How Your Android Manufacturer Affects Your Android OS

Android Manufacturer Affects Android OS

Did you know that your Android manufacturer affects Android OS updates and not just your carrier? Before you get frustrated with Verizon or Sprint when you don’t have the latest version of Android, blame the manufacturer instead. It’s up to them when they push out updates.

Numerous Android Devices

Unlike with an iPhone, there are numerous Android manufacturers. Each manufacturer only shares one thing in common – an Android OS. The hardware varies greatly. With all the different devices available, it’s impossible to roll out one single OS update that works with every device.

While updates are streamlined with iOS devices, they’re scattered and sometimes iffy when it comes to Android. The variety of devices and options that make Android so popular also hurts when it comes to updating.

In 2015, there were over 400 manufacturers and over 4,000 Android devices. That number has only increased since.

Customizing OS Updates

Customization is just one way your Android manufacturer affects Android OS updates. It takes time for manufacturers to develop custom drivers for their specific hardware. For instance, Samsung would need a different driver than LG for cameras to work properly.

All of this takes time and money. Manufacturers of cheaper phones may not even bother. The budget simply isn’t there to tweak their own code to fit with new Android updates.

Related Read: Hidden Android Features You May Not Know About

Incompatible Hardware

With each new major Android OS release, older devices get left behind. Think about Windows for a moment. There’s no way that Windows 10 could run on a Windows 98 desktop. The hardware simply wouldn’t support all the new features and processing requirements.

The same holds true with Android manufacturers. Sometimes a manufacturer doesn’t release the latest update because it’s not compatible with the device. This is especially true if your device is several years old or a cheap device used mainly for making calls and texting. Even if they pushed out the update, your device wouldn’t be able to use most of the new features.

The good thing is, Google does work to provide security updates for older Android OS versions. Yet, it’s still up to the manufacturer to roll them out to users.

The Name Matters…Sometimes

The brand does make a difference when it comes to your Android OS, usually. The bigger the name, the sooner and more often you’ll get updates. It all goes back to the cost of customizing the OS for the device.

Android manufacturers affect Android OS updates by creating their own schedules. Since Google creates the updates, Pixel and Nexus devices usually receive updates first.

In 2016, Android Authority ran a test to see which manufacturers rolled out updates the fastest. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Samsung at the top. Instead, LG had updates out in around 78 days, with Motorola only 10 days behind. Samsung took 143 days to send out updates.

Google’s New Approach

Even after the manufacturer customizes an update, the carrier still has to approve it. This just adds to the time. Google’s new Project Treble to provide an easier way to update all devices (as long as the hardware is compatible) quicker and with less work. Hopefully, this will reduce how much your Android manufacturer affects Android OS updates.

Related Read: Ultimate Guide: Android Tips


Contribution by Crystal Crowder

About the Author

Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.