Meanwhile, my flagship android phone from 2018, the Samsung Galaxy S9, is stuck on the last version of Android. At least it still gets security updates, some manufacturers don't even go that far.
If in October 2013 you bought a just released iPhone 5S, you would have had official updates until - apparently - June 2021. Three months ago. Assuming that was really the last security update to iOS 12.
An official Apple device has received one and a half year's worth more updates than two official Google devices put together. The difference between Android support and iOS support is insane.
It's easy to point out that you'd probably need to get your battery fixed at least once to make a 5S last that long, and in 2021 it won't be any fun to use. The people that want to make things last have had the option though, and that's what's important. And with Moore's Law being dead and buried, it's going to be a lot easier to get things to last, too.
However, for many of us, we were simply left with a brick of a useless phone with no resolve.
This is one reason I pay the Apple premium: as a family, we get a lot more mileage out of the devices. Also, I don't have to stress about security, because I know they will be protected by updates and cloud backup for years and years to come.
Wait a second are you sure about that? The last official version released was 6.0.1 which was released in October of 2015.
I remember this because the Nexus 5 was the phone that finally sealed the deal for me in leaving the Android ecosystem for good.
These "engineers" on the Android team did not QA their software so when I upgraded to 4.4.4, it broke the camera such that every video I recorded had messed up garbled audio. It totally ruined a special eurotrip where I had taken tons of video. I guess it was my mistake for trusting Google enough to update right before the trip started.
Anyway seeing that there is a section on Wikipedia devoted to all the hardware/software issues of the Pixel line, I think I made a wise choice to stop wasting my time with this ecosystem.
Went to a used iPhone 5S and ended up using that phone for 5 years. Was the best phone I ever owned.
I am not, as I didn't own the device (I did own a Nexus 4 around this time). I'm going by Google's available factory images .
Thats 6 years, 5 days of "full updates" if you consider the release day of iOS 13 to be the end of life support.
The 4S never had a screen or battery change. It’s battery doesn’t last long with YouTube or video calls, but if charged at night and used for emails and voice calls, will last the whole day. It is perfectly usable, can do FaceTime etc.
We will need to replace it soon, though. Her school buddies all use WhatsApp which is no longer supported on iOS 9 (the latest on 4S).
I wouldn’t let her use it much longer for lack of security updates. The hardware - and even battery - are still usable at 10 years. Almost pleasant, even. Best form factor ever.
that and not having to mail in my phone, and wait a week for it to come back. that was completely frustrating and silly.
The cost of a new battery is around 10 bucks and some patience to install it.
LineageOS and Amazon can’t generally provide security updates for older chips. Only Qualcomm can compile new kernels for the Snapdragon 800, say. And Qualcomm stops giving you updates after four years (recent change: it used to be the three).
The updates LineageOS and Amazon and anyone else provides are updates to Android’s open source components. That’s all great - but they’re not complete security updates, and driver issues are a big vector.
That's inexcusable, and this attitude carried over to security updates is a big reason some corporates left Samsung and went to Apple -- e.g. the A5, a midrange phone comparable with the iPhone SE, lost access to updates when the device was perfectly usable.
Samsung must've felt the feedback, because this year they announced a formal policy on security updates -- too late for the S9, but customers from S10 onwards ought to benefit. They've been a lot better with Android updates on newer phones too -- Project Treble probably played a role.
> Galaxy devices will now receive regular security updates for a minimum of four years after the initial phone release. By extending support for security updates delivered on a monthly, quarterly or biannual basis
I'm at the point of thinking of ditching the android ecosystem for the apple ecosystem for my next phone precisely because no android carrier seems to want to support devices for much longer than 3 years.
There are no hardware problems which keep me from using the phone, just the lack of software updates.
The other issue is that we seem to be at somewhat of a plateau of phone performance. My pixel 5 is not significantly faster than my old pixel 2XL.
Long official support is absolutely a benefit when looking at smartphones, however, articles keep popping up about Apple basically buying and sitting on vulnerabilities for latest and greatest iOS, because that’s what works economically.
Turns out that, despite the model numbers and identifiers being identical, this one phone in this one country in SE Asia had a slightly different GPU setup and there was a bug in the drivers it shipped with that was crashing our game.
So even though we worked with this user for like two weeks to try and figure out why it was just him, it turns out that it was because the Android manufacturer/carrier partnership situation is a gigantic mess for no discernible reason; the manufacturer didn't distinguish between two phones that had technically different specs, and the carrier didn't give a shit enough to ship the updated driver that would fix the issue.
Well yea. The longer the lifespan of a phone, the higher the resale value, and the higher the retail price you can support. If you want to sell at AAPL prices, you should be able to support devices for AAPL durations.
MS Windows is Heaven on earth in this regard.
OEM quality is all over the place for Android, crapware is standard. It's been 4 years of iPhone for me and the only complaint I have is how bad Apple Maps can be
Could I sell my phone for more than $530? Yes. Is it worth my time to deal with asshats on Craigslist who arrange a time to meet up and then ghost you for three days, just to get a bit more out of it? Nah.
(Despite initially trying to sell it, my iPhone Xs sat on a shelf for two years until someone saw it and said "Hey are you selling that? My phone is dying.")
Presumably that also means that the phone is going to get refurbished, or maybe stripped for parts and recycled by Apple's fancy disassembly robots, which is nice.
For me it's just a cleaner, simpler, less ad-infested version of Google Maps
I want to like it because, as you pointed out, it's a cleaner interface
They do have a mechanism for filing corrections from within the app, which I've used a couple times and it seems to actually result in fixes, which is great
Hopefully they give more priority to a wider set of areas in the future
I can upgrade my iPhone every 2 or 3 years and spend a lot less overall. My wallet was always open when I tried to stay current with Android flagships.
My strategy for my last phone was to buy the previous year's flagship for this reason.
Currently using a cheap backup device I normally use for app dev while I workout what my plan for the next one is.
FWIW, the iPhone 6S (first avail oct 2015) gets iOS 15 ; and iPhone 6 still got a security update in mid 2021 despite being out of feature support.
I’m actually typing this on an iPhone 6S that I usually use for app development. I’ve just upgraded it to iOS 15, and honestly it’s still a great phone. UI is very snappy. Probably the best budget phone on the market right now, considering you can get one for ~£70 (I paid £100 a year ago for one that had had it’s battery replaced)
I fully intend for my next device to be an iPhone 8 so that I can eventually pull the same thing with an upgrade to the SE 2.
I could, of course, install a custom ROM. But that usually means (in my experience) that not all hardware features work, battery life is worse, I have to install updates myself and I am usually not as confident about device security. Despite these, I used to install and love custom ROMs a lot in college. when I had the time but not anymore.
On my iPad (while it lasted, RIP), I would get updates on the same day as official iOS release. Night and day difference.
I now have an iPhone 12.
Considering all the major non-Google Android phone manufacturers are also the same that manufacture Black Friday TVs that fail on schedule, don't you sense this was a problem not with Android but with your choice of manufacturer?
Getting meaningful updates for the duration of how long I want to use the hardware for is a huge differentiator to me.
I guess it's probably even more frustrating if you're paying Apple-like prices for a Galaxy S series device and not getting updates. At least I can think, "well, I got what I paid for."
You can get both an affordable device and many years of support after the sale.
Eg, is this premature ending of support a Samsung thing, or is it endemic to the whole Android ecosystem, including Google?
>One aspect in which Android has always fallen behind iOS is updates, with iPhones receiving as many as six years worth of updates, while some Android phones are lucky to get two years. In this area, Google’s Pixel series have held the crown, offering their phones three full years of updates, including monthly patches and three major Android versions. The original Google Pixel was gradually updated from Android 7.1 Nougat to Android 10 — an extension from the original promise to only offer two major updates.
(Added) Of course, this doesn't explain why Samsung doesn't provide longer support. And I also don't know the reason but I guess their mobile division perhaps doesn't have enough power to negotiate against its chip division...
I'm not sure whether this is a good thing though. After each major update, older devices become less and less usable. I would appreciate security updates, but I'd gladly skip all these new features that make my phone crawl.
I know people who are actually annoyed but the update notification...
They should go back to the old style where major OS update happens every two years. Although I am not sure the current Apple understand this.
I could, and someday will, install a custom ROM, but for now, shit just works.
You should still do the security update if you're on Android though.
Personally this is why I tried out Android and have so far stuck with it, (splitting my devices up between two OSes but whatever). So far my Androids get 2 years of bi-monthly security updates and at least 2 major Android releases by manufacturer policy, which is all I've needed, and they don't effectively render my device useless (so far, fingers crossed).
Maybe if Apple refused to support new features on old hardware it would solve this issue, but then you just anger users who are forced to buy new hardware to get a new feature...
Every major iOS update adds more functionality that
consumes more CPU cycles even in the background.
The larger issue, in any case, is that Apple prohibits reverting an iPhone to a prior version of iOS.
This inexorably leads users of old devices to one day install that final update that turns their device into a turkey.
At that point the customer buys a new phone, a year or two before they intended, and the old phone, which is too slow to be useful as a back-up device or hand-me-down, goes into a landfill.
People complaining about their phones being slow have aged batteries, a nearly full filesystem, and have likely gone through numerous system updates.
On iOS it is trivial to move off files you don't need on the device anymore and then do a backup, full wipe, and restore.
Apple’s CPUs are very bursty, and that causes them to suddenly draw a large current from the battery. Older batteries cannot handle this so the CPU doesn’t get enough power and reboots. What Apple did was to stop the CPU from suddenly ramping up speed, which means the battery doesn’t have to deal with a sudden spike in power demand and can keep up even if it’s degraded.
This does, of course, slow the phone down as it can’t ramp up as aggressively.
You have absolutely no evidence to support this statement.
> That said, I didn’t like their approach of secrecy
Apple is under no obligation to disclose every practice or behavior, especially one which is completely innocuous and benefits the customer with zero downside. The alternative to slowing down the processor to account for increased internal resistance is "the phone crashes", which is exactly what iPhone 6S models did until Apple released the fix in an iOS 10 update.
Several generations of iPhones have been clearly specifically designed to make the battery and screen easy to replace (Apple even uses pull-tab-releaseable adhesives for the battery), and doesn't place the lightning connector on the main board unlike damn near every Android phone; it's an easily replaced module.
The "slowdown" was specifically to increase the amount of time before the phone's battery would have to be replaced. Other manufacturers have done the same.
How strange that this anti-repair anti-consumer company's OS releases support their phones far longer than any other phone manufacturer...
> You have absolutely no evidence to support this statement.
Correct. That’s why I said “seemingly” and “anecdotally”.
> Apple is under no obligation to disclose every practice or behavior, especially one which is completely innocuous and benefits the customer with zero downside.
I didn’t say they did, I just said I didn’t like it.
Updates are how they deliver updated battery management algorithms, not the metric they use to determine battery age.
However, it’s not exactly the latest and greatest!
There is a very long list of features not supported on the older phones!
So whilst the 6S to X may support iOS 15, it’s little more than a version number and PR realise for those phones!
Apple get free PR and credit for keeping old phones alive, when in reality the features are stripped out and not supported on older devices!
What do iOS version numbers even mean at this point!
Oh, and the S9 comes with so much preinstalled, unremovable shit that it's not even funny. It's a shame, because the phone itself is really nice, and the Samsung custom UI and apps can be awesome at times. The problem is that Samsung sells a premium phone at prices similar to Apple's (if you buy brand new at release time), but this doesn't translate into a premium experience. This also happen with other Samsung products such as TVs.
I had like 3 Android phones in a row who's GPS would start acting up after 1.5-2 years. My Apple devices are fantastic.
Overall, the largest benefit of Apple devices is that they just work. I can buy them and not have to worry about them.
Apple continues to support OS updates on the iPhone 6s, a device released almost 6 years ago
And how is the condition of that 15 year old Thinkpad's battery, keyboard and fans?
Apple's days as a head-and-shoulders above clear winner are over.
Exact same result.
The method that Apple is describing is going to cause more harm than good. Look how faulty their methodology is - even they agree it needs to be fixed.
And then they notify law enforcement if they get a hit. Which means even if you're innocent - all your devices get confiscated for months, you probably rack up tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, maybe lose your job, probably lose your friends and get the boot from any social organizations or groups.
They're waiting for two things.
One, CSAM to get out of the news cycle and the furor among users about CSAM to die down. This is standard corporate PR "emergency" management practice.
Two, to slide it into a point release after some minor, inconsequential change to say they "listened to users." iPhones with auto-updates enabled won't automatically upgrade to a new major release, but they will happily automatically upgrade to a point release.
You can of course upgrade to iOS 15 and turn off auto-updates, but then you won't get security updates, like the people staying on iOS 14.
Stay on iOS 14 until Apple surrenders completely on this.
Google and Microsoft have been scanning everything in your account against a hash database for the past decade.
Also, unlike Apple's system which doesn't even notify Apple of the first 30 positive results (to protect you from the inevitable false positives) Google and Microsoft offer users no such protection.
>then they notify law enforcement if they get a hit. Which means even if you're innocent - all your devices get confiscated for months, you probably rack up tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, maybe lose your job, probably lose your friends and get the boot from any social organizations or groups.
Again, Google and Microsoft have already been doing this for the past decade.
>a man [was] arrested on child pornography charges, after Google tipped off authorities about illegal images found in the Houston suspect's Gmail account
These sorts of dragnet warrants have become increasingly common.
>Google says geofence warrants make up one-quarter of all US demands
It's not like we haven't seen Google's on-server data hordes misused to falsely accuse users before.
>Innocent man, 23, sues Arizona police for $1.5million after being arrested for MURDER and jailed for six days when Google's GPS tracker wrongly placed him at the scene of the 2018 crime
Apple's system is designed to protect you from being associated with false positives, until that threshold of 30 matches is reached. Even then, the next step is to have a human review the data.
Google has never been willing to hire human beings to supervise the decisions an algorithm makes.
Our police and prosecution ought to be enough review on its own. If our own elected government fails to do something so simple, I say fix the government. I don’t want to be forced to rely on the goodwill of a for-profit company.
They are not.
The government should be held to a high standard, and when it fails we, the people, should fix it and not turn to private companies and ask why they didn’t step up to the plate.
Also, if you have anything that may be matched by unknowable and unverifiable matching hashes and algorithms provided by multiple nation states now or ever in the future, including but not limited to political activists, protests, anti-animal-abuse activists, climate activists, and select ethnicities, or copyright violations of any kind… switch off iCloud sync.
Until that switch gets ignored.
This cannot and will not be limited to CSAM. The matching is much more complicated than “hashes of existing images.”
Here’s a good in-depth interview on the tech and the issues.
I read it more as "if you don't like it, use another cloud storage solution"
if you don't trust the switch, then why trust any switch on iOS. Why do you trust that they're not already doing it?
why are you using an iPhone?
As there is no clear legislation, every company is implementing what they feel comfortable with.
Nope. Google and Microsoft have been scanning your entire account for the past decade. Apple has not.
>TechCrunch: Most other cloud providers have been scanning for CSAM for some time now. Apple has not. Obviously there are no current regulations that say that you must seek it out on your servers, but there is some roiling regulation in the EU and other countries. Is that the impetus for this? Basically, why now?
Erik Neuenschwander: Why now comes down to the fact that we’ve now got the technology that can balance strong child safety and user privacy. This is an area we’ve been looking at for some time, including current state of the art techniques which mostly involves scanning through entire contents of users’ libraries on cloud services that — as you point out — isn’t something that we’ve ever done
And exactly how are they obligated to keep those policies? Answer: they aren't. There isn't some law saying '30 hits before we report you', and Apple is certainly going to drop the number as the public gets more used to the idea of CSAM. They'll keep dropping it until the news articles start coming out about how it's destroying lives.
This is corporate law enforcement. You don't have a right to due process, any say in their policies, or protection via any sort of oversight.
Which part of "what I store on my device is not even remotely the business of the manufacturer of the device" do you not understand?
So, yes. It's the same.
Apple disagrees with you.
idk, Hash collisions?
More details in , but briefly:
They hash the images that you're uploading to iCloud. If it matches one of the hashes in the database, then it gets encrypted and transmitted to them. No single data packet can be decrypted, they need 30 (?) matches with that database in order to get a decryption key that then allows them to review the uploaded images. They don't send the actual images to the reviewers, it's altered in some way. At that point the reviewer will have 30 (?) thumbnails (?) to review. If the images look like CSAM, then they'll report it to NCMEC who then report it to law enforcement (NCMEC is not, itself, a law enforcement agency).
The ? are because I don't think they've publicly stated (or I've not read) what the threshold for decryption is or how they modify the images that get sent to the reviewers.
Not as closely as some people. That's why I asked the question in the first place. But thanks for answering.
(i.e. They're encrypted in transfer and while stored, but Apple holds the keys: https://qr.ae/pGSHY8, https://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/1000/MA1902/en_US/app... [search for 'iCloud'])
> Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted by iCloud using AES128 and a key derived from each chunk’s contents, with the keys using SHA256. The keys and the file’s metadata are stored by Apple in the user’s iCloud account. The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information or the keys, using both Apple and third party storage services—such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform—but these partners don’t have the keys to decrypt the user’s data stored on their servers.
As far as I can tell, they don't say anything specific about where or how Apple stores the keys and metadata, so it should be assumed that Apple could decrypt your photos if they wanted to.
Which is fine, because I use iCloud and many other cloud services, but you have to acknowledge the fact.
Apple had plans (and, an inside source tells me, an implementation) to do E2E for iCloud Backup, but the FBI asked them not to, so they scrapped it:
This undermines the credibility of those who are claiming, without evidence, that this clientside CSAM scanning is a prelude to launching E2E for iCloud data.
This raises the followup question of "why bother scanning the images on-device?", but I can infer two fairly obvious answers. First, the encryption still keeps AWS/Azure/GCP from seeing my photos. Second, and more cynically, they'd have to pay to do computation in the cloud; on-device computation is free to them.
> This undermines the credibility of those who are claiming, without evidence, that this clientside CSAM scanning is a prelude to launching E2E for iCloud data.
I agree; this is consistent with my initial point of confusion. Thanks!
How do you imagine that Google and Microsoft are able to scan the entire contents of your account? They can all read the data on their servers
>This raises the followup question of "why bother scanning the images on-device?
Because running the scan on device and encrypting the results protects users from having their account associated with the inevitable false positives that are going to crop up.
Apple can't decrypt the scan results your device produces until the threshold of 30 matching images is reached.
If someone issues a warrant to Apple for every account that has a single match, they can honestly report that they don't have that information.
Google and Microsoft give you no such protection. Any data held on their server is wide open for misuse by anyone who can issue a warrant.
The fact that the FBI stopped them once before and they've been working to build active solutions to what the FBI tells them their needs are should be evidence alone that E2E is their goal. It seems pretty credible to me.
That's why from some perspectives it is a net privacy win versus Google/Microsoft's similar tools that require them to have decryption backdoor keys on their clouds to process these CSAM requests and other FBI/TLA/et al warrants. Apple is saying they don't have backdoor keys at all on iCloud and if they are forced to do CSAM scanning it has to be on device, without leaving the device to have access to the unencrypted images. Only if you hit the reporting threshold (supposedly 30+ hash violations) would it also encrypt copies to a reporting database on iCloud (and again only if you were uploading those photos to iCloud in the first place).
Or vote with your wallet and abandon the Apple ecosystem. But nobody will because they don't have the bollocks.
Install Google Play Services and Google gets whatever info they want from your phone.
I doubt it will happen. Apple is not known for that sort of interaction. Whatever will happen it will happen silently without Apple admitting to bend down to any backlash.
Also, the pressure to implement device scanning is coming from governments. So it is naive to think Apple will ever surrender. Most probably in the near future every single electronic device will try to leak your data as much as it physically can do.
Apple was not known to err on the side of "think of the children" or "let's help catch criminals" instead of personal privacy. But now they're known for new things.
I mean 15.X - 15.Y will likely occur automatically while the phone is connected to WiFi and charging.. but 14 to 15 should require user approval, meaning we should be safe as long as we never upgrade >14..?
I’m hoping they’ll realise that they confused privacy and trust and get back on track soon enough.
It's also not too difficult to have your unencrypted photos synced to Google Photos, Dropbox, One Drive or another provider as an alternative. They will scan your photos in the cloud which people on this site seem to have a vastly strong preference for. If you don't trust any of those then you're probably already using NextCloud or something like it.
For now. It will spread.
edit: more info in sibling comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28596442
Makes me wonder if Apple made some exclusive Yelp agreement before Apple Maps launched, so they'd have good ratings data, and we have to wait for the agreement to expire before Apple can move on.
To me it would make good market sense for Apple to fully compete with Google Maps and offer Apple Maps on the web. It would give them more data to feed back into their review/ratings/business info database to further improve the mobile experience.
Interestingly enough, it still has Yelp reviews beneath it. Hopefully that just gets removed completely once Apple has collected enough of their own reviews.
If they wanted to, they could easily do that. https://developer.apple.com/documentation/mapkitjs:
However, would that really give them more data? I would guess it would get a tiny fraction of the traffic that mapping apps would generate.
* is more accurate
* has way better local search and reviews (Yelp is garbage)
But only in the US and mainland China for some bizarre reason.
Freudian slip here, I guess.
I'd still report them through the normal channels. I wouldn't bet on any given Apple employee of the right team to happen to read a specific comment on HN.
JP: No Wallet (license/state id/hotel&garage unlock), no visual lookup
This is just the difference in how the page are displayed and I didn't go and check to see if the actual features are there or not
Top image collage: Weather app is specific to city (China shows air quality). Chinese page replaces Ted Lasso with a Mojito music video.
Japanese page has Greeen instead of Valiant on Apple Music.
Chinese page is missing the spatial audio section with people's faces, and FaceTime sharing and links sections.
Shared With You has six examples in English; four in Japanese and Chinese.
Chinese page is missing some Maps info. Japanese page is missing the Wallet section. Visual Look Up is English-only.
Spotlight section on Chinese page is missing a Billie Eilish screenshot; iCloud Private Relay is missing.
- "ID cards"
- Weather: "precipitation" isn't mentioned, and Weather app is just more "powerful", not "more engaging and powerful" (US). Air Quality maps are available for India, not sure about other maps.
- Immersive walking directions
- redesigned transit map
- Nearby transit
- Home Keys does not mention "Hotel Keys" or "Corporate Access Badges"
- Car Keys
- Visual lookup learning
- Share health data with your doctor
- Lab results enhancements
- Apple Card
- Buy directly from the Search tab
- Redesigned News feed
- Podcasts: Personalized recommendations
- Next-hour precipitation notifications
Comparison based on the following links: