Nvidia: 'old' tablet development kit won't get Android 3.0
No Honeycomb for Harmony
Anyone who owns an Nvidia-based media tablet and is hoping to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb on it at some point in the future may yet be disappointed, it seems.
Nvidia has revealed it will "only support the Ventana platform for android releases going forward", said Andrew Edelsten of Nvidia's Tegra Developer Relations team.
Past Tegra development platforms include Betelgeuse and Harmony, and a number of early Tegra 2-equipped products, such as the Advent Vega, the Toshiba Folio 100 and the Viewsonic ViewPad 7, are believed to be largely based on these platforms.
Ventana is Nvidia's current Tegra 2 development platform. It's essentially a 10.1in tablet that's intended to smooth the way for Android developers looking to release software for the increasing number of Tegra 2 tablets.
"At the moment, we have released Froyo and Gingerbread OS images for Ventana and will release Honeycomb after Google has done so," added Edelsten on Nvidia's developer forums.
In short, Nvidia won't be supporting Honeycomb on Betelgeuse and Harmony. By implication, tablet owners fear, they won't get Honeycomb on their Betelgeuse- or Harmony-derived gadgets.
Nvidia may have its hands tied. Google is insisting on more of a say in Android licensees' Honeycomb offerings than it did with previous OS releases, the better to ensure what it believes to be a good user experience. Google's move may well lie behind Nvidia's decision to keep Honeycomb off the older development platforms.
It's also worth noting that Betelgeuse, Harmony and even Ventana are just that: development platforms, not hardware templates for tablet sellers.
Last year, Nvidia Developer Technology Engineer David Chait told coders: "Third-party boards are usually not identical to any internal dev kits, due to layout, parts/components, etc." Different Ram and Flash chips, different Wi-Fi adaptors and so forth, mean a version of Android for a Tegra development system will not necessarily be identical to a finished product bought in the high street.
Still, that's no consolation for anyone who bought a low-cost Android 2.2 or 2.3 tablet in the hope it might one day be upgradable to Honeycomb. Many of the devices are locally branded tablets from from Asian manufacturers, and how many of them will ensure Honeycomb support without Google's say-so or Nvidia's aid? ®
Thanks to reader Steven Smith for the tip
They have always been told that Android 3.0 would be coming and would be a proper tablet OS. Should they have bought a tablet without knowing it would be supported, probably not, but they also expected either:
a) Manufacturers would support it. Which they can't or won't.
b) That as it was open source, Google would release the code such that Modaco could update for their device. Which google hasn't yet. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.
You have to smile about this.
After all the shit you guys give Apple and it's various control freakery stuff, Nvidia orphans a bunch of Android tablets before they are even a year old. At least Apple have a path that allows the device to stay current for a couple of years before putting them out to pasture.
The whole point of Android was that it was meant to be open, and that you could do what you wanted with it. Not get left in a technological backwater on a 6 month old orphaned device. That's got to hurt.
Bring on the red arrows.
If there's one thing I've learned regarding shiny-thing procurement
is to never buy a product based on what it might be able to do in the future, but only on what it can do at the moment of purchase. From the Sharp Zaurus that never got a decent distribution (could run Opera OR use a WiFi card but not both at the same time) through Intel motherboards with the same CPU pin count but incompatible with newer CPUs to 'upgradeable' TVs where an upgrade never materialises...
how dare you?
You question google on this? But surely when google release the source for Honeycomb then those people can upgrade using the ROMs from the internet? Oh... Honeycomb may or may not be available as source code... Hmmmm I can smell amines, and that can only mean one thing ... fish.
I could understand completely Google position on user experience and wanting to make Android seem the best it can. However going to a model where old hardware/platforms are not supported is backward step from the control freakiness of Apple, where they do generally support older hardware for a couple of years at least.
Some of the Android tablets potentially under attack here are less than 6 months old aren't they? If the platform developers wont support it, and Google doesn't release Honeycomb as an open platform so that the modders can fix them, then it is a retrograde step.
Hopefully even the google fans can't find a justification for this nonsense, or I will get the flames..
Apparently you can't buy a software upgrade either,
except by buying a new device, of course. At least you can -buy- Windows 7 for your old PC.
Having said that, I agree with the opinion "Buyer beware - what you see is what you get, and no more."