Android fragmentation on a new phone

11

With the death of my Windows Phone the choice was iOS or Android for a new daily driver. For a number of reasons Android won, but no wonder they have fragmentation problems.

Brand new Galaxy S7 Edge, running 6.0.1, software update: “the latest updates have already been installed”.

If a premium device doesn’t get them out of the box who does?

Meanwhile my half broken old 1520 (intact but intermittent touch response) is bang up to date

Comments (11)

11 responses to “Android fragmentation on a new phone”

  1. 5615

    That's the problem with using other than stock Android (and a primary reason Nexus phones are (were) so popular). When phone makers customize Android with their own UI (as Samsung does) you are at the mercy of the phone maker to provide updated customized versions of Android (which Samsung and most others famously take their time with, if they update it at all).

    Ideally, the OS would update independently of any OEM customizations; unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. Of course, if enough Samsung customers cared about this and put pressure on Samsung to provide timely updates (or, at the least, ensure that a new phone out of the box is on the current version), they would probably do so. I guess we can infer that not enough Samsung customers care about this (and it's obvious that Samsung doesn't care).

    The alternative is to unlock the phone and manually install a ROM that is up-to-date (which, of course, would probably void any Samsung warranty). That's what I've done with my Nexus devices that also no longer get OS updates because they're "too old." Clearly, that's not a practical solution for most "normal" phone users (as MJF puts it).

  2. 5812

    Sorry to say but a little research on this site would have told you to buy a Nexus 6p or Google Pixel if you wanted to always have the most up to date phone. You purchased a Samsung phone and while it runs Android it's almost as if Samsung has their own OS which just so happens to run a version of Android and Android Apps. 

    This whole thing about fragmentation is really a lot about nothing. You have choices. You choose not to buy a "Google" phone then your not really buying a "Google" phone. As a side note Samsung has been testing Android 7* and should be rolling it out soon. They also have a beta program like Microsoft.

     

    http://www.androidcentral.com/how-sign-samsung-galaxy-beta-program

     

    • 4964

      In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

      Was replacing a 950XL. Neither Nexus or Pixel have SD card, which was essential to my needs, nor are available in our market via carriers. Can go non contract or via 'grey' imports but decided not to in this case.

      • 1139

        In reply to robincapper:

        Then you're bang out of luck, unless you want to try rooting the phone and installing Android manually, but there's no promise it will work (you could, in fact, brick the phone and chances are the carrier won't support it anymore). I did that back on my Galaxy SII because Samsung is so bad at updates – now avoiding update woes with the Pixel.

      • 5812

        In reply to robincapper:

        If you really need to have an SD Card then your limited. I think most people will find out paying extra for 64 or 128 GB for built in storage is rally all you need unless your an edge case where you popping the memory in and out all the time. The local storage can be 10X faster than an SD Card and makes the phone much faster for loading images from the gallery and running apps. 

  3. 5486

    Samsung are always late to the table with Android updates, but I believe they're working on that. You'll be pleased to hear that Nougat is rolling out now for the S7, but you still might wait a while for it to reach you, which is entirely normal.

    As long as you know that if you own a later gen Nexus or the new Pixel, you'll ALWAYS get the latest updates as soon as they're available. Google do this for all their own devices. It's up to the vendor on other devices.

  4. 1139

    Google's phones (Pixel and Nexus 6P) are the only phone guaranteed to have the latest updates.

  5. robincapper

    Samsung recently updated my S7 to current Android. Not convinced its much better!

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