Feb 11 AT 3:37 AM Taylor Wimberly 27 Comments

iPhone does Google Buzz, many Android phones do not

We were so excited about yesterday’s Google Buzz announcement that we glossed over the fact that about 80% of Android devices can not take full advantage of the service. This caused a lot of confusion for our readers because many could not access the service on their phone.

Only devices running Android 2.0+ have access to the latest Android browser and Google Maps 4.0. This allows them the full Buzz experience of using the mobile web app, posting buzz with voice commands, and buzzing on place pages. Only the Motorola Droid (2.0.1) and Google Nexus One (2.1) are running the latest version of Android in the United States.

Android fragmentation details from 1/4/2010.

The mobile site does not work in Android 1.6′s browser because it supports only Gears and not HTML5, where Buzz supports only HTML5. Only Android 2.0+ devices (21%) include the latest version of the browser with support for HTML5.

The latest version of Google Maps 4.0 requires at least Android 1.6, which leaves many Android phones (31%) with no access to Buzz from a mobile device. The Sprint Hero and Moment, T-Mobile CLIQ and Behold II, and Verizon Droid Eris are currently stuck on Android 1.5.

Buzz access for different versions of Android:

  • Android 1.5: No Google Maps 4.0, no mobile app
  • Android 1.6: Google Maps 4.0 only
  • Android 2.0+: Google Maps 4.0 and mobile app
Google Buzz for mobile.

Google Buzz for mobile

The iPhone has support for HTML5 so it can run Buzz and Google Maps in the browser. The iPhone also has a Google Maps app, but it is an older version that does not have access to the latest Buzz features (or Navigation).

BlackBerry users will get to join the fun when its browser gets a much needed update to the WebKit platform.

Most Android phones will eventually get updated to Android 2.1 so it is only a waiting game now. There have been hints that the update could be released early, but no carriers have provided anything more specific than 1H 2010.

Consider yourself lucky if you own a Droid or Nexus One. Enjoy your new toy.

Source: Google Buzz for mobile

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Lior Iluz

    No need for Google maps or client to buzz… it works great from the mobile site – google.com/buzz so every android device can buzz anyways.

    • http://Website Matt

      No, it doesn’t. That’s what the post is referring to, the mobile web app. On 2.0+, it works, but not 1.6-.

  • http://nickedynick.blogspot.com Nickedynick

    Well that sucks. Ironically, Cyanogen’s Mods use a modified Android 2.0 browser, but because they’re installed on 1.6 bases it won’t help.

    Bad move, Google – I’m disappointed.

    • http://Website enki

      I am using cyanogen on hero and it works fine. I think it is not google to blame for this, google update android in timeline. It is that crazy manufacturers which can’t supply their upgrades in decent time (mostly because they think we care for their ugly UI “improvements”)

    • http://Website Matt

      I created an issue on CyanogenMod’s bug tracker:


      I think the browser has the capabilities but Buzz doesn’t know this because the UserAgent is reporting that it’s Android 1.6. We can spoof this to look like an iPhone (see issue for details) and the site will load, but it’s a little finicky (I assume because it’s tailored for iPhones, not Android).

      The best bet would be to spoof the browser as 2.0+ but I haven’t been able to find how to manually specify the UserAgent. Star the CM issue and maybe Cyanogen will be able to address it.

  • http://Website Johan Appelgren

    And this is the primary reason why I don’t like SenseUI, in addition to all the bugginess and feature loss it introduced, it really slows down HTC’s ability to keep up with Android versions.

  • http://Website Matt

    Also, Google has noticed and “support for Buzz is ‘coming soon’ to previous Android versions.” so maybe waiting for Buzz will prove more fruitful than waiting for 2.x:


    P.S.: Sorry to flood the comments!

  • http://www.everythinglegit.com Ramon

    I just love this comment from the above link “Pretty disappointed with the support from Google to their own mobile platform.

    I’m basically told that a phone I bought 3 months ago is not supported by this new webapp, but a 4 years old iPhone is. Really pathetic to be honest.”

    • http://davehong.yelp.com Dave H.

      I guess it’s a market reality – Google wants market/mindshare, and there are more iPhone users out there than Android 2.x ones. =P

      • http://Website Gilbert Orbea

        Google doesn’t want mindshare?! (well, maybe they do) The iPhone is just that. It’s the iPhone. If there’s an update, all iPhones support it. Doesn’t matter if it’s first gen, second gen, they all get it. Android is so ungodly in this matter. You don’t know when you’ll get one, or even if you’ll get it. Google better fix their updating mess.

  • http://Website Barry

    You can use post a buzz and use the location “check in” features on 1.5/6, http://bit.ly/baUOPZ

  • http://www.gfeijo.eti.br Gustavo Feijó

    You forgot to say that the terrible Samsung Galaxy I7500 still running that old (and full of bugs) version of Android 1.5.


  • http://Website Todd

    Vote with you wallet people!

    If your carrier supplied phone doesn’t run the version of Android you want, switch carriers to the one that does. The carriers only understand ONE thing – money – they couldn’t care less if a (free) service they don’t control (Buzz) doesn’t work on your phone.

    When the accounting department sees a 10 fold drop in sales of an Android 1.6 model, along with a matching 10 fold increase in non-renewals and/or ETFs only then will the topic of selling handsets with a more recent version of Android ever be discussed at the country club.

  • http://adonistech.wordpress.com/ a.don.is

    I ave to agree with Ramon. I dont think Google thought this launch totally through. Either that or the internal departments dont communicate well with each other. There is no way they should have launched a product that supports a competitors phone much better than its own OS branded units! Oops Google.

  • http://Website jonson

    The Buzz Network all over the world is flooded by iphone Users. What a pathetic Release this is. Ok i use Buzz in google maps with my old G1, running Android 1.6. But they are so many restrictions compared to the iphone version. Did i miss something. Did Google buy Apple ? and drop Android ?

    • http://Website johnw

      Imagine Apple releasing itunes that only worked on its latest 3gs phone ,blackberry and Android phones but not the older Apple 3g . It would never happen. But this us exactly what Google has done to 70% of its users. It’s a farse.
      Mind you I tried buzz on my laptop, looked like its 5 years too late to be useful, What with Facebook and twitter well established.

  • http://Website riktking

    my rooted g1 runs 2.0 with the xrom rom. Runs rele fast as well! Been buzzin all day


  • http://Website ChinoBling

    You think Google cares?!
    They don’t give a rat’s a$$ just like any other big corporation.
    They will become the next IBM, it’s inevitable.

  • http://Website Terrell

    Works fine on my rooted G1 :-)

  • http://Website joe

    buzz works fine on my rooted g1. when apple releases an update every1 gets it, apple is on point with everything, they take care of their customers and have a good product to match, google needs to step their game up, its retarded that phones are running all different versions of android. all phones should get the latest update of android the exact day it comes out from google its ridicules that they get them 6months later with the exceptions sense and motoblur. it really makes me think about apple, i am thinking about joining the cult. oh yea and i thought i was cool playing games on android meanwhile the person next to me is playing gta on his iphone FML.

  • http://AndroidFeens.com AndroidFeens.com

    This is how you can use Buzz on any android phone.
    Does your 1.5 BUZZ, because mine does! http://androidfeens.com/2010/02/12/does-your-1-5-buzz-because-mine-does/

  • http://Website Todd Sieling

    Lesson learned: design on standards, kids.

  • http://Website Jeremy L

    Apple can do that because they are control freaks. You people really should have understood what Android OS was before you bought the phone. Google only puts out the source code for Android, other than that they don’t do anything (N1 is exception). When I bought my Droid I bought it with the understanding that any update must come from Motorola – Google has nothing to do with it. If I don’t get the update, I need to complain to Google. I dropped my iPhone a long time ago because although Apple’s control makes some things nice, I felt like I didn’t get to use the phone the way I saw fit. With my Droid there are some issues sure, but I get to set the thing up however I want, download any app from the web I want, and easily install ROMs if I want. With Apple, you get what Jobs tells you what you want. Maybe Android phones need to come with a warning label: For advanced users only. I dunno, but you can’t blame Google for something your manufacturer isn’t doing.

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