The FTC and FCC both want to know why Android manufacturers are so slow with updates
posted by Paul K. / May 10, 2016, 3:27 AM
Naturally, this system leads to a clog and huge delays in the update pipeline. While Google is busy issuing monthly security updates for the Android OS, other manufacturers' smartphones will often skip a patch or two while catching up, often getting updated with a version that is soon to be obsolete.
The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commision have taken note of said problem and have issued an inquiry to eight different device manufacturers, asking for insight on what processes they use to review and release the security patches for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gadgets. It is unclear how the commissions are planning to proceed after they get their answers, but, at least for now, every non-stock Android user that is a bit bitter about slow updates can feel justified, as not one but two different regulatory organizations have officially asked the question "Hey! What's taking so long?".
The motivation behind the FTC and FCC's inquiry is a growing concern for user security. As people use their mobile Internet for more and more tasks, payments and personal data submissions included, malware and vulnerability threats become more and more bothersome.
Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016
The thing I hate the most about Android devices, the god damn updates. Except for Nexuses.
posted on May 10, 2016, 3:32 AM 13
Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013
Agreed IMO it should be made manditory that OEMs must at least release security updates at least once every 3 months for 2 years for $250+ devices (I'd expect once every month for high end devices)
posted on May 10, 2016, 3:59 AM 7
Posts: 6768; Member since: Feb 10, 2012
Not just the slow updates, but also the fact that we have to guess whether our device will be supported and get the next update or not. While I love Samsung devices, I despise their software updates procedure. I have a Tab S 8.4 for example, and I don't know if it will be update it to 6.0 or not, and when will it receive it if it was supported. And it needs the update so badly, it is sluggish at times, and all I use it for is consuming media, no gaming what so ever.
posted on May 10, 2016, 4:44 AM 7
Posts: 399; Member since: May 02, 2016
Majority of the users don't care about updates. It's us techies who do. Even phones with ics and Jellybean is on par with MM. Sluggish is caused by low Ram and crappy Cpu. Don't forget this is Android OS made for desktop running on a smartphone. That's like running X86 on a smartphone. I'm running kitkat Rom on my S7.
posted on May 10, 2016, 5:07 AM 6
Posts: 1645; Member since: Oct 27, 2011
Ironically, Apple push their customers to update their products, but Android customers have to push their manufacturers for updates. Android manufacturers have no prides and confidence in their products. They tried to make a good product by making so many different models. It may look like Android manufacturers are competing with Apple, but their most challenge is from other Android manufacturers.
posted on May 10, 2016, 7:57 AM 1
Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011
Why do they take so long to update you ask? The only thing keeping manufacturers from updating is making sure they have their own crap UI and crapware up to date with the OS. If a small group of hackers can churn out updated custom roms for every rooted android phone out there, what makes you think manufacturers can't? Especially with the resources they have.
posted on May 10, 2016, 11:06 AM 0
Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012
The carriers are the biggest problem. Not just because they themselves take forever to approve and modify (ie: add their bloat), but because they commission so many different models from the various manufacturers. How many low-mid end Samsungs are there out there? I can think of 5 or 6 from the last couple years off the top of my head from T-Mobile alone. And then there's AT&T, US Cellular, Verizon, and Sprint. On top of that you have the ones specificly for MVNOs/month-to-month providers like Cricket. That's probably upwards of a couple dozen different devices from the last couple years. Why would Samsung bother updating so many cheap phones? The carriers don't care. Why don't the carriers care? Because they already got your money on a cheap phone, and rather than both them and the carrier and the manufacturer wasting resources on updates, it's easier to just put out a new model. When it comes to flagships, things are different, because with these people EXPECT updates. Nobody should expect 2 years of updates on their Galaxy Core Prime, but on their Note 5, for certain. The problem again lies with the carrier, and their bloat and modification. If the FCC wants quicker updates, they should force carriers to eliminate, or at least severely limit the amount of modifications and bloat they can add to the manufacturers' source firmware. At the very most, let them add a "store" that lets the customer download the apps they want, rather than have them forced upon them. A phone from a carrier will likely have 10-25 (or more) apps that are either directly from the carrier or included from other companies as part of a "partnership". That's why I only go with Nexus and/or custom ROMs. Because they'll always get updated by people who actually give a rat's ass.
posted on May 10, 2016, 4:02 AM 16
Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015
google really needs to yank carrier control from android.
posted on May 10, 2016, 4:39 AM 5
Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016
Android Wear is open source, like regular Android, but some elements of it are closed source. So yes I do understand the definition. There would be benefits of Google making some elements of Android closed source but then there could be some bad things to it too.
posted on May 10, 2016, 6:08 AM 1
Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013
You do realize that Carriers helped build Android to begin with. Without the carrier support it would have been another blip on the radar. Without their 'droid' commercial push that hit the airwaves every commercial break it seemed like for a year....nothing would have come of it. Without the shunning of Symbian, which was better than Android at the time...nothing would have come of it (maybe). And don't forget that carriers have helped shape android in and of itself. You wanna see rebellion? Take the carriers millions of dollars and then tell them to F off. Carriers are part of the Android Handset Alliance and have contributed to the code of Android you hold so dear. There has been fight back by some because with each new android more and more control is taken by google. Older APIs no longer working to force upgrades. Considering each phone requires testing with a new OS, Google doesn't have the resources to test each and every phone out there with the millions of app combinations that can break an update.
posted on May 10, 2016, 6:22 AM 1
Posts: 2350; Member since: Aug 01, 2015
If you buy factory unlocked you get away with carrier control. Google is not the problem, it's all the OEM's that need to stand together against the carriers. When Apple said no to carrier control some refused to sell their phones... but they came around.
posted on May 10, 2016, 5:27 AM 2
Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012
Samsung needs to improve its software department instead of producing to many phones,if Samsung thing there superior to Apple they realy need to improve its Software updates,thats why people really still miss Nokia as they were so good offering software updates on Symbian,Why?can"t Samsung employ some old Nokia employees to get there Software section improved,Samsung & google should be working together to Improve Android,Android might be o.k but it can be a battery draining software
posted on May 10, 2016, 4:18 AM 2
Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014
Monthly security updates would be a welcome improvement from every OS maker, but couldn't really care about major OS updates taking a while. There's really no point to being so desperate for faster major OS updates. Especially with heavily-skinned OEM versions of Android. iOS could get updated 100 times, it still wouldn't be capable of all what heavily-skinned OEM devices offer right out of the box. Up till now, despite all the updates it has received, it's still too dumb to do what dumb phones were capable of, including system wide automation, quick-switch profiles for multiple hardware/software components, Bluetooth file/media sharing, central file management, being used as a Flash drive, etc. If you want OS updates just for the sake of OS updates and don't care much about what the updates bring, then an iOS or Nexus device is what you need, both would easily accomplish that.
posted on May 10, 2016, 6:39 AM 5
Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015
Pretty much. Even my S3 which has official 4.3 has more features than some phones released in 2015/16.
posted on May 10, 2016, 6:46 AM 3
Posts: 399; Member since: May 02, 2016
Even Kitkat is better than Marshmallow. I find no difference between 32bit and 64bit Art. It's all gimmicks. The only influential is utmost is the 100hz screen refresh rate and 120fps instead of 60 now on 6.0.0. MM.
posted on May 10, 2016, 10:19 AM 0
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