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Your phone may never get Android 7.0, but does it really matter?

Android and updates seem like a mystery to many of us. If you're not familiar with the way a big open-source software distribution works, it can get a little confusing trying to sort out who gets what version and when. Reading the things you see online often make it worse, too — we're all talking about how Android 7.0 is here, and when phones will be updated, or if they will be at all. Then the obligatory comparisons to Apple's iOS or Microsoft Windows (which are both a thing that is built and distributed as a whole) start and more confusion just happens. It's nobody's fault: most of us think about Android as a thing on its own, but it's not. Since it's the time of year for a whole new version, we get to start the process all over again.

Free as in beer

Nobody "owns" Android, and that's why everything is so different. Android is, for all intents and purposes, a Linux distribution like Ubuntu. Google maintains the source code but they don't turn it into a piece of software and hand it out. They get patches and additions from a bunch of qualified folks and make sure everything works as intended, then let anyone and everyone take it to do whatever they like with it. It's important to understand what Android is, and how it gets distributed, when we think about the software on our phones.

You have two choices when it comes to operating system version updates — buy phones direct from Google, or waiting.

Two kinds of updates

Android versions

Updates are important, but so is understanding how they work for Android. The important updates aren't the ones you hear about on a stage somewhere, no matter what someone else wants you to believe. The ones that get put out every month by the Android team at Google or the Knox team at Samsung or whoever is in control of releasing maintenance and security patches for the Android distribution they custom-built for your phone are the important ones. These are the patches that make sure your phone does exactly what it was promised to do when you bought it and does it securely.

The small monthly updates are the important ones.

Google does a pretty good job and keeping Android versions up to date. They may do a lot of other things poorly, but they are still pumping out software fixes as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich. They also make it easy to see what was patched, and how, in case you want to build it yourself on your customized version. That's where the folks who make your phone come into the picture.

Google takes these patches and puts them into the version of Android they make for their own phones. Remember, even phones like the Nexus 6P need their own version of Android built. Samsung and HTC and Huawei and everyone else is free to do the same and build a small patch for the phone in your hands. Carriers can and will try to ruin the process, but with them out of the picture it really is this simple. Once you get it, you install it and there is absolutely nothing wrong with your Lollipop phone, or even with your KitKat phone. It works as advertised, and you're generally safe from the nasty things you hear about malware unless you do something silly like trust people you shouldn't when installing software from outside of Google Play.

New features

The other kind of update gets all the press and all the attention. They usually bring new features or change how things work, and people like me take the time to write about them. They are great updates (once they work the way they should) and they're worth talking about. But those low-key monthly updates are far more important. You don't buy a refrigerator or a golf cart because of the great things that will come next year, so you shouldn't buy a phone for the great things that come next year. The things it does this year need to still work.

Because of the way Android is distributed, Google knows that 100 different phones may be running 100 different operating systems, but they all will be fully Android compatible — running Android at the core if you want to think of it that way. That means they can all run the same apps and access the same services, and if they use Google Play they are even more compatible with Android apps and services. While Google builds a custom version for their own phones, they also focus on making apps run better and do more of the things we usually think of as system features. Android is and always has been about apps and online services. It always will be.

You have two choices when it comes to Android version updates — phones direct from Google or waiting.

Enter Google Play Services. It's a horrible solution for keeping more versions of Android compatible with each other when it comes to running apps, but it's also the best solution. Google can not force any company to update a phone they built — Android is free to use, and as long as the phone met the standards required to run Google Play when it was built, it can run Google Play. Thinking Google can (or even wants to) yank permission to use their apps and store away from a manufacturer is silly. Stop thinking it. Instead, Google Play Services handles much of the behind-the-scenes stuff an app needs to run. Things like location services or security. Google can do whatever it takes to make Play Services compatible with most versions and update it independently from the operating system, and that's exactly what they do. When you see Play Services eating up your battery, that's because so many apps are using it.

Te reiterate — if your phone runs Lollipop and has the latest version of Play Services (and you would know if it doesn't because you changed it yourself) do you really need Nougat? Your phone still does all the things it was supposed to do and can run almost every app available. Most app-based security is handled by Play Services as well. Combined with the latest Security Patch for the core system itself, your phone is fine and you should be happy using it.

Is Android N important?

Android N

Yep. Android 7.0 Nougat is a major update, even if the user-facing features don't reflect it. Changes to the ways apps can run in the background, changes to the way updates are handled and changes to the overall security model are a major shift from what we have with Lollipop. Eventually, these changes will be required to run apps and use Google's services. Think of it as Android's Windows 7 moment — things look familiar, but everything you can't see has been improved.

I want Nougat. That's why I have a Nexus 6P. But I also know that any other phone on my desk that is current for its version of Android is still a fine phone and does what I need it to do. I'm fine waiting on Nougat for phones like my HTC 10 or my Galaxy S7 edge, as long as the monthly patches — the important updates — keep coming.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

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.

261 Comments
  • Well things need to change on the OEM side But they won't. It's the same old song. Posted via Android Central App
  • When my Nexus 6 craps out I'm probably moving to the iPhone 7, i don't see a reason to stay with Android. Customization isn't a big deal for me, and I just want smooth performance, so it's time for a change. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hear ya, once/if IOS gets widgets that you can use on the home screens, then I'll move over. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm gonna switch over to iOS next month with the ip7. I'm tired of all the rogue apps that can keep your phone from sleeping, always looking to see who got a monthly update, what features are coming out that people have to wait 4/6 months for until they finally get updated. All of my Google services will run just fine on iOS and I wont have to mess with iTunes after the initial setup. Google Photos/Music/Contacts/Gmail/Calendar will all be accessible and not hit on iCloud. I stopped modding and tweaking a few years ago, and now I just want a smooth running stock phone that lasts all day. I use 3 widgets, but its not a deal breaker if I dont have them. I hate to say it, but the iWatch is doing better than most Android Wear watches. The very first iWatch came with wifi, mic and a speaker built in. You can now get one for the same price as a wear watch and for me IMO they look nicer. Another big topic is updates... but unlike most people who talk about the obvious, I'm looking more at the aspect of companies like Samsung that is doing okay at updates, but if you bought a carrier phone, you're screwed out of getting them. Most people buy a carrier phone, so they will NOT get timely updates. The big plus with Apple is that there is no carrier bloatware or holdup with updates. Having said all of that, I'm going to take the plunge and move over to iOS for the next 12 months. Having all of my Google services on Apple should be seamless. If I dont like it, I'll be back on Android next year.
  • I don't really think anyone is doing watches right and personally if the next version of IOS has home screen widgets and still has that awesome stability that IOS has had and still has( you don't see updates drastically break things, except for the 8.0.1 fiasco that was fixed within a day) also things just work and I don't get people saying that the iPhone is slower using The UI, is it really?
    Posted via Android Central App
  • Well you don't see updates drastically break things on Nexus the last couple years either, and many of the others aren't far behind in that regard. It's crazy how things seem to "just work" on Nexus devices without issue too. I'm surprised you haven't noticed by now that android for some time has been exactly what you described iOS as being. You're just gonna need to switch over for awhile and gain some user experience. You'll get a better understanding of how optimized and stable android really is after having been able to compare it to iOS. I sure as hell have, but my issue with iOS is boredom. The inability for the user to modify, use more robust functionality, or add to that functionality makes it such an uneventful, mediocre UX for me. I can't switch over after knowing in depth just how much more android is capable of.
  • iOS is less reliable then android look it up
  • Vague comment is vague Posted via Android Central App
  • I have a LG G3 and iPhone 6s+which I use everyday and I will tell you the Google apps on iOS is more polished than their Android counterparts. I --was-- a big fan of Android customization and flashing ROMS hence I moved from iOS to Android but I'm over those already.
  • I think you're comparing the transition animations between the two, not polish or functionality. That G3 of yours is a jank fest and no where near the level that android is capable of running. Pick up a One+3, 6P, or 2016 nexus when it launches and you'll see what I mean. iOS does have some slick animations but stock Android and many of the most recently updated apps are pretty slick in that regard too. Nougat is no joke, it's a very polished OS and runs liquid smooth. I'd argue that there are certain elements of the stock Android UI that have more polish than that of iOS, along with quite a few apps
  • Agreed studies have shown iOS is less reliable compared to Android and not even just stock Android even Samsung phones are more reliable in the study that was done. iOS is a joke these days.
  • No, iOS isn't a joke. It's a very polished platform. Both of them really have become phenomenal. Android is just the more capable of the two
  • iOS is the superior platform performance wise , no doubt about it. Smooth as hell.
    Not my cup tea however, boring as hell. I change icon packs and launchers about every other week because I get bored with same old same old. Just me.
  • After playing around with an iPhone 6s quite a bit the last few months I really don't think iOS is the faster of the two overall. It certainly is more optimized of the two because of the hardware, software integration. Its animations are also very slick. But speed wise I've seen too many of the same apps load significantly faster on Android with a 6P to not think it's as fast in general at minimum. Another thing about android is that it feels faster because the default transition animations are snappier than that of iOS. The feel of navigating through the OS alone makes it seem like Android is the faster of the two. I've read quite a few people on line who felt the same shortly after switching
  • iOS is faster. The CPU has better single threaded performance (which matters more than multi-threaded on these devices) and the code is more optimized. Apple's SDK is also based on Native Code, and while Google has made improvements with ART, it is still running with a deficit there. Apple also uses fast PCIe storage in their iPhones, which means the load times are significantly faster than i.e. the UFS storage in Samsung phones, which can be significantly faster than competing phones. The GPU is also a top performer. The iPhone is faster. There is no way the Nexus 6P was loading apps as fast as an iPhone, unless the iPhone app was significantly larger and feature disparity was in favor of the iPhone (giving it significantly more code to load). That simply never happens. What you're talking about is fiction. You're literally making it up simply to play Devil's Advocate.
  • You say "iOS is faster" then proceed to follow that up with discussions of hardware like CPU, code optimezed for specific faster hardware, type of storage used. So how is iOS faster exactly? Perhaps you want to say the iPhone is faster, but then you really should be specific about exactly what you mean too. My old Galaxy Nexus loads apps just fine, that's a 5 year old phone that still works. My nexus 6 or my wife's 5x are plenty fast for me and work flawlessly. You go ahead and spend your money on Apple products if that's what you want, I can see the appeal. I do question why you're even posting on Android Central though...
  • I don't care about single or multi- threaded performance.... That shitt is irrelevant. No way the 6P launches any apps faster huh? Enjoy the video, and try not to be disappointed, they're just phones. https://youtu.be/ZsuH0NQKq8g
  • I think the question is, why do you come to an Android fan page to JO about iphones?
  • I can't remember having an app crash on iOS, like... ever. I'm sure it's happened, but it's so rare that I simply don't remember it happening. I can remember all the "Google Play Services have stopped" messages on Android, though, never mind the horrendous amount of 3rd party app crashes I got. I don't even understand the comment about Android being more reliable. I think the article said "iPhones" failed more than Android phones, which is a completely different topic. They were talking about the hardware, not the software. There is no comparison between iOS and Android, it performs reliably and is exceptionally more robust than Android ever has been, and probably ever will be given how it's developed and modified by OEMs (and how Developers stick tools API levels due to issues brushed aside by this article).
  • iOS has been well documented to have app crashes that are 'hidden' from the user. The casual user sees what looks like app refreshing the screen, when in reality it is recovering from a crash.
  • Yes, l kill all animations in my devices and the transitions in my S7 are seamless and lightning fast... Horses for courses really. It's great that we all have a choice to suit our individual needs.
  • Hog wash, Google apps are trash on iOS, they don't do half the same jobs, try using google photos, you have to actaully go into the app for it to start backup, it doesnt do it in the background.
  • It does work in the background, within the realm of iOS' restrictions on Background Updates. Most iPhone users wouldn't use Google Photos, anyways. They'd just pay $0.99 to Apple for 50GB Storage and use iCloud Photo Library, which works flawlessly and doesn't mine your photos. The services most people would depend on Google for aren't things like the Play Store ecosystem (Play Books, Movies & TV, Music, etc.) or Photos, but services like Gmail and Google Maps. Even then, Google's services are becoming more and more easily replaceable with competing services. I don't see a compelling reason to use any of google's Non-Mapping services over Microsoft's, for example. Maps is really the only "Killer App" they have for iOS users - at least the ones who haven't already moved over to Apple Maps (of which there are many, which is why Apple was able to improve it so much over such a short period of time).
  • Lol you pay to store photos. Posted via Android Central App
  • +1
  • You do realize that google photos is free and has unlimited cloud storage right. Have fun with your limited storage and getting ripped off by apple. Holy hell, apple fan boy.
  • "try using google photos, you have to actaully go into the app for it to start backup, it doesnt do it in the background" I have a 6P as a personal phone and a 6S+ provided by work and that statement is a lie.
  • +1
  • And file management for me. I shuffle files between my SD card and the internal memory at least every other day. Sure I use cloud backups as well, but nothing is a fast as managing files on the phone. More options too. We have an iPad and I've tried and tried again to use iOS but the entire layout is just so frustrating and doesn't have to be. The mode of navigation offers no discernable advantage in usage that I can see. I would have to use both an iPhone AND and Android device to make the transition. I could never go cold turkey.
  • I've never used an iPhone any smoother than an Android other than on the gaming side of things. I'll admit iPhone 7 is looking more and more appealing than the coming nexus phones,but I'll probably just upgrade my 6 to a 6P.
  • I tried iOS as my daily driver for a couple of months. It wasn't as great as everyone hypes. Maybe if I was an iOS guy from the start, I would be singing it's praises. But the way I used my smartphone on a day to day basis wasn't compatible with iOS. I had permanent notifications on my Android phones that have no equivalent in iOS. Download/upload speed at a glance. mAh going into/out of the phone. Now, gaming has no equal compared to iOS. My iPhone 6 handles games like nobody's business. Nothing built 2 years ago in the android world comes close. But iOS isn't designed all that well, from a UI standpoint. The settings app is a catchall for whatever apple didn't know what to do with. Camera settings? Not in the camera app. It's in the settings app. Launcher reorganizes the icons whenever you move/delete an icon. Camera really isn't all that great, compared to the latest android offerings. Only real benefit to iOS is support. The iPhone 5 is getting iOS 10, and it came out in 2012. Same time as the Nexus 4. And Google forgot the Nexus 4 existed a long time ago.
  • But iOS isn't designed all that well, from a UI standpoint. Yes, thank you. Even beyond the learning curve there are just some intuitive things that exist on Android that don't on iOS in terms of the interface. Again, we have iOS devices in the house so I have ample opportunity to mess around with them. Even Windows 10 on my touch screen laptop has become more intuitive in my opinion.
  • Haha iOS...Smooth performance? You are delusional.
  • +1
  • +1
  • Yip I know. The grass is always greener and all that. Guys I ditched a iphone 6sp after 3 months. Under powered and laggy as hell. Trust me on this. Try for a few weeks before you decide to swap. Other wise you may just regret it. I did. And it was an expensive regret. The big thing for me was I could not do with an iPhone the stuff I could on Android. And iTunes....well nuff said. But good luck with your choice.
  • Yep iPhones lag and my ipad4 mini apps crash more then I can remember my druid apps crashing
  • My Nexus is really smooth so much better than any iPhone I have used, it's also more robust, more reliable, and has a better camera. Good luck with the "premium" iPhone.. You'll need it.
  • My Nexus 6p runs faster than my fiance's iPhone 6s plus, however apps load faster and smoother on the iPhone 6s plus. I'm not into the Android vs iPhone war I just wouldn't want to deal with a phone as locked down to the user as an iPhone is.
  • I wouldn't say apps load faster in general, just graphic intensive games.
  • I can understand that. Two things keeping me on Android are adblocking and an LED notification light. I am not sure if adblocking is easy on an iphone or not but I know they don't have an LED notification light so with Android I remain.
  • As of recent iOS updates, it has Adblocking now.
  • Those are your reasons?! Lol
  • as of iOS, adblocking is built-in. no need to jailbreak unlike in Android.
  • " as of iOS" ? lol. nah but does it block ads in apps etc, doubt it
  • Don't let the door hit ya
  • What was the original reason to go with Android in the first place?
  • They flipped for it
  • I had a Nexus 6. Loved it, big, beautiful. Reliable! I have it to my son to take to college, he loves it. I have a Nexus 6P. Besides customization, I like getting innovative tech years before iOS devices...I like that the price isn't padded $300 for the brand. I used the Nexus 6 heavily, very heavily, so I'm completely baffled by "I want smooth performance?" I literally never had a problem with the device's performance, doing anything from 3d gaming to running office software, to removing in to my computer at work. And the Moto Nexus would run a day and half on a charge and no Apple mobile devices have nearly the same high resolution screen. Are you sure you have a Nexus and not a Moto G? With Android you get what your pay for and there is a vibrant mid range of devices, with Apple it's just all over priced and over hyped.
  • Here here!
  • It's been 4 days since nougat was released and the factory image for nexus 6 still hasn't been released, seriously Google had to update 3phones!!! 3 phones that they made and they failed. I thought that buying a nexus ment that i didn't have to wait. I'm switching to iOS also...i just want a phone that works, and gets updates and doesn't lag...
  • Ok bye.
  • I have been on android for years. I frankly don't care too much about OS updates as I do security updates. When the phones get old they are sold or turned into walkmans. I have an old Tegra quad core AT&T branded HTC One X+ with 64gb internal storage that is stuck on 4.4 KitKat that makes a great garage media center. With my streaming apps installed and built in FM stereo plugged into amplified speakers it will play that roll until it finally fails. New tunes are transferred via NFC. Come to think of it if they made an updated version of this phone with the 4.7 screen and rubberized polycarbonate body I would probably buy it!
  • I've got an iPhone 6S for work and it stutters and lags far more than my LG G4 running Marshmallow. Just swipe down on the home screen on any iPhone and see how much the search function causes iOS to become jerky.
  • No, we need to change our expectations. The open-source model works perfectly fine and the same way it works on things that aren't cell phones. We just want to apply different rules. The problem is that Debian will supply patches for their OS every time they are needed. Third-parties (good ones, anyway) supply patches as needed. I can apply these and my 4-year-old POS file server in the closet has zero issues, and I don't feel the need to F around and update to a more recent version of Debian. (insert your favorite OEM here) isn't supplying timely patches. They also block your ability to apply patches from other places, like Google. If you care, it's time to move to another company.
  • Is there a list of OEMs that do regularily update their devices, and which devices. So one can buy a phone based on security concerns and not on Feature Sets?
  • List? Bahahahahah
  • That's difficult. There are no OEMs outside of Google and BlackBerry that regularly update all devices. Most OEM's update the newest devices three or four times per year. Some — Samsung in particular — are getting updates out monthly for the most recent phones. But most other models get spotty support or none at all. We've tossed the idea of building a list around, then we realized that there are 14,000 different Android models (seriously, that's the number of current models) and there is no way we could list them all or keep track of updates for them.
  • Yep there's elephone and Alcatel
  • I think only when/if the Nexus line starts being successful commercially, making a big fuss about updates, will the other OEMs start taking updates seriously. But for that to happen Google needs to actually start promoting the brand, even if they risk ******* off Samsung and company. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Also, I hate how we get the short end of the stick when it comes to app builds. Posted via the Android Central App
  • We got Pokemon Go late, Prisma late (plus many others) and always makes me mad..
  • No, Android should be redesigned to behave like a proper Linux distro. So that the GUI and packaged apps are completely separate from the underlying nuts and bolt and Google should take over Android updates and the only an OEM like Samsung for example would be responsible for are the packaged apps, drivers and Touchwiz.
  • Today you tell the truth.
  • You know what, I really don't care. Using a galaxyS5 and just got a shiny new Nexus. So I read this entire page and didn't get haxord and nothing fell apart. 100% pass for Android, so far today. :) Certain conditions apply, rates may change, updates are not guaranteed, supplies are limited. Terms and conditions apply. For both offers, must be 18+ & 50 US/DC/PR/US Virgin Islands res. Galaxy Offer: From 8/3/16 through 8/28/16 purchase a Samsung Galaxy Note7 or Galaxy S7 edge (“Qualifying Purchase”) and follow the instructions to submit the Offer Claim Form and valid receipt. Offer valid with device installment plan, 2-year contract plan, lease, or outright purchase at full retail price. Purchase requirement varies, please check with your Carrier. Must submit Offer Claim Form and valid receipt by 9/18/16 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Participants will get their choice of either a Samsung 256GB microSD EVO+ memory card (est. $249.99 value) or a Samsung Gear Fit2 (est. $179.99 value; color may vary) (each a, “Gift”), while supplies last, which will be sent to the contact information on the Offer Claim Form and may take up to 12 wks after verification of Offer claim. T-Mobile customers will have the option of selecting a one-year Netflix code on the “2 stream” subscription plan (est. $120 value) as a Gift. Netflix codes must be redeemed by 11/30/16 or they will expire. Participants who make a Qualifying Purchase on Samsung.com will select their Gift at the time of purchase and will not need to submit an Offer Claim Form. Customers purchasing from Best Buy retail locations (including online) will be subject to terms and conditions outlined by the respective retailer for point of sale redemption and are therefore not eligible for redemption on the Website. Limit 1 Offer claim/Gift per qualifying purchase. Limit one (1) Offer claim per Qualifying Purchase. Qualifying Purchase can only be used to redeem 1 Samsung offer. Subject to terms and conditions. Additional restrictions apply. Click here for Offer Terms and Conditions. While supplies last. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. No more than 100,000 Netflix Codes, 250,000 Samsung memory cards and 250,000 Samsung Gear Fit2s are available in this Offer. Gifts subject to availability. In the event more valid Offer Claims are received than available, Participants may, in Samsung's discretion, have the option to either wait for the Gift they selected or receive a $100 Samsung.com Reward eCertificate (Reward eCertificates expire on November 18, 2016; residents of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands will receive a $100 check instead of a Reward eCertificate). Cannot be combined with any other Samsung, Carrier or National Retailer offers other than Samsung Pay offer described below. Offer subject to Terms and Conditions available on the Website. Samsung Pay Offer: Must have purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note7 or a Galaxy S7 edge, have activated the Samsung Pay app on the device, have registered a qualifying credit or debit card with Samsung Pay, have a mobile plan with a U.S. carrier, and a valid Samsung Account ID and make first transaction with a qualifying credit or debit card between 8/3/16 and 8/31/16. Additional Restrictions Apply. For complete terms and conditions, see Terms and Conditions. Both offers void where prohibited or restricted by law. You received this email as a valued subscriber of Samsung updates and promotions.
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  • Yeah I love my Samsung phone and the rumours about the S8 for next year are very tempting... but the fact that Apple gets the updates the day they're released is even more tempting...
  • Google could do that with Nexus devices but they choose not to. None of the Nexus phones are on Android 7 yet unless you have signed up for the beta even though Google and pretty much every website makes it look like Android 7 has released. Unless you are a beta user your phone doesn't have Android 7. Google likes to roll out slow. Apple on the other hand waits until every possible bug they can think of is fixed and then rolls it out all at once. I like the Apple way but can understand why Google does it their way.
  • I've got Nougat and I dropped from the beta 2 months ago
  • "none of the nexus phones are on Android 7 yet" Pure crap. Considering how resourceful Android Nexus users are, most of them have either downloaded the image for Nougat or in the case with my 6P, signed up for the beta program in two seconds, immediately received The Android 7 upgrade pushed to their Nexus device ( 5x and 6P ), and then removed themselves from the beta program. Your credibility went South the second you made that assumption.
  • Nexus phones were also sold in Carrier stores, so I think throwing around these generalizations about how "resourceful Nexus users are" is a bit misleading.
  • One way Google can fix this is... keep quiet and wait till all nexus devices are ready to ready to receive the update before they announce the release. Then everyone would be happy cause they all get the update all at once.
  • "Apple on the other hand waits until every possible bug they can think of is fixed and then rolls it out all at once." Apple has ruined iPhones more than once was faulty iOS updates that were rushed out.
  • And they all break simultaneously.. Good job
  • Yeah you can also be bricked the same day. And live with the new bugs the same day. Never never and I repeat never rush to get an update on your device you need 24/7. When I went to iOS 8.1 and my phone was bricked apple said completely wipe the device back to factory and restore. That did not work and they then said. Ok a fix is coming in the next few hours. The next few hours was 2 days. I had an expensive iPod for that time. And then to get the update I had to factory reset again. But could not restore the data as it would brick it again. So the backup was useless. i had to start from fresh. Apple just were like "my bad". And that was that. Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
  • So Nexus or nothing? Damn I really don't want to go iPhone I switched already from Windows Mobile.
  • I recently switched from a Lumia 950 to a Nexux 6P and could not be happier! This phone is truly amazing.
  • I switched from Windows Phone 8.1 (not Windows 10 Mobile) last Nov and while I love my V10, I'm getting bored of Android OS. Might be getting iPhone 7 Pro and the coming Apple Watch 2 (while I wait for this Android Wear drout to ever end).
  • You, sir, are correct.
  • That's not true. Like the article said only the monthly updates are really important. Marshmallow is a very capable build. Nougat is not introducing enough to worry about when you get it. My s7 active is getting its 3rd update today.....only had the phone 3 months
  • It's alright to tell yourself that to feel better about your Android device manufacturer/carrier not providing fast OS updates upon release. Whatever makes you feel happier with what you have
  • He's actually right, though. The monthly updates are the more important ones, which is why I never cared if I didn't get the latest version of Android or if it didn't come to my phone right away. As long as patches are being made on my phone to make my overall experience better, I really can't complain. Besides, with as many different phones and models that run on Android and all the different carriers and stuff, I'm surprised people actually expect that update to be instant on their devices. It's unrealistic really
  • What about Nougat is so great that must people 'need' to have it? Posted from my Nexus 5X running Android 7.0
  • Well, since Nougat is out for Nexus devices, anyone buying a phone that launches in the next few weeks probably has an expectation to get an update to N if their phone did not come with N. That is such a 50 50 proposition. I tend to buy the best phone available for my needs and worry about OS upgrades later. In some aspect IOS gets it right as all eligible devices get software patches and upgrades as they become available. And carriers are not the hold up!
  • "You don't buy a refrigerator or a golf cart because of the great things that will come next year, so you shouldn't buy a phone for the great things that come next year. The things it does this year need to still work." <--- This is a Bullshit statement. If we all had this mentality, including Microsoft, they wouldn't design or allow Windows to run on anything over 2 years old. Could you IMAGINE the pitchforks people would raise?? My AMD Quad core 9600 from 2009 is running the latest Windows 10. THANK YOU MICROSOFT. Google needs to understand that the majority of the world can't afford to buy new phones every 12-24 months. The onus to protect those individuals should be ON GOOGLE, NOT THE INDIVIDUAL to spend money to get the latest and greatest. They are a multi-billion dollar corporation and can afford to dedicated some resources to this issue. The fact that my iPad 2 is running the latest IOS update but yet my Nexus 6 won't get Android O is disgustingly laughable. Once my N6 dies, I'm going back to iOS and I hope more and more people do.
  • Let's dissect that. Your iPad 2 will run whatever version is on it now, without any of the new features released since it was built. It gets new application layer support and the new security model. Your Nexus 6 won't run Android O, or get any features from Android O. It will get new application layer support and a new security model through Google Play Services and monthly updates. All Google really needs to do to satisfy is put Android O on the about screen then.
  • Why are you dissecting common sense? The fact is, your statement was, in fact, bullshit. Refrigerators and Golf Carts aren't cell phones. You're telling people to stop trying to apply PC-based update models to cell phones, but then you try to anchor your point by applying the update system (or lack thereof) of a refrigerator or golf card to lend it credibility. This makes absolutely no sense, and is incredibly hypocritical considering you are basically contradicting when you said earlier simply because you think it sounds logical in the moment. Google Play Services is a bit of a hack job and simply isn't comparable to how Apple supports iPhones for 3-4 years. The whole point of buying a high spec'd phone in 2016 is because it's future proof. Benchmarks are worthless. Day to day use is all that matters, and mid-range phones can give the performance necessary to satisfy 90% of users on the planet with MediaTek Processors, 2GB RAM, 32GB + SD Card Storage, and 1080p screens with slightly above average cameras. This can be delivered in a $3-400 package. The only reason to pay out the ass for an iPhone or Galaxy S, or Note is because the specs future proof them. Being future proof doesn't matter one bit if you get shoddy support. Apple will update iPhones until the updates become unusable on them, because they're committed to their devices. Samsung will back burner a device after 1 year and you'll get one more update, but don't expect much more than that. This is why the resale value between Android and iOS devices has a disparity. The Spec overhead is paid for, so that the phone can gain capabilities and functionality through OS updates. Not simple security updates, which should be par of rate course on ANY connected device (even routers get those). The problem is Google bent over backwards to get as many OEMs to use Android as possible, by allowing too many controls. The OEMs then bent over backwards to get as many carriers to carry their products, by allowing carriers to modify the FW to fit their needs. Carriers do things like request radios in their devices that are specific onto their the bands and frequencies used on their network, rip out features, etc. This adds to development and causes the support costs for the devices to ramp up. OEMs combat this by simply not supporting them long at all. I bought the Note 3, and when the Note 4 released with software features Samsung wasn't even bothering to back port to the 3, I jumped to the iPhone 6 Plus and never looked back, and will likely never look back because the terrible support these phones get make them unworthy of the prices these OEMs are charging. There is no comparison in comfort you get from an Android phone and an iPhone. With the iPhone, I literally never even think about updates, at all. I don't follow tech blogs nearly as much because I am not keeping mental timetables on things. I don't read nearly as many full reviews on OS releases because my purchasing decisions are no longer made based on what FW is loaded on the new phone. Unless hardware limits a feature's function (Battery life, biometrics, NFC, etc.) then the feature gets back ported to the earlier iPhones, anyways. On a Galaxy Note (for example) you often have to upgrade to the new $800+ phone just to gain software feature/conveniences or an updated, better optimized TouchWiz skin. I find this ludicrous. Lastly, Nexus phones are decent, but I absolutely hate the way Stock Android looks so they'll never be an option for me. I don't buy devices with the assumption that I'll have to start swapping **** out just to make it usable. That's just me, though. Clearly, others don't fee that way ;-)
  • My refrigerator was supposed to get a beer spout update this year and still nothing. I've called Magic Chef several times n they make excuses saying that they don't have security patches to help me. They lied to me and now I'm stuck with no spout.
  • What are you referring to when you say older iPhone's don't get new features with OS updates? I can think of very few times when that has happened. The main one being Siri when it first came to the iPhone 4s but not the older models. Other than that every iPhone gets the same new features.
  • No they don't. And older Apple devices run like crap on latest iOS releases. The point is as long as you receive the security updates, you should be fine with not having the latest Android update since your existing phone works fine for whatever you are going to throw at it.
    If you want the latest updates ASAP, you need to buy a Nexus/Google phone.
  • Android is open source, you pay for Windows, that alone makes a world of difference. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not everyone pays for Windows.. hell MS gave Windows 10 free to people who pirated previous versions.
  • They didn't.....kinda. They gave the OS for free, but not the key needed to activate it.
  • Ya, I have a machine that upgraded to win10 for free,but that version of windows is still not authentic (as it reminds me in the lower right hand corner of my screen).
    No one got a free ride.
  • Windows 10 (was) free now and even has developer program (Insider program).
  • You obviously did not carefully read the article about how Google does NOT own Android. Google can no more make an OEM or Carrier update a phone it did not make than Honda can force Ford to recall an F-150. Google did not build your Nexus 6. Apple, you know the SAME company that engineers iOS, did build your iPad. See how that works? Apple is a HARDWARE company that makes software for its devices. It has always done this long before 2007. The only other companies that do this are auto makers. Oh well and BB for a time. That all-in-house approach is the KEY to all these ridiculous arguments. Stop looking at Galaxy phone as an "Android" device and start looking at as a product from the company Samsung. Support for the produc falls squarely on Samsung's shoulders, even if it has chosen to use Android on its phones. Google sure as hell did not force Samsung to use it. Open source remember. Jerry's article does an excellent job of explaining all of this. And he is right. I do not purchase a SINGLE item based on what I think it might do or I might need from it in a year. That is the definition of asinine. I buy it to use it right away. He is NOT saying the object should not last, which is basically what you are accusing him of. Just that the basis for the purchase TODAY should not hinge future features.
  • This
  • I switched from Windows 10 Mobile last Nov. Will probably get the iPhone 7 Pro. To me at this point on a daily usability level, Android and iOS are pretty much the same. I like yearly updates to new software and iOS even has preview program.
  • Ios and android nowhere near the same. Android far superior. BTW this is an android forum.
  • I'm on Android Marshmallow on my LG V10. Might switch even tho I'm on an Android forum.
  • Wow are you sure? I think the acid has kicked in. How do you like that stuff n are seeing marshmallows yet,?
  • I'm am not interested in N7 update!
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