Google Edition devices will depend on Samsung and HTC for kernel updates

Google Edition devices will depend on Samsung and HTC for kernel updates
The Google Editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One went on sale earlier today. Obviously, the big draw of these devices is that they offer a vanilla Android experience on some popular hardware. We've already learned that the updates for these devices will not come directly from Google, but will pass by Samsung and HTC first, but now we know a bit more as to why that is.

A big reason for this method is because while the devices run Android with only small additions, like Beats software support for the HTC One, the devices all run on OEM versions of the Android kernel. AnandTech has compared the About Device pages on the S4, One, and Nexus 4 and found that all three devices are using slightly different versions of the Android kernel. 

In the end, it shouldn't cause too much of a problem, and the updates should still get pushed out to the devices far faster than we will see with the customized versions of the same hardware. It may not end up being as fast as Nexus updates, but at least we'll know exactly what the holdup will be. 

source: AnandTech via pocketnow

Related phones

Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)
One
  • Display 4.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 4 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2300 mAh(18h 3G talk time)

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20 Comments

1. Kan_wha

Posts: 88; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

*Facepalm

9. sharks

Posts: 236; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

If it can't match the update speed compared to Nexus devices, the existence of these "Google Editions" is moot.

18. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

call HTC and ask them who is updating the Google edition phones they will tell you that Google is handling all of that- I don't know where all these Newstech sites are getting this information

10. SleepingOz unregistered

At the end of the day, if you still want vanilla Android + fast update on these devices, you'll have to root and flash an AOSP rom.

20. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

You can un-facepalm yourself. call HTC and ask them who is updating the HTC Google editions phone.

2. rdonjuan8

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

I don't get it so it's Google edition and we will get updates as their out or wait like the rest as the carriers.

3. g2a5b0e unregistered

Well, that's not exactly what we were promised, huh?

4. fur0n

Posts: 82; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

well i'm on kernel version 3.4.45 because i'm on CyanogenMod 10.1

5. pixelado

Posts: 130; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

I'm afraid OEMs won't push updates as fast as they should. I mean, people would see a clearer gat between OS upgrades start complaining about how OEM-modded Android suck at it.

6. pixelado

Posts: 130; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

"...people would see a clearer gat between OS upgrades AND start complaining..." what I get for posting comments from my phone hehe.

7. imkyle

Posts: 1115; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Doesn't seem to be worth double the price of the Nexus 4 now huh.

19. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

call HTC . Google is handling the updates of all the Google edition phones

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

The reason is there are different proprietary hardware in each phone. Device drivers that only OEM partners has access to. Rest assured its will be much faster than their custom skin counterpart.

11. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

I saw the preview yesterday on the verge about these 2 devices nothing special and still the same performance even though with stock Android unlike Nexus 4. The only thing better the camera and screen.

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Let not forget the removable MicroSD and battery along with 1080p screen for Samsung S4. Nexus 4 is no comparison with HTC one either.

14. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

Nexus 4 has better GPU performance because it ´´only´´ has 768p display, which is more than enough, there is no way that you can see pixels on it. So Nexus 4 is the best phone for its price, why would I buy S4 or HTC one google editions for two times the price of Nexus 4.

13. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 892; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Doesnt matter much with Samsung coz they update their devices regularly & with great service. Problem is with HTC, coz it has a terrible history of providing updates.

16. androidfanboy

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 24, 2013

you think htc are bad with updates but actually Motorola and LG are a lot worse

15. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Simple, it's not worth it.

17. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

Not true call HTC yourself. Google will be updating the phones people, this is all just FUD.

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