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How relevant is Android support version 4.4.4?

asked 2017-10-27 17:08:45 +0300

TomC gravatar image

updated 2017-10-27 18:09:44 +0300

I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere, but I don't immediately find a thread concerning this.

The Android app support / Alien Dalvik on Sailfish X corresponds to Android version 4.4.4 (KitKat), right? How relevant is this version today in terms of application support? What apps are not supported in 4.4.4? In what time frame do you think this Android support version will be too outdated to use practically? This of course depends on what Android apps you want or need to use. I know that if Android app support is the most important feature, one is perhaps better off with an actual Android phone. But I'm interested in hearing different views on this matter.

Clarification: I'm not asking how relevant the Android support is as such. I'm interested in how relevant version 4.4.4 is in comparison to newer versions.

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IMO, Anbox for sailfishos is being developed by few porters, I have Aqua fish so its not functional in it at all but I want to know from someone in TJC ,will it be able to replace Aliendalvik in terms of reliability?

p_pahare ( 2017-10-30 16:39:25 +0300 )edit

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answered 2017-10-27 18:28:47 +0300

emva gravatar image

The version 4.4 is still pretty relevant.

If you go for the newest numbers from here (Data collected during a 7-day period ending on October 2, 2017.)

4.4 and below has still 22,3% market share.

And considering most people do not change their phone yearly, and most sane companies does not exclude 1/4 of the market...

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Thanks! This kind of fact is partly what I was looking for.

TomC ( 2017-10-27 18:32:17 +0300 )edit
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answered 2017-10-27 18:24:12 +0300

Kao gravatar image

updated 2017-10-27 18:26:41 +0300

App developers tend to look at the version market share when determining their target audience. From my experience 4.4 (API 19) ist the minimum right now, with ~14%. It used to be 4.1 (API 16) last year, and may still be for apps targeting the low end market with an extra ~5%. But I would not count on that for much longer. So, with Alien Dalvik at 4.4.4, I think we are good for at least one more year, possibly two depending on market share trends, before we have to start worrying.

PS: Actually the fact that Alien Dalvik looks like a rooted Android is a bigger issue IMHO, since it might impact security sensitive apps.

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Another question of interest is of course when does Jolla decide to update Alien Dalvik. Let say that your estimate of 1-2 years is valid - are we during that time going to see a newer version?

TomC ( 2017-10-27 18:29:19 +0300 )edit
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I would hope so, but I am new to Sailfish and don't know the past trends there. I understand Alien Dalvik is a licensed product, so it may not even be up to Jolla.

Kao ( 2017-10-27 18:35:34 +0300 )edit
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There is no newer version of Dalvik, 4.4.4 is the latest. Android 5.0 uses a different technology and there is no stable emulator for it currently.

Sthocs ( 2017-10-27 18:42:49 +0300 )edit

Are you referring to ART, Android Runtime? I haven't really figured out yet how the Android support works and what components it is made of...

TomC ( 2017-10-27 19:19:29 +0300 )edit
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@Kao : 4.4 KitKat won't get displaced as fast as 4.1 JellyBean did for the main reason that this is the last version that relied on Dalvik JIT engine. From 5.0 Lollipop onward, Android runs on ART (Android RunTime) as @TomC and @Sthocs mentionned, which is entirely different and might be demanding of more powerful phones. (And specially in developing countries there might be a lot of smartphone stuck on even older generations of hardware and android).

DrYak ( 2017-10-27 20:17:29 +0300 )edit
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answered 2017-10-27 17:58:41 +0300

lumen gravatar image

Today's smart phones are nothing without apps. And as much as we'd like to have all the apps as native sailfish apps, it's not possible (yet). I would assume that almost everybody needs apps nowadays in their daily routines, parking car, banking apps, smart watch apps and so on, you name it. Most of these apps are Android only and 4.4.4 is becoming increasingly outdated. Because of this I find good support for Android apps in SFOS is not only important for SF succession - it's crucial.

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Thanks for the comment. The question that interests me the most at the moment is how well version 4.4.4 fills our (the community and the users) need of app support. Your view is that it's "becoming increasingly outdated". Other views are most welcome also.

TomC ( 2017-10-27 18:08:00 +0300 )edit
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Yes, I could have been more specific :) There have been few apps already that I wanted to install, but required higher version than 4.4. For example: Polar Flow app and S-pankki banking app, these I cant now install. Many apps I have currently installed, like Yle Areena, requires 4.4 as we speak, but I fear the day comes sooner than later that they start to require higher version.

lumen ( 2017-10-27 18:49:03 +0300 )edit
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answered 2017-10-27 18:07:41 +0300

pawel gravatar image

if you are not into games, you can do a lot in browser

i, as no facebook, no whatsup need it for navigation

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Asked: 2017-10-27 17:08:45 +0300

Seen: 1,192 times

Last updated: Oct 27 '17