangouts does its important business) without even asking if I want that or not. Why does the messenger takes a work of a package manager I cannot understand. Probably, because they need to install new telemetry modules even if the user didn't activate Google Play. Very unpleasant impression.
I do! Much less eye strain and easier to read for me. In fact, I read your comment in white text on a black background. My eyes are very sensitive to light in general though.
* Each pixel in an LCD has 3 subpixels (red, green, blue). There is a light source behind the pixels. To display black, white, or anything in between (gray), all 3 subpixels allow an equal amount of light through. What controls the shade is the amount of light allowed through each. For black, the lowest possible amount of light is allowed through.
* On an OLED display, like the one in my phone, each pixel emits its own light and can be controlled independently. A black pixel on an OLED display emits practically 0 light and even uses less power as a result. This is why blacks look way better on OLED displays.
* See for yourself. Use your phone in a dark room and fill the screen with white only and then try again with black.
* You know how black absorbs light and white reflects light? Black does not absorb light because it is black. It's black because it absorbs light.
New apps are required to request privileges like contact list access and location before using them. You can deny them. What other issues do you want to solve?
> Why does the messenger takes a work of a package manager I cannot understand.
It doesn't. You want to use hangouts. In this case GPS is effectively a library hangouts uses to auth/connect to servers. Since it's the critical building block, it updates itself.
I pay per gigabyte with a prepaid plan for my phone, because I'm not paying $40/month for phone service when I can pay less than half that, so blindly clicking a web page and having 20MB quickly used up sucks.
First time this has ever happened since I've owned the device... Which is many years!
And if one of the biggest Web company can't do web page well then I guess the rest of the Web Pages get a free pass for not well optimised.
In a similar vein, Digital Wellbeing was officially limited to Pixel devices and Android One devices although it could be sideloaded onto other phones (where it ran perfectly fine) running Android 9+.
Everything marketed here is available to all OEMs - Pixel specific features are marketed on Pixel marketing pages.
The Android Pie page  advertises the feature here as a standard Android feature under the system usability enhancements section.
This feature was actually available to all devices before the Google Assistant was released via a feature called Google Now on Tap.
I used to hate Touchwiz.
It works perfectly fine without Samsung account. I couldn't be bothered to make one, and I'm not missing anything. If you do not have Samsung account, Bixby won't bother you either. Just because there was a step to make one in the OOBE, doesn't mean you have to make one, you can skip it.
Updates are there at the beginning of every month, I have no idea why you think they are slow (and for some reason, S8 updates are there day or two in advance to S10 updates... go figure). Samsung doesn't insist on using cloud services, unlike Google, where Google Photos nag the user to enable upload to cloud, even if the user never intends to do so. Google apps do not know the answer "no", Samsung (or Sony) apps do.
The bixby button is an endless pain, thankfully I found bxaction that helps stop it.
It also has features, that will show in the next Android version. The dark mode, for example, has been there since they introduced Pie version. The only one feature that I noticed they removed, is the SIP client, which most users do not use anyway.
They do ship their keyboard, but you can still choose you own, the Android mechanism for that works. I also do not have any problem with it, it is on par with the Sony one, for example.
What I do appreciate though, is that their software doesn't push me into cloud services. Their gallery is perfectly fine with working just on device, without asking me to upload my photos somewhere, unlike Google Photos, which doesn't know the answer "No, thank you, don't bother me again". Samsung account is entirely optional, I still didn't create mine and it works perfectly well without it.
As the cherry on the top, the esthetic of OneUI is nicer than Google's. It makes somewhat softer impression, where Google apps are unnecessarily harsh.
I find it quite ugly from design point of view, loaded with an amount of blinding white colour.
Also, "Get security updates faster." is huge; this is effectively saying "no matter who makes your phone, you still get updates".
Deprecating "Device admin for enterprise" makes it much safer to access work resources from an otherwise personal Android device, without giving your IT department the ability to remote-wipe your entire device.
Yes, that's the case. When you're using gesture navigation the only visible UI left is the horizontal bar at them bottom. Apps adjusted for gesture navigation will also draw behind that line.
Gesture navigation is still an option which might not be enabled by default on all devices, but I strongly suggest trying it out. I used it quite some time with the latest release candidates of Android 10 and once you're used to it, you don't want to go back. Especially the back swipe is really nice.
How the final implementation came to be is covered by an excellent blog post from Google: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2019/08/gesture-na...
I hope there remain ways to hack the buttons back (in 9.x there was):
#install a 3rd party launcher (nova)
pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.apps.nexuslauncher
settings put secure gesture_swipe_up 0
settings put secure system_navigation_keys_enabled 1
Also, the charts show that it's either equal and better, and there's also the implicit fact that not showing buttons also means more screen space, so even if usability metric is the same, visually it's a win.
Then again I still miss having physical back and home buttons since I upgraded to a newer android phone. It would be nice if manufactures added more buttons to the side of the phone so the other fingers have something to do.
That's also discussed in the blog post I linked. tl;dr: Only a small subset of users (3-7%) uses a swipe gesture to open these menus (all others use the hamburger menu) and these users have to adapt now to do different kinds of swipes for opening the menu and invoking the back gesture.
Your mileage may vary. I've never learned to get along well with gestures, although I did give them a solid try.
I have been hearing this for years.
Android 10 lets you download and install certain security updates through Google Play as easily as an app. That is a first, and it should not be understated.
They say this with literally every release of Android ever. It's just posturing, I'll believe it when I see it.
If that happens, that's an OS that is unacceptable to me. It's bad enough that physical buttons were eliminated in favor of the soft buttons. That bothers me to this day, but I learned to live with it.
Eliminating even the horrible soft buttons, though, would be a bridge too far in terms of reducing usability.
edit: to be clear, I now have the option for traditional 3 buttons, 2 buttons (pill), and no buttons (all gestures).
Man, in my extended family SMS text group, this comes up once every couple weeks. One of us will note they aren't getting a random message, or someone will send a video and the quality will be crap, and the iPhone users will all mention how if we all had iPhones, this wouldn't be a problem.
Cue a few of is getting kind of triggered because it's only Apple's co-opting of SMS on their phones that those people think that's really an Android problem and not some slick marketing on Apple's end to get their users to tell other people how their SMS texting is so much better. Not that we couldn't all just switch to some third party app (or hangouts even), and then we'd all have a comparable experience, but that's entirely lost on most of them, and not worth griping about after the first or second time or you come across as that weird relative that can't just do the easy thing).
I can't wait for RCS messaging. I'm honestly wondering it Apple will support it, or try to segment the text messaging market even more.
1: As if buying a $750 phone is the "easy thing".
Edit: Changed $1000 to $750, since that's the lowest cost I could find for a 1 year old phone, and I don't think buying multiple year old hardware is something you can expect out of someone else, even if it might be my preferred strategy).
IMO a reasonable compromise is WhatsApp. Rich features like iMessage's but portable and lots of people already use it.
I have never had a Facebook account and I've always been wary of them. I think it's fair to be concerned about privacy w/WhatsApp but I'm torn because it's a very practical solution.
Signal is definitely the more secure choice, but Whatsapp is still king of the network effect at least in my neck of the woods.
My one wish is for the server codebase to be open sourced but given that Telegram is in the midst of a backend architectural change to the Telegram Open Network, I forgive them this, for now.
Every alternative is riddled with issues: WhatsApp is controlled by Facebook who let's face it may as well be the face of evil for Silicon Valley today; Signal is controlled by a power-tripping maniac who refuses to work with the open source commons on releasing to package repos like F-Droid, the app itself also has major deliverability issues; Wire would be good if they just sorted their notifications on mobile out but I've been waiting for that day for a few years now; Matrix is slow to deliver messages among networks larger than a handful.
There's your overview.
That said, I use it a lot less now that I know that it is neither self-hostable, nor really open to third-party clients.
I would like to get rid of Android at some point, and I am tired of relying on third parties not to discontinue their products.
Nowadays, I use Matrix. There are a few downsides (the python server implementation makes the biggest public server quite slow, E2E isn't turned on by default yer -- though it should be at some point, and the clients' UX is generally rough around the edges).
And yeah, whatsapp is king of the network effect, though messenger would take the crown in my circles. That said, by deliberately staying out of these services, and providing my reasons, people ask me for alternatives they could use.
One thing that I like about Matrix is its compatibility with multiple bridges, which lets me connect with people on networks such as IRC, Discord, Telegram, etc. (depending on bridge availability). There is no public whatsapp bridge due to their TOS, and I haven't decided to give them my social graph just yet (though they probably have it already, thanks to having access to my friends'address books). I'd really like to see an officially-endorsed Matrix bridge.
If people really want to contact me, they can still phone me, write me an SMS, e-mail or a letter. Many still bother, but I get it's a tough call for simple acquaintances.
I still feel it's worth it holding to your principles. That's what they are for, and small numbers make the big numbers in the long run.
Probably 99%+ of conversation on Telegram are visible to the Telegram company.
Signal is just as non-free as WhatsApp.
If they all are just as bad, is there something coming up on the near horizon thats worth the wait?
I prefer WhatsApp (where it's Facebook that has access to all the metadata like who speaks to whom, but not the message contents), or Signal (which is also end-to-end encrypted and doesn't have the "Facebook" problem).
You can opt-in to at least be informed of new key exchanges, so at least I can tell myself that I took some precautions. But if I'm honest I know that it's not very effective.
And even if they did, the client helpfully sent old messages encrypted with the new key. Even when you are notified, you're notified after the fact.
The WhatsApp client never requests or even informs the user that this event took place. Though it is possible to change the config opt-in to get informed whether this occurred, it is not possible to deny the request for old messages.
I trust Apple a whole helluva lot more than Facebook or Google. I'll happily take iMessage + Signal over WhatsAp, Hangouts, or SMS any day.
Yeah, having thought about it when this comes up, there's a very real trade-off between what people are willing to use because they've heard of it or might actually have it, whether that app/service will stay around or keep similar features in the future, and whether it's associated with a large org that may farm the data for personal information about you in some way (even if that's just your location).
Something like Signal seems good, but I imagine it may be a pain to get some of my extended family to adopt it (or to make sure things send using it).
WhatsApp would be good in that people have heard of it, and if they have Facebook it's probably easy for them to integrate with, but people are much more likely to have relative's phone numbers than service profile links, meaning they might opt to not use it in many cases.
Really, it needs to be ubiquitous on phones for it really to be a viable replacement that will be used 9 out of 10 times. That leaves RCS as an upgrade to SMS, but who knows if we'll ever get that. I know people complain about how it doesn't actually raise limits enough, but going from SMS to a limit fo 105 MB for videos and more features (even if not on parity with current systems) is a huge step, and I think the only one likely to achieve even close to the same deployment as SMS, and then only if Apple supports it too (assuming US networks actually get on board).
Coordinating the 10 people in my family group to not only install a new app, but choose it the next time they want to send a message (especially if they add a new person) is not to going to be easy (and in some cases might be impossible if some people refuse).
You can't, WhatsApp will only let you send to numbers that also have WhatsApp installed.
There's an "invite friends" sharesheet that will send a signup URL, but that's it.
> If WhatsApp doesn't just work, then it's at a severe disadvantage any way you look at it.
Ultimately WhatsApp has won in most of the world, so this clearly isn't that big of a problem.
That's my point. It's a very substandard experience for initial contact to SMS, which is ubiquitous.
> Ultimately WhatsApp has won in most of the world, so this clearly isn't that big of a problem.
Compared to SMS, WhatsApp is almost nothing. And given that maybe 2-3 people in my family group might have it installed, "won most of the world" is irrelevant for me, and probably most groups of any size or with people over 30, as there's likely to be a few people without it.
For better or for worse.
Isn’t this because sms doesn’t send high quality photos/videos? With imessage you get full quality images, it’s very nice. It’s also encrypted.
>Not that we couldn't all just switch to some third party app (or hangouts even), and then we'd all have a comparable experience
Whatsapp and messenger compress images, fairly significantly. Messenger is unencrypted by default. Whatsapp is encrypted, but you have to give facebooks your contacts, and metadata on the convos, which gives away a lot of info.
I use both, and whatsapp does have some better features (voice notes are better, as is search), but I prefer imessage for the image quality and encryption. I also trust apple better with the metadata.
Next step is to get my family to do it. My Dad constantly sends video's that get compressed to hell due to the SMS file size limit.
The take up amongst operators is really low. And it's unlikely that will change anytime soon as their focus is on the 5G rollout and not on re-platforming their messaging system.
Also the system is unencrypted so you would have to be crazy to use it in this environment.
Given that Google has started rolling it out with a fallback to Google servers if the network provider doesn't supply one, and Google has said they understand encryption is important and they will push for it, we might actually see some progress soon (on both the adoption and encryption fronts) if we're very lucky.
You can see references to that info in some of my other comments on this article, since I looked it up again today after mentioning it earlier.
That's letting Google off the hook. Nobody knows better about the level of surveillance users are under. Encryption should be feature #1. For them to roll out an unencrypted service borders on malpractice. Luckily for them, software engineers aren't licensed.
> Google has started rolling it out with a fallback to Google servers
Even though Google may not be the most trustworthy company, I trust them far, far more than my ISP and cell company. If I could choose which back end I want to be on, I would choose Google's, especially if that meant messages would be end-to-end encrypted within that sphere.
Well, you're free to travel back in time to 2008 and propose it to the working group that was making the spec...
> If I could choose which back end I want to be on, I would choose Google's, especially if that meant messages would be end-to-end encrypted within that sphere.
I agree, but it appears the way the protocol is federated means that there isn't specifically one back end. Also, since it does some discovery with a "hidden" sms to the other end to ask if it supports RCS, I imagine end-to-end encryption might not be that hard to tack on...
SMS is also unencrypted so I don't see how it would be any different.
For all Google's bluster here it's not supported by the carriers, and only works on Google's own SMS app - not the AOSP or OEM ones - which only the tiniest proportion of the market uses as it's not the default on 90%+ of Android phones shipping today.
There is no UK RCS market.
There may not be a UK RCS market, but given it was just turned on a couple months ago and for a few countries, perhaps it's too soon to call it decided?
There isn't really any reason to surmise that is going to improve, and Google's boasting here is very silly. RCS is a dead end product in every non-US territory, and Google have no market levers to pull that can improve it's performance. They should give up on it and focus their efforts on the US bluntly.
According to Google (in the articles I read and shared here), whether the network provider supports it is irrelevant because they are supplying their own server in those cases, so it should just work. If you're in that region I'm interested to hear what you experience is if you have access to an Android phone and test.
Google has rolled out a provider independent implementation to it's own SMS app, but that SMS app has no marketshare.
My experience is that, without going and hunting out an app to install, my Samsung handset has no support. I have a number of test devices, some of which do have support and a few even have support by default, but those have no marketshare.
There are about 800+ mobile phone operators around the world and based on reports about 50 or so have signed up. Not a great percentage after 10+ years.
And I think the lack of encryption is going to kill adoption in many parts of the world.
Sounds like we might get some movement on this soon, as Google is offering their own servers as a fall-back in the case that the network provider hasn't provided their own.
I mean, RCS is practically dead (at least in the USA). But even if it does come it'll basically replace SMS with something slightly better. I don't see how it addresses the iMessage stuff. iMessage will likely still send much higher quality images and videos and RCS, AFAIK, can't do some the same features like showing who's typing.
RCS is cool but I don't think it's going to be a game changer in any way. I think it'll just be an incremental update, if it even comes to the USA.
I don't understand why iMessages is so popular in US, and it is pretty much US and France ( SMS ) only AFAIK. It is like when the world was on ICQ, they had AIM. When the world moved to MSN, they still stuck to AIM.
And just like AIM, iMessages sucks. I tried it many times and the same problem persist. Some users in the group not getting message, message appeared not in timely order, sometimes random message from the past appear. Needs to Recreate group to solve user not getting message problem, which means all previous group messages are in different group. It is slow as compared to WhatsApp. Icons and Packs are far worst, it is as if Apple has never used WeChat, KakaoTalk, Line, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Telegram.
Then there is huge amount of SMS Notification and Receipt that gets muddles up in the list of conversation. It is a Giant pile of Mess.
Every year I read something about iMessages being popular ( in US ) and every year I tried with my group of friends. And the answer remain the same. And it is so god damn bad most of my friends now refuse to try it again.
Edit: And iMessages does't always Sync on my Mac.
Telling someone to buy an iPhone because of this is pretentious. Telling them to buy an iPhone that may be worse performance wise than their current phone is way worse.
I don’t think the reply was suggesting you get a new phone specifically. They were responding to your claim that iPhone is on face not a good value.
iOS = 1 ecosystem.
Android = infinite ecosystems with no cohesion.
One has native capability and consistent user experience which is now better for social interaction. The other has people rationalizing how a non-native app can be used which also wouldn't solve the aforementioned problem of receiving a random type of message, because nobody wants that experience, they want the rich experience that is native to iOS.
The android native experiences described even in OP's blog post won't be available for AGES on most people's devices, and even in that age they won't be reliable features because of custom OS' and devices won't be allowed to support it, based on the preference of those distributors.
iOS users aren't confused about that shitshow, iOS users know that it doesn't matter why, there is simply no consensus to fixing it on android, no path to consensus on fixing on android, and a group of hopeful technology enthusiasts that missed the memo on how android cohesion will never get better.
Android has some nifty features depending on device, but the core experience just isn’t there. (E.g. I figured chrome on Android has to be faster than Chrome on iOS - nope, my XR consistently beat a Pixel 3 side-by-side)
My iPhone 6S from 2015 is still in service and fast; I gave it to my mom when I upgraded and she’s very happy with it. It still gets updates.
Going between Android and iOS, that's one of the hardest aspects that I think gets overlooked - the browser is just slower and its noticeable. I pointed out the flagship device in this case, but its no better on the lower end devices.
You can see in this video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=83dDLf3Zhx4
It’s interesting to note the different behavior; Android/chrome is putting something on the screen first, while safari tends to finish rendering and show the completed result before chrome. Tends to vary a bit by site.
App startup is a bit slower on iPhone but note that the preferred way on iOS is to keep apps open and not manually close them. Manually closing apps isn’t really required on iOS except to declutter the task switcher. Supposedly faster startup times coming in iOS 13.
People forget that part of the point of different colors for iMessage vs SMS was to indicate that iMessage is encrypted and SMS isn't. It's also a handy marketing thing, but there is a technical justification for making a visible distinction.
AirMessage is basically a proxy that strips encryption for Android devices:
"AirMessage leverages the power of your Mac computer in order to route messages to and from Apple's iMessage servers. The server is to be installed on a computer at home, and will pass messages to and from your smartphone to allow the usage of iMessage and other installed services."
I would imagine that the AirMessage Android app is actually in communication with the AirMessage server on your Mac. It uses some automation (perhaps via something like https://github.com/shusain93/OSXMessageProxy) to talk the the Messages app. The connection is encrypted from there to the other side, as if you were sitting in front of your Mac. This happens in reverse the other way.
Hacky, and now you own the weak links in the E2E encryption chain. But a neat workaround, in a pinch.
Aside from the annoyingness of the page...
Too many things here are patched on top what ought to be core. Eg. Pausing annoying apps. IMO apps ought to default to off in the first place until you turn them on.
Very little detail about these new privacy controls. Sounds like Google-centric lipstick.
Dark theme is exciting; embarrassing it took so long.
Hopefully I'm proven wrong...
I don't want Facebook having any level of access to under-13 minors' devices.
I've never had this from my friends. I read about this all the time and all I can think is, "Why would I be friends with people who care about that enough to peer pressure me into using an iPhone?"
For example, we don't really pressure friends to buy iPhones but we legitimately have a separate conversation group for just iOS users from the main SMS group chat so we can send images, video, or other media at full quality. Most of us are pretty tech savvy too so we're not really keen on using WhatsApp or Telegram or any of the other dirty data apps.
Most of the features and a boat-load of data and privacy concerns to go along with it.
B: liked "foo"
but I just use either Messenger, Wechat, or Snapchat. The only time I open my SMS app is to view 2FA Codes.
Or even worse: I just simply got excluded from group chats. That was the saddest one because when hanging out in person, a friend will mention a conversation from the group chat and I wouldn't know what's going on and they would just awkwardly pretend it didn't happen. Or say they'd add me to the group and never actually do it.
iMessage FOMO is a real thing and the social pressure (in the US at least) is insane.
This isn't a US-wide thing. This is about the priorities of a certain subculture, nothing more. Your friends just happen to be embedded in that subculture. My condolences.
It's the default form of mobile communication here.
(Whatsapp, WeChat, and KakaoTalk respectively.)
I started using hangouts, WhatsApp, signal, FB, and just yesterday line for a single person. This is really not a good excuse. People should be more important than tech.
None of these are an alternative to iMessage. They all either are missing key features or require you to deal with unencrypted communications or relayed encryption.
Regarding the key - you have to trust the app it doesn't share it with the app authors. That's regardless of who/how implements the encryption. And it's true for iMessage as well.
Are you sure about that? I was under the impression that, according to the security white paper released by Apple, that the key is generated on-device in the Secure Enclave and that Apple never has access to it. The Enclave itself also doesn't have network access so there's no way for that to be transmitted anywhere by any other means except for physical access, which is also limited in the hardware.
With my "green bubble" friends, we usually use Telegram or Signal or Keybase instead.
I'd love to see a standardized IM/Text protocol instead of 1000 fragmented platforms. I've got on the order of 10 chat apps on my phone right now, all used in different contexts.
Apple could easily open the protocol, but they won't. They also won't use any of the other ones so as long as you'll be using iOS, you'll be in the iMessage garden and everyone else will be in another garden.
I'm hoping that's what RCS will be (ids? And that's why I referenced it above). It's supposed to by the successor to SMS, but it's been around for quite a while and not adopted, so I'm not sure what's going on with it.
Edit: It looks like as of a couple months ago it's live in the UK and France, and just those two countries.
Whatsapp really seems to be missing the boat with tweens and teens - that’s cant be good for their future.
Lots of people don't care at all. The only time I hear about this whole "green bubble bad" thing is online. In real life, I have never once encountered this sentiment. (I'm not saying this sentiment doesn't exist IRL, I'm saying that it's not universal.)
I've never had anyone SERIOUSLY be mad about me being the green bubble, but when you're doing large group text coordination and someone drops me in, then starts doing tapbacks and sending rich media, I get some shit. And it gets thrown out as a joke in general conversation all the time. "Oh, he's a GREEN bubble..."
I'm sure that correct, but how common iPhones are, even amongst your age group, greatly depends on where in the US you are. In my area, iPhones are not nearly as common as they are in other areas, and there is generally little peer pressure in the grade/high schools to have them. Having a smartphone generally is expected, but few people care about whether or not it's an iPhone.