comscore Google engineer answers why manufacturers take so long to update
News

Google engineer answers why manufacturers take so long to release software updates

Manufacturers do not update their devices say as regularly as Apple and other OS manufacturers because of the high cost involved.

  • Published: July 11, 2020 5:01 PM IST
Samsung One UI 2.0 Android 10 Samsung Galaxy M20

Several Android engineers held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit earlier this week, giving users a free pass to question them. One of the users wanted to know about system updates and got a reasonably long message in response. The user was curious about why several manufacturers are not able to update Android versions on a timely basis. A Google engineer has explained why manufacturers take time to release software updates and what Google does to make it easier for them to send updates. Also Read - HTC Desire 20+ launched with 48-megapixel quad rear camera setup

The most important thing to understand here is that upgrades are fundamentally a cost issue for manufacturers. Every OEM partner wants to upgrade their devices. They are, however, limited by the tough economic choices that it costs. Therefore, as explained by the Google engineer, manufacturers do not update their devices say as regularly as Apple and other OS manufacturers because of the high cost involved. Also Read - Micromax In smartphones to launch before Diwali, to spawn midrange models too

Watch: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review

Why are the upgrade costs so high? The answer has several points to add:

-Android is open source and customizable Also Read - Samsung Galaxy M21 receives price cut in offline stores

-The Android ecosystem is huge

-For each device, there are several companies involved in the launch

-There are operator certification costs for each major update

According to the engineer, the first two reasons are exclusive to Android. The third and fourth are universal and also apply outside the Android ecosystem. However, the third reason is more pronounced on Android. Together, the first three reasons lead to higher upgrade costs compared to other platforms.

Android is an open-source platform, and like all open source projects, it allows modifications and customizations. This flexibility is an essential feature of Android and allows manufacturers to tailor the code to their needs. Customizations carry costs, as in all open source projects. The manufacturer takes a version of Android, makes changes, and launches it. When the next version arrives, you have to make the changes you previously created and transfer them to the new version. This takes time and effort, which leads to higher development costs.

Google explains two ways to solve the issue

The engineer explains that there are two ways to reduce these costs: one of them is for the manufacturer to contribute their changes to the open-source project, so the Android project bears that adaptation costs. This is how the Linux kernel community works. Android, however, is a different case. Many of the modifications to the Android codebase are proprietary in nature, which for various reasons, prevents them from being submitted to the open-source project. So this means that manufacturers have to adapt their own changes with each new version.

The second way is by establishing boundaries between which components the manufacturer can freely modify and which should be standard. This is where initiatives like Project Treble and Project Mainline are helping manufacturers with updates.

Although there is still a long way to go, the latest adoption figures for Android 10 seem to indicate that Google is on the right track as manufacturers are updating their devices faster than ever before. This is why Google’s efforts will continue to be focused on defining boundaries between components. This will let them make the underlying operating system increasingly upgradeable without sacrificing the flexibility and power of the open-source nature that Android provides.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: July 11, 2020 5:01 PM IST



new arrivals in india

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

14,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

24,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

49,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

11,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Oppo Find X2
Oppo Find X2

64,990

Motorola One Fusion Plus
Motorola One Fusion Plus

17,499

Samsung Galaxy A31
Samsung Galaxy A31

20,999

Samsung Galaxy M01
Samsung Galaxy M01

8,999

Samsung Galaxy M11
Samsung Galaxy M11

10,999

Infinix Hot 9 Pro
Infinix Hot 9 Pro

9,999

LG Velvet
LG Velvet

Price Not Available

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

Price Not Available

Apple iPhone SE 2020
Apple iPhone SE 2020

42,500

Honor 30 Pro
Honor 30 Pro

Price Not Available

Honor 30
Honor 30

Price Not Available

OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

44,999

OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 8 Pro

54,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

13,999

Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4

8,999

Samsung Galaxy On Max
Samsung Galaxy On Max

9,775

nubia N2
nubia N2

15,999

Karbonn K9 Kavach 4G
Karbonn K9 Kavach 4G

5,290

Motorola Moto C Plus
Motorola Moto C Plus

6,999

Best Sellers