back to article Nvidia: 'old' tablet development kit won't get Android 3.0

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 …

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FAIL

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..

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Title

I'm not sure that any justification is actually needed. Haven't Google been consistent in saying that Android 2.x is not suitable for tablets and that Honeycomb was the one to wait for? Clearly some manufacturers wanted to get products to market early which is fair enough. But to then blame Google for not wanting to support these designs seems unreasonable.

If they do the same with certified Honeycomb hardware then yes, blame away.

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Anonymous Coward

Told you, we'de running back to those old proprietary systems!

Perhaps Symbian, slow but steady way, isn't so bad after all?

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Unhappy

wtf

RE: 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.

Eh? Usually development systems are derivatives of actuall sold hardware and so hardware is supposed to be VERY similar.

andf then there's this:

RE: 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?

Do you know of any cheap Asian manufacturer giving ANY support at all?They make'm, sell'm and forget about'em.

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Stop

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...

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Why the obsession with upgrading?

Not many people complain when their Windows system doesn't automatically update -- no one expected their Vista system to update to Windows 7 automatically and free when it came out.

Yet, for some reason, people expect their mobile device to update automatically. The weird thing is that many of these devices will be tied to a contract which allows a free upgraded device in 18 months, never mind an upgraded OS.

Also, surely when you buy a device you buy it because it does what you want when you buy it, not because it doesn't quite do it but may do some time in the future?

Don't get me wrong, as a Linux desktop user I'm as guilty as the next geek when it comes to wanting the newest release and wanting to check the latest features -- but practically speaking I could still be using Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and wouldn't be missing anything.

So, why are people obsessed with being able to upgrade their portable device OS?

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I used to wonder the same thing

but since an OS update on my phone, I noticed massive gains in battery life.

Also, I think lots of folk are buying a tablet now and thinking that while the 2.x isn't really good for tablet use, they'll put up with it for now and upgrade in future.

Daft idea IMHO.

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Anonymous Coward

Because

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.

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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."

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Linux

However

"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?"

If you look at tablets like the Advent Vega or Viewpad, the ability to download and build your own Android firmware is what gives groups the ability to provide those desired updates to antiquated devices. Will 3.0 be able to be hacked to work on these older devices? Perhaps. Will I buy one on that hope? Definitely not. But it is nice to know that there are options to upgrade your firmware, even if your manufacturer has long since (since it was launched?) abandoned your device.

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FAIL

Nelson "haha"

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.

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Binary blobs

Binary blobs are as much the problem here. Nvidia have to make fresh binary blobs and Google can ask them not to. If the source code for Tegra drivers was out there, once Google are forced to honor the GPL with Honeycomb, someone could just update the Tegra drivers and release them, regardless of what Google want. It would also aid us using another distro than Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Ermm Forced?

I don't think anyone can force google to do anything with Android. As has been mentioned google only have to say they will release Android 3.0, and they only have to release certain elements of it as open for it to meet the requirements.

Google can turn around and say that older tablets will not receive Honeycomb and only partners will get a release.

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You’re logged in as a been

While Android is semi open source, it's released under the Apache licence which means that Google dosn't have to show the source code. The only part that is GPL is the kernal and the source code for that has allready been released.

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Why does this matter?

"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."

Which still isn't actually out yet - but doesn't seemed to have stopped Advent, POV etc releasing 2.2 on Tegra 2 - or Modaco turning out rather good community firmware very promptly last year.

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Happy

Ventana is "out"

My Honeycomb packing EEE Pad Transformer that Comet delivered yesterday is based on the Ventana platform.

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@Dave Fox

I think you're a little confused.....its a very different beast indeed.

http://developer.nvidia.com/tegra/devkit-ventana

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FAIL

No its a bad move by manufacturers

The main issue with Nvidia doing this is that they have effectively provided a dual core processor based upon Google advising dual core processor support and enhanced tablet functionality in android 2.3 then you got Manufacturer posting that they are commited to next gen OS see link

http://phandroid.com/2010/12/08/as-advent-vega-stock-is-replenished-manufacturer-commits-to-android-2-3/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

To be fair though, cant really blame Advent (Dixons Group) for this as it isnt them causing the problem as they do offer continued support but there isnt anything they can do about Nvidia.

Google then backed out on dual processor support in 2.3 and released the single-core Nexus S to showcase Gingerbread.

So dual core is now set to arrive in 3.0 but then it seems either google effectively force manufacturers out of supporting tablet devices released over 1 month ago only taking the newest tegra devices(xoom,eee pad).

Or if it is Nvidia abandoning these devices? maybe if this is the case their mobile processors should be abandoned by us consumers if when buying an Nvidia powered product support can be cut so soon.

Anyhow android 3.0 will come to these devices one way or the other eventually (running 2.3.3 now on the Advent Vega but due to this issue without hardware acceleration which causes some video playback issues), it would just be nice if at least the hardware manufacturer would release the required drivers to allow the community to progress for at least 12 months or even release the source for the drivers. not too much to ask really is it.

If you went out and bought a new high end GFX card tommorow and paid £250 for it then next month windows 8 came out and Nvidia said naa not interested in ever writing drivers for that card ever again, Microsoft said no. Would you think ahh well it works on windows 7 fair enough.

I think NOT

http://www.reghardware.com/Design/graphics/icons/comment/fail_32.png

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matters little

Now that the Tegra2 competition is rolling out in tablets and soon phones, Tegra2 will go away. nVidia cut a few corners on the platform, and made it just slightly less potent in video, which was not a big deal, but cutting hardware decryption, THAT was a big deal, and that means the HDCP protection chain is broken, and the MPAA and most other licence management partners will not authorize their content to be played back on those devices. In simpler terms, Tegra2 is not getting Hulu, might get Netflix but only with e limited selection of content and only if netflix fights hard for it, and most online streaming services pushing licenced content also won;t be releasing apps for it. No content = no sale for a media device.

nVidia should release a Tegra2.1 platform ASAP re-instating the hardware decoder, or they're going to fade away.

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WTF?

Not gonna get me twice

This is RIDICULOUS. NVidia should be ashamed of themselves. An "old" tablet chip??? WTF? People--we all need to hit them where it counts: their pocket books. If we don't buy anything that has ANY FORM of an NVidia product in it, then they (and anyone else not wanting to repeat their error) won't make such stupid business decisions.

DOWN WITH NVIDIA

!

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