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It is a good point and I agree with you it can be annoying to be forced to upgrade perfectly good software. But it does cut both ways. Legacy support is generally good for customers, but a burden for developers.

As far as development and having to spend money on hardware, though, I'd say Android is far worse than Apple in that regard. Android still has nearly half of devices running 2.x and the screen sizes are all over the map. We write and support native apps for both Apple and Android and we have far more Android devices laying around for testing than we do Apple devices.

I'm no fan of the move-fast-and-break-stuff philosophy of software development either, for what it's worth. I think system software, and other "platform" products like browsers, benefit from long term stability a lot more than they benefit from mixing up bug fixes, security patches, minor adjustments, API breaking changes, and any other stuff they feel like putting in this time, all without any grown-up version control or offering any sort of reliable foundation on which other things can be built.

I think it is deeply regrettable that certain parts of the industry have moved in that direction, and Android is a fine example (as is almost anything else Google makes). That said, it's still preferable to Apple, who move fast, break stuff, and then won't even let you fix it by moving back again.

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