Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The state of Android updates: Find: Who’s fast, who’s slow, and why

Nexus and Motorola phones update rapidly, Samsung and lg very slowly. 

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The state of Android updates: Who’s fast, who’s slow, and why
// Ars Technica

Aurich Lawson

Android 4.4, KitKat was released on October 31, 2013, or at least, that's what you can say about one device: the Nexus 5. For the rest of the ecosystem, the date you got KitKat—if you got KitKat—varied wildly depending on your device, OEM, and carrier.

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?

Given all those variables, we wanted to check in on the specifics of Android in 2014. There are lots of slightly different ways to go about measuring something like this, so first, a word about our methodology. All of these charts measure KitKat's update lag time in months. For our start date, we're picking October 31, 2013, the day KitKat was released on the Nexus 5. For our finish time for each device, we're going with the US release of an update via either OTA or downloadable system image. OTAs are done on a staggered release schedule, so it's hard to tell exactly when they start and finish—we just went with the earliest news of an update.

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