Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Pledge Notwithstanding, Android Updates Still Slow in Coming

There was plenty of applause when Google’s Hugo Barra took to the stage back in May to announce an initiative by Android device makers and wireless carriers to guarantee that more devices would get upgraded to the latest version of the operating system.

Big names — including phone makers HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG, as well as all four major U.S. carriers — were pledging that phones would continue to get updates for at least 18 months after the device’s introduction and, ideally, that the updates would come more quickly.

Several months on, though, it is clear that there is plenty of work still to be done on those fronts. Androidandme has posted a critical look at just how well — or not — the industry is doing, and offers a report card ranking the various device makers and carriers.

It makes for an interesting read. Of the phones being sold by phone makers in the alliance, the site reports that nearly half are running a version older than Gingerbread. Most carriers are still selling more non-Gingerbread phones than they are of those running the latest version.

As the site notes, details of the pledge remain somewhat scant, so it remains to be seen just how much this can be expected to improve in the coming months.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik