Nov 15 AT 12:11 PM Nick Sarafolean 71 Comments

Google needs to take control of updates

Android 4.4 KitKat

We could ask, but we already know the answer. Almost all of you have, at some time, felt the pain of waiting for an update to your phone or tablet. That’s the unpredictability of updates for Android.

You don’t ever know what you’re going to get when it comes to Android updates. Even when you think that you’re making the safe purchase by getting a Nexus device, you still might not be completely satisfied when it comes to OS updates. Of course, the Nexus devices do have a much better track record that other Android devices. Why is this so? It’s simple, really. Google has control over them.

Remember the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon? Or even the one on Sprint? If you do, then you’ll remember the public outcry that accompanied them when the time came for Android updates. While consumers bought the Galaxy Nexus for a pure, Android experience and fast updates, they were instead met with snail-slow updates and, shockingly, carrier bloatware.

Needless to say, many of those Galaxy Nexus owners left their respective carriers.

We can also look to other mainstream phones on the market to see examples of this. For example, the HTC One S. HTC sent everyone up in arms about the One S when they made the decision not to issue the One S with an update to Android 4.2. After just one update to Android 4.1, the phone was dead in the water. It was a sad fate for the surprising number of One S owners out there.

Fast forward to present day, and we can see that HTC may actually be learning their lesson from it. They’ve now promised that their flagship, the HTC One, will receive an update to Android 4.4 KitKat within 90 days. That’s surprisingly quick for HTC, considering their past record. But we’re not letting them off that easily; we need to see this come into play first.

More importantly, we need to see it take place on the carrier models of the One. While several have pledged to get the update rolled out in 90 days, we’ve seen similar situations in the past that have quickly turned into calamities when the updates get delayed.

But the solution to these slow updates boils down to one simple fact: Google needs to take control of updates.

Look at Motorola. Before their buyout by Google, they didn’t have a great history with timely updates. Since being bought out by Google, and the transformation into a different sort of company, we’re seeing much faster updates as well as nearly stock software with just a few very useful features thrown in.

We fully understand that half the beauty of Android is that the software is customizable, that you do have choice. But the complaint of slow updates is constantly regurgitated by consumers, and the best solution is to allow Google to have more control over the updates. Manufacturers can be slow with updates on their own, but they really get slowed down when the update gets to the carriers for testing.

It really wouldn’t be too hard and could actually provide a better experience for the consumer. Manufacturers might need to tone down their software a bit to make it slightly closer to stock Android, which in turn would give consumers a more consistent feel across Android devices. This toning down of software would also make it easier for Google and the manufacturer to quickly work together on an update.

I could be wrong, though. Maybe I am. Do you think so? Or do you think that this is a viable option that could really help consumers?

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • URABUS0924

    Why exactly would anyone be on-board with this? The carriers won’t be cause they delay things for a reason. Verizon, for example, tests the crap out of all software updates. Why would they suddenly just allow Google to push whatever new version out to their handsets before ensuring that everything works they way they expect? And as for the hardware manufacturers, what reason would they have to make their software more stock? Look at the #1 phone manufacturer Samsung. They aren’t selling a bazillion phones because they have phones that are always updated as fast as possible or that their software looks like bone stock Android. Samsung is doing everything they can to not rely on Google and it looks like it’s paying off. Of course in an ideal world we would want everything to be updated ASAP, but it’s not going to happen. Until Google decides to be the one stop shop of carrier and manufacturer, I just don’t see that happening. Until that does, just get a GSM NEXUS.

    • ivanatorhk

      Why? Simple. Because Apple and Microsoft do it.

      • zee112

        I had a Galaxy Nexus on VZW. Now I’m on T-Mobile. ;-D

      • DroidSamurai

        I am not sure about Microsoft, but look at how iOS is deployed. iOS 7 beta 1 was out on 06/10. The final was released on 09/18. That’s 3 months of beta period. Imagine Google releasing KitKat as a beta build (frankly, every point zero release of Android is really just a public beta.) 3 months should be enough for it to clear carrier testing. If the PDK allows OEM to peek at the OS update slightly before the “public beta”, 3 months may even be enough for them to update some of their top-tier devices. May be what we don’t need is for Google to take control of the updates, but having Google to properly label the first release of major update as a “beta”.

    • Ryan Clayton

      I don’t buy VZ’s excuse about testing the crap out of the software prior to updates. Is there a single VZ phone that was released bug free? Personally, I think all they really need to be testing is the interface between the radio and their network. Claiming they are making sure things don’t break their networks is PR lies. Considering how many people are running custom ROMs and radios and I have yet to hear about how Cyanogenmod (or another ROM) has taken down the entire network, I know it’s just BS.

      Fortunately for me, being a techie means I don’t have to deal with the problems most consumers have to. The moment I get a new phone home, I root it and install Cyanogenmod. Personally I hate the custom UIs that phone manufacturers add to the phones. I don’t want it, it’s usually overkill, bulky and uses up more CPU cycles than needed.

      • NexusKoolaid

        As a developer, and having some memory of past news events, I can tell you that there is some merit to Verizon’s desire to extensively test software before release. Case-in-point, remember the case of the instant messaging application that crippled T-Mobile’s network?

        That was software, not a radio to network interface issue. Verizon charges a small fortune for their service and the only thing that justifies their prices is the reliability of their network. Do they hide behind this policy to avoid updates or products that reduce their ability to control or monetize their network? Sure. But some effort to ensure a rogue device or application doesn’t compromise their reputation is necessary.

        I’m not saying that Verizon doesn’t leverage this policy to help prioritize unwanted/unprofitable updates off the calendar

        • Chris

          Actually, you gave a very BAD example. That was a marketplace app, NOT an O/S update you are referring too… Verizon does not have anything to do with the apps a develop submits.

      • Daniel Rucker

        I think Verizon is trying. I got the GNEX on release day and loved it. Yes I got ticked off about updates so I just rooted and put Cyanogenmod on it. Since then, still on Verizon but with a Moto X am patiently awaiting the soak test for KitKat. Invites were already sent out and it’s been about a month since the announcement. That is making strives. Yes Motorola had a hand in it, but for Verizon to even get a test build out this fast is mind blowing. I think Google is pushing harder on the manufactures to get these devices updated as quickly as possible. This problem should go away once Verizon switches over to VoLTE next year. The CDMA certification goes away, which is currently slowing the process down.

        • John L. Galt

          As a person who was waiting with baited breath for many, many moons for the BIONIC to get the actual JB stock ROM to pass through VZWs check system so that I could have the final bits on my phone (as opposed to the leaked varieties) *AND* as someone who knows at least one Google employee who had a lot of insider information, I can assure you that the Moto X is getting a soak invite not even a month after Kit Kat is released is truly a blessing.

          But I wonder if it has more to do with this instead?

      • John L. Galt

        You better believe it – to a point.

        Basically, they do test the holy crap out of the ROM on the device. That is the good news. But here is the bad news – in their series of tests, as soon as one failure is encountered, they stop testing and report to the OEM.

        So, let’s say they conduct 5000 tests. They run into an error / failure at test 367. It’s back to the OEM to report the failure. **WITHOUT COMPLETING THE REMAINING 4333 TESTS**

        So, yeah, it’s a long, drawn out process b/c they slow the OEM devs down b/c they are reporting one issue at a time, instead of all issues.

        Now, this was a year ago, and things might have changed (and they would need to – significantly – if VZW ever hopes to remove that tarnish from their name). I know this because I own a BIONIC – an I waited a full 3 months after the RAZR owners got their JB upgrade before I go mine. And I also know that my upgrade was pain free, unlike a lot of RAZR owners, who, IMO, got a crappy build.

    • James

      Like Google is doing with the Galaxy Nexus.. You force the consumer to pay for a new phone in order to get an update

      • David

        That’s not their fault. Blame TI on that one.

    • stafford

      my classmate’s mother makes $63 hourly on the computer. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her payment was $17061 just working on the computer for a few hours. additional resources…….

  • Nicholas Vettese

    Samsung and HTC could make it so that their UIs are more inline with Android updates, so that all their features are still maintained, but the development/integration of updates is minimal compared to where we are now.

    • John L. Galt

      Or, alternatively they could make it so that there is a heavily customize UI that allows their products to support unique features not available on other products, and thus dominate the market.

      oh, wait…. 0_o

  • Michael Kaufman

    I suspect you would have been very happy in the USSR. “Why have many options for toilette paper. One is good for everyone. I decide.”

    If fast updates are important to you, buy a google experience phone. If I would rather have the additions that Samsung is adding, why should I give that up.

    If the market really cares about fast updates, then HTC and Samsung and etc will get them out more quickly.

  • Michael Brooks

    Still awaiting 4.4 update, with new GN7/2013 whilst, rest of kids on play ground enjoy kitkat. Hopefully today.

    • John L. Galt

      Ha. I have a Motorola Droid BIONIC – I’m Perma-stuck on 4.1.2 until I get a new phone, and since I am grandfathered into unlimited, I’m waiting until the new year to see if VZW actually (for once) backs down and lets me keep it or not – so, I’m not buying a new phone just yet.

      So, no, not *all* the kids. :)

  • Troik

    I don’t need the unending numbers of S-apps that Samsung put on their phones, I kinda like the frontend that HTC uses, but don’t really need it
    I guess every customer would agree that updates for new features and security is worth more than whatever your carrier is adding to the mix.

    Carriers should be happy to give google this power, more happy customers is good for everybody. I know they want to put their brand on these phones, by why really, the customer already bought your product.

    What I would like to see on all carriers, the same way you can pay a little extra to remove the model letters on a car, would be the option to get a stock unbranded version of the phone. Atleast for phones more on the higher end of the price range, so that the Nexus phones aren’t the only option anymore.

    Another idea would of course be that carrier branding would work more like a theme, that you could wrap around the core OS, so that you could update the OS underneath it, then we wouldn’t need to wait for the carrier to make their changes on the OS level. Which would result in quicker updates and again in turn in more happy customers.

    • John L. Galt

      Until they have a vanilla device like the OG Motorola DROID that folks started OCing and then *hush hush* returning b/c of “unknown failures”.

      As for stock unbranded versions of phones, more OEMs are doing it now than were 3 years ago – developer editions. But the carriers do not want the general public using these editions specifically b/c they checks and balances system of keeping the user from frying his or her phone is almost completely eliminated, putting the carrier right back in the same position that it was when the OG Droid came out – ready to take a huge pounding.

      • Micho Todorovich

        When you unlock your phone it tells you this can void your warranty. Also there is a flash counter to keep track of if you actually were flashing custom Roms. If you fry your phone because your an idiot you deserve what you get. Which BTW is actually hard to do, these processors have safety features such as thermal throttling and just straight turning off if stuff ain’t right.

        • John L. Galt

          Thanks – I completely forgot about unlockable devices. However, 1) The Motorola (OG) DROID was already unlocked, and 2) my BIOIC is not unlockable at all.

          I have unlocked my tablet – and I was told not that it *can* void my warranty, but that it **DOES** – so I waited until the warranty period was almost expired before unlocking it.

          And as for thermal throttling, that is all well and good and all, but when you’re overclocking at over 100%, like some folks were doing with the OG Droid, it’s pretty easy to fry before you realize it. The OG Droid came in with a single core CPU clocked at 550 MHz, whereas the kernels written for overclocking on FroYo were written as high as 1.3 GHz. Now, granted, the CPU itelf was rated for a 600 MHz clock, and Moto underclocked it to 550, and granted, that with FroYo they themselves overclocked the CPU to 800 MHz – but still, to take a device running at 500 Mz and to run it at even 1200 MHz (which I did for a small while, but I have my original OG with me, still fully functional as the day I bought it over 4 yeras ago, until I decided I’d like a little better battery life and scaled back to 1100) is taxing the device a LOT. Throw into the mix that our kind kernel developers made it easy enough for the end user to overclock that a caveman could do it, and you had a lot o n00b users who did not know what the hell they were doing going out and OCing their devices and frying them.

          Now, I realize that that was then and this is now,. but the point remains – they have to protect themselves. And, if hte device is fried so badly that data is not accessible rom the circuitry, can the carrier really prove that hte user actually overclocked it as opposed to a potential design flaw and / or bad circuitry to begin with?

      • Cor

        Vanilla Android sucks.

  • yurma415

    i’m wondering if google implemented an “intel/centrino inside” type marketing plan would work. something where handset manufactures could market their device with whatever exclusive branding google comes up with only if they stick to a minimal standard for updating the OS. like they promise to update to the latest android version within 3 mos of google releasing whatever latest nexus phone happens to be.

    • John L. Galt

      It’s not the manufacturers alone that are at fault. So, even if Google were to implement such a strategy, they’d still be faced with a battle against each carrier separately….

  • Philip Hughes

    A lot of people don’t care about updates.

  • John L. Galt

    Google already has as much control over the ecosystem as the carriers are going to allow them. Remember, this is not just a 2 way battle here, it is, for all intents and purposes, a 3 way battle.

    OS developer
    OEM manufacturer

    By taking over Moto, they’ve eliminated one of those battles for all moto phones – but that doesn’t help them one iota when dealing with HTC, Sansung, LG, Pantech, etc.

    Furthermore, if you anything at all about how VZW operates, then you’ll understand what I am about to say:

    Good luck getting that pipe dream turned into reality.

  • Havoc70

    As much as i hate Apple i have to say they had the balls to make the carriers do it their way and i think with the popularity of Android devices that Google now has to do the same and tell the carriers what is going to happen and not the other way around.

    • John L. Galt

      That’s because their business model has *always* been that way – their ecosystem, their rules.

  • SGB101

    The upgrade upsets/arguments are no longer relevant, as all the Google service and from work are separated from the os, so as long as you have a 4.1 + all is good.

    Add to that 90% of user don’t know and don’t care what os is, and just want the apps.

    We the geeky folk care and shout and batch the loudest, but we are the minority.

    I like the path Google are taking, but let’s not kid ourselves and thing they are doing this to please use, they are doing it as a defencive/preventive measure to gain more control over the oems, and keep them from breaking to far from the Google Playbook.

    It’s no longer, if it ever was, the utopian ‘open source’ project it was.

    It’s Google playground.

    • mvndaai

      You and I think compeletly differently on what google is doing here. They way I see it, Google isn’t trying to control more, they are trying to make things easier.

      I think google should expand what they are doing in the settings in 4.4 of choosing a Launcher, to also choose your lockscreen and notification dropdown. If they did that anyone could skin it however they want without it being a core component. Therefore updates would go faster.

      • SGB101

        Different thinking iswhat makes the world interesting.

        I don’t completely disagree with you. :)

  • EugeneR

    Will never happen. Operators use custom ROMs and will never give out their control on their devices. Don’t forget devices are subsidized by operators.
    If you want device with no bloatware, fast update, no operator BS – buy Google Edition (SGS4, HTC One, etc), or unlocked global versions.

    • John L. Galt

      Correction – they use customized ROMs. Not completely custom.

      I’d bet that more than 70% of the stock ROM is still intact….

  • captdago

    I don’t see what the problem would be. We’ve been doing this for years with PC’s and laptops. Buy a Dell, HP, Lenovo, whatever and your gonna get a version of Windows that you paid for with a ton of bloatware from the manufacturers. Difference is, with a PC, I can remove all that extra junk if I don’t want it. The original components still work, I still receive updates that work( most of the time; it is windows after all), and the manufacturers don’t know the difference. I’m currently running Jelly Bean 4.1.2,which isn’t as bad as some people have it. However, I’m unable to move apps to my SD card and utilize my actual external storage because LG is too damn slow to incorporate the workaround that El Goog has already provided. I understand the argument of “want stock android? Buy a nexus or root your phone!” Unfortunately that’s not a viable option for most people. Google has said that they would update devices for the first 18 months. That’s great! As long as the manufacturers can get off their ass and roll out a fully tested update at least once in that time frame. I’m 7 months into my “update period”, still no workaround for storage, no 4.2 let alone 4.3, and no schedule otherwise. Oh! Unless I’ve got a G2. Then I should get Kit Kat “shortly”.
    If its left to Google, we would all be running 4.4 by the new year.

    • John L. Galt

      You’re not buying the PC from your Cable ISP or DSL ISP, though. If you were, it would be a whole different ballgame.

  • Dima Aryeh

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a non-techie consumer ever complain about an update. My mother is fairly technically inclined, and when I told her she has a 4.3 update waiting for her, she just said “okay.”

    • John L. Galt

      Not complaining and not being concerned are two different things. Your mother showed the apathy that most users have towards things like OS and app upgrades / updates – those of us that are true tech, however, we care – every single second of the day.

      • philli

        People kill me talking about there a true tech like there extra smart. Androids been around since 08 we know what it is by now. What we have Is a bunch of winy brats who want every thing they see. buy stock Android and the camera isn’t good enough or there aren’t enough features buy a skinned version you don’t get updates wan wan wan cry babies research the phone you want purchase it and shut up. I have 4.1.2 and get my update from play store and I’m fine till I get another phone. People are never satisfied we want more more more.

        • John L. Galt

          I’m on a BIONIC – and on 4.1.2 also. For multiple reasons, but the main one being that I am on VZW, and I want to make sure I’ll have unlimited data next year – or else VZW loses my business permanently.

          So, I wait.

  • thekaz

    While I understand what you are getting at with the article (and agree that it would be awesome for all Google updates to go to everyone at once), one line stood out for me:

    “Needless to say, many of those Galaxy Nexus owners left their respective carriers”

    When asking around about upgrading from the GNex to a MotoX, I ran into a lot of GNex owners who switched to or were waiting for MotoMaker on VWZ. I am not saying it isn’t true that a lot of owners left Verizon, but I just don’t know. Just trying to figure out if this is an established fact, or just something you pulled out of your a$$….

    • John L. Galt

      I was going to point that out too – but then I decided to take this blog at its face worth – an opinion, nothing more.

      But, I agree with you 100% on this – I didn’t see droves of customers leaving carriers b/c of that issue.

  • mmathieum

    Does OS updates really matter anymore?
    Most apps are updated through the Play Store (and Google Play Services brings the latest SDK features to all Android devices).

    Plus, Google is rightly focused on bringing Android to next billion people who couldn’t care less if they are running the latest version of the open-source project on which their mobile operating system is based on.

    Almost no device run on AOSP anyway … even Google’s Nexus devices run on a custom Google ROM based on AOSP but without some stock apps (Browser, Launcher, SMS).

    I would rather have Google focused on releasing a sub-$200 device with last-year high-end specs … oh wait, they just released the Moto G.

    • John L. Galt


      For example, I can update all of the apps I want, but when my BIONIC was on Gingerbread, I did not have the advanced features of the OS like face unlock, etc., and could not have them – until the OS was upgraded to JB.

      There are a lot of new bells and whistles with Kit Kat that are not available on my JB 4.1.2 based phone, so, yes, again, updates *ARE* that important.

  • ihatefanboys

    The OEMs are not the problem, but i find it disgusting that the author wanted to get down on his knees for Motorolla and give them a proverbial suck. Its not in the manufacturers control as to when a phone gets an update, even your precious Motorolla. Its in the hands of the carriers, first and foremost. If they find a way for all the carriers to allow OTA updates from Google unhindered (which i doubt) its never going to happen.

    • John L. Galt

      While I don’t like your alluding to fellatio in your response, I’ll say that you’re spot on in your analysis.

  • Disappointed in Google

    With Google refusing to update the Galaxy Nexus, how can you be mad at other manufacturers. Updates schmupdates

  • lemabu

    I agree that Google should take control of updates but I actually think they are already doing just that: Firtstly by making system updates less and less important thanks to Google Play Services, secondly by using Motorola. Moto is obviously ment to lead by example – the OEM-bashing at the Moto G introduction made that very clear imho.

  • Ali

    i agree man ! i hope Google do this but i know they don’t

  • mvndaai

    This is what needs to happen for updates to be faster, or not matter.

    -Android needs to update to make the main features easily changable:Lock screen, Launcher and Notification Bar

    -Everything that isn’t backend protocols should be made into apps that you can update through the play or another store so you are never behind.

    -Let you add/delete any app you want.

  • ferminmartin2003

    This would be very hard to achieve especially with Android….the reason why Apple is able to take control of the updates the way they have is because of the popularity of the system which android has as well but the main reason is all the different specs and not too mention all the different processors that android currently is being operated on as opposed to Apple’s processors which are only a hand full of them.

  • kiki.utena

    Haven’t got the update for my N7 (2013) yet and the only thing that frustrates me is this article. I’m certainly not unhappy with the way Google updates Nexus devices.

  • David Sumner

    I have to disagree with this article for a few reasons, mainly because Google in a way has already taken for Android back. think about it almost all of the features well most of them that if available in the new Android OS like SMS integration with hangouts, and the updated Google now / search is already available. they are making their ecosystem updatable the Google Play Store rather than pushing updates through otas and carriers. this will be better for users, though major changes will still be needed through otas in the end this will make otas less important.

  • Shizz

    It is the dream, but as mentioned there is a lot of testing that the carriers do. We can only hope in the future that carriers can speed up the process…

  • redraider133

    That is one thing apple does right. Updates and available for everyone right away. I mean look at those with nexus devices still waiting for the “rollout” of kit-kat. Staged rollouts for apps on the play store make sense as their is billions of devices with those apps, but with such a small percentage that actually own a nexus, they should have the updates all at once (OS wise that is). Plus with HTC already pushing the kit-kat update to google the nexus line is kind of losing what lead it used to have as a reason to purchase. Google is large enough that they need to put their foot down or find some way that the skins are updatable through the play store and the core OS can be pushed out for all devices at the same time, sort of how PC’s work.

    • John L. Galt

      Yeah – because Apple doesn’t have to worry about a three way fight. They only have to deal with the carriers, not OEMs also – because they **ARE** the OEM.

  • donger


  • Uncealle

    Truth be told, this is why I am looking at buying an iPad Air now. I have a Galaxy Note 2 and I am a person that thinks that spending 650 euro on a flipping phone entitles you to TIMELY updates for it, not 1-2 years delays and other crap like it.
    Right now it feels that the OEMs and Google are withholding new Android versions hostage and push you into buying new devices should you want to have the newest Android features/security fixes.
    So… while I will GREATLY miss Tasker and all the other things I could do with an Android tablet, I’m afraid I will refrain from buying anything featuring google software until they get their shit together and force the OEMs into updating timely. Until that time comes, my next phone will probably be an iPhone 6 and my tablet an iPad Air.
    Sorry Google, but it looks like you don’t want my money anymore …

    • Chamuco

      You do realize that it’s Samsung that has to build the custom ROM for your Galaxy Note II and not Google, right? Another thing that stands between your device and the newest Android version is your carrier (that’s if you didn’t buy an unlocked/unbranded version of the Note II). Besides, what’s the feature in KitKat that you’re dying to have and can’t live without? Or do you want KitKat on your phone just for bragging rights?

  • Asbjørn

    I find all this “carrier testing” stuff highly amusing. Over here in Europe (or at least in Denmark), carriers aren’t remoly interested in what software the phone runs. They sell unbranded stock phones without any modifications – they aren’t even SIM locked anymore. You can buy phones with a six month contract (limited by law), but many people buy their phones without contract, which is usually cheaper anyway. I just walk into a carrier store and get SIM card and pop it in my phone. No questions asked, no need to “activate” the phone. The SIM card needs a few hours to be live, but that is it. The carrier provides the network and SIM card, I provide the phone – and surprise, surprise, everything just works.
    From this follows that all these claims from American carriers are just crap. As long as the phone conforms to accepted standards, it will work fine. There’s no need to activate a phone, no need to test it. They just do it because they can – because there is zero competition and they bought off all the politicians.

    • Chamuco

      Same thing here in México, where carriers also care less about the software running on your phone, pop a SIM card in and you’re in business, the only thing that would be left to configure is data settings which are easily obtainable… the only reason why newer phones take a while to be released in México is carrier bloatware (Telcel being the main culprit of this). American carriers and their excuses are just funny.

  • arianna. pack

    Me it it happens. I need to update my Android. Plus, every one is always bragging.about. how.great their.Android

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  • Unmade Rhyme

    In my opinion Google should release a Major update to all the manufacturers and carriers before going public themselves and give them time to catch up with their public release date – for example 90 days or maybe 120 days. This way all the manufacturers along with Google can send in updates on the same day.

  • kurkosdr

    Surprised the article didn’t mention the real elephant in the room. New versions of the linux kernel don’t always play well with old drivers (it’s called “unstable ABI”), ans SoC mamufacturers don’t release new drivers for old SoCs after some time.

    This is why the Galaxy Nexus didn’t got an upgrade. Texas Instruments who make it

  • kurkosdr

    Surprised the article didn’t mention the real elephant in the room. New versions of the linux kernel don’t always play well with old drivers (it’s called “unstable ABI”), and SoC manufacturers don’t release new drivers for old SoCs after some time.

    This is why the Galaxy Nexus didn’t got an upgrade. Texas Instruments who make it’s SoC have quit making SoCs for mobile phones and there is nobody to release new drivers for the new linux kernel that kitkat is running.

  • Cor

    Stock Android sucks. I would rather have Sense and wait a little longer for updates.

    • Luciano

      Sense is horrible, TouchWiz as well. Rocking a Moto X on Verizon, with Stock Android + Features that really matter on top of it. Guess what? I got the update already.

  • KPeter0314

    Just checked the upgrade site at Motorola and it looks like the Razr Maxx HD is going to get Kit Kat now. That is why I bought this phone, it had the most likely hardware to be OS upgraded over time.

    Maybe it will be a Xmas present….

  • CTown

    The HTC One S should still be updated. I think the reason why it is no longer being updating was because HTC made a Snapdragon S3 version of the phone for Asia. Qualcomm does not support the S3 anymore so HTC decided to frop both versions of the HTC One S…