back to article Salesforce bins all Android phones bar Nexii and Galaxies

Cloud darling Salesforce is upsetting end users by giving its Salesforce1 supported devices list a number-one haircut. While it doesn't bite until 2017, the end-of-life list hacks out all Android devices except a handful of Samsung and Nexus machines. Salesforces' announcement says: “Salesforce will no longer provide …

Yeah, I agree with this decision. It's pot luck whether or not your data are missing or incomplete when you use Salesforce, so when you do fail to retrieve it from their crappy backend it's really important that you send me your snarky support emails from a recent device. If you're out with your client and all the work you did that morning has gone titsup, then at the very least when you pull out your flash phone to blame the wrong person they'll think you're making someone, somewhere some money and stick with you.

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And there was me thinking that Android was the same everywhere.

How much is this like Oracle stopping support for HP's Itanium? There's currently a big law suit between those two companies.

So does Google's T&Cs for the Play Store fail to oblige app developers to support all Android within a set range of versions? If it doesn't then HTC, Sony, etc can justifiably complain to Google (who they have to pay to get access to Play Services, etc) that Google aren't doing anything to ensure a level playing field for all members of the Android community.

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This is probably about the OS

Nexus devices receive OS updates regularly, and Samsung at least delivers updates for their stuff for 12-24 months before they get bored of it. How many OS updates do HTC and Sony deliver? How about Xiaomi?

There are hundreds if not thousands of different hardware models in the Android world, and many are delivered with different point versions of Android with different UI skins layered on top. Many never have a single update, or only get updates from what they shipped with to fix obvious glitches but once it is "good enough" they stop.

Salesforce can't possibly test all the possible variations, so they're choosing a small subset of models that are at the top of the charts in sales. It isn't like they're choosing some obscure models that only sold 180,000 units worldwide.

This is Android fragmentation coming home to roost.

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Paris Hilton

Re: This is probably about the OS

Surely the only conceivable reason can be availability of security updates, and even that's a bit tenuous. While not a direct user of Salesforce, my understanding is that it is basically a website that accesses a database and renders dashboard reports - hardly something that demands the most up to date phone with all the bells and whistles, when all it needs is an up to date browser renderer, and a decently coded website that will muck around with the layout for different screen sizes - something baked in to HTML5.

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Re: This is probably about the OS

This is Android fragmentation coming home to roost.

It certainly is. I'm faintly surprised they decided to support such a wide range of Samsung's devices...

It's a pity that Google didn't set an Android hardware standard, in the same way that the PC architecture is standard and MS phones are standard. A hardware standard would have enabled a sane update system. That's worked well in PCs benefiting both Windows and Linux, and (albeit within a tiny, tiny portion of the wider market) reasonably well on Windows phones.

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Android is not the same everywhere - different devices have different sized screens, different resolutions and different aspect ratios. Some devices may also lack GPS, a telephone stack and so on. But most of these differences are pretty superficial and easy to deal with providing you write your code properly in the first place and don't make horrible assumptions.

I assume Salesforce hasn't. It's the modern day equivalent of notices on websites that said "This page only works on Internet Explorer 6 and 7 (because it's a heap of crap that makes all kinds of bad assumptions that we could fix but we won't)"

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Anonymous Coward

Sony...

Well I know that Sony update their current Xperia range very often. I haven't had an Android security update on my LG G4 for some time (although it did get the Marshmallow updates very quickly) but my partner's Sony Xperia Z5 is getting the security updates continuously.

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Re: This is probably about the OS

I don't think there ever was a PC standard set; clone vendors just tried to make their products as similar as possible while making them cheaper/superior in some way. Reviews of early PCs always included tests of IBM-compatibility, such as whether Lotus 123 ran without problems.

IBM did try to introduce a standard later, the MCA (Micro-Channel Architecture) on the PS/2 range. They charged too much for the licensing though, so nobody really bought into it - even though it was great for the day.

I think I'm showing my age...

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Re: This is probably about the OS

@Mark Dempster,

"I don't think there ever was a PC standard set;"

There was the PC System Design Guides, see this Wikipedia Article. PC98 set out a lot of the standard hardware, things like ACPI, how PXE boot should work, how plug'n'play worked, etc. The tables of contents at OpenLibrary is quite revealing. That lot coupled with a few chipsets from the likes of Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, etc. made PC hardware what it is today (basically it's all PC2001, just evolved a bit), whilst still allowing a diversity of devices. Pretty useful stuff, actually.

What makes Apple's machines different is that they don't really follow everyone else's common understanding of what makes a PC a PC.

If you think that remembering MCA shows your age, forgetting PC-98 shows worrying signs of a different sort...

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Re: Sony...

Well my Sony Xperia SP has not had an update since May 2014 to the OS and the phone is not *that* old.

Sure apps update all the time, even those I have not intention of ever using.

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So the only 'true' Android is a Samsung one?

I expect the people at the Chocolate Factory are not amused by this one little bit.

So how much did [redacted] pay [redacted] in order to get this exclusivity then?

The question has to be asked even if the answer is zero.

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Re: So the only 'true' Android is a Samsung one?

I've always thought the only real Android phones were Nexus phones.

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"if Salesforce feels the need"

It will depend on Salesforce market presence in China, but the day the market reaches half a billion mobe users, I'm fairly certain the need will be felt.

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Holmes

I believe they've made the correct choice

As a Product Manager who has desktop and mobile products, the mobile platform market is a quagmire of 1/2 working vs. fully working implementations of the 'Roid OS coupled with older insecure versions of iOS. I've been zeroing in for our next 2 major releases to tighten up like SFDC are doing on the market top trended platforms.

There is a HUGE difference between consumer and business users with many businesses operating MDM tools to keep their supplied mobiles up to date with a relatively rigorous older version retirement scheme. Consumers on the other hand (except Asia) tend to continue to lag chasing the latest shiny new versions.

If you look at https://www.netmarketshare.com/ you'll see that the 'Roid main devices are leveling out on pre 4.4 starting to downturn as are Akamai with their 4Q15 report https://www.akamai.com/uk/en/about/news/press/2016-press/akamai-releases-fourth-quarter-2015-state-of-the-internet-report.jsp the end result is older OSs and browsers must be dropped.

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Re: I believe they've made the correct choice

business users ... up to date with a relatively rigorous older version retirement scheme

Ha, ha! I think more and more companies are extending their mobile lifetimes to reduce cost (my employer is large and has just recently extended it again).

But the SFDC decision will please sales people everywhere! They now have an unbeatable business justification to ignore the company policy of "no replacements until 36 months, and even then only if it is broken". New handsets every 6 months -- and only the highest-end models!

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Facepalm

Re: I believe they've made the correct choice

So would your employer pay MORE in maintenance for industry supporting these devices LONGER? If the answer is a NO then you have your answer as just like your company, we have to cover costs and the Q/A & Support costs for 8 versions of "any OS" come at a real cost.

Sorry but this isn't the first time the industry has faced issues like this. I applaud SalesForce for having the balls to do this and can point to them for taking a lead if/when we have to take a decision.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I believe they've made the correct choice

'Roid as in Hemmhoroid... I do believe you've found the perfect name for this bloody shit OS!

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Re: I believe they've made the correct choice

The simple answer is to pick a minimum version of Android as the cutoff and use a cross-section of tablets to test against that cover a range of screen, resolution and performance factors. It's not rocket science.

They don't even have to be *real* devices since they could be virtualized and run as part of an automation suite.

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Anonymous Coward

The numbers don't lie?

I'd have thought, that if they'd got half a brain cell (I have zero experience of Salesforce) they'd be able to look at the usage base and establish the volumes of users by device / OS that are out there. Below a certain threshold it can't be viable to keep maintaining code for a diminishing user base?

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Salesforce has plenty of competitors, maybe this will give some of them a chance to steal some of their customers aware.

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Salesforce limits bugfixes by OS

Well, OK, I hadn't heard of Salesforce before this news, so my question is, how much does it matter? I looked them up, and infer that most smartphone and tablet users aren't in their prospective customer base anyhow. Those whom this news affects won't have any problems limiting their purchases to supported hardware. For the rest of us, it doesn't matter, since it's not bugs or hardware glitches but design flaws that cause inconvenience.

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