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Thread: Android OS update and Micro SD card size support???

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    Android OS update and Micro SD card size support???

    I've been a long time Windows user and there are 2 things that have always puzzled me about the Android OS and the Android OS devices I currently own.

    The 1st thing is in regards to updating the OS to a later version on the devices I own. For example I have an Asus MeMO pad 7 and a MeMO Pad HD 7. They're 2 very similar devices, with very similar specs. The MeMO pad 7 came with Android 4.4.2 (Kit Kat). The MeMo Pad HD 7 came with Android 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean), where I was able to update to v4.2.2. On the HD 7, if I try to update further, it won't update to v4.4.2. It seems the furthest I can go is to v4.2.2. I notice this on all other Android devices, where essentially you can't update the Android OS to a later major release version. WHY???? In Windows, I can update from Win Xp to Win 7, to Windows 8, to Win 8.1 and onto Windows 10 if I choose. What am I not understanding on Android devices that prevents me from being able to update my MeMO Pad HD 7 to the same OS as my other MeMo Pad 7??? Why do I have to have 2 very similar devices, but have 2 different user interfaces in the OS to do the same functions?

    The other thing that has me confused is in regards to the Maximum amount of external storage that can be put into each device. More specifically, the Micro SD expansion card slot. My MeMO Pad HD 7 says, I can plug in a Micro SD card up to 32GB, my standard Memo Pad 7.....64GB. What happens if I plug in a 64GB micro SD card slot into the MeMO Pad HD 7 which says it only supports up to 32GB??? What is the capacity size limitation on these devices??? Again, I'm familiar with Windows. Windows supports the FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT formatted disks. Just like Android aside from M$ "NTFS" proprietary format. With Windows, the capacity size is limited to the file system format. exFAT's MAX Volume size is set at 128 Pebbibytes....a number much bigger than 32GB or 64GB. So what gives???? Why the Max size limitation of MicroSD cards that can be plugged into an Android device??
    Last edited by Rednroll; 01-25-2015 at 02:55 PM.
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    1) To begin with, 4.2.2 isn't KitKat, it's Jelly Bean
    2) Android is open source & as such is the responsibility of the OEM who uses it to develop updates & push them to the device
    3) There is no such thing as an "Android microSD standard" in size of storage for Android. It is a factor of the card reader used and the firmware coding by the OEM.
    4) Asus are pumping out different MeMo 7" tablets every few months. They are budget devices that are not well supported for firmware updates.
    5) To have the flexibility you describe to update your MeMos you will need to learn how to root & flash a custom ROM(potentially different for every model)

    I think that covers it...

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    See posts #9 and #10 in this thread below -- more or less covers your microSD question.

    Maximum size Memory Card supported by Transformer Infinity TF700t?


    Also see latest post here for benchmarks on microSd cards (post #345 to be exact - yes it's been a topic of much discussion - you could use thread search to find comments on specific cards for instance):

    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...lp-thread.html

    Regarding the different versions on your two Memo Pad's -- the devices have different processors - one is dual core and the other quad core. Also the screens have differing resolutions. The Memo Pad 7 has a firmware available dated January 15th, 2015. Perhaps the other device will receive an update shortly. In any case, the OEM (Asus) is not under any obligation to continue to update the tablet OS. That applies to all manuafacturers of tablets. They provide updates of course to compete with others in the market... If they do, that's great.
    Last edited by Swipe; 01-25-2015 at 03:37 PM.
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    1) To begin with, 4.2.2 isn't KitKat, it's Jelly Bean
    Corrected right after I posted.

    2) Android is open source & as such is the responsibility of the OEM who uses it to develop updates & push them to the device
    Can I push my own updates to the device? If not, why not? Why am I having to wait for Asus to push anything? I don't have to wait for Asus to go grab a copy of the next Windows OS and install it? That was the question, you answered that question by restating the question

    3) There is no such thing as an "Android microSD standard" in size of storage for Android. It is a factor of the card reader used and the firmware coding by the OEM.
    So Android devices use Standard Card Readers, Standard bus communication and Standard Micro SD cards, which are formatted to Standard File systems, but it is up to the OEM to define the firmware which limits the size that can be read/write?

    4) Asus are pumping out different MeMo 7" tablets every few months. They are budget devices that are not well supported for firmware updates.
    I was just using the MeMo Pad as an EXAMPLE. I have owned quite a few other Android devices and it's the same scenario including Samsung Galaxy devices (ie NON budget devices). I thought this was clear when I made this statement. "I notice this on all other Android devices, where essentially you can't update the Android OS to a later major release version."

    5) To have the flexibility you describe to update your MeMos you will need to learn how to root & flash a custom ROM(potentially different for every model)
    Sounds like a lot of fun, waiting and relying on the Hackers for OS updateability
    Last edited by Rednroll; 01-25-2015 at 03:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swipe View Post
    See posts #9 and #10 in this thread below -- more or less covers your microSD question.

    Maximum size Memory Card supported by Transformer Infinity TF700t?
    Thanks Swipe, that had some info that made a lot of sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rednroll View Post
    1) To begin with, 4.2.2 isn't KitKat, it's Jelly Bean
    Corrected right after I posted.

    2) Android is open source & as such is the responsibility of the OEM who uses it to develop updates & push them to the device
    Can I push my own updates to the device? If not, why not? Why am I having to wait for Asus to push anything? I don't have to wait for Asus to go grab a copy of the next Windows OS and install it? That was the question, you answered that question by restating the question

    3) There is no such thing as an "Android microSD standard" in size of storage for Android. It is a factor of the card reader used and the firmware coding by the OEM.
    So Android devices use Standard Card Readers, Standard bus communication and Standard Micro SD cards, which are formatted to Standard File systems, but it is up to the OEM to define the firmware which limits the size that can be read/write?

    4) Asus are pumping out different MeMo 7" tablets every few months. They are budget devices that are not well supported for firmware updates.
    I was just using the MeMo Pad as an EXAMPLE. I have owned quite a few other Android devices and it's the same scenario including Samsung Galaxy devices (ie NON budget devices). I thought this was clear when I made this statement. "I notice this on all other Android devices, where essentially you can't update the Android OS to a later major release version."

    5) To have the flexibility you describe to update your MeMos you will need to learn how to root & flash a custom ROM(potentially different for every model)
    Sounds like a lot of fun, waiting and relying on the Hackers for OS updateability
    2. Yes you can go to Microsoft and download the latest. As for Android, the latest is released to the OEM's (like Asus for instance) and then it is tweaked for the configuration used by the manufacturer. This is how you end up with extras like Asus ZenUI or Samsung's TouchWiz -- they modify the OS and then release it on the devices they sell. So it is handled in a different manner.

    3. See the link I provided to the "maximum microsd card" discussion. The SDXC standard is probably followed by most Android manufacturers (maybe not the cheapest tablets) but they conform to the 64Gb/12GB standard -- see the link and articles can be found rather easily which describe the process -- enter "SDXC standard" in a seach engine and you will find the wikipedia article explaining why devices state 32GB supported when in actuality they can handle the higher capacity cards....(it's a licensing thing)

    4. See #2 above.

    5. Yes it is fun to try out these hacker's creations.
    Last edited by Swipe; 01-25-2015 at 04:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rednroll View Post
    1) To begin with, 4.2.2 isn't KitKat, it's Jelly Bean
    Corrected right after I posted.

    2) Android is open source & as such is the responsibility of the OEM who uses it to develop updates & push them to the device
    Can I push my own updates to the device? If not, why not? Why am I having to wait for Asus to push anything? I don't have to wait for Asus to go grab a copy of the next Windows OS and install it? That was the question, you answered that question by restating the question

    3) There is no such thing as an "Android microSD standard" in size of storage for Android. It is a factor of the card reader used and the firmware coding by the OEM.
    So Android devices use Standard Card Readers, Standard bus communication and Standard Micro SD cards, which are formatted to Standard File systems, but it is up to the OEM to define the firmware which limits the size that can be read/write?

    4) Asus are pumping out different MeMo 7" tablets every few months. They are budget devices that are not well supported for firmware updates.
    I was just using the MeMo Pad as an EXAMPLE. I have owned quite a few other Android devices and it's the same scenario including Samsung Galaxy devices (ie NON budget devices). I thought this was clear when I made this statement. "I notice this on all other Android devices, where essentially you can't update the Android OS to a later major release version."

    5) To have the flexibility you describe to update your MeMos you will need to learn how to root & flash a custom ROM(potentially different for every model)
    Sounds like a lot of fun, waiting and relying on the Hackers for OS updateability
    Swipe answered your main question, but I thought I'd chime in a little more detailed.
    The big difference between MS OS and Android is that Android is Open Source - manufacturers don't pay a dime to use it and are free to do with it whatever they want. And they do. The resulting problem is called OS fragmentation.
    Microsoft does not allow device manufacturers to alter their product. OEMs are forced to build devices according to the specs MS requires for their software to run on it.
    In Android it's the other way around: OEMs build a device and tailor Android to their liking. Google, or the Android Open Source Project, can release all the updates they want. The OEMs have to fudge with that new version of Android again to make it work with their specific devices. Devices they ALREADY sold!!
    What does Asus or Samsung or HTC gain from paying their developers countless hours to make that new version of Android work on legacy devices?
    Maybe grateful customers. Maybe repeat customers. But how to you quantify that?
    How do you justify R&D costs that do not earn any $$$ to your investors?
    Investors who could not care less about long term perspective but care a lot about the next quarterly return?
    That's the world we live in unfortunately.......

    Oh, and btw, exFAT is also a MS proprietary file system. If OEMs want to support it on their device they have to pay royalties to MS. So they don't.
    There are some custom kernels for some custom roms that do support exFAT, even NTFS on external storage. But that's out in the wild, lawless realm of custom roms
    Last edited by droidbound; 01-25-2015 at 11:22 PM.
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    Hopefully with all the comments, rednroll, we have explained & expanded/expounded on the detail of the differences now & you have it clear? But to clarify further...

    1)The terms "firmware" & "ROMs" are used interchangeably in Android. They essentially mean the OS installed plus the BIOS & CMOS configuration all in one (to attempt to compare it to a Windows PC). And yes, the firmware does effect / limit / enable the use of the hardware in the device and that doesn't just apply to microSD, but also to whether a micro USB port can be used for charging - not all of them can. If a micro USB port can be used as a "host" for external peripherals - not all of them can. If a device has USB OTG functionality or not - not all of them can. I won't go on any further...

    2) Yes, you can "push" your own version of the OS to your devices, but the only ways to do this are either to use a custom ROM or to be a developer yourself and avail yourself of the open source nature of the Android project and produce your own.

    3) Yes, the information in this thread does indeed apply to all OEMs & I wasn't trying to be "negative" about Asus. It also applies to Samsung, Lenovo, HTC, Huawei and the plethora of other manufacturers of devices that use Android. It is also true, however, that the MeMo range is not well supported in terms of legacy support - because it is built to a very tight budget.

    All the best
    Caster likes this.

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    Thanks everyone. I think I get it, let me summarize.

    1. updating the Android OS to a later version on an Android device
    - Android is not distributed publicly like Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, etc.
    - Each OEM makes a custom Android OS release for each of their devices
    - Since the OEM is responsible for custom building the OS to their device, supporting legacy devices with OS updates is not a profitable business model, selling new devices instead is.
    - If you really would like to update your Android OS, then you will 1st need to "ROOT" your device. Rooting your device, gives you Administrator rights, and like Windows you will need Admin rights to update the OS. Once you have Admin rights, then you can install custom ROMS which are packages with Android OS updates, custom made by users on the net with similar interests.

    2. Micro SD Card Max size constraints
    - This is less about a technical constraint, but more about a licensing and marketing constraint.
    - Chances are likely that your device may support a Micro SD card, larger than the published Max expandable memory size.
    - The best way to determine, is to just try using a card larger than the published Max expandable memory size and see.
    - Older devices, may want to try FAT32 formatted micro SD cards
    - Newer devices, may want to try exFAT formatted micro SD cards
    - (FAT32/exFAT) If one particular format doesn't work on your particular device, try the other.

    Does that about sum it up?
    Last edited by Rednroll; 01-26-2015 at 07:21 AM.
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    That sums it up nicely

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

    Your opinion matters. But should you disagree - please try not to be disagreeable

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