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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
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.

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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    Ridgefield​ Park, NJ ​07660, and that's all. Lol
  • 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!
  • Jerry, you're a bright guy, but can you honestly tell me Google should absolutely stop supporting a device simply because of age, regardless if the hardware is MORE than adequate to run it? Americans(and I'm American) have a disgusting throw away habit. We are like the #1 cause of all the old electronics being sent to 3rd world countries simply because of corporate greed of wanting to sell you a new product rather than freely support existing hardware all while shoveling in money. If Google switched their OS tactics and started charging upgrades for existing hardware, and it was fairly inexpensive, $5-$10 bucks, I would 100% spend the money to upgrade my N6 to Android O and others would to. Also, If I'm not mistaken, once Google ends support for the N6, that means it no longer gets security updates, yes? Or will those continue for a determinate amount of time after the October N6 EOL date?
  • Google supports products as long as the people who made the parts inside it support those. It's not a matter of money. They still support security patches for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 when required and available. My example above is true for your Windows 10 computer, too. Strip away everything that is an application (system or otherwise) and you'll find a long list of features not supported by your CPU. You did get a new UI (and you will when O comes around on your Nexus 6 through the launcher in the play store) new security features (Google Play Services here) and support for new application-level features (again, Google Play Services). Google will continue supporting system level security and bugs through monthly updates. The difference is that it doesn't say it's a new version without most of the OS features. Google could do the same thing Apple does and label any update with a new platform version. They pretty much did that with Gingerbread. It doesn't make a difference, though. It's a culture thing. Open source nerds get it, because it's always been this way. Maybe Google needs to stop thinking like open-source nerds so it makes more sense to consumers.
  • If that placebo stops us from throwing away older hardware simply because of age, I'm all for it. I know that my iPad 2 is missing a ton of stuff even though it's on iOS 9.4.3(fragmented, even though the iOS people say Android is more fragmented, but thats another discussion) but it's a placebo that makes me continue to use it. I didn't toss it in the trash, and I use it regularly because of that little tik in the back of my brain that says it's on the latest and greatest OS(Even if it simply says so in the About screen). For consumers, it makes us feel like we're still cared for and it's the #1 reason why Apple has such brand loyalty and a fierce following. A little caring from the greedy corporations goes a long way.
  • I can't argue with a single thing you've said here. Again — maybe Google needs to stop thinking like open source nerds, and do things in a way "normal" folks are more familiar with.
  • I usually only use the newest iPhone's so maybe I just don't realize the missing features. What features are you missing on the iPad 2?
  • Exactly. What does Apple's shareholders care about most? I'll give you a hint: It starts with "selling" and ends with "stuff". Which means no matter how happy you think Apple wants you to be with your current stuff what it REALLY wants is for you to buy more new stuff. And it would like you to do that every year. It's shareholders sure as hell do. This is the problem with tech in general. The OEMs (phones, computers, tablets, etc.) need to tout quality (i.e. built to last) yet at the same time, really need you to upgrade your tech with new hardware. The trouble comes (has come) when you future proof yourself out of business. Why don't you ask the PC business about "good enough". And sniffs is right, I mean I love seeing "Marshmallow" on my LG G3. Hey man, it's a brand new phone again! (not). These might be the best two comments yet.
  • Sorry, I couldn't upvote you more than once... The idea for paid support beyond the free support window is a great one. I would say $25/year is more realistic but whatever. The problem is it will never happen for the same reason Google is not giving us a free upgrade to Android Nougat for the N5 and N7. They need to sell new phones and also not piss off the other OEMs to much. Personally, I am good with the fact that Nexus devices get great ROM support as I am a DIY guy.
  • The N5 and N7 aren't getting Nougat because Qualcomm will not support OpenGL ES 3.1 on the Adreno 330. There is no other reason. Applications targeted for Android 7.0 or higher can use OpenGL 3.1 or Vulkan for graphics rendering. That means devices that can officially run Android 7 must support OpenGL ES 3.1 or Vulkan. In future versions of Android, the entire UI will need OpenGL ES 3.2 or Vulkan support. If that means Android O, then you will need a Snapdragon 821 or better if you are using Qualcomm hardware. Google loses money selling Nexus phones. They make it back because every one of them uses Google services. They want to give you more features and services to make more money from the phones that were already sold.
  • You have sources for any of this? OpenGL ES 3.1 is a requirement for Android N? You are confirming the new Nexus phones will have a SD821 than? Are we confusing Android API levels supporting something with requiring it? You could be right but I have never read anything that the N5 or N7 were NOT compatible with Android N. I can't believe there will be no Android N custom ROMs for the N5 or N7.
  • I read on 9to5google that there is already a very, very early version out for the nexus 5.
  • I read on 9to5google that there is already a very, very early version out for the nexus 5.
  • I am sure there is...
  • There is a long list of source code commits that force OpenGL ES 3.1 or Vulkan support. These started between beta builds 4 and 5. This coincides with the announcement that developers were "allowed" to target N in their apps built for Google Play. If an app that is built for Android N can use these GPU resources, phones that run N will need to support them. The alternative is to not allow developers to use better rendering engines in the apps they build because some phones will not support them. Google Play is all about compatibility. If that means certain devices are cut off from an update to keep all phones on the same platform version compatible with apps built for it, so be it. Phones that don't offer OGL 3.1 or Vulkan support could run N just fine before the changes, but they need this support to be official and use Google's Play Store. Independent developers at places like XDA will be able to reverse these commits, and build Android N for many phones that aren't getting official support. This still isn't a big deal in the "real world." By the time applications that require specific Android 7.0 APIs are common, we'll all have a new phone. This is a by-product of Google not forcing developers to update apps. These apps will all work on Android N, and things like the new notification APIs are backported to Jellybean through the Android compat libraries. The only things you will be missing are actual OS features like encryption changes, Doze changes or better background process management.
  • Agree 100%. If Android One devices can handle Nougat them I am pretty sure the N5 should be able to handle it, even if not all the features are supported.
  • This is the irony of the "OS Wars." Android User: Yea, your iOS got the update, but you're missing features. Me: Yes, I'm missing features my phone doesn't support, or which would demolish its battery due to the lack of a M# CoProcessor, Fingerprint Scanner, NFC, larger battery, etc. But hey, 95% of the OS is on my phone, and for that reason our app ecosystem benefits because developers can just move on, almost wholesale, to support new features. How's that working out on Android? The big casualty in this issue isn't really the users, but the developers. Particularly for people who buy Nexus devices off-contract, they probably don't want to spend another $600+ for a phone if their current phone works fine. This is WHY Apple has such good support. Because they want to retain users, because not all users upgrade at the same time, and earning their goodwill will at least ensure that when they FINALLY DO UPGRADE it will be to an iPhone, because they know it is a phenomenal long-term investment. This is why I think iPhones, despite the perceived hardware disparities (spec pumping), are a better long-term investment than Android. They are the more usable device, long term, due to how ferociously apple supports them. Apple will support an iPhone until the OS basically fails to run at a basic usable level on the device. It's commendable and it's where the industry needs to go. Making excuses like Jerry doesn't really help improve the situation. There is nothing logical about Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. dropping support for $650-900 phones within 2 years. The only way to improve the situation, is to stop buying their devices. HTC didn't commit to their pitiful 18 month "fast update" system until their sales started to tank. You want Samsung and others to improve? You know what to do... Buy a different brand, or switch platforms.
  • "There is nothing logical about Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. dropping support for $650-900 phones within 2 years." Sure there is, it's called sales. At the end of the day, Apple, HTC, LG, whoever, they need to move product. That is all that matters. Anything do, don't do or are perceived to do or don't boils down to that driver. Would be different if they were not publically traded entities but they are. You are right if 1) people simply stopped buying Galaxy devices; you know, gave up the chase for "ooh shiny" (which plenty of iOS users are equally guilty of) and 2) Samsung was somehow made aware that the REASON sales were tanking was directly due to lack of support, then yes, you would probably see a change. In reality, these companies listen to themselves and the people to whom they pay very large salaries to figure out why something is or is not selling well. The people in these comments are a niche group and not a large part of the millions of consumers who buy these devices. Our voices are not heard.
  • Yes, just an update-policy wise, better go iOS but usability wise, Android OS and OEM's hardware made a big leap in this year or two and is much better than iOS now, IMO., which is way more important to me. After switching to Android, I totally happy and rarely look back.
    I used to have iPhone4, 5s, iPad3, and tore down Android like some people still persistently do now; a criticism based on old crappy Android they experienced, that no longer a case now. I'm so over iOS.. iOS (personally, not an option) aside, however, there has to be something gives google and OEMs a "business incentive" to update old phone, what could it be...
  • Stock Android FTW!!
  • Yep. I love the stock android. I love the build of my HTC M8S more than my Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X, but prefer the OS on the Nexus devices. Looking forward to trying out the multitasking on Nougat, just wish the Nexus 5 would get it too as I still use Slimport to output to HDMI in places where I cannot use my Chromecast.
  • Sure it matters. The notification system is a complete mess in MM. Some apps don't peek, some do, and when you turn off peeking for an app and reboot, peeking is back on!! It's like it's a god damn beta version!!!
  • All apps use the same notification APIs. When you get Android N, it will be the same unless the application developers fix it.
  • Yeah, the API is what sucks here! I'm not really sure but I'm hoping I can force all apps to behave the same. Consistency is what I'm after.
  • +1
  • We need a major security breech before this issue will ever get solved.
  • Unless there IS a major security breech, there isn't an issue
  • This
  • Good article,as always,thanks.
  • Matters to me. It's why i will never get another carrier-linked phone, why I have a 6p today and a big reason I'm down on Samsung. Ask Moto X owners if updates matter. New features, even if they are small, are what make your phone feel just a littler newer.
  • Truth be told, Samsung and other OEM's (except Motorola) include features a few years before they show up in AOSP and on Nexus devices, so saying you avoid Samsung phones because you want the new features is a bit of a paradox.
  • Eh, the "features" that came on my Galaxy were near useless, and were often buggy, battery draining nonsense. Updates came slowly and usually contained more bugs that required patches that also came slowly. But I'll give them credit, the updates came quickly when they wanted to add Knox, lock the bootloader and made root as difficult as possible so if I wasn't happy with the software there was little I could do on my own to change it.
  • That has not been the case since the S6. People are always saying the features are useless until Google "borrows" them. Samsung can put 7.0 in the about phone section and you wouldn't even know the difference.
  • vry true Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well said!!
  • That's one way to downplay android fragmentation
  • I kind of which that my phone never got MM.
  • When I use my N5 and I see how fast is this phone I think "Damn U Google!"...but anyways, I will wait for the new N5, or maybe just get a 5X or a 6P
  • Yes Jerry, it #$^%!@&*^#@$ matters. That's why I buy Nexus and Pixel stuff :p
  • +1
  • I really don't think, purely from a security standpoint, that using anything other than a Nexus or iOS is wise anymore. I've not had an iPhone since the 3GS, and currently carry a 5X, but since I've grown older I've grown tired of tinkering and customising. I can see myself trying iOS again soon.
  • I'll add the Priv and HTC 10 to the list here, but I agree. That's why I only use those devices. I also understand that many people (most?) don't care, and I don't want to change their minds. To each his own and all that.
  • My next phone im done flashing roms lol. I think im getting to old for it to.
  • Get Nextbit you'll love it
  • I'd use a virus infested 1st Gen android before I'd use any iphone.
    #overmydeadbody
  • Lol I wish I could up vote you a million times
  • I think it's a placebo effect. I have a 6P and a Pixel C and I wanted the update on the first day and I got by signing up for the beta program. If you asked me why I wanted it I couldn't tell you. A couple of days later I'm back to using my phone the same way I used it Marshmallow and Lollipop.
  • Doesn't matter to me. I like a tried and true version of Android. Everything I need, want, use is more important than getting the latest. Security patch? Eh....Yes, my phone is vulnerable to exploits, but I'm not that paranoid. Still rocking my S4 with 4.4.2,
  • Very cool
  • My S3 was pretty decent, but My friend had an S4 and that thing got pretty horrible as time went on. He kept it for an entire 2 year contract. It would auto-reboot in his pocket, in his hand, whatever. The battery was absolutely atrocious from day one despite being a decent size (worse than my S3). It had absolutely horrible standby times, which I also experienced on my Note 3 as many times it would go from 80 to 10% over 8 hours or so just sitting idle on a table while an iPhone 5S could sit idle an entire 24 hour day and lose maybe 6-8% of its battery, and that's being aggressive with the iPhone's number (probably closer to 5%). Also, the SD600 and 800 were shown to decrease their clock speed significantly after running just a couple of minutes, which means those high clock speeds were pretty much placebo. They'd have gotten better performance out of those phones if they had under clocked them by 35% to reduce heat generation. I think this is something Apple is seeing in high clock rate CPUs with ridiculous amount of cores, which is why they are sticking to lower clock speeds (but better efficiency i.e. higher IPC) and lower core count, and their devices are benefitting form it in both performance (can run at higher clock speeds longer) and battery life (can use a tiny battery and get comparable battery life, because the CPU isn't killing it the way the SoCs in Android phones do). The S4/Note 3 also had absolutely horrific cameras. I applaud you for being able to stay on that phone this long. It really makes me say "Wow!"
  • I would be happy to receive Marshmallow.
  • Forget Marshmallow I got that I need Nougat
  • Most Kyocera users would be happy
  • I expect major android manufacturers to update Atleast the phones from last year to nougat 7.0. If a Manufacturer doesn't, I'd never buy a phone from them in the future.
  • The Nexus program needs to be expanded. OEMs need to join in the fun. Stop making custom ROMS. Only Samsung can pull that off right now.. Compete on hardware, make less devices. It's such a simple problem to solve. I would never buy anything but a Nexus. The only other acceptable offering is a Galaxy S#. Other than that you're a fool to buy anything else. Nexus, iPhone or Samsung.
  • I couldn't agree more. I bought a Lumia 950 on launch day from MS and started looking for an Android device 3 months later because i just couldn't take MS crap anymore. Ive had iPhone 1-4 but never an android. And I had been using windows phone for so long that i had zero knowledge of Android. I intentionally did not ask any of my friends what android phone they were using because I didn't want to be swayed in any direction. So after 2-3 months of heavy research on what makes Android great and which phones do what. Pro's and Con's. An at the end of the day a Nexus phone is the real deal. I mean yea Samsung sells millions of galaxies and they really do push the envelope on hardware. But at the end of the day they are behind the curve because they keep trying to customize everything their own way. Stock Android is clean, fast, and overall a better performer. I ended up with a Nexus 6P and Im so glad I did. It blows Windows Phone away! Apple device cost way too much but the OS is solid and device really hold their value. The problem is their phones are way too expensive! So to end my rant Nexus for the win! but Samsung and Apple are solid contenders.
  • Beyond the app gap, what about the Nexus 6P blows Windows Phone away? Not the phone, but the OS Thanks,
  • Stability
  • Can I interest you in a Nextbit phone?
  • I've had three Android phones since 2010.
    OG Droid, Eclair updated to Froyo.
    Galaxy Nexus, Ice Cream Sandwich updated to Jelly Bean.
    Nexus 6, Lollipop updated to Marshmallow, and soon to Nougat.
    Each one worked exactly as it should have, on each version it was on. The Droid could have run Gingerbread, and the Gnex could have run Kit Kat, but Verizon said no. Guess what? They worked, just fine, as designed, until I upgraded, and if I fire them up, they work just fine today. Sure, I wanted the shiny newest Android, but the one I had worked just fine. That's what I bought, and that's exactly what I got. I just got smarter about buying phones from my stupid Ahole carrier, and now my carrier unlocked phone is no longer geld hostage by the rotten dummyheads at Big Red. Now I get the best of both worlds. YMMV. Good luck!
  • The ENTIRE android ecosystem is a pathetic joke. That's including nexus.. It all starts at the top. And Google flat out ******* sucks. The die hard fanboys won't ever say it, but they are pathetic and it all starts with them. Then you get this HTC nonsense. Which when they claimed they were going to get updates out in 15 days after release a couple months ago. You had to be special kind of stupid to believe that. Now they say nope. One phone first Q4... And this is the damn company working with google and Qualcomm doing the bring up of Android 7.0 on the damn 820 hw platform. **** nexus. If you want software updates. Go apple. Stop making excuses for this pathetic ecosystem. You cant even purchase a single ******* android phone on Launch day, use it for two years and then hand it down to child / family member and get updates. Not platform updates. Not even security updates Yet they get away with it. Because ******* EVERYBODY constantly makes ******* excuses for the all these pathetic parties involved. Google speaking - hey silicon vendors, you want your platform to pass CTS and be certified to use our services? You're signing a contract to continue to do BSP and support your platform for 4-5 years. And if you don't. Well we will sue you and **** off because you don't have any other game in town. Apple is buying your pathetic chip designs. Windows phone is windows phone. Raise your prices to your customers ( the OEM) and dig into their massive profits. We are tired of our customers getting screwed It starts at the top. And Google doesn't give a flying **** about updates. Stop falling for the lip service and PR speak. They dont give a ****.
  • Did Google lubricate you before they did unspeakable things to you? That is some serious butt hurt on display there.
  • Nobody holds anybody at all to anything in the entire mobile industry. The overwhelming majority of the people that cover it are know nothing hipsters that got into " tech journalism" by just playing with phones and doing app reviews or some other garbage Look at how many idiots didn't know about armv8 and the 64 bit move. Psssh the iPhone doesn't have other 4gb of ram, it's useless! How many people still don't know the basics like IPC and core count. X chip has cores, it should be fast. It's more advanced than the dual core with a massive IPC advantage... Hardly anybody in the industry goes after each other for spreading nonsense / FUD or just being incompetent period. It's all a club people that largely don't know crap that read off the PR materials in their video and written reviews People that have God Damn idea how anything at all works in the industry. From the hw itself. To the bring up / BSP to the operator level. Know nothing writers writing click baiting articles is the norm in entire mobile tech industry.
  • Clever retort
  • Please tell us how Google can update something they didn't build, or even have the source code for? You might as well blame What'sApp because all these phones can run it on the operating system built from scratch by the company who's name is on the back. Google only makes 2 phones. Last year they only made one. They have nothing to do with any other phones. Their phones have always been updated as long as the vendors support their components. This will continue because Google doesn't make money from selling phones. They are a software company and want you to use software that acts as a conduit to services and features they do make money from. Google holds copyright on much of the Android source, but they do not own it in the traditional sense. It's free for anyone to take and use, and the software licenses make sure it stays that way. They are not responsible for anything any other party does with it or the products they build that use any portion of it. Your rant above would also hold IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Apple, Intel and many others responsible because THEY also hold copyright on portions of the Android code. There is no difference between blaming IBM for phones not being updated and blaming Google. In college, I worked with my CS professor and we submitted a handful of patches to the Linux kernel maintainers. That means you can also blame me. The result will be the same as blaming any other company that didn't sell you the phone. Phones that use their storefront must support Google Play services and pass compliance testing. These phones can run any Android app in Google Play built for their platform. The relationship with OEMs ends there. That's what they care about. Android is an application platform that's free. It lets companies build and sell phones that can run apps and services from Google without them having to build their own application platform and apps that hook into Google service APIs. Google makes money from this. Past that, Google does not care what companies do with the phones they design, build software for, sell and support. Nor should they. Google is not your mom or your babysitter. They care about Android apps because they are a revenue source. This is how open source software in a commercial environment works. I'm truly sorry you can't understand, and I can't use any simpler language to explain it.
  • Save it. I know exactly how it works Jerry. I wasn't making the case for Google to update other OEM devices. I'm saying it STARTS with them. They can put pressure on the Silicon venders to provide support for longer. They can walk into a meeting with Qualcomm and say we're building a new device and want to use your platform. But you need to provide the support and do /work with us doing the BSP for x amount of years. They don't do a damn thing. You think it's perfectly fine for Google to release a nexus and supply platform updates for two years and security for a bit more. I don't.. Not at all. Even if you pretend the only android phones that existed in the world was only nexus devices. It's still pathetic. You think Google actually cares about updating their OWN devices. I don't. Google doesn't give a crap about updating anything For example they should have updated the nexus 4 to MM. Instead I seen you guys ( maybe not you but the majority on the site) defend that. Saying the device ran too slow. Meanwhile praising how devices with freaking lower clocked cortex a7 chips and a far weaker gpu was a good experience. Meanwhile the nexus 4 running it's latest official build or newer community build ran netter that heaping pile of **** nexus 5x for its first 8 months. Google has money. Sit down with Qualcomm and pay them for the damn BSP support engineering to do bring up on GOOGLE nexus devices. But they won't. They don't care. Two years. You ain't worth the money or time to continue to provide updates. You aren't worth to the time to hire engineers at Google who work on the platform / bring up level at Google. Jerry you know how small the Android team is at Google. And you damn know it if they wanted to they could have spent the money needed for Qualcomm to continue work on the BSP and hire more people at mountain view to continue the device tree / bring up. Stop making excuses for Google. Google doesn't give a ****. And you know it. If they really wanted to support their own devices longer. They would do it. Period.
  • Got it. I thought you were just another person shouting at Google because Samsung or anyone else won't update their phones. Will let the post stand for the next person that needs it. Can't argue with that, other than I'm sure in some cases the actual silicon (Adreno 330 and the required tesselation shaders in OpenGL ES 3.1, for example) won't support the features. The rest is a matter of money. Google wants to make it while spending as little of it as possible, just like everyone else. They could act as something more and someone better, and maybe they should, but they don't.
  • Yep sick of all this "Google doesn't have the time and resources" excuse, because they do Posted via Android Central App
  • They do, but every company (no matter how large) is still constrained. There are only so many man hours in a given year, so Google can either focus their available resources on the compatibility and security piece (Google Play Services), or commit resources to somehow update all 14,000 models of phone at once - even writing drivers for old Qualcomm and Mediatek chips. Or, they can put something in the Open Handset Alliance clause to "force" OEM's to update, but this would cause some OEM's to use something other than Google's Android on their devices, and probably get Google dragged before multiple anti-trust courts.
  • Or they could even focus on Adwords and it's own websites which generate $52 billion (77%) of its revenue because that is how it actually makes money. That stuff that makes its shareholders happy, which as a publically traded company, it is rather obligated to do. We place far too much personality on the way we think companies should "behave". It's a lot like how people project all these feelings onto their pets beyond "feed me".
  • I don't think the people in the cheap seats heard you Jerry. You might have to say it for a 5th? 6th? time. Must take the patience of saint to work at AC.
  • Who hurt you?
  • He has a detailed opinion with stuff to back up his statement, he is no troll.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • If you want TOUCH DISEASE, go Apple
  • I'll try to keep this short and sweet for you. *ahem* Apple devices are only made to work with iOS and because only Apple makes iPhones, they have complete control over them. There are far more Android devices released than there are iPhones ranging from low end, mid range, and high end. It is much more of a hassle to bring out updates to every single one of them. And also, it depends on the carrier. Android phones from different companies like LG and Samsung also use custom ROMS and not stick Android which most likely further complicates the process. Google is trying everything they can to ensure that updates get released to as many phones as possible. It is not an easy thing to do because of just how vast the Android ecosystem is, but we should be thankful we have the Nexus lineup which they can give us the option of getting timely updates for at least 2 or 3 years. So please, stop talking about how bad Google is! Google is a massive company that has given us many great things and we can thank them for creating Android and the incredible amount of customization possible on these phones as well as the vast selection of Android phones to choose from. (This came out longer than I thought it would, gee)
  • *******, the battery doesn't last much beyond 2 years. It's a waste of time to keep updating them. Apple does it because they sell the same phone over and over and don't care when the new software update breaks it. As long as security updates continue for at least 3 yrs that's sufficient. Wtf do you want? Go get a boring ass me too iPhone and shut up. They do a great job with Nexus. My only gripe is we need more of them. More Nexus choices from more OEMs.
  • I like how the people replying to this comment validate it... Unknowingly, because they are so driven by bias that they cannot really entertain a decent discussion surrounding the issues. That being said, less profanity would have helped...
  • I don't get the I must have updates now attitude. Well I do on here. It's phone geeks with OCD on AC forums. :-) But if your phone is working great why the rush to have the updates? I do not place security patch updates among the above. They should be pushed out to everyone and that's that really. But staying in the services world and not been a pirate app side loading dick bag you should not have to worry much about malware and the likes. Or did I make that to simple?
  • Big difference between rushing updates / demanding updates and a pathetic update lifespan. Or absolutely none for vast majority of the phones on the market. Or when a company like HTC boldly states that they're going to be getting updates out in 15days! We slimmed our rom down and blah blah blah. Keep making excuses for these pathetic clowns in the industry.
  • Complaining here is meaningless. Go write a letter to HTC.
  • And to add. Google " thinks likes open source nerds". So do open source nerds sit on critical security patches?.. Do they sit on them waiting for a calendar day they picked so their OEM partners can push a update if they want? Do they sit on memory leak fixes until the next platform update? Like the infamous and many memory leaks in lollipop? Oh its fixed internally and coming in a future update BS... Thinking like open source nerds would be releasing this stuff via AOSP either into the stable channel or a dev branch. Some damn where. They don't think like so called open source people at all IMHO They think corporate. The did the development behind closed doors / open source combo simply to get into the market and succeed. Which is all fine by the way. They're supposed to be thinking like that to make money. Think open source.... How's the code looking for android wear...
  • But how do really feel?
  • Dude. Have a rest before you get a sore throat and an headache. Jerry would be wasting his time trying to reason with you. It would be a fail on his part for trying. I think you need to take your iPhone and go play some Pokemon and have a walk. And by the way. I think about 90% of readers on here don't give a fly f*** at what you said and 91% think you are a d*** eating apple fanboy. I personally think you should go to imore or something and join that circle jerk over there and relax. If not at least shut your c#ck hostler you call a mouth.
  • Well that was certainly ripe with colorful imagery :)
  • All of this doesn't matter, why is everyone so angry? Mobile phones are just a fad. See you at the pay phone.
  • I'm almost ready to go back to a flip phone. Life was easier back then LoL
  • Shit dude. I have to wade into this because it's how I pay to keep my lights on. I'm amazed that so many people get into it for fun.
  • I hear ya Jerry. I do. I largely don't participate much in stuff like this. But every once in a while ya got to vent it out, ya dig. I typically ignore comment sections and forums altogether..
  • And please continue to do said ignoring.
  • Your criticism is constructive. It's just hard to read and understand with all the lunatic-rant style shit going on (that's me being constructive and not telling you how to post comments). We (as in all of us who read this sort of shit with an open mind) could actually use more folks who have valid criticisms but express them in a simple and calm way :)
  • You do realize this is the modern day Internet right? Stop talking crazy.
  • Jerry don't man. Leave it. Stranger danger! Stranger danger! Ha ha yes I'm trolling the guy. But he is making it so easy.
  • I'm beginning to question your career choice :)
  • I know that was sarcasm but I'll add on some more. It's not like the nexus 6 that people bought for 650 dollars total ( that this site and all others constantly defended the price btw) or a new note 7 for 850 dollars can actually want to get platform updates for more than 2 years or anything. It only the cost the same or more than gaming pc that can max out 1080p. Be happy with them lol'ing all the way to bank with their huge profit margins from silicon that they paid less than 30 dollars for. With them releasing 50 damn phones a year meanwhile your carrier unlocked flagship is months behind on security updates. Be happy! Be happy that the press that is supposed to cover this market space and hold them accountable is largely ignorant fools kissing the OEM's asses and repeating 90 percent of the press kit in their reviews. Be happy that the tech press is essentially a marketing department for the industry. Be happy that people on this site spread the lie over and over again that the SoC in OG moto 360 was custom. It wasn't btw. Give away your money and be happy!
  • Ha ha. But dude not everyone is angry. Seems to be just one guy that's gone postal on here. Everyone else is watching and waiting and watching.
  • We don't have anything better to do :)
  • You know,it's funny,Google does an outstanding job with their own apps on IOS.Makes you think. Nice hardware on an OS that is supported for a considerably longer period of time running the apps you know,like,and use. Flame away if you feel the overwhelming need,don't care.
  • Half the people out there would crucify me if I told everyone that I really like the iPhone (since the 5s) and recommend it to a lot of people for the same reasons you just listed. Have an upvote.
  • Thanks man,I am very close to doing just this next month with the 7+(6se+,whatever),it will give me everything I described plus FaceTime and imessage with the wife,family,and friends.
  • ever used google photos on iOS? it literally doens't backup photos unless you open the app.
  • There are plenty of reasons to dislike how Apple restricts customizing on the iPhone and in iOS. But you can't find fault with the hardware, especially since iPhone 4. My wife has had all of the last three editions (including an iPhone 5 that is a work phone), and I am constantly amazed by the build quality. Only HTC does an equally high-quality job on that part. While I am no fan of iOS, I also know that it works well for people like my wife who care not one wit for customizing their phone experiences. All in all, choice is good.
  • Yes because Google's apps are the only ones I use and care about. /s There are so many other Android apps I use and greatly prefer over iOS equivalents. Also there are various Android features I would miss if I were to switch to iOS.
  • The waiting game? You mean the Crying Game because some phones will not get android N.
  • If someone pays 800+ for a note 7, they have a right to cry as much as they Damn well please. Posted via Android Central App
  • Their is no reason in hell to logically pay that much for a phone. My Nexus 6 does everything perfect that I need it to do and I didn't pay no $1,000 for it. My S6 which I paid a dollar for is a little beast. My girlfriend's Moto X Pure runs like a champ and we got a sweet deal on it.
  • I agree I wouldn't pay that much, I was just saying an example. Posted via Android Central App
  • Only if that phone was sold with the promise of updates. Now, Samsung does promise 2 years of OS updates for their flagship lines and they generally continue to provide security updates thereafter for a number of devices (Sprint Note 3 got one yesterday I believe). However, they wisely don't give definitive timelines at time of sale.
  • Why are we commenting here? You better have a Nexus and not a Samsung. Just messing around, you gave me a hard time last week during a Samsung article.
  • Holy Cow!!!!! And people are mad over what again???? News Flash::: my S3 running 4.4.2 can run any app I need it to with zero problems. Some people need to calmly step away from the keyboard and take a few relaxing breaths LoL
  • Feel the same I have a S5 running MarshMellow , now . Started on Kit Kat , Lollipop and now the Marshmellow - had a S3 before that was solid - but like the S5 much more . Always had a glass screen protector and case ..so the plastic thing never bothered me . When I look at the new phones , I only see what they don't have - IR blaster , fm radio , removable battery .. Sammy brought back the SD card and has kept Qi charging a mainstay ..now . I really liked the 6P and lack of wireless charging was the deal breaker - the physical ports get sloppy .. we plug them in and out all the time ..even though technically they new stuff charges pretty quick . I would have had to pay more for the 64GB also because of no sd card ..so that drove the price up for me. Kenny
  • Correct, actually any phone running KitKat or newer is just fine. But nougat is better. Haha
  • Just buy a nexus problem solved
  • That's not the answer for Android as a whole.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • It's not Android's problem either.
  • Until people start doing a mass Exodus from Samsung HTC and other OEM phones things will never change
  • All of us on this site are the 1% that care about updates. We are the only ones that raise a fit about this. Not too hard to imagine why OEMS don't give a ****, eh? Posted via Android Central App
  • Did you hear the "prize winner" alarm go off right after you posted that? :) It would be WAY more fun to have all of us in a room, with alcohol sitting in a circle of chairs (like a therapy group) with Jerry as the mediator. ...on second thought.
  • Well I made the switch to LG and got their LG G4 phone, mainly for the camera which I enjoy it features, for a phone I like it; BUT the phone, the hardware part of it is my third device. I'm glad the agent at Sprint talked me into their lease plan, in less than two weeks I discovered, well I should say my son discovered that the screen went crazy when you tried to touch it with more than 3 fingers at a time, suppose to support 10 fingers at a time. Returned it and got a new one, about one year into the lease, the phone just up and died. Took it to my local store and showed them what it was doing and they said they would have to order a new one into their store, didn't have one on the shelf I guess. About a week or so after I got the one I have now (number 3) I was reading reviews about different phones and yes the LG G4 was mentioned. It said that LG had 'hurried up' on the release of the 'flagship' phone and were having productions problems with it. Which I can vouch for, all that said, it will be a while before I will consider any LG phones. I will probably stick with one of the 'big' names, just not LG. The two main features I look at, does it have a removable battery AND does it have a slot for adding a SD (micro) card. If it doesn't there is a strong chance I will pass on that device.
  • And complaining every time a new version of Android is released is not a solution. We all know how Android works. It's been that way since the beginning and it's not going to change. You either accept it or move on. There are other phone OSs.
  • I couldn't of said it any better myself!
  • You're right about that Posted via Android Central App
  • Coming from a person who's life revolves around Android Central and has absolutely no life but spending their nights and days on this site. There is a reason I never respond to your comments even though you feel to need to respond to the very few comments I make. This will be the last time I will ever respond to your comments as many have said before you are the true meaning of a troll.
  • The only answer and you know it. Stop playing around get serious. Nexus 6 best phone ever. Never mind I'm getting cheap see you next year.
  • I can't wait to get my hands on new nexus. Nexus 6 was a beast.
  • Is a beast
  • I got nougat 2 days ago when it went to full release by signing up. Took 30 seconds to get the upgrade link and away I went, battery life is the first thing I noticed, got a big jump there. It runs quicker and smoother than ever. Good luck note 7 owners on getting the polish in 2017. It's like a free upgrade to a new phone!
  • I'd be perfectly fine with OEMs releasing phones on a version of Android with security updates. Not sure why they are expected to push new versions of Android.
  • TBH, I'm more concerned with security patches.
  • Excellent article, Jerry.
  • The carriers need to be removed from the picture enirely. 99% of the time it's them who are clogging up the works. OEMs can help with this by ditching the carrier branded models of the same phone. To me, all those variants do is add unnecessary bloatware to the system image and mess up the update process.
  • While I agree with you, there is no way that Google could "force" all OEMs to make all their phones unlocked. OEMs make too much money through carrier branded phones, and Google (at least right now) is dependent on OEMs running their operating system to make money. Alas, this is a consumer problem. People think they are somehow getting a deal on an installment plan through carriers, when they're not. But most people don't even think about it, because in their mind, they can't afford to buy a phone, so they'll finance it. I'll leave it up to you to decide how stupid that line of thinking is for a piece of mobile tech.
  • Instead of focusing on the OEMs, Google would probably have more success going after the carriers by not allowing preloaded carrier bloat (much like what Apple does). Google already knows what carrier your phone is on as they read the SIM card during activation. They can use this to open parts of the Play Store dedicated to the detected carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, etc) where carrier-exclusive apps can be downloaded.
  • Still waiting on M
  • I use IOS at work. I really don't enjoy it. It's been about a year. And I just don't find it as easy to use a my note5.. The multi tasking and back button setup with Android is way better In my opinion.. I like the clipboard in Android as well Posted via the Android Central App
  • Very good article.
  • Nextbit Robin will get Nougat in Q4 this year according to them.
  • iphone = boredom....tried for few weeks....it is just not android Posted via the Android Central App
  • Does it make any difference if you're not getting it because qualcomm is too damn stingy to put any resources into updating the drivers for some of their processors http://www.slashgear.com/android-nougat-rollout-allegedly-hampered-by-sn...
  • Articles like this are just to make people not feel bad about having this years device with last years OS.
    I like android OS, but lack of security and OS updates pissed me off enough to go back to iPhone.
    Nexus devices are generally pure sh** devices. the 6P is no exception. bad, slow cameras, ugly designs, cheapass build materials.
    To get a good high quality device like LG V10/20, Samsung S7 / Note 7 you have to spend $800 and then you don't get updates for months and months.
    And, that $800 phone will likely only see ONE major OS update over a 3 year period. 18 months support and done with it.
    I spend $800 on an iPhone and get software and security updates immediately and support for 5+ years.
    Both operating systems will do everything I would ever want a phone to. If dumbass apple would add native app support, customization options, and REAL widgets, they'd like win about 20% of their market share back..
  • You know what, enjoy your iPhone I disagree on several levels with your assessment of the 6P. I'm done judging platforms. Posted via Android Central App
  • @mayconvert I assume you keep your phones for 5 years then?? The rest of us normal folks are mostly in 2yr contracts therefore we replace our phones every two yrs. So I really don't see the issue with Google or any other OEM dropping support after 3yrs.
  • of course not. but that's not the point. Say your brand new Note 7 is stolen, you signed a 2 year contract, you didn't get insurance, and you don't have $800 to buy a new one. You go buy a $150 used iPhone 5S to get you by for a while. it's 3 years old and has the Latest OS and if you can't cough up the $800 within 2 years, it will also get the NEXT OS as well. also, me and you might upgrade as often as possible, but the 45-50+ year olds and older usually get a phone and use it until it dies because they don't have to have the latest and greatest as long as it works. it's a Good thing that mom and dad are still getting updates to keep them safe.
  • You spend $800 on a overrated toy made in a Chinese sweatshop and Apple's smoke and mirrors. That's way too much money for insecurity and poor build and design quality. Just ask all the iPhone 6 owners with touch problems caused by Apple saving a buck.
  • and you think your smart phone WASN"T made in sweat shop down the road? riiiiiiiggght. you people are hilarious. you jump on any bandwagon the drives by. The touch ID is might affect .02% of ALL iPhones made.
    the problem is .2% of 80 million is a lot. if motorola or Nexus, or LG, or hauwei, or asus, etc. had the same issue, .2% of its customers would be like 8 people. and lol at the insecure.... ok.... closed OS vs open OS... hmm which one has anti virus pre installed?
  • Yawn. Not talking about my phone. Talking about overrated, overpriced, over hyped iPhones. The chips on my phone were designed properly, so no problems here.
  • lol
  • Thing I've noticed when going to a whole new version of Android is that I have a big battery issue immediately after. Then there is a quick fix from Android for that specifically and the nexus phones get it, but everyone else had to live with it for months until carriers finally release it too. I ALWAYS seem to get a phone that gets the new Android version right after I get the phone -awesome battery, then literally -half as good. Will definitely wait on updating this go round. Posted via the Android Central App
  • MY phone will get Android 7.
  • Nougat is ok but for most they won't notice a difference with M. Very minor. M will be more stable and reliable until N gets some more updates , attention, and users discovering new bugs.
  • I hate updating to a new os unless 6 months pass at least cuz I used to update all the time windows, andriod etc but when you get a problem and it was running fine before the update it's unnecessary stresses. I'll be happy if I get N next year.
  • Problem is the best smartphone I ever had, the HTC one m8, doesn't even get the monthly security updates. They stopped in the December 2015 patch. THAT SETTLES IT: I'M BUYING THE NEXT NEXUS!
  • ..."They also make it easy to see what was patched, and how, in case you want to build it yourself on your customized version." Where? Where is this easy to see? Seriously. I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to determine what versions of Android Google still supports, and I can't find it. I tried to find a list of build or snapshots or a changelog and it was painful at best. I found this:
    http://www.androidpolice.com/android_aosp_changelogs/android-5.1.1_r37-t... How do I tell if this is still being patched, or if it's on the latest security update? Do I have to go through the fix list and compare it to the latest security updates? Is there a separate changelog of security updates? This is anything but easy. ..."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." If there even anything to get? I can't determine clearly whether Lollipop and Kitkat get these security updates at all. Or are you assuming phone manufacturers are taking the fixes and backporting those fixes themselves to Android 5.1.1 and older? Finally, you wrote Monthly security patches are the most important updates you'll never get in February: http://www.androidcentral.com/monthly-security-patches-are-most-importan... and now you're implying, that "Oh well, it's fine, because your old devices are getting security updates," except that *they're not.* Even Google is dropping security updates for the Nexus 5 (on Marshmallow) in about a month. So again, your contention is that Android 7 doesn't matter because you can get security updates for older versions of Android, but that's not even true of Nexus devices, let alone anything else, and it completely contradicts what you said six months ago. Now it's entirely likely that I'm the idiot here, and something has changed re:Android security that I don't know about. This article doesn't make that change clear enough for me to understand, so please, clarify it.
  • And just to follow my comment above, when I say "Is there a separate changelog of security updates?" I understand that Google puts out a monthly security bulletin. But that bulletin doesn't tell me whether the code applies to Android 4.4-6.0, let alone which devices, let alone whether those devices will actually ever see that update. And again, *Nexus* devices don't even see those security updates. As of five weeks from now, there will be literally *two* Nexus phones that actually get monthly security updates. "Well, they could incorporate the code" is not useful in practice.
  • I don't mind waiting a few moths for an update, but I'm upset if my phone is never going to receive the update, specially when it seems very arbitrary. I have a nexus 5 and it's a very capable phone, no doubt it will handle Android 7 very well, but because of the way Android works, as is described in the article, it needs to be tailor made to every device, which forces the manufacturer to allocate resources in the newest devices and eventually abandon the older ones. The line has been typically drawn at two or three years, in the past that amount of time may be reasonable because in that time they were a lot of changes and improvements in technology and to Android itself, but today the gap between every tier of phones is closing and the improvements are slowing down. Every new phone is a little bit boring because is very similar to every other phone. So when a 3 year old phone doesn't receive the update just because Google doesn't want to take the time, to me reveals the fundamental problem of Android, and it's not the OEMs or the carriers, it's the way the OS works.
  • It does to me. That's why I just got a Nexus 6P and am planning on upgrading next year too. This phone is awesome! Love Nexus! :)
  • The multitasking matters to me, as well as Doze. So yeah, if I was on anything other than my Nexus 6, I would worry a bit, or a lot depending on the phone. This phone is likely going to be my daily driver for the full 2 years, until next year's Nexus. (my N6 is only 13 months old)
  • "The things it does this year need to still work." I have no faith whatsoever that the smartphone industry as a whole understands this. Unlike TVs or Roku's or Blu-Ray players, smartphones, for all of their incredible engineering and high prices (*cough* Note 7) are still treated as disposable. They are given a "useful life" of two years (legacy from the contract days). The idea is that EVERY year, a new version must come out and the previous model be simply forgotten. It is ridiculous. With the latest round of internals and outer hardware, there is absolutely no reason a smartphone should not function and function well beyond two years and in fact that do. This means support for the device should also extend beyond the "upgrade" cycle. But selling the next batch of phones is all the OEM's (and their shareholders) care about. Maybe they should charge for updates. It seems if you want to a company to care about something, you need to affix a revenue stream to it. Pathetic.
  • os updates arent really necessary as long as previous android os's dont get phased out, like from ice cream sandwich onward. On the other hand who DOESNT want a new os for their phone, that is just apart of the 21st century vibe
  • great knowledge
  • To be honest I don't really get what's so special about nougat. You say it is Google's windows 7 moment, but how? What are these under the hood changes you refer to?
  • It's never mattered that much. It's just taken most people this long to realize it, and some still haven't.
  • To all you guys and gals switching to iphone, enjoy the overpriced hardware, especially the screwing you get when buying larger phone storage space. The steaming pile of dung they call itunes will cause you many hours of "fun" also.