why are Android updates so confusing?

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Krullban

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They release them seemingly at random through different carriers months apart. Is there any reason for this? My parents have S5s and they got the 5.0 update, Russia and certain carriers have it for the Note 3, but I still can't get it with my carrier.

I don't understand. And there is no way to find out when it will be releasing it seems.

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Justin258

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I have a Note 4 on AT & T and it updated thia afternoon.

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mike

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#3  Edited By mike

It's because carriers want to put their own garbage bloatware on top of the stock Android release, make sure their support staff have a good handle on it, and test it on their own devices before sending it out as an update to possibly millions of customers.

If you want the pure Android experience and fast updates, get a Nexus device.

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Wallzii

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@mb said:

If you want the pure Android experience and fast updates, get a Nexus device.

Or root your device and install a custom ROM.

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mike

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#5  Edited By mike

@wallzii said:

@mb said:

If you want the pure Android experience and fast updates, get a Nexus device.

Or root your device and install a custom ROM.

I have been doing this for years...but I figure if someone is asking basic questions about how Android releases work, a custom ROM is probably the last thing I should suggest to them.

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Wallzii

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Can't agree with you more. Custom ROMs are the way to go, but you can really screw shit up, and fast, if you don't have a basic understanding of what you are doing.

For that reason, a Nexus device is definitely the better choice.

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chaser324

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#7 chaser324  Moderator

Android update releases really are a damn mess, and it's a bit of a shame because I feel like that's one of the things that's held back Android phones.

From a development perspective, it's extremely disappointing to see Google drop impressive new Android releases and know that you can't develop for it because damn near nobody is going to have it. Take a look at the market share of different Android versions here - a significant number of people are still using 3+ year old versions whereas on the iOS side you can count on damn near everyone updating immediately (only 3% of people are using anything older than iOS 7)

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laflux

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#8  Edited By laflux

Man I miss my Galaxy :(

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cloudymusic

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#9  Edited By cloudymusic
@chaser324 said:

Android update releases really are a damn mess, and it's a bit of a shame because I feel like that's one of the things that's held back Android phones.

From a development perspective, it's extremely disappointing to see Google drop impressive new Android releases and know that you can't develop for it because damn near nobody is going to have it. Take a look at the market share of different Android versions here - a significant number of people are still using 3+ year old versions whereas on the iOS side you can count on damn near everyone updating immediately (only 3% of people are using anything older than iOS 7)

At least it's a lot better than it used to be. Much of the new shiny stuff is available in the support library, and the most exciting stuff in Android 5 is all design-related, which can (largely) be applied to pre-5.0 devices if you're not concerned about "preserving the old 4.x feel" on 4.x devices. For the stuff that isn't backwards-compatible, you can still support those features on the devices that can handle them. Compared to how it was 2-3 years ago, I feel like device fragmentation has been much less of a concern than it used to be.

The prevalence of Nexus devices (including tablets) and near-stock devices like the Moto X have also done a good job of providing extremely quick turnaround times for OS updates and getting the "latest and greatest" into the hands of more regular (non-power-user) consumers. Hopefully that trend continues.