It's hardly a secret that updates on Android can, at times suck, badly. Sometimes it's better or worse depending on the manufacturer but, for the most part, if you have a device that isn't a Nexus and has the tiniest bit of involvement with a carrier then, you're in for a longer wait. Why carriers feel like they need to play such a big role in the update process that they do is absolutely beyond me but, I guess it's one those things. The big bad evil carrier will still be there and we'll still – follishly – making phone calls on their network.
Google have tried before to make it easier for their partners to update their devices in the past, in fact it was only last year's Google I/O that the company unveiled its "Handset Update Alliance" which…we never heard any more of after the event ended. It's safe to say that that was pretty much a fail on Google's part and it certainly didn't help devices get Ice Cream Sandwich any faster. Although, Android 4.0 was a pretty big update so, perhaps Google just got their timing a little mixed up.
This time around though, they've announced the Platform Development Kit, which is a set of tools that help manufacturers port apps and frameworks to newer versions of Android with greater ease. The outfit has already stated that a number of 'select' partners have already been given access to the kit, I hope that Google don't lock this down too much. If the kit really does help manufacturers with their updates then this could be a much needed boost to the Android updates system.
Of course, what would work even better than that would be to tell the carriers to take a step back and let Google and manufacturers handle updates alone, all this "testing" that Verizon and the rest crow about is simply a shady sales strategy if you ask me and, quite frankly, it's petty for carriers to be still doing this sort of stuff.