Re: Fragmentation fragmentation fragmentation
"Only Google devices get the latest, leaving the other users in the lurch. Were they just used to generate license fees and data to feed the Google phone dev?"
No, the other manufacturers choose to build their own OS on top of Android. So they still get the latest version of the OS the moment it's released, it's just that "OS" isn't the same as basic Android, so there's no reason for the releases to be in sync with the Google releases.
If you want to run basic Android and get those releases straight away, get a Nexus device. If not, stop whining. If you're not even an Android user, stop whining.
I suspect most users don't even care - perhaps because the phones do so much already anyway, and they don't have to wait years for even basic "feature phone"-level features like copy/paste, video calling, or even apps.
"The platform is controlled. If I see reports of devices being "rooted", that implies the same problem and the same solution as iOS to break it."
That's a property of the device, not the OS, and no - Nexus devices are designed to be easily rooted, and doesn't require taking advantage of security flaws, as is required for IOS.
"There is far less quality control on Apps as far as I can see, so how is your average end user going to know what is safe? Ah, anti-virus? What, doing a Microsoft to plaster over the problems?"
I don't see this. Applications should be safe by design (i.e., the security model not allowing them to do things without permission). I don't want so-called "quality control" - I want to run what I want. Apple's "quality control" is routinely used to block anything they don't like, such as alternative browsers. As a developer, I can't stand "quality control" that in practice ends up being petty hurdles to jump, often administered by idiots.
"I would not be surprised if someone eventually creates a really Open version of an Android alike platform."
There already are open source forks of Android, e.g., Cyanogenmod. Easier to just get a Nexus device though, if you're worred about that.
If you mean open source platforms in general, there have been various Linux based OSs over the years (Maemo, Meego, Tizen).