Why Android Updates and Security Patches Delay?

Why Android is (always) late for providing OS?

What is the Android Version in your Smartphone? If a Google Pixel Phone then Surely Android Oreo and if not then it can be any version from Marshmallow to Nougat – or even lower version than Marshmallow. And if we ask the same question from an Apple user then more than 75% will state the same iOS. Why Android Updates delay? Does it depend on the manufacturer or brand to get the updates earlier or does it depend on the smartphone itself? Does locked and unlocked phones update at the same time? Does it depend on Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)? There are many other such question that come to the end-users mind while waiting for the latest Android Version for its phone.

Now software updates are a big deal. These deliver bug fixes, new features, refreshed interfaces, and a lot more. Several Android OEMs, like Sony, Lenovo, Samsung, etc are infamous for their delayed Android updates and missed security patches. Smartphones from these manufacturers are often months behind Google’s update schedule and sometimes most of the devices don’t get update and security patch at all.

Sony Tries to Justify Android Update Delays with an Infographic

A number of questions have been raised over the matter. Finally, Sony has released an infographic which, to some extent, explains why it takes the company so long to push updates. The infographic, titled ‘The Journey of an Android Software Rollout’, lists an eleven step process which includes everything from receiving the platform development kit from Google to the post-launch support for the firmware.

Android Updates Delay - Sony Infographic

As per Sony Statement, “Whilst we’ve made positive strides over the past couple of years in developing and bringing upgrades and firmware to market in a timely fashion, we also read the comments and Tweets and understand that the wait between Google announcing a new version and actually getting the notification can sometimes take a while – particularly given the number of devices, partners and countries often in play. To help explain the process, we’ve rustled up the below infographic showing how Android software moves from Google, to Sony Mobile, to Xperia users out in the real world.”

Here is a Video that explains the inforgrah prepared by Sony explaining the various stages of the Android OS reaching to them.

 

Even though the infographic doesn’t completely justify they delays, yet, it does offer a silver lining in the form of Project Treble which is expected to speed up the update process by resolving the changes to the operating system.

Android Updates Grading

  1. Google – Grade A – 93%
  2. HTC – Grade C – 77%
  3. OnePlud – Grade D – 65%
  4. Motorola (Lenovo) – Grade F – 49%

_ Souce: ComputerWorld


Top 5 Amazing Facts about Android Updates

  1. HTC has already made an attempt to shed light on ridiculously complex Android Operating System update process.
  2. Hilariously iOS Updates take the following steps (on a lighter note):
    • Apple decides to come out with a new version of iOS
    • Apple does some sort of in-house testing
    • Apple ships the software to testing partners (possibly the same as above)
    • Apple ships the software to developers
    • Modifications by carrier? No because Apple does not allow this
    • iOS is released OTA (Over The Air) and in iTunes to consumers
  3. In the past, every new software version came with a (sometimes hefty) price tag, be it for apps or for OSs. Apart from bug patches, getting a new OS version involved paying up and going through a relatively burdensome upgrade task.
  4. There is a Myth that older devices get updates earlier than the new device. The fact is older devices do not receive all the newest features. Getting an depends upon numerous factor. While one thing is observed mostly that new devices come with the latest OS or most of the new devices (if we are not considering getting new OS versions through custom ROMs) .
  5. This one is very interesting. While we talk about Android Vs iOS – the later gets a big plus that most of its devices get the same OS while this feature is missing in Android. True. Well consider this one unlike iOS, Android devices do not need a major software update to upgrade system apps. This is arguably one of Android’s most significant plus, and it means that apps like Gmail, Maps, Calendar and even essential system services such as Google Play services are always up-to-date. On iOS, being stuck on an old OS version also means being stuck with outdated system apps.

Naeem Javid

Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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