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Android 7.0 and the Snapdragon 800 — a conundrum

Many of us are sad that the Nexus 5 isn't getting any official update to Android 7.0. Especially when we watched and saw Google continue to build device trees in the code for Hammerhead — that means someone, somewhere, was working on it. And when Sony announced which phones were going to receive an update to Android 7.0, many noticed that the Xperia Z3 wasn't on the list. While the idea that phones from 2014 not getting updated late in 2016 isn't particularly surprising, the fact that the Z3 was part of Sony's Android Concept Initiative — a fancy name for an Android 7.0 Beta program — but didn't make the cut and that Google was working on Nougat for the Nexus 5 then just suddenly stopped was.

The situation has the internet asking the obvious question — why? The answer is that the Z3 and Nexus 5 actually can't officially run Android 7.0, even though could as a beta. Read on. It will all make sense.

Android platform updates aren't as important to consumers as we make them out to be. Here at Android Central we get excited about anything new and shiny, we tell you as soon as we can (often after you already know because leaks happen) and then we all get excited together. The reality is that Google Play Services and monthly patches will let you do everything you do on your phone for a long time, and by the time a must-have app comes out that requires the next version of Android you'll probably have a new phone or the update.

We can still want it, but this is just how things go until someone Google steps forward and changes it. Then you'll hear talk about Google's iron fist and EU complaints and God knows what else. The status quo sucks, but it still is the status quo.

Android 7.0 has no official support for the Snapdragon 800.

For the Android 7.0 update, in particular, we need to look no further than the requirements and the hardware of the Xperia Z3 or Nexus 5 (and plenty of other phones) for a likely answer about why certain phones aren't able to be updated. We can't confirm this using official statements or documents or a fancy slide, but we're sure enough to talk about it and why it worked out the way it did.

Android 7.0 in AOSP has removed support for the MSM8974 chipset. The Snapdragon 800 SoC uses this chip along with the Adreno 330 GPU. This means phones (and tablets — hello, Nexus 7) using the Snapdragon 800 are not supported. But this doesn't explain why the Z3 was able to run the beta, and run it well. For that, Google Play compatibility comes into the picture.

Nobody from any of the companies involved is talking about these issues, and requests for an official statement haven't been returned, but the internet has some clues about it all. Here we see Ola Olsson, of Sony Mobile Communications, talk a bit about it in a comment on Google+.

Yeah, this is sad but we don't want to play the blame game which means that we can't say more about the technical limitations. Even if we really wanted to give you N on the z3(c), we wouldn't [have] been able to do it. Not if we wanted to pass the Google CTS.

You'll find similar responses elsewhere, and this is Sony not throwing anyone under the bus and handling things in a professional, corporate way. The important thing there is the mention of Google CTS.

Google CTS is the Compatibility Testing Suite used to make sure a device can be certified to use Google Play. Android is a free application platform that anyone can take and use in any way it likes, but Google Play is not. It's a true for-profit commercial venture and Google has full and complete control over everything associated with it.

The actual rules and requirements needed for Android 7.0 CTS compliance are a bit of a mystery — either partners can't talk about it or don't want to talk about it — but we know the gist of it. Your product has to be able to run any app targeted for your platform version. That means if you're using Android 7.0, you need to support any app designed for Android Nougat. You can check out the Android 6.0.1 CTS documentation if you're curious. The Android 7.0 CTS documentation should live in the same place once it's been updated.

Snapdragon 800

During the beta testing for Android N — just after the release of version four — developers were told that Android N APIs were finalized and they could start targeting apps for them in Google Play. One of the things Android N does for developers is let them use the Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.1 APIs with both the SDK and the NDK. For that, though, you need hardware support. The Snapdragon 800 does not offer hardware support for either, and apps not designed to fall back to an older version of OpenGL would not run.

Now, as mentioned, we don't have access to the latest Android CTS documents. For Android 6.0.1, it said that hardware had to support OpenGL ES 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 or 3.1. I've been told that was amended to say "support OpenGL ES 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and either 3.1 or Vulkan," but Google has said nothing officially. But this certainly explains why support for the Snapdragon 800 was removed and phones like the Nexus 5 and the Z3 aren't going to see an official update, and I'm confident that this is the reason.

Android is open, but Google Play is not; there are rules involved.

This is a long, convoluted and confusing subject — much like Android updates in general. In the end, we know two things: the Sony Xperia Z3 will not be updated to Android 7.0 because it would not pass the CTS for technical reasons, and the Snapdragon 800 SoC does not offer OpenGL ES 3.1 support. The fact that no phone using the Snapdragon 800 or 801 (the 801 also uses the Adreno 330 GPU) has been announced as getting an update is a bit telling, too.

Let's be honest — this sucks. As enthusiasts, we want to get an update even if it doesn't change anything. The practical view that platform updates aren't as important as we make them out to be is fine, and I do think it's true, but that doesn't satisfy the inner geek. But it's also inevitable. Android has to advance and support new (and better) technologies like Vulkan. When these require hardware support, there has to be a cutoff. Maybe this time, the cutoff could have been avoided — the General Mobile 4G, an Android One device that uses the Snapdragon 410 and is in every way weaker on the hardware front than any phone running the Snapdragon 800 — already has Android Nougat and this throws a huge wrench into even the most plausible theory.

Is Google breaking its own rules here in regard to the CTS? Or is everything we have heard and think we know all bullshit and it really is some sinister plot to make us angry? (I'm fairly certain Google is breaking its own rules because it can, but I'm just as certain that everything is bullshit, so I still have no idea.)

The bottom line is that if you have a phone like the Xperia Z3, or the Nexus 5 or the Galaxy S5 and really want Android 7.0 Nougat, you'll probably have to get it from the fine group building custom software for the phones on XDA.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

212 Comments
  • Interesting, the likes of OnePlus X shouldn't dare dream then. But if the Nougat ROM can be ported to the original Nexus 5 through developers on XDA, why can't they really support it? RIP Z3 the odds were against you all the way through.
  • The XDA devs/CyanogenMod/Others can reverse the changes that removed support and build a ROM that works fairly well from scratch. Google (or Sony, or OnePlus) won't do that. To me, the real question is how the Android One phone is getting something that the Nexus 5 (or Z3, or OPx, or M8 or etc. etc. ) isn't, even though they would be better at doing it.
  • But the Z3 was on the developer's program for months now and it was working fairly well
  • It never got a Sony version of beta 4 or beta 5. Those builds removed support for the chipset. I've heard people fault Sony for not saying exactly what was going on, but I honestly think the folks running the Sony Android Concept program were doing what they could do to make the z3 compliant versus saying it was unsupported and giving up. Those guys seem like real enthusiasts and people who want to give you what you are asking for.
  • Jerry is it true the V10 might get Android an very very soon? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I haven't heard anything credible about that. My guess? LG will pump out a basic update for one unlocked model and leave it at that for a few months. It's how they did Marshmallow on the V10. The guys at LG are proud of the V10 and the unique experience it offers for creating media. Awesome camera, microphone, audio hardware and screen all in one package. They do not want to mess things up for the people who bought it. It's not their mainstream device, and it gets treated differently that the G4 did. Samsung introduced the Note series the same way. A unique device that had special attention paid to specific features, even if that meant it lagged behind on the platform version. People loved it, and it worked. LG knows how to look at things Samsung does, try to improve them and then do it themselves.
  • It never got DP5, it was stuck on DP4. http://www.xda-developers.com/xda-external-link/sony-pushes-android-n-de...
  • I was close. :P Same reasoning — Google started stripping support out around that time.
  • DP4 on the Z3 had lots of reboots and WiFi issues. DP3 was the most stable version.
  • Great article Jerry. This is what's interesting with the mobile Android Market.. I'm coming from Windows desktop (and a minimal mobile environment) where the life cycle of OS are what appears to be roughly 4 times longer than the Android mobile life cycle... Wow. Google appears to deprecate things (mobile OS backward compatibility) rather fast. This may be a 'Windows' or Microsoft shinning moment compared to Google. But I really don't know. I've got a feeling that the mobile environment in general doesnt have a long life cycle.??? Again, thanks for the article.
  • It isn't google but OEMs fault. They are the ones responsible for that. Even though new versions of android come quite often, their requirements don't change that often.
  • How can you blame OEMS when historically nexus devices didn't get that much more support than them?
  • Historically, smartphone have been depreciated quickly compared to MS Windows because of two reasons. One, the Android OS was relatively new... scratch that, it was just out of beta from Google and OEMs were bringing it right back into beta by adding their own software to it. No one had really worked with Android, so there was a lot of bad code. MS Windows has been maturing for decades. Even iOS was around before the iPhone, maturing for years in the iPod. Two, smartphone hardware was weak. 128 mb ram and single core 500 MHz processors could never keep up with anything short of bare bones basic software like texts, talk, and low quality video. Again, Intel Core processors are decades ahead of even today's best mobile processors. OEMs, developers, and manufacturers have years of experience building long lasting Windows PCs, with Android they are catching up fast (hence depreciation) but still have a ways to go.
  • Very well put. You hit the nail on the head.
  • This. My iPhone 4 got iOS updates for years even though some features such as screen mirroring were missing. I moved to Nexus 5 thinking it would get a similar level of support from Google. I don't care if it doesn't support VR goggles or the latest games but would have liked the update just for the dual window support.
  • Apple also makes the chips hence they have all the drivers and everything. This is what happens when Qualcomm does not want to support an older chip any longer.
  • For years apple didn't "make the chips" Quotes because they used standard ARM IP for the cores. The so called off the shelf ARM core. For the GPU they are using PowerVR designs. Apple just isn't purchasing their IP and writing all the code and doing all the he bring up and support on their own. They aren't creating newer lower level APIs like metal for the hardware on their own. This difference is, apple cares and spends the money, time and engineering to make it happen. Google doesn't.
  • Planned obsolescence
  • Or, you know, just obsolescence.
  • This is answered in the article. If a phone doesn't have all the requisites for running the latest version of Android, it won't get to use Google services.
  • What about snapdragon 801? Posted via the Android Central App
  • It won't run 7.0 either
  • If the CTS requirements really say what I was told they say (I am positive they do, at least for now) the Snapdragon 801 does not meet the requirements to use Google Play. I'm not sure if the MSM8973v3 has direct AOSP support or if it was removed. Will have to look and see.
  • This is really odd that they would drop support for what were by far the most popular processors of their period so soon. I would not expect this until next year or the year after. Could it be that Qualcomm is playing shenanigans and being lazy?
  • It's not odd, the TI OMAP processor was dropped in Android 5.0 which left the Galaxy Nexus out of being upgraded.
  • But ti had also completely stopped making processors at that point. It was expected that support would be killed quickly. Qualcomm is massive by comparison and are not going anywhere anytime soon. Those are flagship phones with the flagship chipsets or their day that are being killed off quickly.
  • I know the internet said Ti quit making OMAP SoCs, (we probably said it, too) but that's 100% incorrect. You can buy OMAP 7x, 8x, 9x, 10x and L series chips today. They stopped custom fabbing for smartphone and tablet makers. I just bought a Gumstix Poblano with a TiAM4378 on board, so their pure ARM microprocessors are still in production, too.
  • Hmm didn't know that
  • Which is Google BS, since same OMAP SOC was shipped on Google Glass with L way later then the supposedly lack of support was announced.
  • So next year we'll be reading the same article about the Nexus 6 and the 805 I presume? Even though it has a 2.7 Ghz processor and 3 GB ram which should be a device that could be supported for 4 years. Especially with Android being minimized to run buttery smooth on low end devices as well as top tier, their words.
  • Basically. We will have to go back to rooting in order to keep up. Or buy a new phone, but I am not sure if anyone will make another phone with the N6's dimensions. So many people bitched about the size. I really like it and I am not sure that I want to go down to a 5.5" phone after this.
  • They'll probably claim that the processor will need to be 64-bit.
  • It was mentioned in the article.
  • Ok. I still have a Nexus 5 in the box. Collecting dust. Will people stop whining about it not getting support? And guess what next year Android 8.0 won't support the Nexus 6. Deal with it.
  • It is real strange how people expect these companies to keep their phones updated into infinity.
  • How is it strange when we have one company or 1.5 that does just that? I don't think I need to name them. I think caring about updates is more of a tech nerd thing and/or a thing for people who come/came from the other platforms where their phones got updates for a good while. I just want Nougat for what it brings pretty much, emojis included. If I get a phone that gets 8.0, cool. If not, there's always the next. lol.
  • I mean, we do have a company that updates their phones seemingly into infinity, but I think it is a valid question to ask if they should given how the updates sometimes make the phones unusable.
  • Bingo. Yeah I've watched that failure first hand. It's not pretty, and the customers reaction was to blame me, lol.
  • This must be how you count years --> 1, 2, 3, infinity
  • Lol. It's fair though. A certain phone out there has 4(!) updates, and will be out of them soon. That's 4 years of updates though. whoa.
  • No, I just have reasonable expectations for how long a phone will be updated. Not hard to understand really, or shouldn't be.
  • But the phone still works as well or better than when you bought it.
  • It's really strange how companies arbitrarily decide to only support something with software updates for less than two years in most cases.
  • 2 years isn't infinity, 2.5+ sure I guess Posted via Android Central App
  • How strange when smartphones are almost as powerful as PC's and people are told their devices won't make the cut for an OS upgrade when more than likely it can. Especially when Google is minimizing Android to run smooth and fast and low end devices. MS offered me free a WIN 10 upgrade on my 2010 HP pc with win 7, for example.
  • Windows 10 runs flawless on my atom tablet with 2GB of ram! Yet my nexus 5 can't run a incremental OS! Either way gave the nexus to my brothers wife and bought a S7, in the end the diference between updates wont be that big, they just come later.
  • It's because iPhone 5, which was released in 2012, is still getting iOS 10 update 4 years later.
  • I'm not sure people are whining as much as they're frustrated that a device that's capable of running N is going to be prevented from doing so. I actually still use my Nexus 5 daily as a secondary phone.
  • I'm curious. Why would one use more than one phone (other than a company issued phone)?
  • I use two phones because there are features that some might have that others don't. for example, my HTC 10 is my daily driver and the audio quality and SD card support is something my Nexus 6P doesn't have. I listen to podcasts and music at work and my HTC 10 is better for that for me. My Nexus 6P is cool cause it will always(mostly) be updated first and I can see what new with Android plus I enjoy the bigger screen and speakers for media watching at home when I'm relaxing. ATM..I lent my 6P to my friend for the past few months so I haven't kept up with the 7.0 release but I can't wait to use it when I get it back.
  • Lets say you have a Note 5 that you use Monday thru Friday . The big screen makes work-life easier. On Saturday, you are golfing. A N5 will fit right in your pocket. The Note 5? Not so much. :-)
  • Leave goddamn work phone shut off somewhere on the weekends. (Pray it won't turn on come Monday morning) Go outside and play golf. I like the way you think.
  • But that is just the way it is, just because a phone CAN run an update doesn't mean it will be updated. Welcome to Android. This is not new and it happens all the time, getting frustrated about it is pointless, as is whining. If someone cares that much about the update they will root and rom, it is dead simple to do on Nexus phones.
  • I get what you're saying, my point is simply that the "salt in the wound here" is that they were building device trees in the code for the N5 and even released the beta for the Sony. People were clearly aware that the intentions were seemingly to release Nougat for these devices (which also implies their capability). That is the frustration. Had none of that happened, there'd be a lot less be surprised or saying anything.
  • Me too. I'll be saying the same thing next year in regards to my Nexus 6.
  • Let's talk about it not collecting dust in my house...
  • This!! a thousand times.
  • You are correct Jerry, it's nothing short of BS.
  • That isn't what he said. He said it sucks, but is inevitable. That is not BS, that is just the way of things.
  • "'... Im just as certain that everything is bullshit, so I still have no idea.)"
  • Reading comprehension is a dying art.
  • N doesn't seem to add much value over M. So I couldn't care less about it. The N5 still runs like a champ. As long as it gets security updates I'm content.
  • Lol way to make yourself feel better, keep it up
  • I'm serious. It's not that critical for me to have it. It not that much of an update. Should've been a 6.1,not 7.
  • How long till they stop doing security patches on devices they stop updating is what I'm thinking is important.
  • Six weeks. Nexus devices get three years of security updates and the Nexus 5 was released in October 2013, so it gets security updates for about six more weeks.
  • Let's hope that rule changes. Or let's really hope the 2016 nexus are worth while this time around
  • Runs fine on the 805. You can send the official build to the N6 whenever you get a chance, Google.
  • +1
  • My guess is for Moto even though both the Moto Maxx (Droid Turbo in the US) and the Nexus 6 have the same hardware, the Nexus gets the support and the Maxx doesn't. They just want people to move on up and buy new hardware. Simple.
  • I was curious about the application that is in the image, so a quick Google Image search helped me determine it's an application called CPU-Z in case anyone else is interested. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cpuid.cpu_z)
  • In other words... The cutoff with phones using the SD800/801 has been artificially created so Google and other OEMs can sell new phones.
  • No. The cutoff was needed so Android applications can be better and so that DayDream can be a real thing. If you don't find a way to force people building phones to put better hardware inside them, the messy situation we have now where some phones are good doing XXX but others suck WHY GOOGLE U FIXIT? will continue forever. If we want to question it — are we sure the 800 can't use today's graphics APIs? Did anyone actually try it? Does anyone care, not about phones 2-3 years old not being updated, but phones are being sold in 2016 that won't be updated because these things were not done? I can't get those answers. None of us can. But we still need to ask so these companies (Google included) know that we are paying attention.
  • Much of the internet is laying this on Qualcomm, stating that they won't create or provide updated drivers that support the Open GL standards. But you know what they say about the internet.
  • Google doesn't need the hardware to support the newer standards but to just allow backwards compatibility with Android 7.0 minus some features.
  • +1. Just like Apple have been doing for years.
  • If it's minus features than what's the point then? Posted via Android Central App
  • I think he should have said some of the features.
  • Ummmm... To have access to other the new features of the OS.
  • Yes I agree... In the desktop environment, if you didn't have the latest graphics card you couldn't play the latest games... But you had the stability / security fixes that helped you to stay current with threats etc. with that next upgrade of the OS. So you won some, lost some. Do you think the phones will EVER be compartmentalized like the personal pc?
  • But what about the 99% of people who don't care about DayDream. I mean, does any serious person actually think that a significant number of people will ever willingly strap phones to their faces? I'm as tech savvy as anyone, and a gamer, and I never want to strap a phone to my face.
  • You can split a platform. Odd version numbers for one "class" of a phone, even number builds for another. That's certainly a viable solution, and I'll be honest — from rumors I've heard (nothing worth writing about yet) with Android O it almost has to happen. But this isn't a great solution. It will cause confusion and force app developers to either maintain two versions of apps or target the lowest class of phones. Then again, the whole mobile landscape — yes, Apple included — is such a nightmare that nothing would surprise me.
  • Nobody wants to support two different versions. Not happening. I think Microsoft is making the right move... To write once, run on all environments. Google will have to do the same.
  • I "strap a phone" to my face almost daily and I love it. I'll keep doing it until I can afford an HTC Vive (and then I'll still look like I have a phone strapped to my face). Everyone that I've let try my Gear VR has immediately started shopping for one of their own. Companies will ignore VR at their own peril.
  • It would seems that all apps exist on the Play Store, regardless of the version of Android the client is running. I've seen plenty of apps that stated my BLU device is not compatible with that app, where my N5 could download it just fine - same version of Android. So, to enforce this, there's likely an attribute on my BLU (probably in build.prop) that didn't pass a check on the Play Store keeping me from being able to download that app. I don't see why "applications can be better" if Google denies an entire OS update to a device, just because that device wouldn't meet the hardware requirements for /some/ applications/uses. Heck, instead of apps that need Vulkan support (or whatever) to check Android version, add an attribute "supportsVulkan" that the Play Store would check against for compatibility with an app.
    I don't think the N5 (or S800/801 devices in general) is an example of Google "find[ing] a way to force people building phones to put better hardware inside them;" it's plenty good hardware, it's just reaching its 3rd birthday. in regards to Google's decision to not update the N5, it's that they found it worth abandoning rather than continue supporting, even though it can handle Nougat (and it'll live on in XDA - heck, I saw the N4 got an AOSP release of N today). Hey, its a free country, and Google can decide to nix a device if they please. And, I'm allowed to not like that decision.
    But you raise an interesting question about new devices that don't make the cut. Just out of curiosity, are there any new devices that don't make the cut? None come to mind, but I don't know allthethings.jpg. They mention the SD410 does make the cut, which is over a year old, and a pretty budget friendly chipset.
  • We need to move away from declaring certain features or hardware be present to support certain apps. That's the real story of Android fragmentation — brand new phones are sold that can't use brand new apps, while last year's high-end phones are installing them. That's just not a good way to move your app platform forward, and Google wants to move Google play forward. Forcing a higher minimum requirement for a new version of the operating system is a shit solution, but it happens. Google could work around the issue by building one giant image that can install on all Nexus phones, provide platform support for features that exist on each, deny it for those models without the needed hardware, then slap the words Android 7.0 on it all. This is what Microsoft and Apple do, and it keeps customers happier. Very few complain that XXX feature of the new OS doesn;t work on last year's model (Siri is a great example, or split screen) because they still feel as if they are supported well. Of course, this leaves OEM's out of the picture. And remember — this is only for phones that want to use Google Play. Android 7 should be usable on the Nexus One or the original Motorola Droid if someone wants to take the time to build a working kernel and make some changes to the source. Google doesn't seem to care about anything that isn't Google Play ready. And they shouldn't. Plenty of phones using the 800/801 are still being sold as brand new by ASUS, Samsung, HTC, ZTE, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, and almost everyone else. Some are older models (Galaxy S4 can still be bought as brand new from Samsung for use on Straight Talk) others are phones we don;t care about because we don't see them in the west. Maybe these phones aren't "deserving" (I hate that term) of a platform version update, maybe they are. But they aren't going to get them, and chances are no maintenance updates will happen for them either. Don't get me started on the 410 and the Android One phone. I have no idea how well it runs Android 7, and I don't have access to one. But I can fooking promise you that the Z3 or Nexus 5 or HTC M8 or OnePlus X or any other phone using the 800 chipset runs it better. I have no idea how it can be compliant with CTS if the 800 isn't, and nobody is ever going to tell me. That is total and complete bullshit.
  • That's interesting that you can still buy a new Galaxy S4. I'm one of those still driving a 3+ year old GS4 (i337) on 5.0.1. I don't trade phones yearly, or even every other year. I haven't had a security update since November 1, 2015. Where do phones used by MVNOs get their security updates (like the above mentioned GS4 on StraightTalk)? I am, however, currently in the market to replace my old GS4 and am patiently waiting on the Nexus Marlin to appear. I'm tired of Android fragmentation. No current Android, including the Note7 excite me (not a fan of the edge display). I hope the Nexus Marlin brings a killer game to the table. Else I may consider the iPhone7+ (Gasp. I never thought I'd consider that option). But my wife's 3+ year old iPhone 5 still gets updates while my 3+ year old GS4 is dead to the update world.
  • You are not making any sense... Google allowing phones that are just three years old to run Android 7.0 isn't stopping DayDream or OEMs from putting out better phones which they do with each new phone. You must know only a minority of apps actually need or benefit from Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.1 support... Apple provides new OS updates (minus some features) much longer with no problems. Personally, I don't care as my Nexus 5 is just a secondary phone but I do use it which will live on with custom ROMs but probably not ones Android based.
  • So you're saying that it's fine for a phone to not be able to support new features as long as it has the words Android 7 in the settings. Some people and some companies feel that way. Others do not. Google falls into the latter. I have no voice about which way is better. And I don't think either way is right or wrong. I just know how it is, and that some don't like it.
  • I think this happens already Jerry. My Moto E is running lollipop, but doesn't support screen casting or MHL like other phones also running lollipop.
  • But that's motorola taking that out, not Google. Posted via Android Central App
  • Cast support and MHL were never required. Chances are the hardware in the E would support them if Moto wanted to spend the money to use them, but they didn't have to. I think today's Google might have made them required features, though. Things have changed and they seem more determined to do whatever is needed to cut back on the whole "fragmentation" issue. Both the real fragmentation and the perceived fragmentation.
  • What?
  • Don't act so oblivious.
  • Could be or they may be trying to push Vulkan.
  • I'll probably regret saying this, but I'm thinking Vulkan will be a requirement for DayDream and OpenGL ES 3.2 for the entire UI in Android O. I hope I am wrong.
  • The Nexus 9 tablet got N, but it does not support Vulkan.
  • It supports OpenGL ES 3.1 (and 3.2 I think) which meets the requirements now. I think things are going to change for the next version (and compound this problem even further)
  • I think a lot of people in the comment section are missing the bigger picture here. I think it's easy to point fingers at Google or other OEMs. But let's not forget that it's up to Qualcomm to provide updated graphics drivers for these older chipsets for them to be able to run Vulcan and OpenGL ES 3.1 That's a time and money investment that Qualcomm probably doesn't see a big return on...
  • Exactly, the ROI is going to be extremely low as people upgrade to newer devices running the 808, 810 or 820 processors. Remember the TI OMAP processor, support for that was dropped in Android 5.0 simply because the ROI for TI to create drivers would be non existent.
  • If the phone that people currently have is working fine, why would they be forced to buy a new device?
  • No one is FORCED to upgrade to a new phone, is Google holding a gun to your head and telling you that you MUST upgrade?
  • Well ending security updates for hardware (aka Nexus 5) is three years old which will happen in what? Six months maybe? Does kinda force people to move on to a newer phone than. Flashing a custom ROM is not for must people...
  • Seeing the Nexus 10 get still security updates that apply to it makes me think it will be a bit longer than six months. But carry on.
  • Security updates are more important than major OS releases now anyway. Posted via Android Central App
  • Great article Jerry, very informative... Thanks for the information
  • Will a oneplus One running Cyanogen OS get the update to Nougat? Posted via the Android Central App
  • If CyanogenOS has to comply to Google CTS to have access to the Play Store then no. If they don't include Google Play out of the box, and allow you to sideload it manually then I don't see why you couldn't. You might face problems with Vulkan/OpenGL 3.1-only games later on though.
  • In the end, being a Nexus, the Nexus 5 will get Nougat from XDA/CyanogenMod/Other. My Nexus 4 is running CM13 and I'd be gob-smacked if Nougat didn't get ported for it. I don't have a Nexus 5 personally but the phone is legendary and will get Nougat by-hook-or-by-crook. Just a question of time really.
  • Absolutely, hell even the Galaxy Nexus is getting CM13 builds.
  • And I'm flashing the latest GNex CM13 builds as I type this on my two Galaxy Nexus. My HP TouchPad is running Marshmallow 6.0.1 as well and I might see Nougat for that maybe. The Dev/ROM community is amazing and full props to them. So Nexus 5 doesn't get "official" Android 7? So what.
  • Nexus 5 will get a Nougat build through Cyanogenmod - I can absolutely guarantee that.
  • Good read. Thanks!
  • What about the snapdragon 617
  • The 617 has an Adreno 405 and should be fully supported.
  • So my new honor 5x has a chance at nougat and emui5 ??? Maybe Posted via the honor 5x or my Amazon 5th gen with Google services sidloaded
  • N bn
  • It's odd to me that this continues to be a thing. It's never been a thing with the windows, Macintosh, and various *nix OSes. I know that mobile OSes are locked down like a Swiss vault, so maybe that affects it, but it's odd to me that I can just install windows on any piece of crap I have lying around and it'll work pretty well (yes there are minimum hardware specs but they're still pretty low)
  • I came to post a similar comment, I really like android but this has always been the Achilles heel. I mean, you can install Windows 10 on a 10 year old Pentium 'freakin' D PC (runs crappy, but hey)
  • I think the biggest reason is that windows could do it like mobile phones (and windows mobile does like Android) but don't is that they never did for businesses, and if they tried to there would be a huge backlash (they tried to have Skylake processors only work on Windows 10... That decision didn't last long). Meanwhile, apple and Google started their new paradigm, so there's nothing to point to and say "but they did it differently"
  • People seem to overlook that until very recently OS updates on PCs and Macs were not free, outside of security updates.
  • That is true, and something I didn't think about, although Apple has been doing that for a while. But they have a small hardware bubble. So that is a good point. But most computer OSes didn't have tons and tons of data collecting services built in to sell you ads, which is why they're free.
  • Windows, Macintosh, etc. tend to have high capacity hard drives that can accommodate multiple additional drivers for additional hardware. A phone needs to support all hardware after a factory reset. Very different.
  • Valid point, however that will become invalid soon now that flash storage is finally actually starting to fall in price.
    Also, there really aren't that many different drivers for lots of phones it feels like, because everything is a system on a chip, and those chips are often made by Qualcomm. That takes some of the chaos out of the equation.
  • **** it. Let's all go back to flip phones.
  • Yeah good luck with that, you're gonna need it.
  • I say it again everyone complains and slates Apple (rightly so at times) but when you buy one of their latest handsets your pretty much guaranteed it will be supported with updates for 3 years or more! no android OEM never mind Google themselves via Nexus provide that kinda support. Said elsewhere seen iOS 10 beta on a iPhone 5 the other day and was flawless! and tonight my mums iPhone 4! got the iOS 9.3.5 patch! now that's support. Totally understand how android OEMs can't update as easily but there's no excuse for Google not being able to support Nexus phones for 3 years!
  • Apple also gimps the software running on older phones by removing major features of the latest update in order for that older hardware to work with the latest releases. Android doesn't have the luxury of only being on a couple handsets. It has to run on hundreds (thousands?) of devices. So it's all or nothing for Android. Also, who's to say that Apple doesn't intentionally push features off for a later date, because they know it won't work on handsets that are supposed to get an update still? Apple has the luxury of doing this if they need to.
  • I'm sure it was a typo, but the Nexus 7 isn't equipped with the Snapdragon 800. Nexus 5 was the only Nexus device to use that chip.
  • The GPU is similar. 320/330. But you're right.
  • The Nexus 7 (2013) will not receive the update to Android 7.0.
  • Things were edited (and likely written lol) poorly there. The Nexus 7 GPU isn't CTS compliant, it shares the same feature set as the Adreno 330. The whole SoC is basically a custom/test config based on the 600 without a new fab process and older core configuration. For all intents and purposes, it's like a Snapdragon pre-800. Now you can see why it required so much editing lol.
  • Why can't it be like x86 where any processer with the proper instruction set(s) make it x86-compliant to run any software for it? Is ARM not the same way or it is software related?
    Posted via Android Central App
  • It actually is. There will be bare minimum requirements to render the 2D interface and minimum memory and storage requirements, but Android can be built for just about any usable ARM (or X86) processor. But Google isn't doing any of that. They support certain hardware configurations when they develop Android. These will be the phones they sell and other very popular chips. OEMs can take the source and "port" (not the right word, but it fits) Android to anything they build that meets the bare minimum. EDITED TO ADD: Google even provides full instructions and a reference for this. Google wants Android everywhere, but the place they feel is important is the Play Store. If they want access to Google Play, they need to make sure both the hardware and the operating system is compliant. If they don't care about play store access, they can build anything they like. This is how Android ends up on a microwave or a cash register, as well as on phones sold in China.
  • Ah I understand, thanks jerry! Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah, I think it's more "wont" than "can't" -- gotta keep people buying those new phones! Meanwhile, thanks to xda, my 4-year-old Sero 7 Pro tablet is running Marshmallow just fine.
  • It's really too bad. I always felt my Nexus 5 performed better than my Nexus 5X. If it wasn't for me needing wifi calling I would have kept the Nexus 5. I believe this statement best describes the situation-> "I'm fairly certain Google is breaking its own rules because it can, but I'm just as certain that everything is bullshit, so I still have no idea." They could if they wanted but have reasons not to and it's bullshit. The low end garbage in India (or wherever) will get updated because they want to continue breaking into emerging markets but in the US they will just push people to buy a new phone even though the Nexus 5 is more than capable.
  • On the 5X release software the nexus 5 was most certainly faster than 5X Posted via Android Central App
  • Exactly. In the next few months there will be budget phones running Nougat that the Nexus 5 outperforms in every way.
  • My Nexus 5 gave my GS6 a run for it's money.
  • Nice article,thanks.
  • Upgrade. There. Solved that problem.
  • Sure.
    Give 700€ (US $780) to every buyer of one of the phones in the Z3 line for them to buy another flagship Xperia when their phones are working AND still within the legal warranty.
  • Did your Z3 stop working because it will not receive Nougat?
  • I upgrade my phone every year so it's not an issue for me and I personally don't know many people who keep their phones longer then 2 years.
  • The only people I know who hold onto their phones for more than two years are iPhone owners.
  • Jerry is killing it on the site lately
    Posted via Android Central App
  • I noticed that. It's like he's finally free
  • I think that is because he is. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm not sure how bummed I am yet, not until I see the new Nexus devices for real. I love my Nexus 5, neither of last years' devices really caught my interest. I put a new battery in the phone this year so if they don't wow me.....I could live another year I think.
  • You're good. You read AC, that means you probably know where the right forum for your phone is at XDA. They already got you covered, and in a few weeks what they can produce will be every bit as stable and bug-free as something Google puts out. Android is super easy to build and tweak. And they are super good at building and tweaking it :P You got no warranty if you've been using the Nexus 5 all along, so do it.
  • Oh yeah, bought it Feb '14 so warranty long gone. Other than changing the battery haven't done anything, no resets, just clearing dalvik cache on updates. Love the size so unless I'm tempted by the smaller htc Nexus I'm probably sticking with it.
  • This. If anyone "needs" to keep their phone up to date and they can read and learn how to do it right XDA is the place to go.
    The only caveat is , learn to do it right, as I've seen soooo many bricked devices because of carelessness and an unbelievable inability to read/follow instructions. If you take the time it's well worth the effort.
  • Dam and the S5 is still a great operating phone. Oh well......
  • Look at it this way — now is the time to crack that S5 open and try some of the AOSP ROMs people are making for it. I could see using the S5 with lean software for another year or two once you hack Google Play onto it. That's what I'm gonna do with mine.
  • Same here, have one in my drawer. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's true
  • "Android platform updates aren't as important to consumers as we make them out to be." That's true, HOWEVER, when you produce an ABSOLUTE SHAIT update for a phone like Sony did with the 6.0, and then don't fix it because of some bullcrap regarding 7.0 "not supporting" the Snapdragon 801 when the Beta tests were made on it, well, then consumers have the right to complain. For example, my Z3C went straight back to 4.4 KitKat after I saw the amount of manure that Sony's 6.0 update was. I don't care if I don't get 7.0 on it. The Z3C is just a dedicated music player these days anyway. BUT I know how to flash software.
    Normal consumers don't. They'll have to put up with a horrible downgraded software experience which won't be fixed. This will obviously fall upon Sony which will have to explain:
    1 - Why they were running 7.0 on phones and then suddenly gave the middle finger to everyone, SPECIALLY to those people who HELPED them shape the software (and in this case, they should probably start thinking about either sending free Z5's or substantial discount codes for Z3 users who partook in the Beta to help them buy a new phone).
    2 - Why aren't they issuing a "Android 6.2" update to the Z3 line that brings to that phone all the parts of 7.0 that they can bring. And with Android being an OSP, it's not like Sony can't do that. I hope the EU falls upon Google HARD because of this and fines the sh*t out of them. Phones like the Z3 line are NOT 2 years old which means they ALL are still under the European Legal Warranty period. And although no jurisprudence has been made on this yet, as a lawyer, I can easily see software updates falling within the scope of that legal warranty.
  • 2 - Why aren't they issuing a "Android 6.2" update to the Z3 line that brings to that phone all the parts of 7.0 that they can bring. And with Android being an OSP, it's not like Sony can't do that. A very valid question that we will never get answered. Without a sensible answer, it sure looks like profit is the motive and the reason. And the same goes for the Nexus 5, and every other affected phone. They can be supported in some ways without breaking any CTS compliance.
  • Poor Moto g4 play.
  • Poorly Moto everything now..... Posted via Android Central App
  • LoL
  • Very interesting read! Thank you, Jerry.
    I've been very critical what has been going around AC lately, but this article alone completely justifies still sticking around for another while.
    - Due credits when it's due. -
  • Google: We will support devices for two years.
    People: Ok, cool, I can go along with that.
    *3 year old device doesn't get updated*
    People: GOOGLE IS THE WORST LIKE UGHH DUMB GREEDY COMPANY
  • Nexus 7 2013 runs S4 pro and adreno 320... Not 800 series and 330... So.is a full generation older.
  • Runs Damn fine too Posted via Android Central App
  • Apple wins with updates. Androids weakest feature. A shame really that the great Google, who oh wants to be Apple can't even copy them right with updates on its own Nexus
  • I can't think of anything that demonstrates how non-representative AC readers are of the general smartphone consumer than the juxtaposition of the statement made in the story "Android platform updates aren't as important to consumers as we make them out to be" and the fact that this story got over 100 comments in about 6 hours!
  • Things look different when you can see how many people read it versus how many of us commented. I don't know if I can share numbers (you know how bosses can be) but I'll say the percentage of readers who commented is far to the right of the decimal point. I write articles aimed towards a more general audience if I can. I use comments to talk with you nerds because I usually feel the same way, or at least have some sort of opinion simply because I am an android geek. WE ARE ONE.
  • The real test will be how long they keep providing security updates. If they stop soon, then they clearly wanted to stop maintaining old devices rather than can't update it. This is understandable from a business perspective as they can only afford to support so many devices with prompt and functional updates and need to sell new hardware. It is a little less clear on the Nexus where Google has an extremely popular device that expands use of their platform and associated income.
  • This article is basically a cop-out and doing Google a favour, by basically saying "Sorry your device with a Snapdragon 80X is REALLY old even though it's infinitely better than our Android One devices. They HAD it coming," that's the tone that comes to me cause of this article. With Vulkan engine and Daydream VR as marquee features of Nougat, older devices performance is questionable sure. But shoehorned builds of Nougat to Snapdragon 8XX devices up to this point run amazingly well. I know it's easy to say they won't because they're old, and with Vulkan engine and Daydream VR it's questionable how they'd handle them, but that's just what Google and Qualcomm WANT you to think, they just want you to buy a new phone that has a tendency to overheat while shooting VIDEO (Nexus 6P runs SD810. Nearly all eligible devices for Nougat run the SD810, 808, and the 6XX, all with well documented heating and throttling issues. If a shoehorned build of Nougat runs well on an old device, and a laughably weak chipset (Android Ones have either a Mediatek or the SD410,) but won't on historically Qualcomm's best chipset, well...
  • Not my intention. I tried to just lay it out as what it is. The only opinion I injected was mentioning that it sucks several times, Google breaks their own rules, Google needs to step forward and do something different, and that the whole thing is bullshit. I have an opinion about it all. I'll share it here since we're (sort of) talking about it. Making companies that build phones for Google Play adhere to min. requirements is a good thing. Setting them fairly high is also a good thing. Everyone who has an Android phone should be able to download any app or use any core feature of Android and have it work as expected. I do not think that very much time or money was spent to see what Qualcomm could do to support the needed APIs either on the GPU or through a software layer in combination with the OS. I do not think very much time or money was spent to see if the OS could determine the capabilities of the GPU (it can and does) then build an API that automatically falls back if OpenGL ES 3.1 is not supported. I would think it's possible to create an API that a developer can target once, then have the system adjust to omit GPU features if the hardware does not support them. I do not think enough time or money was spent to build Android 6.2 and include some of the basic features of Nougat. Phones could then update, and still use Google Play to run apps targeted to their API level. Users would have the comfort of knowing they were not forgotten. They are certainly doing something for Android One. Those phones suck when compared to something like a Galaxy S5 or Nexus 5 on the hardware side. Bending any compliance "rules" for themselves, and I'll say it one more time, is bullshit. A goddamn mountain of bullshit. With a multi-color Google flag at the peak. I think that a major reason newer OpenGL APIs are required is DayDream. As someone who gets sick when I use immersive VR, I won't get much use out of DayDream. I do not need any DayDream-specific features. They should be included because many will use them and want them. I think higher GPU requirements could be part of the DayDream certification and not Google's CTS if this is the case. Lastly, I understand that Google wants to do what it can do to "untarnish" their name within the tech bubble. Normal people don't give a damn, but bloggers and nerds with a Twitter account love to blame Google for stupid shit Samsung or LG or whoever does because the word Android is attached. When enough idiots say the same thing, mainstream media then picks it up and makes everyone a little stupider for hearing it. Anyone who has a calculator can figure out that the number of Android devices affected by the more serious issues in Stagefright is the same number of devices made by one Korean company who got stupid with file permissions. We see what happened there. This won't stop unless something changes. Tightening things up for OEMs who want to use Google Play is a great companion to Play Services and free monthly updates delivered to the OEMs door for a start. If part of this helps fix the stupid shit Google does, too, even better. And this is why I try to leave opinion out of the things I write that aren't editorials. I hate everything I think.
  • Damn good job,Jerry.Thanks,once again.
  • Hi, you do know that the sd800/801 have the same video/gpu engine as the sd805, just that the sd805 is higher clocked and has as far as I know a few more unified shader pipelines,the architecture however is the same. So if the nexus 6 with sd805 is supported, there is no architectural reason to not support the sd800/801 devices. In terms of performance I'm sure the adreno 330 is faster than what the sd410 has to offer, hence the argument that it can run daydream or w/e is irrelevant, since it isn't seen as the limiting factor for the android one devices.
  • You can't move forward while looking back.
  • Is it me, or has Jerry been absolutely killing it with these articles?
  • That's because he tells it how it is...
  • Whaaaa! I want my 3 year old car to have self driving properties...even though it didn't have it when I bought them.
    Buy a new phone, I mean car? That's....... ridiculous!!!! Psst...Nexus 5x for $200...get over your old phones people... Says the guy with an aging Nexus 6...whaaaa!!!
  • What about the OnePlus X, the g4 play, the g3, they are not even two years old.
  • I really wonder till when they will continue to support 810 devices like my z5. We are the next victims or what?
  • For me, the SD800 setup was the first hardware platform I was completely satisfied with, performance-wise. The first Android kit I did not feel a need to replace when the following year's Qualcomm CPU came out. Or the next year's. I use an at&t LG G2 with CM13 as my daily driver and ( now don't laugh ) an Amazon Firephone with CM11 as my nightstand clock radio , e-reader and am totally satisfied with the performance of both. Like my older Windows PC, I just want the latest security patches. I am one of the few who really likes a smaller phone and I find the Firephone's 4.65" screen to be the perfect size for me. When the prices for the Sony Z5 compact come down to less than $200, I will probably buy one, unless somehow CM13 gets ported to the Firephone. Being the same SD800 platform as the G2, it ought to be doable. I'm actually quite happy with CM11 but it makes me nervous no security patches are being applied regularly on a device I browse the interwebs on.
  • One side of face. We demand that if your app is going to be available on our store targeting 7.0 ( I'll call it that instead the api level for simplicity) it has the hw required to run support and run a gpu api. Other side of face. We're perfectly happy with a developer restricting their apps to certain devices! We're fine with it no matter what android version, what hardware you got, what your device supports etc. How many times have you went to install a app and you got your device isn't supported? Examples tight of the top of head. Hyperlapse, camera 2 api stuff, games for tegra, Google now launcher when it came out, locking out phone apps from tablets and on and on. But NOW we won't even ALLOW a OEM a update a device to the new software if it can't run every single app targeted at the version / api. What if it is a vulkan only blah blah... Meanwhile all the other examples from above are still valid. What a complete load of absolute BS. As I said in the other article the other day and caught hell for. Google doesn't give a crap about devices getting updates. That goes for their own devices and the entire ecosystem. They are actually telling OEM'S they can't provide a software update because not all apps in our store may not work on it. Meanwhile your device isn't supported is a thing on the store. A dev cab still easily restrict a app to nexus only, shield only, galaxy only and so on. But but but Google cares about updates guys! It's all those big bad OEM's and evil carriers getting in the way! It couldn't possible be our beloved Google! Open your damn eyes people. Google doesn't a damn about updates. They don't think like open source nerds, They don't give a crap about their end users. They don't even give a crap about their OEM partners. Read between the lines about what the Sony dude said. And they're one of the most active OEM's with actually submitting code back to aosp too. But instead of Android users being pissed about this. Most are just rabib Google loving cultists fanboys who make excuses for these damn clowns.
  • Apple only cares about making profits like every other corporation does. I upgrade my phone every single year because I can easily afford to. Most people upgrade their phones every 2 years. This how much Apple actually cares lol
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.cnet.com...
  • Please. This isn't about them as a moral company type of caring. They care the most by far about there end user experience. From software to how they're treated in apple stores with returns. They're corporate just like the rest if not more so. But they also take far better care of their user base. And they also pretty much have to. When your market share is so low and you charge so much. You better damn make your end users happy
  • *Their on the first there, damn it. It's one of those days.
  • I buy a new Note every single year because I'm financially able to. The newest Android OS will always be available for my device and the time frame in which I get the update is irrelevant to me. I care about the important things in life like my job, wife, family and friends. I honestly feel sorry for you that this actually bothers you so much.
  • Yeah you don't care..... You're posting on a forum about android.... You don't care.... You read Jerry's article , the comments and participated in then... You don't care...
  • I apologize that I care about relevant things in my personal life and that my life doesn't revolve around the time frame of software updates for a smartphone. Because I keep up on Android news and read articles on this website doesn't mean I'm upset about the time frame of software updates. You can read every single comment I have made in the forums or comments sections of articles. Try finding one that I ever expressed that I was upset about the time frame of software updates for my device. What I find relevant in life and what you find relevant are quite different.
  • Way to imply what I care about in my personal life from a couple post on here. Way to impose the idea that I care about timely updates for my family own phone. The last two phones I purchased for myself and woman are not known for getting timely updates. In fact it's the opposite. Known to be terrible. Hell, I would buy the right phone if it came with hw I liked and a software experience that was good even if the OEM came flat out and said directly we will not be updating the softwar platform ever. So keep projecting your nonsense onto me about what I want on my own device. About what's important to me in my personal life. Man all those guys over on hardcore PC forums that griped about Intel using cheap garbage TIM must not care about their family's or something. Since they're renting about something that 99 percent of people don't even know about. God forbid somebody on a website called android central ******* about the direction of the entire platform and what it's maintainer is up to. But thanks. Just participating in a thread or two the last two days when I had some time, reminded me exactly why I almost never even open comment sections, let alone participate in them.
  • Mobile is fucked all around. On that, we agree. Google as a company cares more about money that anything else. On that, we agree. Two things, tho. For Google to remove per-device restrictions from the play store (they want to) they need to set minimum requirements that can run every app that appears when you go in from your phone. Any shift will be slow (if it happens at all) because they and the OEMs have a pretty sweet gig and make a shitload of money the way it works now. You can't paint the people working on Android and Android apps with the same brush you paint the corporate bean-counters and lawyers. A big perk of doing this writing stuff for a living is that I've met some of those folks. I've had beers with them, seen the Giants play with them, got baked out of my skull with them and sat down to long lunches where we just talked about shit. Some of them are total open source nerds and the things they have control over reflects it. But, like any company, they don't have control over a lot of stuff. But the point of your comment still stands. You're saying what a lot of people who have to watch what they say think. Never stop :)
  • I agree almost entirely. Nothing worth even writing out a long response to. And the last part rings true the most. It is what irks me the most.
  • Thank you for this thought provoking article.
    Couple of things:
    Android 7.0 for Nexus 6 with it's 2.7Ghz snapdragon 8?? chipset is looking rather dubious.
    When (If) it is released would seem to be a great start for any script monkeys. Hope Nexus 6 snapdragons trashing of current multi core iterations in everyday usage doesn't have anything to do with it being an orphan.
    But it wouldn't surprise me.
  • I've learned more interesting **** and gained more knowledge on Android from Jerry's articles and talk on podcasts than any other journalist anywhere. This cat is one knowledgeable mofo. I can't thank him enough... All the way back to the Eco 4g days.
  • Evo*
  • The SD 801 on my 2014 Moto X PE has been fantastic. It's sad to hear no Nougat for it, especially when (as Jerry said) there are other Snapdragons that may be newer, but are less powerful, yet still getting the 7.0 update. The SD 800/801 series of chips may be Qualcomm's best chips ever, in terms of quality of performance over time. So many devices ran these chips. Oh well. By the time I'm ready for a new phone, there'll be a custom ROM to tinker with on this like I did with my Nexus 4. Nothing to get too upset about, IMO.
  • +Praveen K okay. Long article. Okay ich can say that I've bought my Nexus 6P for the updates and i want to have my device for 2-3 years. Not 1 year, not 1 1/2 year. No over 2 years. I don't have the money to buy an new phone every year. And Qualcomn can't change my opinion. A friend buys the Lenovo Zuk Z1 for 299$ with Android 5.1.1 maybe 6.0.1 with a Snapdragon 801. He never gets Android 7.0. Now he changed his opinion about Android. He could buy a 4 year old iPhone 5 and already has Ios 10 on it. Lol. See this. What is with the old phones now? They lay at home or thrower in the waste and poor people can sort the edle metals in third lands out to earn 1$ per day. Fine. If that's the way of old (2 years) Android phones. Fine. Okay i learned: No matter how good your chip is and how fast your device is: if your have an old chip your lost. And have to buy a new phone which has the same speed of the old phone. I've bought a Nexus for the updates. Now every Android phone is ****** up. 45% of all Android phones which are running KitKat and Jelly Bean (data from 1. August) are ****** up. But Android is Android. I just don't understand why the Update for the Z3 and many many other phones cannot do without the useless Vulcan? Okay now i know about the CTS's of Google. They suck. Apple is doing this much better.
  • All of this is enough to push me into the arms of Apple for the first time in years. I'm starting to get why some of my friends just don't want to be bothered by Android.
  • Yep,and it will be nice to try something out that the carriers can't alter in a negative way to suit their whims or act as a bottleneck to hold back updates for however long they happen to feel like.Load it up with google apps and drive on.I'm probably going to try it out next month for the first time since the iphone 4,if it doesn't suit me,I can hop right back over to android.
  • Or a Nexus,ya know.
  • Before I leave the comments I'll reply to this. Except when you purchase a nexus device from the play store and pop your sim and and end up getting a carrier specific build that is on different update path /cycle / control than what the I guess we can call the normal factory image build is. Gotta love the nexus 6 debacle!
  • Aha,as I lean more toward the iphone.
  • Same here. The simplicity of iOS is something that appeals to me at this point.
  • Sad to say, but that will be true for a lot of people. But at the same time, it also means that you commit to a platform that is years behind on several useful features. Jumping on the iOS train now because you won't get Nougat's features guarantees that you won't get Nougat's features for years.
  • For me,it has very,very little to do with nougat.Carrier interference,alteration,and hold back are very large reasons for me,along with commonality of features(ex.-facetime,imessage,etc.) With family,friends,etc.Overall,it's the whole package,not being upset about nougat.I'm using an S7edge that is an excellent phone,and there is very little to be found in nougat that hasn't been present on samsung flagships for years.The front facing user end changes for nougat come across as so minor that you would have expected MM 6.1/6.2,instead of N7.0,besides the fact that they just cutoff a whole lot of fairly recent flagships and are telling those people,sorry about your luck,go buy a new phone.While,at the same time,pushing 7.0 to android one devices with a Sd400 chipset.That is a joke.
  • I agree with everything you just said. I'd also add that I also have the S7 Edge, and it's a wonderful device. I just can't help feeling though that I'm starting to make too many excuses for why I stick with Android. The cycle never ends in terms of the search for that Android phone that keeps you from looking around the corner for what's better. The grass is always greener somewhere else, whether it be hardware, security updates, bloatware or battery life. It's an endless loop and an addiction to it. With Apple I know I'm giving up some things, but I also get off that endless cycle and enjoy simplicity and consistency.
  • Yeah, I'm to that point, too. What a racket they have going on with these androids. As long as people continue to make excuses for the practice and run interference for these companies, it'll never stop. There is absolutely no legitimate reason why support for a phone that we pay close to a thousand dollars for and is only 24 months old should be provided a free pass for not receiving further support aside from the cult-like indoctrination of it all that it is and must be thatway. That's BS. The only reason that happens is because consumers are mentally trained like a bunch of sheep by tech media platforms and carriers to accept the practice as the way things are supposed to work. It's both dishonest and deceptive. In fact, I have an iphone sitting in its box in my drawer. By the end of this day, I'll likely pop a sim in it and be done with android and Samsung both. I'm tired of this racket. It's darned near extortion the way they operate. Of course, I'm only one little consumer but I'll be one little consumer who gets OS and security updates without having to submit to having my pockets raped for close to a grand every two years JUST to get OS and security updates. They can go eff themselves as far as I'm concerned. While I don't particularly care for iphones, I'm switching to the iphone that I have based on the principle of the matter alone. And it's only a matter of swapping a sim card. In less than 1 minute, this issue will be yesterday's news. I'm tired of being on the receiving end of this kind of extortion from these android peddlers and I'm tired of reading the pompous excuses that people provide for them. There is no reason for any of this other than the fact that they want to hold you're credit card hostage for a thousand dollars every 24 months if you want OS and security updates.
  • I'm very much in that same boat too. Never thought I'd consider the walled garden of iOS, but keeping a phone for more than 2 years is starting to get my attention as regards OS and security updates. My wife's iPhone 5 bought at the same time as my GS4 is still getting updates. But my GS4/i337 might as well be an orphan. I'm waiting to see how Merlin shakes out. If I don't like it, I don't know where to turn but iOS. Or maybe a mid-range Android, if I can find something not shackled by a weird UI. I need at least a 32GB device plus an SD card. Or a 64GB device without the SD card.
  • The only limitation here is the human condition
  • I'm still using oneplus one will I be getting the update?
    I did get cm-bacon but haven't downloaded it yet.
  • I seriously wonder why they aren't supporting it. Isn't the Snapdragon 805 essentially the same CPU as the 801/800 except running at a higher clock speed? If it is that way, the lack of support is just stupid. If it uses a different architecture, (kinda like haswell vs Skylake vs Broadwell) then it's understandable, since new devices probably won't come with these chips and will most likely use 64bit SD 61X CPUs.
  • Ther Z3(C) have 3 updates (5.0, 5.1, 6.0), I think is enough, even if "technical limitations" not exists.
    Is sad to not have Nougat update, but is not unfair. I had a Galaxy Win that never got updated to any version further than 4.1, and a LG G2 Mini "Super-Lagged" phone that never got even a fix update.
    Sony have been doing a awesome work updating their phones, and Google have to step forward in terms of technology, I never see this before, so if Google had to remove the support, then they have motives for this.
  • This is another Google crap who always removes random features for no reason and remove drivers for old GPUs so Android 7 won't support old devices anymore. It's possible to make Android 7 ROM work on older devices, probarbly Cyanogenmod, so Google, what's the point removing awesome features like you did on Youtube.com and Google.com and turm them into crappy modern design? Would you EVER stop doing that again?
    If you downvote me, it means you hate smartphones and awesome features.