While most of us love Android for many reasons over any other smartphone platform offered, there is one blinding factor about the ecosystem that we can all probably agree needs improvement though. Software updates to newer versions of Android have long been the one area where most people felt not completely satisfied about the user experience with their device. Short of Nexus users of course. Software updates don’t matter to everyone, but for a vastly large(and growing)group of users on Android, updates to newer builds is something to often look forward to as Google usually ends up adding in plenty of goodies. Sometimes these are just small incremental update builds with minor bug fixes and a change here and there, but oh boy, when it’s a larger update that brings in tons of extras and a giant handful of changes it sucks to be using a device from an OEM that has a less than satisfactory rating for updating their devices to the newest software.
We pretty much know who are the repeat offenders at this point, and for some of us(Root users and ROM freaks)it won’t really matter because we’ll hardly keep our devices stock long enough to notice or for it to matter in the long run. For the rest though stock might be the only option they have or will use and thus, are left waiting. This is just a little breakdown of which manufacturers have a good track record for updating device software and which ones, well… don’t. This information is all based off of the data from Computerworld’s Android report card since Android Kit Kat’s launch, which does a fine job at displaying the OEMs who are keeping their grades up to snuff and who isn’t.
For starters, and this one’s as obvious as they come, Motorola is by far the best at updating their Android devices for newer build versions. With the addition of the Moto X, Motorola made a promise to provide timely updates to Kit Kat and future Android versions, and thus far they have kept their promise with the devices that they set out to move forward. The Moto X and Moto G both received updates to Kit Kat within weeks and a month after it was launched alongside the Nexus 5, which says something about their commitment to Android. Google comes up next which is kind of surprising since you’d think the company that is pushing out the OS would be the quickest, yet there were some Nexus devices that got the update to kit kat after the Moto X, which puts Google in second place for this particular matter. They were quick to update the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 tablets,(2013 and 2012 models) but the Nexus 10 lagged behind a little bit which ultimately led to this result.
Samsung and HTC both still have vast improvements to make, although they have gotten better about their updates from years past. When it comes to Kit Kat though, Samsung comes out slightly ahead of HTC as most of their supported devices have started to get the updates to kit kat before the majority of HTC supported devices, which makes Samsung a tad more reliable in this case. When it comes to speed and who technically got the updates out first, HTC did a pretty good job at showing they can provide the updates quickly if they want to, pushing out Kit Kat to the HTC One Unlocked model sometime in November. Both companies did lack in providing users with any sort of information though for quite some time, letting months pass by before users had any confirmation on the supported devices lists.
LG, Sony, ASUS, and Acer are all found lacking in their update commitments, which may not surprise anyone. We want these OEMs to do better though, we really do. LG has manufactured the last two Nexus devices and although they don’t handle the updates for those phones, they do build phones with pretty similar hardware and specs so you would think they want to do better themselves. While we would like for all the OEMs to get on the bandwagon to give speedy updates to users, we know that’s most likely a far off dream. Should you let these stats keep you from buying devices made by any one OEM? Only if you want the fastest updates. If that matters little to you then looking at what hardware and features the devices have to offer is your best bet for future phone shopping.