Dec 26 AT 5:26 PM Alex Wagner 24 Comments

HTC infographic explains the work that goes into creating an Android OS update


HTC has done a nice job of keeping its customers in the loop when it comes to Android software updates lately, relaying information on rollout estimates and delays to users on a regular basis. That continues today with a new Android OS update infographic that explains all of the steps that go into creating and pushing out an update.

The diagram details the Android update process for carrier-branded hardware as well as unlocked devices and even Google Play edition units, giving us a nice explanation on how the three typres of products differ. The operator-specific hardware requires the most work of the three because HTC must work with the carriers to determine which apps and tweaks that they want added to their version of a device, then HTC must take extra time to implement those extras. Meanwhile, the unlocked and Google Play edition hardware have update processes that are fairly similar, though the unlocked units do require an extra step in which HTC adds its custom Sense user interface.

This new infographic from HTC is an attractive, easy-to-follow way to better understand all of the effort that goes into making an Android OS update. There may not be a ton of information in it that veterans of the mobile world didn’t already know, but it does serve as a reminder of the amount of work that an update can take and why they may not always roll out as quickly as users would like.

After giving us an overview of what goes into the creation of an Android update, HTC touches on the status of some of the updates that it’s currently working on. The firm says that the Android 4.4 updates for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are all currently in the “Integration” phase of their creation, which is the middle of the process. HTC has previously said that the updates are expected to arrive by the end of January.

Via: Android Police

Source: HTC

Editorial Director of News and Content for PhoneDog Media. Arsenal, beer, video games. Can be followed on Twitter at @alw.

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  • Rafael pierre

    Me lo podrian traducir al español pleace

    • HTCrap must die

      HTC must be desperate to stay in business

    • AmberMakitos

      like Lois responded I am stunned that a single mom can get paid $7424 in a few weeks on the computer. this website…..

  • rafch piang

    nice programing i trust

  • redraider133

    I still say it’s the skins that slow updates. Look how fast google edition devices get updated compared to their skinned counter parts. There is more hang ups with skins and playing nice with the updates. Wish every OEM would go the moto route with near stock but some nice useful additions that don’t slow down updates so much.

    • Cory

      Google editions are unlocked and not on carriers. HTC One Unlocked and Dev edition have 4.4. It is all the carrier.

      And I would rather have Sense than Stock. Stock sucks.

  • apgrijalva1


  • xaml

    In a twisted way, this information of an informative nature, or more precisely, the lack of inclusion of devices like the HTC Desire and the HTC One S in the pathway to an update, since there seem to be no technical hurdles anymore this time around, makes them look no better than before publishing said information.

  • donger

    Dope. HTC is great.

  • Tom

    Sigh… infographics or no infographics, nothing will change. It’s just a marketing trick, to make people believe they’re thinking of us. But in reality, nothing has changed since 2010. I’ve been active with Android since Eclair (2.1). Be it HTC, Samsung, Sony, … It’s all about updating the newest flagship and pushing minor updates to the previous flagship. These companies want to sell their latest devices each year because of one thing: profit.

    Customers have to buy the newest flagship because “it has these features the previous flagship doesn’t have”. I’ve had three HTC devices: Hero, Desire HD, One X. I was a loyal HTC customer because Sense had a premium feel to it. Since I’m a web designer, I love their custom UX and apps, but f*ck – their updates took way too long.

    Also, when you got an update you’re still behind of the latest Android version. The previous flagship can run the version of the new flagship but it’s not profitable. It takes up their employees’ time and doesn’t bring in any money. Some examples below:

    - Hero -> Desire. Only the Desire gets the Froyo update.
    - Desire -> Desire HD. Only the Desire HD gets the Gingerbread update (publicly).
    - Desire HD -> Sensation. Only the Sensation got the ICS update.
    - Sensation -> One X. Only the One S and X got the Jellybean update. (One V hasn’t got a single update, One S only got one update).
    - One X -> One. Only the One gets the 4.3/4.4 update.

    I have friends and some of them have Nexus devices. When the Nexus 5 came out I was sure. I bought it immediately and look at me now: I’ve got both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. They’re both on the latest Android versions and run the same apps as a Galaxy or HTC device. I’ve got Nova Launcher running and everything can be customized the way I want it to be. It’s awesome (themes, icon kits, all that stuff. So no, I don’t need a custom UX like Sense/Touchwiz whatsoever).

    I’m glad I took the jump and I won’t be looking back at Android devices with skins that drain your battery, have a laggy UX, and only get updates for a year (which most of the time are not even the latest release).

    • SGB101

      I really can’t see how this surprises/upsets you. A company is there to make money. Everyone is here to make money, Be it a person, company or government. If HTC supported there phones indefinitely it would stop some from getting the next big thing.

      Also so, most companies are on a ‘tick tock’ cycle, meaning ever second device is an upgrade to the one before it, they expect you to upgrade every two years, not one. Then you see an added benifit. If you upgrade every twelve months, (within the same brand) you’ll always be underwhelmed.

      So you always get one update, then it’s time to switch up. The problem comes if your not in sync with the tick tock schedule, as you’ll always be two× versions of Android behind.

      ×two because, nexus upto date, flag ships one behind, the ‘tock’ another version behind.

    • Sean

      The bottom line is that HTC is a company and they must manage their resources is a fiscally responsible manner. While, from the user perspective, we would like to see a phone that is 24 months old get updated to the latest version of Android, but from a business perspective, there isn’t any business reason to do so.

      It cost real money to perform the updates on a phone. If that phone isn’t sold anymore, then updating it will not drive further sales and may actually retard sales of newer devices.

      So, while you derision of profit, that is how companies survive. They, specifically, HTC tries to add new features above and beyond the latest Android, to make the phones more attractive (front facing speaks, the AU body on HTC One, the new camera tech, etc.)

      If companies don’t do this, they will eventually fade and then you really get no support.

      I applaud HTC for doing this, especially when they are under financial stress.

      • Tom

        It’s true what you’re saying, but… look at Samsung. They’re updating their Galaxy S3′s (same generation as the HTC One X, mid-2012) to 4.3. The One X doesn’t get the update. Why? Same reason; profit + Samsung càn spend their resources on it.

        I know HTC is in financial trouble, but that doesn’t mean they should “give up” on their devices after one year. It’s one of Samsung’s strengths: updating devices with a custom UX longer than their competitors. Or you could go for Nexus.

        Imagine: HTC would update their devices for the 18 months they (and other companies) have agreed on with Google. What if, after those 12 months of free support, they’d work together with developers from the outside (for example: XDA) for another 6 months (or maybe even more)?

        If they’d choose the latter, they could choose to work together with these devs and maybe later on even hire them? Or those devs could put that experience on their resumee. Instead of XDA updates (which mostly are vanilla Android), or a Sense-port of a more recent hardware-like device, they could create cheap updates with the Sense UX ($5 or something). That way users would get to install the updates they’d like + HTC would earn some money with it. In the end, everyone would be happy.

        Conclusion: Experience for devs, shows goodwill on HTC’s side, profit for HTC.

        • SGB101

          My wife got the 4.3 update on her sgs3 Xmas day, it’s transparent like 4.4. Nice touch I thought. And as above nice they are doing this as it’s almost 2 years old.

  • prem singh

    What the Android 4.4 kit.kat on desire 500

  • jake

    Being on the latest update is overrated, imo. It’s great if there’s a Project Butter or some feature like a lockscreen widget, if you can’t live without that. But nobody ever mentions the downside: that a percentage of your apps/services won’t work because they aren’t ready for the update. Last time I cared about being on the bleeding edge of updates I found I was happier a version or two behind because everything worked on those versions, where I’m always waiting for some feature I took for granted to start working again after getting on the newest OS.

  • jake


  • jamal adam

    I feel that this time around HTC is doing a great job of inform g customers about updates and how the process works. They are finally listening to us and learning from their mistakes before the arrival of the One (pun intended) and that I feel is always a wonderful thing.

  • rr2009

    Such a long process.

  • michael

    Only apple cares about customers and every single day release for software and hardware updates.
    if you like a not draining battery life os i choose ios and no worry’s any more.
    i sold my Samsung S3 and S4 and i got an iPhone 5s.
    Now am happy make my job clear and i feel that i grow up.
    No more tricks and hacks and customization.
    Every android i was buying needed 2-3 weeks to customize for my needs.But when i by iPhone in just 20 minutes i work it like i have it for years.
    My conclusion or opinion is that the android phone is full of customizing tools and you play with you phone (kits staff) but iPhone can really work with them and make great things with software’s that is so stable you can believe..and faster than any other phone in the world.
    On my S4 after the 4,3 update Samsung change the name of my calendar without any notice to the users .
    The best software i enjoy now on my iPhone is that i can talk and calling to my phone in my car hands free without any internet connection and all ready cancel the expensive data plan with my carrier.
    please let me now for any android updates and may be one day when android grow up i with thing again to come back.
    [email protected]

    • Nick

      This MUST have been typed out using an iPhone.

    • redraider133

      That is why you get those “updates” yet not all of the features. Perfect example is siri that was only the 4s, even though it was an app that worked fine on devices before apple bought it. Yes apple updates devices, but they only get parts of the update unless you have the latest hardware (iPad/iphone)

  • Wesley

    This is HTCs way of telling people to do what I’ve been doing for years. Buy Nexus/GPe or even unlocked versions of these devices if you want faster updates. You still might not get new updates for as long as you would like but you will get them many months sooner than the carrier phones.

  • BoscoH

    OK, so two things. Customers, don’t buy carrier phones. There’s no need to now with the $199 Moto G. HTC, scrap Sense. It’s a steaming pile of carp that only adds frustration. Or, sit back and get your arse kicked by Moto. They totally get it now.