Skip to main content

Putting OEMs On The Naughty Step Won’t Fix Android Updates


If you believe the rumours, Google is planning on playing Santa with Android OEMs, but not in a ho-ho-ho way. The creation of a list, telling buyers whether a particular OEM has been bad or good is designed to speed up the delivery of updates to devices.

That seems like a particularly ham-fisted way of trying to get OEMs to fix a problem that isn’t really theirs.

Google has rushed out Android version updates at a breath-taking speed, with no concern for OEMs who need to handle updates on old phones whilst also planning new ones. Given that most of these Android OEMs aren’t making money anyway, it’s a problem they’re probably very keen to make go away.

Google needs to take to steps to make things easier: slow the pace of its updates and extricate security updates from the OEM / carrier delay cycle.

The first should be obvious. At I/O recently Google went all in on Android 7. At the same time the current Android 6 version had achieved just 7% market penetration. Slowing the updates down removes some of the perception that Android phones are perpetually out of date.

The second will almost certainly be necessary to see off the concerns of government bodies, wary of the risks that out of date Android phones expose their owners to. By pushing these updates out through the Play Store, rather than the OEM process, Google can at least offer customers a reasonable measure of security.

Apple, and to a lesser extent Microsoft, can offer a much quicker, more complete update process, which allows them to iterate through versions much more quickly. In the case of Windows 10 that’s proven to be as quickly as Microsoft’s test process can allow.

Google doesn’t have the same end to end ownership nor the relationships to allow it to do the same. As a result it must slow the rate of change for the benefit of all concerned.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…