With iOS 14, Apple once again crushes Android makers on software update support
It's time to talk about software updates again. Specifically, just how bad Android phone makers are doing compared to Apple's iPhone. And they are doing really bad in comparison.
Apple's iOS 14 will be available for a bunch of phones, but what's important is that phones from 2015 like the iPhone 6S and even the original "budget" iPhone SE from 2016 will be getting the update the same day that the brand-new iPhone 11 Pro gets it. That is awesome for anyone who uses those phones.
Meanwhile, there are just a handful of phones guaranteed to get Android 11 and there is a very good chance that you will have to wait at least six months after it is released before it comes to most of them. There are no phones from companies like Samsung (which drives the Android ecosystem almost single-handedly) built in 2015 or 2016 that will be getting Android 11.
This is terrible. This has to end. And even if you say you don't care, you really should.
Right about now is where I get the itch to talk about security. From that perspective, a platform update is a very important thing but Google has done a lot of work to help keep phones updated against things like malware and web exploits even if they aren't getting a real platform update. I applaud them for that. But that's not the only reason why platform updates are important, or even the main reason.
Without phones running the new software, developers aren't going to take advantage of the new features it brings. And this is what makes it all so bad.
Think about one really cool feature from Android 11, like conversations. Google has made it fairly simple to build an app that includes them which is good because a messaging app is already complex and extremely difficult to get right. But why should a company like Facebook or Signal or Telegram spend time to update their apps to use them when only a small percentage of users can benefit? The answer is that they won't because there are other features or improvements that affect more users.
You'll see apps start to use Android 11's features a year after its release when Galaxy phones and LG phones and Motorola phones get an update. You deserve better than that, but you can't really blame the developers for not spending time and money to support a few random Pixel and OnePlus users when the rest of the world can't use the stuff.
It's easy for Apple because it spends money to overbuild the internals that matter on the iPhone and own the rights to the chipset so it can update the OS anytime it likes. That's why you see phones like the 2020 iPhone SE with a processor powerful enough to run a laptop. It's overkill right now, but five years from now it will meet the minimum specs so Apple can keep customers happy and keep them spending when they eventually upgrade.
In the Android world the best you can find, on a consistent basis, are Google's own Pixel phones. Closely followed by Android One devices, and then the odd tiny-market phones like the Fairphone 2 that launched in 2015 on Android 5.1 and eventually got Android 9. That's not a big group of customers.
I'll say it once more: you deserve better. You deserve updates at the same pace and for the same length of time that Apple offers.
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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.
On top of that you have had to wait until iOS 14 to set your own choice of email and use something other than the godawful Safari browser.
Also, I can make my phone look any way I want to by changing the launcher, using Widgets, loading theme packs, icon packs, etc.
I'm not stuck using a glorified Fisher-Price Toy screen with fixed icons in fixed rows that has not changed in 10 years. (and yes, I do use an iPhone for work daily.)
Probably why Android phones outsell Apple phones 3-1 globally. That and the huge price differences.
Apple has the luxury of vertical integration and captive consumers who can only buy apps from the Apple Store (which gouges developers.)
Google does not. They have to make it work on literally thousands of hardware configurations, and since it's just an Apache 2.0 license, they cannot force the hardware vendors to comply with their recommendations.
It's all about choice. If you want someone to decide for you, buy Apple. If you want to decide for yourself, buy Android.
Android collectively may sell 3-1 to iphone but it is just one manufacturer. Also, average cost of selling is much higher than the average cost of those 3 android phones. I think we are back to the same race. Windows vs Mac. It is just that Android has replaced windows on phones and we know how that will turn out. iPhones are jail. Once you get in, it is difficult to get out. I go through it everyday. I spend way more time deciding between iPhone and Note 10+ than I should and still end up changing phones every few days. I hate ecosystems.
RAM doesn't matter for iOS, it outperforms android phones with what, 1/3 the ram?
Consumers don't care about expandable storage - see iPhone sales for evidence of that.
Even without a 120hz display it's still looks smoother and faster than android phones. If this year's iPhone has a 90hz or 120hz display, then it'll look even better.
Android is far, far buggier than iOS - particularly if you buy a non-Pixel device. And good luck getting updates on non-Pixel android phones. The software your phone shipped with is probably going to be the only software you're going to get.
And also I'm not sure in the big scheme of things at this point how many people will swap ecosystems whichever one has maybe a thing or two the other doesn't. If you like iPhones fair play, if you like android phones fair play it's not like you can't contact someone on an iPhone from an Android device and vice versa. Just get the phone that suits you and enjoy it. Peace✌
Huawei, have to on Qualcomm for their SoCs, who only supports their chipsets for a limited time with the necessary drivers.