Last weekend my Galaxy Tab S2 finally got its Marshmallow update, so late that it’s not even the current version of Android any more. Still, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth I went ahead and installed it, even though the S2 has been mostly relegated to eBook duties for my kids bedtime stories.
Of course its so long since Marshmallow was released I had forgotten that there had been some messing around with settings and permissions. The net result being that the Overdrive Media app, which I use as my eBook source and reader, was both unable to read books from micro-SD card storage and also unable to download either. It could see the storage but neither read nor write from it.
Whilst I’m confident that it easily resolved, that’s purely because I’m pretty good with this technology stuff, however the majority of customers would be completely blocked by this sort of problem. They would be running back into Apple’s arms throwing money at them all the way.
So to sum up, if you buy even a premium Android device from a tier one manufacturer you aren’t guaranteed timely updates. When you do receive them there’s no guarantee they won’t break your devices and when they do there is no support network, like the Apple store, where customers can get help.
When Google starts writing its name in big letters on devices, as it has done with Chromebooks in the past and is going to do with the Pixel next month, it is going to have to make sure that it provides a quality of service and backup that supports the consumer and doesn't sully the Google name.