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Will You Ever Get the Latest Version of Android?

Published on 16 August 13
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With the launch of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google has caused a stir in the Smartphone market. It might be surprising to know that despite of having frequent updates, a whopping 58 percent of android users are still using the humble Gingerbread (Android 2.3). According to Google itself, a little above 1 percent of Android devices run on the latest version.

For millions of Android device owners, getting an update on time is next to impossible. There are several reasons causing this. The biggest factor is Googleâs own approach to its OS. Others include factors like carrierâs unwillingness, manufacturers and hardware limitations.

Even if you succeed in overcoming these obstacles, there are least chances that you will have latest version of Android as soon as it is released. Let us start with Gingerbread. By the time you will have it updated for Ice-Cream Sandwich (ICS), a new update is released. Now if you go on to install the ICS update, weâll have Jelly Bean (Android 4.3). And let us assume that after trying hard you successfully updated your handset with Jelly Bean. People will already be waiting for the Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0). Itâs a never-ending vicious cycle!

But contrary to the famous belief, Android does not upgrade its software just like that. Throughout its life-span Android has been able to come up with state-of-art features. Also it has been able to root out all the bugs and errors to give its user incredible experience. The only problem is that these updates are too often. Sometimes itâs like â blink and youâll miss it. With so many updates, only some of them (like Gingerbread, Ice-Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean) have been able to stay here for a considerable amount of time.

Upgraded and âUpgradeableâ Handsets

Recently we have come across various phones which are being advertised as âUpgradeableâ. The manufacturers are not sure of what version of Android will stay and for how long. So they make a hardware that currently runs on one version of android (for example ICS) and is upgradeable (to Jelly Bean).

These manufacturers have turned the âlack of certain softwareâ drawback of Android into a feature! So rather than making a handset that is more robust and have faster processor, they launch the same set saying its âUpgradeableâ to latest Android technology by doing some minor tweaks in its motherboard.

Creating a Universal OS is Difficult


Had Google been developing Android only for Google Nexus like the Apple does for iPhone, things would have been really fast and way easier. But here lies a big problem. Android is made for one and all, so it has to be fluidic enough to run on different hardware smoothly. Believe it or not, but it involves great amount of time and hard work from various Android programmers. Even more effort is required to bring proprietary code from motherboard makers. A Snapdragon device will need a Jelly Bean-friendly Qualcomm driver. The Android apps development process has to be custom-made and have to be embedded in hardware without compromising anything.

Now you know the reasons behind frequent Android updates and are also aware of why it is difficult to have the most recent Android version on your phone. We cannot pin-point any one for this, and will have to live with this.



















With the launch of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google has caused a stir in the Smartphone market. It might be surprising to know that despite of having frequent updates, a whopping 58 percent of android users are still using the humble Gingerbread (Android 2.3). According to Google itself, a little above 1 percent of Android devices run on the latest version.

For millions of Android device owners, getting an update on time is next to impossible. There are several reasons causing this. The biggest factor is Googleâs own approach to its OS. Others include factors like carrierâs unwillingness, manufacturers and hardware limitations.

Even if you succeed in overcoming these obstacles, there are least chances that you will have latest version of Android as soon as it is released. Let us start with Gingerbread. By the time you will have it updated for Ice-Cream Sandwich (ICS), a new update is released. Now if you go on to install the ICS update, weâll have Jelly Bean (Android 4.3). And let us assume that after trying hard you successfully updated your handset with Jelly Bean. People will already be waiting for the Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0). Itâs a never-ending vicious cycle!

But contrary to the famous belief, Android does not upgrade its software just like that. Throughout its life-span Android has been able to come up with state-of-art features. Also it has been able to root out all the bugs and errors to give its user incredible experience. The only problem is that these updates are too often. Sometimes itâs like â blink and youâll miss it. With so many updates, only some of them (like Gingerbread, Ice-Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean) have been able to stay here for a considerable amount of time.

Upgraded and âUpgradeableâ Handsets

Recently we have come across various phones which are being advertised as âUpgradeableâ. The manufacturers are not sure of what version of Android will stay and for how long. So they make a hardware that currently runs on one version of android (for example ICS) and is upgradeable (to Jelly Bean).

These manufacturers have turned the âlack of certain softwareâ drawback of Android into a feature! So rather than making a handset that is more robust and have faster processor, they launch the same set saying its âUpgradeableâ to latest Android technology by doing some minor tweaks in its motherboard.

Creating a Universal OS is Difficult


Had Google been developing Android only for Google Nexus like the Apple does for iPhone, things would have been really fast and way easier. But here lies a big problem. Android is made for one and all, so it has to be fluidic enough to run on different hardware smoothly. Believe it or not, but it involves great amount of time and hard work from various Android programmers. Even more effort is required to bring proprietary code from motherboard makers. A Snapdragon device will need a Jelly Bean-friendly Qualcomm driver. The Android apps development process has to be custom-made and have to be embedded in hardware without compromising anything.

Now you know the reasons behind frequent Android updates and are also aware of why it is difficult to have the most recent Android version on your phone. We cannot pin-point any one for this, and will have to live with this.

This blog is listed under Open Source and Operating Systems Community

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