The Android team at Google is asking themselves if Android updates should continue annually. New Android versions have fewer and fewer improvements, and the system of annual updates comes with a number of flaws, including many older Android versions still in circulation.
Android annual release updates
In Androidworld we follow the news about Android 13 Up close and while the upcoming update is still coming with major improvements, you can’t compare the impact of the release updates with the most significant updates in years. It’s a trend that’s been going on for some time and we’ve mentioned Android 12 a few times in the past year, including with its radical new design. Biggest version update in years†
in conversation with Tweakers Google asks if the annual ritual of updates to the new version of Android is still relevant. Especially since Android phones are now updated in many other ways. In addition to version updates, there are also Google Play Services updates for individual Google apps, and security updates. For example, Google can easily update the Chrome browser on a monthly basis, regardless of the annual version update. This differs from Apple devices where an iOS update is used to introduce new features to Safari.
Then there are drawbacks. The annual updates system puts a lot of pressure on manufacturers, leaving many brands behind to update their phones. In this way, Google also creates the negative image that Android versions are very fragmented and that many older versions are in circulation.
This is a perception that Google seems unhappy with, because for several years it has been communicating only scantly about the distribution of various Android versions. In November 2021 became famous That still works on Android 10 more than it does on Android 11.
Sign on the wall?
Another drawback is the pressure Google also puts in-house on its Android team. In recent months, in addition to the update to Android 13, Google has been Android 12L update It worked for tablets and foldable phones. Additionally, Android 12 beta users have continued to receive regular updates, even when the stable version of Android 12 has already been released.
In addition to that, we can also see that there were obvious issues with updating the Pixel 6 series in the previous months. Users of the latest major Google releases had to deal with a notable number of software bugs and it also took Google a lot of time to fix the issues. many times Security updates came later For the Pixel 6 series, that might be writing on the wall.
Is Google considering an update every two years or every year and a half? Such a move does not look like anything for the foreseeable future, as Google gives the impression that it is still looking for a better approach. “I won’t announce anything about that right now,” Android engineer Trystan Upstill told Tweakers. “But it’s something we’re really thinking about. Some features still require a version upgrade to get them to users, and a lot of them don’t. We’re trying to find the best ways to release new features.”
What do you think about the idea of release updates replacing it on a semi-annual basis? Do you think Google is doing a good job of reducing pressure on manufacturers and their developers? Let us know in the comments.