Do we deserve OS updates for our Android devices?

by: Jonathan FeistNovember 12, 2014
Android update Google Logo

With the official release of Android 5.0 Lollipop just around the corner, we thought we’d take a look at system updates in general. We all want the latest and greatest software that Google is pushing out, but do we actually deserve to get software updates?

There comes a time in the life of every Android device when its creator decides that it has received its last system update. Perhaps that day comes before the device ships to consumers, maybe it is on a set schedule or maybe it is years and many updates down the road. When that day comes, many react with anger and are left to wonder if their device is actually obsolete, or if their manufacturer is just being lazy or forgetful of their years of being a loyal customer.

There is a general consumer perception of Android devices that they should all receive the latest version of the OS, and in a timely manner. While we all want the latest features, it is often overlooked that for one reason or another, a device just isn’t in line to get another update, no matter how much we may yell at the manufacturer.

Why should phones receive updates?

This is a pretty straightforward question to answer, all it takes is to watch the announcements out of any keynote presentation of any Google I/O conference to see most of the reasons that phones should get updates. Google always infuses new and exciting features into Android, usually with a new user interface and design principle. Performance improvements are typically also on deck. Remember when things were buttery smooth?

android l update release apis

Something not usually explained in significant detail, if any, during the I/O keynote presentations is security improvements. While Android has been inherently secure ever since the earliest versions of the OS, there are a few known vulnerabilities found in versions as recent as Android 4.2 Jellybean. If we speak of no other reason for phones to receive updates, I think security should be the focus. This certainly takes a leap forward with Android 5.0 Lollipop, employing two-factor authentication and full device encryption from first boot.

The plain fact remains that any manufacturer that fails to keep their devices reasonably up to date, shall incur the wrath of the social mob. This manifests in a poor culture around the company and eventually a loss of brand trust, loyalty and sales. We, the educated consumers, are a fickle folk, oh yes we are.

If, by this logic, security upgrades and consumer pressure are the main motivating factor for manufacturers to process updates, why do some phones go unsupported?

Why phones should not receive updates

There are a number of reasons that a manufacturer should issue End Of Life on a device, and a great many more reasons that a manufacturer decides to act upon. Let’s look at a few:

Limited specs

In the case of the oldest Android device that I still have active, the LG Optimus One (P500), it just can’t do it. New out of the box, the P500 offered me about 48MB of usable storage space. Sure, it has a microSD slot and the latest OS installed, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has the ability to save apps to SD card, but the device was considered a budget device when I purchased it and simply cannot handle the newer versions of Android.

The fact is, even though Android 4.4 KitKat was developed to operate as smooth as possible on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM, doing exactly that has proven less than ideal for many.

Unsupported parts

The Galaxy Nexus – built by Samsung, was put together with a Texas Instruments processor. It took mere months after launch for TI to decide that they would no longer support their chipset, leaving Google and Samsung in the lurch. This decision by TI was one that could not be overcome, leaving the Galaxy Nexus stranded, never to see another official update.

While the TI chip in the Galaxy Nexus is powerful enough to operate newer versions of Android, the problem was actually in software drivers. With TI not putting the drivers together, the open source community gave it a shot, but in the end, it just was not to be.


It should be no surprise that the sheer cost of operations is the primary reason a manufacturer decides to cease support of a device. This encompasses a great number of factors – man hours to process the update, cost of devices for testing, possible licensing fees, evaluating the number of devices sold with the number of those that are still active, and the value of working on an update versus putting that effort toward new products and services.

Some manufacturers, like Samsung and ZTE, can often afford to look after a great many of their devices. They employ hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, and should not find themselves strapped for talent when a team spends some time on an older device. However, they have hundreds, if not thousands of active phone models on the market at any given time, eventually a device needs to be retired and employees set on new tasks.

ZTE Logo Brand

On the flip side, a small team, like the folks at OnePlus, have to handle their single device offering a little more carefully. There is no question that the OnePlus One is still a great device and a highly desired phone, but more than a few of us have been wondering what their next device offering should look like. With the size of their team, it may come to pass that they diminish, or even drop support for the One in order to focus on the ‘two.’ Only time will tell if the One loses support before the device itself ceases to perform.

Aside: the fact that the OnePlus One is powered by CyanogenMod changes the dynamics, but eventually they too will stop support in favor of newer hardware. Bringing us to OnePlus building their own OS for the two.

What is your manufacturer doing about this?

Many of the major manufacturers have committed to getting the latest Android updates to their devices, at least for a short window of time after release. We’ve seen HTC promise to keep all new devices up to date for at least two years after release and Motorola, at least since Google purchased them, continues to update most of their line as fast and often as they can.

Nexus 4 to get Android Lollipop

Looking at the rollout so far of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Motorola has been caught in action with the update for the Moto X and Moto G and LG has jumped in, promising the update before any other manufacturer, even before Google can push the update to Nexus devices.

The huge difference with Lollipop is that Google made widely available a developer preview of Android 5.0 Lollipop for several months before actual release. This allowed manufacturers, as well as app developers, to get on board early, which we are seeing more and more with apps that are modelled after the latest design standard, Material Design.

Historically speaking, Google has been able to push out the latest Android releases to Nexus devices well before any other manufacturer can get things rolling. Such is one of the main selling points of the Nexus line. Motorola and HTC have been quick to follow while Samsung takes a bit more time and poor LG has gone so far as to blame the carriers for their comparatively abysmal wait times for new Android releases.

Who is responsible for your Android update?

Speaking to LG’s concerns, it is true that most phones on the market have more than one hand in the cookie jar that is your phone. As a refresher, here is the basic idea of how Android releases work:

Carrier branded/subsidized phone: When you get a phone from a carrier, the version of Android on the device has been passed from the manufacturer to the carrier. The carrier then injects their apps and code to support their services and network before finally finding its way to your handset.

What we have here, then, is no clear cut path between Google’s Android release and your phone. By the time the manufacturer and the carrier do their thing, updates can be muddled and delays can be lengthy. The real sore spot here is when you end up with a device that is physically capable of running the latest and greatest Android release, but it is halted due to issues in software compatibility for you carrier’s requirements. Just ask any early adopter Nexus 7 LTE user on Verizon, they’ll explain some of this for you.

Unlocked phones: An unlocked phone usually comes at a premium price, the main reason for this is that there are no subsidies as would be found by your typical carrier branded Android smartphone. The benefit is that your phone manufacturer is typically in charge of releasing Android to the device and can get it done with minimal delay. Not to mention this often means a simpler version of Android being installed on the device, sometimes very close to stock Android.

Nexus phones from Google are a great example of how Unlocked phones work. You buy the device from Google and Google ships you any available Android updates.

Despite the promises and best intentions of even Google and others through the Open Handset Alliance, your device will, inevitably, meet its end for software updates.

What do you do when your phone is rendered obsolete?

Custom ROMs

For those that are unfamiliar with custom ROMs, they are versions of Android that have generally not been built by Google or one of the typical phone manufacturers. There are many ROMs out there, and some great ones too. Some of our favorites around here are CyanogenMod and Paranoid Android. There is no question that installing a custom ROM is a method to take a much larger selection of Android devices and update them to newer versions of Android. For many phones, a custom ROM is the only way to see any updates.

paranoid android pie

While we accept custom ROMs as a major part of the Android market, they are predominantly handled on a phone by phone by user basis. That is, each of you need to make the conscious decision to work through the sometimes arduous and dangerous process of unlocking, rooting and ROMing your devices. This process usually voids your warranty, and carries the risk of bricking your device altogether.

Be sure to learn the ins and outs and follow instructions carefully if you decide to go this route – it may sound scary, but it is usually very much worth the trouble. This assumes, of course, that your phone is even capable of stepping through this process and that the Android community has seen fit to build a compatible ROM as well. If all else fails, the next option is actually a pretty good one.

Do nothing

Doing nothing is the number one action, or lack thereof, for a phone that has been rendered obsolete. Let’s be honest, despite the lack of cool new features, your old outdated phones are still pretty good. Or, as good as they’re ever going to be. Chances are, you’ve even replaced it with new hardware already.

[quote qtext=”Chances are, you’ve purchased, or plan to purchase, a new device anyway” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”left”]What should you do with the old hardware then? Many of us end up gifting old devices to our family and friends. If I may point out, this action is an admittance that the device is not dead and useless, just that it is not good enough for your wants and needs – Unless you really just want to see the recipient suffer, then that is just mean.

Instead of giving it away, you could use that ‘obsolete’ device, running that outdated version of Android, for a light duty purpose. We recently covered a slew of ideas of what you can use an old phone for. Myself, that little old LG Optimus One I talked about is now a music player connected to my stereo. I also use it as a hiking companion, with offline maps and, again, music. My newest use, shooting time-lapse videos.

google nexus evolution

Bottom line, there is nothing as fancy as photospheres, Material Design or even buttery smoothness on our old devices, but they should still prove operational even without. Don’t forget that when you focus on the tasks you want to accomplish, the operating system becomes less important and the available apps become key. Luckily, many of the more than one million apps in the Google Play Store will operate on older hardware, with older versions of Android, keeping your dead phones alive just a bit longer.

Perhaps one of the best things for all Android users that has started happening in the last short while, is that Google and others have been slowly offloading their key apps and services into standalone apps in the Google Play Store. What this means is that these features can be individually updated and installed onto more and older devices without requiring a full new Android release. This reduces the need to see updates on older hardware and, once again, gives your devices another little breath of air before complete expiration.


[quote qtext=”manufacturers owe us a quality device with secure and operational software, but perhaps nothing more” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”right”]Despite missing out on all of the cool new features of the latest releases of Android, there really is a time for a device to stop receiving operating system updates. In the end, you might say that manufacturers only owe us a quality device with secure and operational software.

With all that said and done, the burning question on everyone’s mind right now – will your phone get Android 5.0 Lollipop? Be sure to check out our running list of phones that are in line for update over in our community, and follow along our Android Lollipop coverage for all the latest news surround the OS. Either way, I’m sure you’ll join me in hitting the ‘check for updates’ button on all your devices, if you haven’t flashed a system image already.

Please keep in mind that this is a good overview, but only scratches the surface of ins and outs of Android updates and the politics surrounding them. Feel free to point out any key factors I’ve left out, in the comments below.

What do you say – should more effort go into updating as many phones as possible for as long as possible, or should updates stop well before a device starts to feel underpowered and sluggish?

  • fabriflash

    Manufacturers should release drivers and unlock bootloaders when they end support of their phones, so the community can give those phones a couple more months of life.

    • Tom Mcbigglesworth

      Why would the manufacturer want to give your 2 year old phone more life, when if they don’t, you will go buy a new one.

      I WISH it could work like this but sadly no.

      • fabriflash

        Because most people isn’t going to buy a new one anyways. Think of your friend with an Optimus Me or an Xperia Arc. If they were going to buy new mobiles, they would already had.

        • Andrew T Roach

          My friends aren’t broke.

          $200 dollars buys a phone that 95% as good as a flagship.

      • Kurfürst

        Android fragmentation is because the saturation of the market with a gazillion type of phones. How many models did just Samsung released in the past 2 years? Its a Charlie Foxtrott situation, making update support a nightmare. Hell, even their flagship phones do not receive updates!

      • Moku

        I doubt the average user sees life in a phone that no longer receives updates. Sure, power users do, but the average user’s gonna go buy a new phone anyways. I do see your point though, and maybe that’s enough of an issue to prevent manufacturers from doing that.

      • ziplock9000

        Because they are no longer phones, they are computers. Just like a desktop computer or even a console, OS updates are provided for the same hardware.
        It’s not a locked in, solid state device like a washing machine.

      • [S]unjay

        Because we’re not going to but a new phone.

      • Andrew T Roach


  • Balraj

    Nice article :)

  • Nivedit Majumdar

    Nicely written piece. Personally, I think updates are getting pretty redundant, with Google posting it’s features as applications now and ROM developers tweaking left right and center.

    • tiger

      Security patches make it worth it

    • ziplock9000

      I see what you mean but we are long way off being at a point. There is a massive amount of updates in Lollipop that can’t be split off as apps.

  • Chris

    I move on with life……much more to life then software updates on cellular phones.

    • Ryan

      A very poor suggestion when so much private information is stored on mobile devices. Along with these new features, updates include bug fixes, and exploit patches, both of which are incredibly important.

      • AnonGuy

        That. And the money you spend on them is quite a nice chunk of life, IMO. Money doest grow on trees. Most of us work for that money.

    • Anton

      Not to mention the fact that cell phones support and can enrich life, allowing us to use our time more efficiently so that we have more time to spend on the things that really matter and can achieve these things more easily. My Sony xperia m arrived with jellybean whose GPS didn’t work. It’s useful to have GPS nowadays. After much pleading with Sony customer services to fix the issue independently or by releasing a kitkat update I was fobbed off, deeply disappointed in Sony and android as a whole, I know it’s a midrange phone but I can’t afford to just buy a new phone each year. So I took the plunge and installed cm11, it was hard for me but worth it as I’ve saved $150. Thanks cm and I’ll never get another OEM phone

  • AnonGuy

    For devices that cost as much as decent PCs, yes. Until they can derive a way of allowing users to update the FW to supported software without voiding the warranty like we can on PCs.

    Until then, updates are and should he expected for a decent life cycle of the phone. I’m talking about flagship that are like $750 after tax. Not $99 budget phones (which really should be shipping with stock to lower development costs and increase profit margins).

  • A.M

    I leave my updates to the ROM community d2lte will soon be seeing 5.0

  • Ammy

    AndroidPail is a best apk download site, best apps for android, APK Downloads of any application which your are not able to download from google play store. It is a best android photo editor app among all over the google market and playstore

  • Rohan Shankar

    Yes, Lenovo, please give me the Jelly Bean 4.1 Upgrade you promised me at the beginning of 2014!

    I’ll not even ask for KitKat, I promise… :

  • Ste

    Sorry but “deserve” is a very bad choice. It gives to the point a totally different shade

  • Khalid Alaioby

    May I know why we cannot install android like linux or windows on PC? the only required issue here is drivers for components, in this case I think android devices will be very easy and not required from each manufacturer

  • MC Wong

    First, the manufacturer should have a warranty from the chip set make (TI) to cover at least 2 years of support. The onus should be on the phone company to ensure that before using that chip set. I also have a P500 and it wasn’t cheap for a budget device, if that device can run gingerbread then it should be able to run lollipop in terms of ram, irregardless of storage. I also have a Samsung S2 but that stopped at android 4.1? I’m sure it can easily support 5.0? Lg and Samsung is not interested in updating these devices so why should we buy them? Motorola is more responsible towards their customers.

  • Why LG?

    LG, what about the AT&T Optimus G E970 released in late 2012- a so called flagship alternative of the Nexus 4? Never received an update beyond 4.1 while devices that are older and much less equipped continue to be updated? Was going with LG a big mistake?

  • It’s time for google to demand that drivers are provided as open source and freely available the same way the os code is.

    • johnomanolo

      Yeah tell that to nvidia for example :)

  • frhow

    But the galaxy nexus has received the update to lollipop…

  • panta kore

    1. no android should not be rooted
    2. updates and drivers should come into linux like .packet’s
    3. body of android os could be free to download from google account
    4. manufacturers should offer drivers for theirs smart products.
    smart products should never “die” because of lack not integrateing drivers with newly versions of android (or vice versa)

  • Argenis Arturo Zapata Rodrígue

    I’m pretty dissapointed with BLU. I bought a Life Pure Mini, released this year. It came with android 4.2.1 and I was pretty sure it would receive kitkat. Boy was I wrong. Sure, it works fine and as the article says all the basics are covered, but you’d expect that a phone released this year with midrange specs would get an upgrade. My bad for not checking the reputation of the manufacterer before buying.

  • johnomanolo

    I think that manufactures owe us nothing apart from what they promise. If they say the device will be supported for 2 years they have to support it no matter what. But after that it can be dead to them.

    Google has been stood off by Texas Instruments and it was probably not their fault but when you promise you need to make sure you can deliver. Maybe they should first make the deal with chip maker and hold them acountable if they back off. Still their responsibility.

    Luckily manufactures started to recognize that we want longer support which is great. It looks like motorola has benefitted from their quick updates so others follow. It would be great to have 3 years of support and I think we are getting to that point because people are tired of having to buy new phones every year to stay on top.

  • tiger

    Updates may also include security patches. If you do not have 4.4.4, then you have OpenSSL flaw…for example. 5.0 comes with encryption.

    None of the OEMs care about updates because they know that Android crowd won’t do anything about it. They are not focused on consumer experience. They still didn’t realize that if you treat Customer nice, then they will continue to buy your product. They just want to force you to buy their next product.

    This is why no OEMs will ever come close to Apple and its Customer loyalty.

    • Zachary Helfrich

      you are right people like to buy apple products because even though they are over priced the customer service is excellent and they really try to make you feel like they care about you being a customer.

      The problem is the sales model

      Apple has brick and mortar stores where they have dedicated employees trained to sell their products.
      Samsung HTC and Motorola etc. sell online or through Carrier stores where the salesman is just trained to sell the service not the real benefits of the device and that is where the customer loses out. Because they do not get a brand loyalty experience. I would love to see Google open Android experience stores in the US so that customers could see some of the benefits and features of the devices and be able to use them to their fullest.

      • tiger

        I agree completely. Everytime i went to my carrier store when i had Note 2 with a phone problem, the answer is the same…wipe your phone and re-install. No diagnostic. No talk things over. Wipe and be on your way. Utter useless. And when i had Samsung Epic, i called Samsung…and was on phone for a long time…never got solution…just “wait for future updates and see if it fixes your problem.” WTF?!

  • Poopik Shmill

    most of the people don’t care about their rom version. they don’t care if their phone is 3 years old.
    they don’t read this site or other similar

  • Moku

    This article definitely brings about good points. Sure, not all of them are good in the eyes of the consumer, but they’re necessary for the manufacturers to stay in business.

  • ziplock9000

    As of right now, yes, as the manufacturers said so when contracts where signed or devices bought by customers. Going ahead, smartphones are just like computers and they get updated.

    • johnomanolo

      “Going ahead, smartphones are just like computers and they get updated.”

      not entirely true. i.e. Mac OS X Yosemite support:
      iMac (Mid 2007 or later)
      MacBook (Early 2009 or newer)
      MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
      MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
      Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
      Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
      Xserve (Early 2009)

      Yeah it’s longer than smartphones but almost everything has an expire date :)

      • ziplock9000

        I’d guess that around 95% of desktop computers can be upgraded during their lifetime, which justifies what I said.
        The article does not ask if devices eventually expire, it asks if the OS upgraded at all.

        • johnomanolo

          My point is these computers still work but dont get newest OS X, just like smartphones and android or ios. support windows for smartphones are much shorter though because hardware is more coupled and making those updates more costly.

          It does not mean manufactures shouldn’t do all they can to support older devices. I think they realized it is worth the buck and it’s more important to consumers and might not come back if they are left with a 1 year old brick…

          • tiger

            The problem here is that security patches are not done on Android unless you have the latest OS. OEMs do not care once you have bought their phone.

            Apple went back and did security patch on 1st & 2nd gen Apple stuff last year even way after their update cycle. You do not see that with Android. OEMs move on and don’t give a crap about their old phones.

            Apple updates may slow down 3 yr old phones, but at least you get the security.

  • Anothermuse

    Outside of us geeks on tech sites, the average user doesn’t care about updates. Apple fans rave about their phones always getting the newest OS, but they forget to mention that it is only for about 3 years. And the update for that third year has typically pushed that phone a little too hard.

    I got a Moto this year specifically because of their update commitments. But the fact is, for a generations we bought computers that did not include free upgrades to the OS, and we all survived fine. Even without updates our phones are generally pretty good.

    • tiger

      Apple updates may slow down 3 yr old phones, but at least you get the security patches and whatnot. But then again, Apple still considers older phones in their updates…for example, the upcoming iOS 8.1.1 will optimize iPhone 4s (and A5-equipped devices) performance.

      You just don’t see that with Android. Android OEMs think that by stopping updates, you will buy their new phones. Maybe it works.

      Apple gives you more reason to be loyal to them thru superior customer service and updates. Loyal customers will continue to buy Apple products because of how they are treated. Thus, Apple is able to maintain several lines of products thru loyalty.

      The problem here is that Android OEMs don’t make much else besides cell phones. Samsung, LG, and Sony may make other stuff, but none of them really profitable like phones. No one who buys Sony phone will want to buy all Sony products bc they receive good service on their phone.

      All the Android OEMs only care about short term goals. I think that this is what separates Apple from Android OEMs.

      • Steve Butler

        The real difference comes down to ecosystem. By this I mean, when you use an iPhone you buy apps and music and various other things from apple services so apple continue to update older hardware as long as they can because they’re still making money off you.

        With android OEMs this isn’t true. For the most part once you’ve purchased the handset their ability to profit from you is done, unless you purchase things from some of the manufacturers very limited app store solutions, which I know I’ve never purchased anything from Samsung’s app world or Sony’s xperia store, they just don’t have the same incentive to keep your device going. The only way they’ll make more money from you is to sell you another handset.

        That being said I would like to see google get behind their nexus line more and treat their nexus customers as apple treat their customers. They’re the ones that keep making money from you through the play store and through selling your data, in this way the nexus line should be differentiated from the rest of android and all nexus devices should be supported for as long as possible.

        If google adopted this model and made a big deal about it through marketing, say calling it the benefits of a nexus I’m sure they would see largely increased sales.

        • tiger

          Agree completely. And this is why Samsung wants out of Android world and go to Tizen. Tizen is just like iOS…Samsung controls everything and reaps benefits even after selling the handset.

          The problem here is that Android consumers suffer and are forced into new phones every two years, often sooner. They also leave themselves exposed security-wise if they don’t. That is a huge problem.

          I started out Android…went back to Android with my Note 2, but got frustrated at slow update cycles (esp for Note series) and lack of support. Aftersale support is non-existent.

          I even had Nexus 7 (2012) since i wanted pure Android experience and support…had major hardware issues…had to send back to ASUS (not Google since i bought it at Walmart) twice…on the third time, it got loss in mail by Fedex. I sucked up the loss bc it was not enough to fight over it.

          From those two experiences, i went out and got myself an iPad Air and iPhone 5s. Done with Android until they get their act together! Any issue…go to Apple Store for full diagnostic or even a quick replacement if needed! Easy. No need to send thru mail. No need to wait.

          • Andrew T Roach

            After years of Android phones, the 5S has given me 100% stability, comfortable use and great battery life. Applecare+ means walk in with an issue: Walk out with a new device. No mail. No hassle.

            I have an iPad Mini w/Retina as well, but I do enjoy tinkering with Android custom roms, and kernels.

            Privacy is the concern for me. Android was created by Google, and using Google services drains the battery in the background while they log your location, usage and search results. I’ve taken devices, and run them pure AOSP, with no Google Apps or services and I get an hour more on-screen time. Here maps and Bing search easily replaces all the functionality of Google Apps.

  • Donavan Stanley

    And yet oddly enough iOS devices get updates for years.

  • David Košič

    Well technically they don’t need release any updates unless they are there to fix security issues or major bugs. They give us new android versions to keep some people loyal to their brand.

    • tiger

      No, they do not. Did you know that unless you have 4.4.4, you are wide open to the latest OpenSSL flaw?

      • David Košič

        HTC fixed that problem with their sense skin so they didn’t need to update their devices from 4.4.2 to 4.4.4. So no you don’t have to have the latest version of android to fix some issues stock android has.

        • tiger

          OpenSSL CVE-2014-0224?

          • David Košič

            As much as I know yes. Things like aren’t that strange when it comes to larger OEMs. You can fix an android bug/security issue if you know how to code without waiting for Google

        • Chris

          I have 4.4.4 on my one m8 and it came from htc

      • datawrecker

        Not exactly. Devices running 4.1.2. or higher are probably not vulnerable and advised to take precautions. You can install Heartbleed scanners to look see if you are vulnerable. Doesn’t mean you are wide open. Its like saying all iOS devices are vulnerable to the Masque flaw.

        • tiger

          Dude, educate yourself before posting…ARMv8 is only for iOS…LOL STFU. You don’t know jack.

          OpenSSL CVE-2014-0224

          • Andrew T Roach


            Actually you’re wrong.

            ARMv8 are the instructions ARM provides for all 64bit ARM based designs. Apple’s A-series is 64bit and use ARMv8 instructions. The Tegra K1 and the Exynos inside the Note 4 also use ARMv8. Intel’s Atom is 64bit, but doesn’t use ARMv8 because it’s and Intel design. Get it.

            YOU should educate yourself before posting. If you don’t understand fully, you should steer clear of advanced concepts.

          • tiger

            Yes, i know that ARMv8 is NOT iOS exclusive. READ my sarcasm!!!!!!!! In datawrecker previous post, he thought that ARMv8 was an Apple design. LOL.

            Dude, Andrew, you need to read my other posts before coming to the conclusion that i do not know my stuff.

            Note 4 Exynos is only on international version…USA uses S805.

        • Andrew T Roach

          Please don’t install Heartbleed scanners. Most of these apps are fake and just steal your data when you permit them to access your entire device.

          You should wipe your device.

  • Marty

    All I know is, when updates for Nexii are ready, Google should release them to all owners at the same time rather than roll them out over a couple months.

    I chose to manually update my Nexus 7 last night rather than wait for Google to get around to me. And it’s pretty sad Google can’t be decent with updates. People buy into Nexii for a number of reasons, reliable updates being one.

  • Mike – Construction Contractor

    We do not “deserve” anything other than the stats as printed on the box. Should manufacturers release more updates – yes. Should they be free or paid… depends on how fast they are released. I want the latest update and free is good but to think I “deserve” it, that is a bit of a stretch.

    • tiger

      So, you are perfectly fine with a device with outdated software and security issues in less than 6 months of ownership…on a device that you paid $600+ (whether thru 2 yr contract or outright)??

      Sorry, i don’t buy that logic.

      • Chris

        Name a phone that does that? Most phones now get solid updates.

        • tiger

          Sony Z3 is getting Lollipop in “early 2015.” Note 4 is getting it probably early 2015 also…it usually lags behind S series. S5 is getting it next month. Note 4 probably Jan or Feb 2015. Note 3 much later. etc.

        • Andrew T Roach

          Most phones now? Within the last 6 months maybe. Short memory. Tell Galaxy S3 or S4 Owners about “solid updates”.

  • Zachary Helfrich

    in the US they it is still running on a predominantly 2 year cycle we get subsidized phones every 2 years so i would expect a manufacturer to at least support a phone for that long. Because specs are a key factor and they don’t want a bad reputation for lag by giving you the latest and greatest but there is no oomph you will be mad and tell everyone how slow and bad your phone is. If the manufacturers would supply at the very least a 2 year cycle i think that would suffice for now. Because even at the phone today the specs are starting to plateau Just like regulars PCs did.

    • tiger

      Here’s the problem. For example, HTC promises 2 year support, right? Is it really 2 yrs? HTC software usually is 2-4 months behind official Google release. So, let us say that in 2 yrs, Google releases 4 major updates. HTC may update your phone twice in that 2 yrs and call it a day. Is it really 2 yr support? No. Same goes for Samsung which lags even more. Worst still is LG.

      Motorola is really the only one that comes quickly with updates. But Moto phones leaves lots to be desired in some features, like camera.

      Android model simply does not benefit the customer, unless you like to upgrade your phone every 6-12 months. Unlike PCs, Android software has to go thru OEMs and then thru carriers before reaching your phone!

      Apple heavy handedness control over carriers and popularity give Apple powers over carriers that Google (even Nexus) and Android OEMs do not have.

  • of course we are in need of this, as things and time changes continuously

  • Matt

    My iPad2 is still receiving IOS updates. Apple is smart enough to put out limited pieces of hardware, and only allow that hardware to use their OS, making the update debacle much simpler. That’s a huge win for Apple, and unexpextedly high value for the consumer.

    Android is more like Windows, a generic operating system for multiple hardware platforms. When the driver updates end, so do the available operating system updates. The manufacturers are to blame, plain and simple.

    I personally prefer Android to IOS, but you have to admit, from an update perspective, Apple products are worth the price.

    • tiger

      But, wait, Android phones are different from PCs. Android OEMs (and to lesser extent Google) are b!tches to carriers. So, Google releases update…it then goes thru OEMs and their skins…then has to go thru carrier evaluation…then it goes to your phone. PC world has no carrier to slow you down.

      • Andrew T Roach

        Updates also get tinkered with while they go through carrier evaluation, often causing bugs in the software while they shoehorn in their own apps and background analytics.

  • nameofthewind

    Sony is the worst on this one, first they promised ‘future version 4.4’ on their site for xperia SP. But then here comes the delay. Then they changed it to ‘4.4 under investigation’. Then eventually made 4.3 its “final version”. In the first place the manufacturers should not make users expect for something they cannot deliver!

    On the other hand open source community, is much better at giving latest software than those multimillion companies, they should be ashamed.

  • Exhack2

    It’s natural that a smartphone owner should want software updates. And it’s bitterly disappointing when they don’t arrive. My first phone was an HTC Desire HD. I got one update, then HTC said they wouldn’t issue any more. That phone was expensive and I felt very let down. So when it came to replacing it I chose a Nexus 5. I can’t imagine buying another brand when the time comes to replace that.

    • Chris

      Htc has changed though. I’ve gotten a handful of updates on my HTC one m8

    • tiger

      The problem with buying a Nexus phone is that there are ALWAYS compromises made in hardware! I hate that about Nexus. With N5, it is with camera and audio quality (both headphones and without).

  • BartonFink

    Myself, I have accepted the reality that it is my responsibility to buy a flagship phone every 2 years. Indeed, 2 years is almost too much! If I could, I would buy a new flagship phone every single year.

  • Karly Johnston

    We are getting to the point in hardware where mid range and up can run these lighter updates for half a decade if supported.

  • Tony Bishop

    I am not a fan of apple, but at least they continue to support their devices for longer than android do.

    • More like butcher them. The iPhone4 with ios7 practically died every time you looked at it.

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  • Rick McCoy

    you only can only abuse people so much…

    i only need buy a book once. why i need pay again?

    now i see why china blocks Google, someone has too!!!!!