Which manufacturers provide speedy Android updates?

In today's Android roundup: Find out which Android manufacturers provide fast OS updates. Plus: A peek inside the factory that makes the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, and a journalist might dump Android for iOS

By , ITworld |  Mobile & Wireless, Android

Android has long been criticized for fragmentation that sometimes makes it hard for users to get timely software updates. But it's important to note that Android updates can vary wildly between device manufacturers. Ars Technica has a helpful look at which Android manufacturers provide speedy updates and which ones fail to do so.

According to Ars Technica:

For every Android update, Google's release of code to OEMs starts an industry-wide race to get the new enhancements out to customers. So how did everyone do this year? Who was the first with KitKat, and who was the last? What effect does your carrier have on updates? How has the speed of Android updates changed compared to earlier years?

More at Ars Technica

Android manufacturer software update ratings
Image credit: Ars Technica

I think Ars Technica did a great job with this article, and it's definitely worth considering if you are in the market for a new Android device. I would absolutely lean toward the devices of manufacturers that provide reasonably quick updates to Android. Google, Motorola and HTC are at the top of the list in terms of speedy updates.

The rest of the vendors mentioned really need to get on the ball and start offering faster updates. If they don't then I suspect we'll eventually see it start costing them sales. There's nothing like lost revenue to light a fire under a company's rear end and force them to improve their update schedules.

Note that the article doesn't include all Android manufacturers, it seems to focus on the most prominent companies and carriers. So if you own an Android device made by another company you might not see it listed in the article. But the update times listed will at least give you a benchmark of comparison to what you've experienced with your current Android device.

How the Galaxy Alpha is made in the factory
Samsung gives us a peek behind the scenes and shares how a Galaxy Alpha is made in the factory.

According to Samsung:

During product development, a number of computerized numerical control (CNC) processes – automation of machine tools controlled by computers – are used to extract the Galaxy Alpha’s metal frame. At the beginning of development, the device’s frame is carved and trimmed from a rough metal material to shape Galaxy alpha’s unique design. Following this, secure spaces for the battery and window parts are formed to connect with the frame. Next, the outer edge of the frame is developed to express Galaxy Alpha's signature curved corners and where its key buttons and antenna are housed.

More at Samsung

How a Samsung Galaxy Alpha phone is made
Image credit: Samsung

It's great that Samsung has given us all a look at the construction of the Galaxy Alpha. It's always interesting to see what goes in inside the factories that create the devices that so many of us use each day. And the Galaxy Alpha is definitely a move in a different direction for Samsung.

An Android user might switch to iOS
CITEworld has a column by a journalist that might switch from Android to iOS.

According to CITEworld:

Now I'm presented with a choice. Do I try to recapture the good run I've had with my Nexus 7 by upgrading to the new model of the same? Or do I abandon Android altogether and follow my destiny as one of those Apple People, throwing an iPad mini into my bag next to my MacBook Pro in the morning and charging it next to my iPhone 5 at night?

There are three main reasons I'm ready to get the heck out of the Android ecosystem:

The apps are worse
There's no such thing as an Android Genius Bar
It requires too much loving care

More at CITEworld

I've never been hung up on other people's choices in technology. If the writer feels that iOS is a better fit than more power to him. That's the great thing about having choices, each of us gets to pick the platform that he or she prefers. And we have the option of switching to yet another platform if something better comes along.

That said, there's certainly nothing that prevents a person from owning Android and iOS devices, and some folks do just that. Each platform has pluses and minuses that may attract or repel users. And, in some cases, certain users might find both Android and iOS necessary for their needs.

I also suspect that there are many Android users who will take great exception to the three reasons listed by the writer for his possible switch to iOS. App performance and features can certainly vary significantly depending on the developer not just the platform, and some Android users would scoff at the very idea of a "genius bar" for their devices. The Android requires "too much loving care" point is exactly why some people prefer it to iOS; Android gives them the power and control they want over their mobile devices in a way that isn't possible in iOS.

As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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