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Friday Poll: Thoughts on Android OS Updates from Carriers/Manufacturers?

All the talk this week seems to be surrounding the timeliness (or lack there of) of Android OS updates from carriers and manufacturers.  Computer World even put out a report just a few days ago which pegged Verizon and HTC as the top carrier/manufacturer combo for updating devices in a timely fashion, while T-Mobile and device maker Samsung seem to be struggling mightily.  In fact, we’ve already seen a class action law suit pop up after a wild conspiracy theory over the Samsung Vibrant’s update spread across the interwebs.  It’s getting a little silly at this point, but hey, whatever satisfies you, right?

So what do you guys think?  How are manufacturers and carriers doing when it comes to updates?  Fast enough?  Not fast enough? Doing just fine?

Thoughts on Timeliness of Android OS Updates?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/joelseph98 Joel Seph

    This debate desperately needs some context. If you’re comparing against previous Mobile OSs, There basically were no updates, at least not automated. So the Android experience seems to really be spoiling a lot of people into forgetting what it was like before.

    Google is in a tough position – they don’t want to take total control over the OS, that puts them in the same position as Apple and kinda defeats the idea of an open development platform. But I really think the junk (my biased view, but I HATE Blur) that the manufacturer overlays need to be OPTIONAL. Google should really make an easy way to disable customizations. We don’t know all the nuts and bolts in regards to the arrangements between Google and the manufacturers, thought, so…?

    So – although I would love to see Google have total control over it I’m not sure that is practical, since they’re not the ones having to deal with the reprocussions of a specific device not taking the update well and generating a lot of support calls. Basically the carriers take the calls, which require the manufacturers to give the info, and coordination with Google to get the updates. There’s still a lot of go-between involved.

    As Android continues to mature and be successful, I have to believe this process is going to get a lot better.

  • Shane25

    AND IM STILL WAITING ON 2.2! CALLED TODAY AND THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHEN AN UPDATE WILL BE COMING OR IF ONE IS EVEN COMING!!!
    STUPID TELUS AND MOTOROLA MILESTONE!!
    and caps was extremly called for.

  • http://alltechdaily.com Ben

    I’m on a samsung fascinate….don’t ask.

  • Kusheil

    Maybe I am among the very few who think at least we get updates. Yes it sucks when you know about an update and wait and wait for it. Most people I know don’t care because their phone works fine. I use roms thanks to all of you! That aside, not so long ago, no one got updates! Be happy with what we have!

  • http://www.facebook.com/getcarterized Joe Carter

    I had a samsung omnia on verizon with a window moible os, and it was updated in a pretty timely manor, I assume that android will be even better

  • http://twitter.com/OMFGitsJUSTIN OMFGitsJUSTIN

    What i dont understand is WHY it takes so long! I mean, it’s not like google is making NEW operating systems each time! They are just minor updates! If an app will work from 2.1 to 2.2 why must phone manufacturers test their skins?! Heck, why even include skins and bogus apps on the phone in the first place. The iPhone is ONE os on ONE device. Make android ONE os on MANY devices. This is one downfall of Android to iOS.

    I am running a Droid Incredible with Gingerbread 2.3 STOCK. I can only do this thanks to these amazing rom developers. I can expect this update skinned and loaded with crapware from verizon in a few months (if I am lucky to even get 2.3)

  • UFISH2

    I think that there saying thunderbolt will come out with gingerbread is a rip off to all of us who have bought “top of the line” smart phones and are stuck with them on 2 yr. contracts with the promise of gingerbread update which will be way down the road after they sell all that they can of the 4g phones!! U>)))~>2

  • Anonymous

    ta.gg/4wu

  • Jaymonster

    I think unfortunately, t-mobile gets hit b/c they have more mid-level devices that manufacturers are less concerned with updating. The g1 at the time for cupcake and donut updates quickly. The nexus one gets updates (obviously) quickly, but gets whacked for devices like the Cliq… which is a Motorola issue, not t-mobile. Whereas VZW is always sticking their nose in a slowing updates themselves.

  • Anonymous

    i just dont understand why it takes so long for them to release updates? ROM devs make ROMs after the leaks drop in a couple days. and then fix things with incremental updates as needed. why is it that difficult for these companies to do the same thing? i find it really hard to believe that these huge companies don’t have smart enough people to be able to do it. just seems odd that 13 year olds can do it and these big companies cant……..

  • Lpmeteoraremix

    This is the primary reason I use ROMs

  • Picodroid

    Carriers shouldn’t be included. They hardly have any affect on Android version updates. If anything, they need to make sure their bloatware is compatible with the new version of Android, and that’s just at most a handful of apps.
    It’s pretty much all down to the manufacturer.

    With that said, they’re doing alright. A few months after Google releases it for their Nexus phone is understandable. I’m sure the manufacturers don’t get the newest version until well into development by Google, so it’s only natural for them to need a bit more time to polish it up. They aren’t just working on having it operate properly on one phone, but seveeral, and developing new phones at the same time. It’s a lot of work.

    I’d prefer to wait until it’s operating properly instead of having them rush it out anyway.

    Besides, since 2.0/2.1, there hasn’t been much of a difference. 2.2 and 2.3 aren’t bringing any overly amazing new features.

  • Picodroid

    Carriers shouldn’t be included. They hardly have any affect on Android version updates. If anything, they need to make sure their bloatware is compatible with the new version of Android, and that’s just at most a handful of apps.
    It’s pretty much all down to the manufacturer.

    With that said, they’re doing alright. A few months after Google releases it for their Nexus phone is understandable. I’m sure the manufacturers don’t get the newest version until well into development by Google, so it’s only natural for them to need a bit more time to polish it up. They aren’t just working on having it operate properly on one phone, but seveeral, and developing new phones at the same time. It’s a lot of work.

    I’d prefer to wait until it’s operating properly instead of having them rush it out anyway.

    Besides, since 2.0/2.1, there hasn’t been much of a difference. 2.2 and 2.3 aren’t bringing any overly amazing new features.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2c7p8hm

  • mrbasicsharj

    I like the droids, but this lack of support/updates have me thinking pretty hard about returning to iphone.

    • Jack Overholt

      Please don’t go there, If you look at the fact that new Android updates bring whole new software, mind blowing capabilities, and have sweet names like gingerbread. Then look at the i*hone’s updates, they bring antennae fixes, make you not be able to jailbreak, and bring a new radio app that has the same icon as everything else on your screen. Oh yeah, also its called 4.2-BORING. + the i*hone doesnt get many more updates then droids- unless you have samsung, thats because they’re stupid:)

      • http://twitter.com/OMFGitsJUSTIN OMFGitsJUSTIN

        What I think you fail to realize Jack is that new android updates unroot phones just like new iOS updates unjailbreak phones. I have a Droid Incredible and I am looking to go with the verizon iPhone because yes, you get new updates with cool names for Android but you also get crapware that verizon thinks you will like. VZnagivator, VZapp store, City ID, Need for Speed demo. I feel like I am back on Windows only I CANNOT remove the apps unless I flash a custom rom (which I do now). I actually don’t mind an update to an app and having the same icon being there. You seem to find it as a disadvantage. I find it nice because some apps update their icons and change names which a) look/sound ugly or b) makes it hard to find the app because it looks different!

        I love Droid, believe me. I just don’t like Verizon forcing me to install apps, taking MONTHS to push updates, and even cutting off updates because they want customers to buy new phones (Droid Eris can run gingerbread but Verizon will never update that phone again)

  • Mousiope

    where is the option i´m a MOTOROLA EUROPE (milestone) user don´t ask …….

  • Jamerson90

    I would have to say it depends on your carrier very much. The questions is very generalized, but as you had laid out in the article on VZW and HTC bringing updates faster and more of them than anyone else, Tmobile and ATT are lacking HORRIBLY. As a verizon customer, I’ve been pleased with updates. There have been hiccups, but my droid 1 made it to android 2.2 before I traded up for a droid 2. Since I got my d2 in Oct Ive had 1 update, which was a small update, but I’ll take an update from 2.2 to 2.2.1 considering samsung users are getting screwed.

  • Anonymous

    This BS with updates is seriously putting me off Android. I love Android and I love the idea behind it, but I am getting close to just saying screw it and dropping the platform. The only way to ensure updates with any type of speed is rooting the phone and using third party custom ROMs and that shouldn’t be something you have to do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/borgey401 Andrew Borges

      then go get an iphone…… no one is forcing you to stay on Android

      • Anonymous

        I still have 11 months on my contract and I really like Android. I’m not to
        the point yet where I will ditch Android but if this keeps up, me and likely
        a lot of people will probably make the same choice.

        • http://twitter.com/OMFGitsJUSTIN OMFGitsJUSTIN

          I’m ditching android. I am tired on slow updates across carriers. I am tired of updates coming and bricking some phones causing a halt of updates being pushed. I am tired of a slow update rollout (lasting weeks) which cause me to have to download the update.zip and install it myself. I AM TIRED OF MY UPDATES BEING BOGGED DOWN WITH CRAPPY APPS THAT VERIZON LOVES AND THINKS I WANT BUT I REALLY DON’T WANT NOR CAN I UNINSTALL THEM.

          iOS for me it is. I LOVVVEEEEE my droid incredible and all the features google adds. But carriers and manufactures have tainted the true google experience with slow updates, skins, useless apps and even removing google and adding BING.

  • http://twitter.com/hpizzy Hiral Patel

    Why provide an update? If a carrier can stall long enough, this will cause users to purchase new device on a new 2 year contract.

    Money talks – I bet if we said we will pay $5.99 for the update – a new update would drop every month – its easy money.

    Did I just create a new business model for carriers?

    • UFISH2

      I agree 100%…….if we could buy the gingerbread update there servers would crash..lol..but who would buy the new phones…U>)))~>2

  • Anonymous

    Google needs to step in and tell manufacturermanufacturers that they need to stop putting their own UI on their phones cause it really slows the update process and Vanilla Android is amazing by itself anyway just my two cents :-P

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I7J4Z55BLI6W3OMFGRZZFNVLQA John

    motorola sucks at getting updates, and most of there phones ship with 2.1 to. htc seems to get the fastest updates.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHT6BRKOUQYNZV4C5D5RQ5FNQA Mason

    I think that the whole situation is pretty annoying for a number of reasons. First of all, we are waiting too long for updates in almost all cases. And in most of these cases, the reason why we’re waiting is so that the manufacturers can port their skins over to the new version of Android. But most users don’t even want these skins, and would be happier with stock android now.

    There’s also the fact that the carriers and manufacturers are more than happy to stop providing updates for handsets after just a year or so, when the handset is perfectly capable of running the latest version. I still have a Droid Eris, and Verizon and HTC took forever to put out 2.1 for it, and seem to have given up on anything after that. I’m now running 2.2 on it, thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Android ROM community. Seriously, how it is that some guy, working in his free time, who may not have any professional software experience at all, and has no access to engineering documentation, can do a better job than these enormous engineering companies can do with their own handsets?

    • The350zWolf

      The reason this happens is due to the ol’ mighty dollar. The manufacturers, carriers and all of the worthless middlemen maximize their profits by selling new hardware. They make the usable life of a phone artificially short by not upgrading the software and making it prematurely obsolete. Then the consumer has to forkout some more money, in the form of buying new hardware, or getting a subsidized one and extending your contract.

    • None

      They probably deemed the Droid Eris too unstable to run 2.2. Sorry, but out of most of the Androids available, that one was always meant to be one of the lesser models. It was a cheap phone. Maybe there is some truth to the carriers and manufacturers desiring more money from the consumer, but bottom line is while your phone may run 2.2 just fine, it probably just wasn’t a match meant to be.

    • takeshi

      “But most users don’t even want these skins”
      Citation? Most devices are purchased no by the enthusiasts that post online. If you’re citing this or any other Android discussion site then you don’t have a statistically significant example of “most users”.

  • http://twitter.com/ChazClout ChazClout

    I’ll be sticking with stock Android via Nexus phones. After waiting what seemed forever for the gsm Hero to get 2.1, that put me off of non stock Android on a phone.

  • Anonymous

    Rooted here, so I really can’t vote…

  • Anonymous

    I voted for “we’re waiting way too long” but at the same time I’m tired of getting buggy software that takes “way too long” for an additonal fix :(

  • Anonymous

    All you rooted people, do you get updates any faster? Im one of the samsung people on 2.1, and I am trying to decide if I want to root.

    • Chris Nimon

      Oh heck yeah. We rooted uses had Froyo like 4 months before they started pushing out the official version.

      • UFISH2

        Yes we can get updates quicker,but when verzion has over the air updates like the last on for my X i had to do a ton of work to get back to “stock” taking a big risk to brick my phone and then mod it again,it s just more work than it should be,rooted or not!

    • Anonymous

      Yes much faster, check this thread out for the fascinate

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=910692

      I think I’ve actually been on xda more than droid-life lately…sorry kellex :)

  • http://twitter.com/eckspunge Cody Barton

    If the Android developer community can get us new versions of Android faster than the carriers can, something is wrong. In this case, something is egregiously wrong. Perhaps they should be paying [us] to develop for them.

    • Custom Colonel

      Something is clearly wrong if you believe what you’ve just typed.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry for the samsung users but I still feel they are better off with tvs.

  • Anonymous

    No option for manufacturers should drop the UIs and push updates faster?

  • Anonymous

    I thought after Gingerbread they were going to slow down? I think its pretty ridonkulous that they are already announcing Ice Cream Sandwich. Let the phone makers catch up. WTF! Especially Samsung!

    • Anonymous

      I disagree with “let the phone makers catch up” when the dev community releases fully functioning rims within a couple weeks. The manufacturers are getting paid to work full time on it, the revs do it for free in their spare time. No excuse really.

      • Custom Colonel

        The devs let their users test for them. If Samsung released an update where your GPS didn’t work, or your apps all force closed, would consumers say “Well, at least they tried! Hurrah!!”? Clearly not.

        • Anonymous

          If they had a group for beta testers I’m certain they would have plenty of people sign up and theyd be able to work the bugs out easily.

          So, 2 options. (Motorola) Stop crippling the phones you make, after you sell them they aren’t yours anymore, they belong to the consumer.

          Another option, do what you’re payed to do. Develop and support the phones you make.

  • http://twitter.com/MrBouche MrBouche

    Given the prices we all pay for these devices, there should be a hell of a lot more effort made to get updates sent out. I’m locked into my contract for another 11 months and my plan is to track which device will lead in sales or which device isn’t locked or has been dependably worked around so I can at least depend on the AWESOME community to create roms that make up for the long wait (or make it pointless).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RAXMLPAUMUA7V44J4ECFOIRD4E Annoying

    the carriers should NOT have any control over the updates. like on Windows PCs, these OS updates should be phone agnostic and update the day google slaps the gold sticker on that build

    • http://twitter.com/rgmills33 Robert Mills

      I agree, but that means Google needs to do build and test for every device. Granted I think if it’s a phone “with Google” they should be responsible for the updates.

      Issue is all the OEMs are skinning Android their own way and are playing catch up with Google. I’m concerned about the new dual core phones running 2.2 which I believe will require more changes to utilize the multicore phone, just means upgrades for those devices could take longer.

    • Custom Colonel

      haha…for the 60+ android devices? sorry but that would be a PR nightmare. Android’s failure is fragmentation, my friend.

      • Tergiversator_Maximus

        It’s also one of its greatest successes.

      • Jaymonster

        Please just stop. “Fragmentation” is a straw man. Yes, there are old versions of Android on devices, but guess what, at the end of the day, the growth of Android shows that most people don’t care. Sure, those of us that want the latest and greatest and knownthe second a new version is “dropped” start counting the seconds until we get our update, most people are blissfully unaware.

        So “failure”? I think not.

    • http://twitter.com/mkw87 Matthew

      It shouldn’t be under control of the carriers, it should be up to the manufacturers……..which isn’t a great scenario but at least they can hope you come back in 20 months / whatever your renew period is. The carriers have even less incentive bc you are contracted, and in the case of verizon, where else would you go? No one has comparable service in the NE US…..

    • takeshi

      Sounds great on paper but those stating this apparently have little understanding of what it would take.

  • Anonymous

    I’m just glad I’ve gotten mine. I could be a Samsung user sitting on 2.1. So thanks Moto & Verizon for slowly pushing the updates out

    • Drberezin

      I’m a Samsung user siting on 2.1 :-(

    • KleenDroid

      The girls that got a Fascinate think it’s just fine and don’t even know what 2.1 is. If there are any guys that got it they simply rooted it and flashed the 2.2 rom. It’s a good phone for the girls just like the Eris was the choice for girls over the D1.

      You can’t knock the fact that at least with the Samsung phone the bootloader isn’t locked. That alone kicks Motorola’s arss.

      • Anonymous

        DISLIKE. Some of us GIRLS were there at 6am getting an OGD. I had no desire for an Eris ever.

        • DBK

          O.O

          I think I’m in love……

        • Anonymous

          Will you go out with me?

        • Anonymous

          Will you go out with me?

  • Anonymous

    Where’s the “I’m rooted so I don’t care when the carriers put out updates” option?

    • Anonymous

      Hah I like it.

    • ThievingSix

      Still don’t see it.

    • Jager07

      That was my response, too. Altough I did expect we’d see a fully functional Gingerbread rom (or at least more rumors from the Big Guys) for the OG Droid by now. Not complaining, just commenting.

      • The350zWolf

        I think that Gingerbread is giving the devs a run for their money. Somehow it’s not playing nice with phones other than the Nexus S

    • Anonymous

      We can no longer say that since we can’t replace the kernels because of the locked bootloader. The Roms are cool and all… but it’s not the same.

      All we can do is play around with the rom we have, it’s not like the D1 days.

      We are now at their mercy.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I7J4Z55BLI6W3OMFGRZZFNVLQA John

        he never even said he had a droid x……

        • KleenDroid

          Good point. I guess there are plenty of lucky people that don’t have a Motorola phone.

          • Anonymous

            I have a motorola phone and my bootloader isn’t’ locked… though my phone does need more ram

          • KleenDroid

            Then you have a Droid 1! Because if you have a D2 or an X you are locked down tight!

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl
      • takeshi

        “Not like the D1 days”? It’s still the D1 days for many.

    • Custom Colonel

      doesn’t matter if your rooted if you have a locked bootloader…you can let koush or whoever the hell lie to you and tell you your running a custom ROM, but you’re so not…

    • Anonymous

      Rooting can only go so far. With the locked bootloader on both my X and my D2G, I can only load roms that better whatever version I’m on. You can’t release 2.3 in a custom rom (well, not yet…)

    • Anonymous

      My droid x is rooted. What you meant was “my bootloader is not locked”

    • Anonymous

      My droid x is rooted. What you meant was “my bootloader is not locked”

  • Ashlee

    I am with a very small cellular company that only services the state I live in. They are very slow about sending out updates. It’s sad. When I see an update goes out for my device online I’ve called to ask my carrier when I’ll receive an update and half of them don’t even know what I’m talking about! Grrrr!

  • Jshee42

    OG Droid on Verizon. From the time that I got my phone, I went from 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.2.1. I think they’re doing an ok job, but I think i’m waiting way too long from when I hear that an update is available for my phone to when it actually arrives.

  • Chris Nimon

    Anybody have a link for 928droids deodexer? downloaded onix black notification bar but clock is also black, need deodexer to fix (for stock rooted DX)

  • wankarolla

    somehow im missing the voting option
    “im a motorola user outside the US… my bootloader is locked down and its sure awesome to get froyo 1 year after the release.

  • http://twitter.com/richardsonadm Adam Richardson

    Can’t vote based off those choices. Have we even heard of Gingerbread for the X. I haven’t yet. So no vote for me…Yet.