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Slashdot Asks: Would You Pay For Android Updates? (theverge.com) 257

It's no secret that most Android OEMs could do better when it comes to seeding out updates for their existing devices. A report on Bloomberg earlier this week claimed that Google plans to publicly name and shame the OEMs who are too slow at updating their devices. An HTC executive who didn't want to be identified told Slashdot on Thursday that it is not the right way to approach the problem. But that's only one part of the problem. The other issue is that almost every Android OEM partner -- including Google itself -- only provides support to their devices for 18-24 months. Vlad Savov of The Verge in a column today urges Android OEMs to perhaps charge its users if that is what it takes for them to offer support to their devices for a longer period of time and in a timely manner. He writes: I've been one of the many people dissatisfied with the state of Android software updates, however I can't in good conscience direct my wrath at the people manufacturing the devices. Price and spec competition is so intense right now that there's literally no option to disengage: everyone's been sucked into the whirlpool of razor-thin profit margins, and nobody can afford the luxury of dedicating too many resources to after-sales care. The question that's been bugging me lately is, if we value Android updates as highly as we say we do, why don't we pay for them? The situation can't be fixed by manufacturers -- most of them are barely breaking even -- or by Google, which is doing its best to improve things but ultimately relies on carriers and device makers to get the job done. Carriers will most certainly not be the solution, given how they presently constitute most of the problem (just ask AT&T Galaxy S6 owners) -- so like it or not, the best chance for substantial change comes from us, the users. What I'm proposing is a simple crowdfunding operation. I'm skeptical about this, because I don't think it is in an OEM's best interest to serve its existing users for long -- how else they will convince customers to purchase their new devices? A newer software version is after all one of the ultimate selling points of a new phone. So I don't think an OEM will take up on such an offer. What do you folks think?
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Slashdot Asks: Would You Pay For Android Updates?

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  • No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dins ( 2538550 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:32AM (#52195281)
    Considering I actively try to avoid the free ones, probably not.
    • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:49AM (#52195475)

      Even when it means running with known security holes, widely exploited?

      • Exactly right (Score:2, Insightful)

        by s.petry ( 762400 )

        I realize that the logiphobic are going to have a problem with what I'm about to write, so if you have an aversion to logic and reason just skip to the next post.

        Hopefully the kids in Hockey helmets are gone now.

        Upgrading does not fix security holes, it replaces them. I have been working in IT Security for over 30 years and I have never seen an update that magically fixes everything. I have seen plenty that fix a particular problem but expose another, and sometimes more than one. Risk mitigation is the n

        • I'm confused. Do you use rsh then because ssh just patches some holes and opens others?

        • Upgrading does not fix security holes, it replaces them.

          You're right technically. Now let's add a risk review. We have replaced known and likely currently exploited security holes with unknown and likely not currently exploited holes.

          Sign me up to the upgrade! Please replace all my security holes and do it as frequently as possible. Let's keep the bad guys guessing in a cat and mouse game. It certainly gives me far more of a chance than I have now.

        • by kuzb ( 724081 )
          Instead of telling everyone how stupid they are and how much more experience you have, perhaps you could tell them what they can do to be safer instead of telling them how hopeless it is.

          The problem with people like you is that you've become so jaded that you want everyone else to be as downtrodden and angry as you are.
        • Re:Exactly right (Score:5, Insightful)

          by geek ( 5680 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @12:07PM (#52196269)

          Whoever has been paying you for 30 years should ask for their money back. You're a moron of the worst kind.

        • You sound like my boss, who refuses to patch anything in a timely manner, because patches might cause problems. This kind of logic ignores the fact that unpatched systems also cause problems.

          People like you do not know how to perform risk assessments properly. So, while it is possible that a patch may (and can) cause problems, there is also the risk that not patching may also cause problems. In our case, we have a system, and he never green lighted updates to a component after we updated the main system, be

          • by s.petry ( 762400 )

            You probably should have skipped the thread too. I never said anything close to what you are implying. How you converted my statements to be "never patch" is concerning. HINT: I never said any such thing, you internalized my comments to fit your personal dilemma with your boss.

      • Features are one thing. That's a perfectly valid way to sell a new device.

        However, bugfixes during a product's normal lifetime are another thing entirely.

        I am of the opinion that if you sell a piece of software, first, you should specify what it is you are selling it to do, and the environment within which you are claiming it will do these things. Which we can take, at least at the moment, as "the feature list." If the software does not do what you said it would do, or work in the environment you said it wo

      • If you're not going to give me free security updates to the device I bought from you, I'll take the money you're asking for those updates and consider it as a discount on the product I'll buy from your competitor to replace your insecure device.

    • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @11:01AM (#52195609)
      Let me re-write his ramblings from The Verge for a different industry to demonstrate how ridiculous they are:

      -

      "I've been one of the many people dissatisfied with the state of auto industry recalls, however I can't in good conscience direct my wrath at the people manufacturing the devices. Price and spec competition is so intense right now that there's literally no option to disengage: everyone's been sucked into the whirlpool of razor-thin profit margins, and nobody can afford the luxury of dedicating too many resources to after-sales care. The question that's been bugging me lately is, if we value airbag recalls as highly as we say we do, why don't we pay for them? The situation can't be fixed by manufacturers -- most of them are barely breaking even -- or by Takata, which is doing its best to improve things but ultimately relies on automakers to get the job done. Dealers will most certainly not be the solution, given how they presently constitute most of the problem -- so like it or not, the best chance for substantial change comes from us, the drivers. What I'm proposing is a simple crowdfunding operation."

  • Umm no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:33AM (#52195301)

    Even Microsoft can make an OS that doesn't require the manufacturer's blessing to install updates. Google needs to fix the OS, not the OEMS.

    • Even Microsoft can make an OS that doesn't require the manufacturer's blessing to install updates. Google needs to fix the OS, not the OEMS.

      Disagree. I don't trust Google to reliably test every single Android device on the market and send out updates that don't brick any of them. The carriers and manufacturers need to be held criminally liable for (1) not patching devices that have been for sale for under two years and (2) withholding any security updates for marketing reasons.

      • Even Microsoft can make an OS that doesn't require the manufacturer's blessing to install updates. Google needs to fix the OS, not the OEMS.

        Disagree. I don't trust Google to reliably test every single Android device on the market and send out updates that don't brick any of them. The carriers and manufacturers need to be held criminally liable for (1) not patching devices that have been for sale for under two years and (2) withholding any security updates for marketing reasons.

        While I agree with your sentiment, good luck proving number (2), and for (1), they'll claim "technical difficulties", "we're working on it".

      • Why is Google's OS so broken that it can't run on "compatible" hardware. I know that Microsoft sucks (TM), but it's a rare device that simply *won't work* when they send out a patch or upgrade. Even W10 - the pariah that it is here - installs perfectly fine on 8 year old hardware that was designed to run an OS 4 generations back.

    • they were an oem manufacturer for various windows phone brands.

      and got paid for firmware upgrades/users had to pay.

      (though users could just copy the updates too...)

    • Even Microsoft can make an OS that doesn't require the manufacturer's blessing to install updates. Google needs to fix the OS, not the OEMS.

      Disagree. An example: Windows Mobile 10 was "finalized" months ago, but manufacture BLU is still struggling to release a Windows 10 rom for their Win HD device. It's unfinished and buggy as hell.

    • Even Microsoft can make an OS that doesn't require the manufacturer's blessing to install updates. Google needs to fix the OS, not the OEMS.

      Google (or Microsoft) makes the OS, but HTC (or Gigabite) makes the drivers for the hardware. No drivers, no update. Ask some Windows 10 "upgrade" victims about that. (And Arm hardware is even less standardized then PC hardware!)

      FYI, you can download and install the latest Android any time. Just be ready to loose some functionality as the hardware has no drivers.

    • Re:Umm no. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Shawn Willden ( 2914343 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @11:27AM (#52195843)

      Even Microsoft can make an OS that doesn't require the manufacturer's blessing to install updates. Google needs to fix the OS, not the OEMS.

      (Google Android engineer here)

      I wish that were possible. The fact is that the same thing that makes the Android ecosystem so powerful -- the fact that it *is* an ecosystem, based on open source code -- means that OEMs can heavily customize Android on their devices, and Google has little control over what they do. Google can't safely update devices running code to which it doesn't even have source, even if there weren't other technical and business obstacles. Google's only real lever is the Play store, which is what motivates OEMs to care about passing the compliance test suite, but even that can't be pushed too hard or OEMs will simply set up their own. Maybe in alliance with Amazon, who already has one.

      IMO, though, users paying for updates is the wrong answer. The right answer is for OEMs to be pushed into publishing formal support policies, as Google has done for Nexus devices, and for users to consider those policies and be willing to pay a little more for devices with better support. I'm willing to pay a little more for a car with a better warranty, for example.

      That said, if the market likes the idea of paid updates (which I doubt), that's cool. Maybe OEMs can give their code to third parties who sell "extended update policies" for users who wish to buy them. A one-time fee or subscription might be more palatable than paying for each update.

      • Re:Umm no. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geek ( 5680 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @12:11PM (#52196295)

        Not buying it. Google already places restrictions on them if they want to include Google Play services. That is your leverage. Use it. Force them to submit drivers to AOSP or no Google Play Services.

        Google made this bed. You don't get to then pass the buck and blame OEMs who already have to play by your rules. The Android ecosystem is a fucking disgrace to modern engineering.

        • I agree this is a disgrace, and it is a failure of vision and direction from management. Google should decree that devices take updates as Google publishes them, or else it is not an "Android" phone, and they can't be sold using the Android trade marks and marketing materials.

          The other way Google is failing in not securing their installed system base. I'm not talking about new versions. There should be 5 years minimum of security patches for major versions. There is no excuse for Nexus devices being ful

          • by Tran ( 721196 )

            Not sure what you are talking about in terms of Nexus... I still get updates and have latest version on my Nexus4

    • Even Microsoft ...

      Okay stop right there. Are you proposing that the vendor of the most popular mobile OS adopts a similar model to probably the most miserable failure in the entire history of mobile OSes?

      I think you need your morning coffee.

      • by geek ( 5680 )

        Even Microsoft ...

        Okay stop right there. Are you proposing that the vendor of the most popular mobile OS adopts a similar model to probably the most miserable failure in the entire history of mobile OSes?

        I think you need your morning coffee.

        And yet that miserable failure did a better job of pushing out security and OS updates than Google ever has.

        • And yet that miserable failure did a better job of pushing out security and OS updates than Google ever has.

          It's a lot easier when there are only about 5 models of phone that run your OS.

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:34AM (#52195307)

    QA takes money, and Android devices are sold with basically no margin. How are you going to pay for that team?

    Answer: you aren't.

    Apple's QA team has enough problems with its limited set of updates and devices, and Apple has a huge pile of money and presumably decent processes. Any android manufacturer would find it impossible to handle multiple update streams on multiple hardware platforms.

    • by SQLGuru ( 980662 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:55AM (#52195535) Journal

      I think the model that Apple has taken --- limited phone models --- is the solution, but that requires a much bigger bet by the device manufacturers. With fewer models to support, a manufacturer could devote more resources to keeping the phone updated. The risk being that a poor model would crater their whole business. I know not every model is perfect for every person......so I don't really know how that would work, either.

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        I think the idea that the manufacturers want a large variety of phones is incorrect, the issue is that carriers around the world push them into it. Much like Walmart etc push TV manufacturers into weird variants.
    • Then they should reduce the number of platforms and start upstreaming their driver code into the base kernel.
    • The problem Apple has is it's fixed release schedule which is tied to hardware releases. Every summer it announces a new version of iOS and Mac OS X along with new iPhones. The iPhones are fairly easily handled on a yearly schedule. However the software is a race to the finish every year which gives QA little time to do their work. The issue is that they are trying to cram in every new feature into the yearly release in addition to support for the new hardware features.

      I think it would be better if Apple

    • Not so limited as you might think. Just knows all of them. iPhone 4S is still supported with the current iOS as is the iPad 2. So iPhone 4S 5 5S 5C 6 6S 6+ and 6S+ plus iPad 2 3 Air Air2 Pro(12) Pro(9). So 14 models not counting CDMA and market variants which add more sub variations. Oh and on the iPad side, with cellular and without. So in some cases the base model could have 4 variants, or more.

      The Android problem is low margins to get market share, and no incentive for the diverse manufacturers to upda
  • by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:35AM (#52195319)

    and get free updates. Thanks

    • and get free updates. Thanks

      And I would pay more for a cheap China knockoff if they would guarantee 5 years of updates. I might pay double since they are so cheap! But I will not pay as I go. And I will NOT pay $600 for something that will be abandoned in 2 years.

  • by wangmaster ( 760932 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:36AM (#52195329)

    "only provides support to their devices for 18-24 months"

    The problem is, in that 18-24 month period manufacturers aren't even updating their devices. Let's solve that problem first before we start talking about paying for longer term updates. And no, paying for an update while a device is still well within it's support window is not something I would do.

    • True, a couple years ago I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro, very powerful tablet and all, it came with KitKat 4.4 and it was never upgraded. Shame on Samsung!
  • so I wouldn't pay extra for extended security support. Besides, it's quite inhumane to ransom already-crafted security updates just to make a few extra pennies. Either don't update and clearly declare a device EOL, or update it.
  • Since I'm much more likely to just haul off and buy a new phone unless I bought one of those $600+ flagships. In that case I'm probably expecting free updates since I just spent $600 on a phone. Even if I'm not if I buy a high end flagship I can probably count on updates for free from Cyanogen.

    Honestly Google is already giving it away for free (more or less) So paid droid updates were always a bit of a non starter.
  • With the provisos that (a) I get to choose the apps on my phone and (b) I get to choose between competing OS providers, (c) network providers have no say whatsoever in what's on my phone. Meet those criteria I'd be very happy to pay a reasonable amount per year -- say $30-50 -- to a software company to provide service and security updates to my phone.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:41AM (#52195377)
    If I have to pay for updates, then any and all of the pre-installed bloated apps and tracking software must be removed from my phone. The only software on the phone should be software I choose to install.

    .
    Then, and only then, would I be willing to pay a reasonable (for me, not the money-grabbing vendor) for Android updates.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:44AM (#52195415)
    I already do pay for upgrades - they're called "new phones" in Android-world.
  • And let us update them ourselves.

    What's the manufacturers rationale for keeping control of this? QA? They're not willing to dedicate the QA resources it takes to give us these updates. Open it up, and let the community take care of it, if there's a big enough community who wants to. If there's not, we're still no worse off than today.

    Cynical but probably true: they don't want to, and they don't even want those updates available. They want you to buy a new device. Gotta keep that treadmill rolling.

  • No. I would begrudgingly pay for an unlocked bootloader to then get free updates.
    Which basically means it'll never happen.
    • I would pay (a modest amount) for an unlocked boot loader. Otherwise, I vote with my dollars, locked boot loader is massive negative for me that has so far meant that samsung android devices are banned in my home. Right up there with missing sd slot.

  • The problem used to be that an update was a full OS reload. I would not pay anything for that. I don't want them. I've had updates break Wifi, reduce my data speeds to half, take away root access, introduce pointless interface changes, gratuitously rearrange where settings and controls can be found, add unwanted applications and subscriptions to middle of the night alerts about missing kids hundreds of miles away, and more. Once I get things set up how I like, I turn off all update checks.

    Now if we are tal
  • It's not so much a problem that OEMs and carriers don't make/withhold security patches, but rather the fact that a buy comparing different Android devices has no idea how long the OEM/carrier intends to support it. If it were made blatantly obvious that Lenovo was only going to release a single patch for my Moto E (2014), I certainly would never have bought it to begin with!

    The only sensible solution right now is to buy a Nexus device; at least Google explicitly tells you how long your device will be su
  • I'm not a big fan of over-regulation but that might be the only fix. When deemed a sufficient social good, manufacturers are required to warrant and support certain products for a minimum time. Auto emission controls are one example.

    Perhaps some congresscritter would find that the promotion of cyber security and reduction of e-waste would make requiring a 5-year support period on mobile devices a worthy regulation.

    Of course they would end up calling it something like the Security of Cyberdevices and Reducti

  • Just because something is on the tubes does not mean you need to handle it differently. A software update is nothing else but what a recall in the car (or any other) industry is.

    If my car has a malfunction, I get a recall, go to the garage and have it fixed. I do not need to pay for it (except in the time I spend going there).
    If my canned food MIGHT have pieces of glass in it, I can replace it for free.
    There are plenty of examples, so why would it be different just because it is a program or an app or whate

  • by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:55AM (#52195541)

    OS updates are security issue. Users cannot really apply updates to devices so manufacturers should be required by law to support and update devices for as long as the device exists.

    Sure the manufacturer would really be better off selling you a new one. If they issued no updates you would have to buy a new device every month or three.

    Look at car recalls, the same standard should be set for support of devices. If there is a system issue and a security update is needed the manufacture should be required to provide it no matter how old the device is. Shame on them for not making is safe/secure in the first place.

    Also to avoid false fronts there should be a mandatory bond for 5 years of support should the "manufacturer" disappear. The bond price will be very low for real manufacturers.

    • Look at car recalls, the same standard should be set for support of devices. If there is a system issue and a security update is needed the manufacture should be required to provide it no matter how old the device is.

      That's not true of cars. Automakers are only required to provide recalls for 10 years. Sometimes they provide them for longer, especially with safety-critical issues, because it may be cheaper than dealing with a bunch of wrongful death suits, but they're legally obliged for only 10 years.

      Shame on them for not making is safe/secure in the first place.

      That's not realistic. There is no such thing as a modern computing system that is secure, and there never will be. With the exception of a very few research and aerospace, etc., systems, there never have been. Systems are

  • Price of every device sold should include a fee to mitigate any environmental damage incurred in its manufacturing and cost of eventually recycling the components. Beyond that, I think it's up to each manufacturer to negotiate a contract with users. If I can buy an $250 device every 2 years or an $400 device every 4 years, I would probably go with the first option to enjoy latest gadget / unscratched exterior, but that's just me.

    Charging a subset of users for an upgrade seems like the worst case scenario. F

  • by wstrucke ( 876891 ) on Friday May 27, 2016 @10:59AM (#52195585)
    Do the telecommunications companies need yet another reason to add a fee onto my bill? Doesn't my paying for this phone line and data plan already cover the insignificant (at scale) cost of testing and releasing the android system updates when they are published? Or maybe the phone company lied to me when I bought this phone, took my money, paid bonuses and provided raises to the already wealthy and overpaid execs? Bait and switch seems to be the business model for telecommunications companies in the US. We are always sold one thing, then when it isn't delivered it's not because they didn't get tax breaks or charge an exorbitant fee for the service, but they kept the profits and now need to raise prices to deliver half of what was originally promised.
  • My current phone is an HTC ONE M8. The nonremovable battery is past its prime, so I'm not very worried abuot getting Android N.

    Lesson Zero - removable battery. Must have.

    Lesson One - Style is not more important than substance.

    Lesson Two - RAM is king. More is better. More RAM is the enabler of future upgrades.

    So my next phone will have more RAM, removable battery, and not be too ugly. And would I pay for the extra update to a then - current Android? Yes, if it included patches, and not too expensive. Subsc

    • Sadly to few people seem to care about removable battery and the current state is atrocious: Fewer and fewer phones have removable batteries.
      A fixed battery is a form of programmed obsolescence and I don't want it.
    • How is the battery past its prime already? Quantify that. Is it, like, 10% worse, or 50% worse?

      It took about 3 years before I noticed any meaningful degradation on my iPhone 4, and in its 4th and last year, it was still barely getting through the day. My iPhone 6 is only 6 months newer than your M8, and if there's any battery degradation at all, it's not noticeable to me.

      See, the problem isn't removable vs. non-removable, it's well made phones vs. not-as-well-made phones. Why is HTC using such low-grade bat

  • The main drag on updates isn't always the OEM though. Because Google doesn't exert the level of control that Apple does, the OEMs make the update, send it to the carrier who then fills it with bloatware and releases it at their leisure. I think it was a month in between when Samsung released Android 4.4 for my device and when AT&T finished bloating it and pushed it out.

  • I pay extra for phones that I can install Sailfish OS on
  • And again, no. I'd freeze it where it is on all my devices first, and wait for the free fork. I'd also retaliate against Google in every way I could, such as de-selecting its search engine, dumping all of my google-specific apps. I wouldn't like it -- some of those are very useful. But Google is making very close to 4 billion dollars NET profit this year without charging for Android. Android gives them an absolutely critical edge in the mobile phone and tablet markets. It fully justifies its share of

  • The solution is simple: fire the cooks. No more device specific images.

    When you install Linux on a desktop or laptop from any manufacturer it for the most part just works. The same needs to be made true for mobile operating systems. This is no longer the late 90's.

  • "everyone's been sucked into the whirlpool of razor-thin profit margins"

    Bullshit. Phones are quite a profit generator. Companies like OnePlus have proven that. $600 and $700 phones produce at least $200 in revenue over the actual cost of the phone.

    That said, it's not just the OEMs that are at fault here. As someone else mentioned, the carriers are quite a problem as well. Take my Verizon Galaxy S4. Verizon has no impetus to doing anything but a carrier unlock. It's got all their crap on it. They also requir

    • What? No. I can't speak to OnePlus, but basically everyone that isn't Apple or Samsung is losing their shirts.

      http://www.phonearena.com/news... [phonearena.com]

      Other companies performed so badly that Apple + Samsung account for 105% of the profits in mobile devices.

      (Huawei has a business model that involves selling at cost and monetizing on services, so realistically, they shouldn't be considered in this equation.)

  • Android is paid for by advertising and data mining. Further, Android is provided with virtually zero real support (e.g. direct support and ticketing, solutions not starting with full wipe, etc.). There is no reason I would pay for a product like that ever.

    Now if Microsoft started making Windows ROMs for Android or Apple with iOS, I might consider paying just to try those out on Android hardware. Same would go for Linux distributions (or QNX or whatever) that came without OS level data mining / advertisin
  • Follow the money: After a phone is sold, only carriers and the app store owners make any from the subscriber. Manufacturers get nothing. If the carriers were smart, they would structure their purchasing contracts to include a service contract with the manufacturers, e.g., 10% of the sale price for X years of support. Then the OEM could justify keeping a sustaining engineering team going, assuming the opportunity cost isn't too high.

  • This is a self induced problem. The way to tackle this problem is to write the system in the first place to be extremely specific about what is the core android system is and what is the oem system and also any changes to the the core are either handled by specfici config files or very specific Google approved modifications.

    This way Google can update the core system and the OEM can update their system.

    I have worked creating complex software systems where we create the core system but the end user can fully

  • I don't pay for my desktop OS. I don't pay for my laptop OS. I don't pay for my phone OS. I don't pay any major carrier's price for my phone service - the resellers offer the same services, at about 80% discount.

    No, I'm not about to pay for updates for my phone's OS. There are enough alternatives to avoid paying for either the OS or it's updates. Cyanogen mod hasn't started charging for access to it's servers, have they?

    I might be willing to pay an extra dollar to my carrier, if they BLOCK all those up

    • I don't pay for my desktop OS. I don't pay for my laptop OS. I don't pay for my phone OS. I don't pay any major carrier's price for my phone service - the resellers offer the same services, at about 80% discount.

      No, I'm not about to pay for updates for my phone's OS. There are enough alternatives to avoid paying for either the OS or it's updates. Cyanogen mod hasn't started charging for access to it's servers, have they?

      I might be willing to pay an extra dollar to my carrier, if they BLOCK all those updates, advertising, malware, etc. Might be willing, I say.

      So what you are really saying is that you are a total LEECH, proud of it.

  • The stated reason that margins are too thin for OEMs is nonsense. I own a Blackview phone, from a Hong Kong manufacturer, and it updates nicely, one update a month on average, with a full update from 5.1 to 6.0 last week. So if Blackview can do it on its none-too-expensive phones, what's the other manufacturer's excuse?

  • If we make the manufactures liable if they sell any devices with a known *fixed* security flaw...

    It's not just after market sales. Many Android phones come with vulnerabilities that have been fixed by Google in that stable Android series.

  • Given the prices of some phones the margin they could have an higher margin on the software update or an higher return on investment. So why not?

  • I have to say that I am disappointed with how soon Android phones stop being supported by the latest OS versions. Doing a quick search, it appears that iPhone models are supported by new iOS versions for two or three years longer than Android models are supported by new Android versions.

    My examples are the Nexus 4 (Google's own model), dropped by Android 6 in just under 3 years vs iPhone 4s, still going strong at nearly 5 years, supported by the latest iOS 9. This means that there is an even greater dispari

  • I get all the source code and a way to sign my own firmware.

    Then I would gladly take the task uppon my own shoulders to carry the tough burden of updaten my Smartphone/OS and making it much easier for Samsung, and so on .. to just publish the initial release and then forget about the user. They would have no problems with me anymore.

    But yes, I would pay a small fee for that kind of service!

    Ohh what a fucking nice bastard I'm, sweet talking them into believing that my only intend would be to carry the burden

  • The solution is the same solution as for PCs: Android hardware needs to support installation of third party firmware. This requires a functioning "BIOS" (containing hardware-specific drivers) like the original BIOS was intended to be. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

  • No, I don't think it should be necessary to pay for updates after the manufacturer drops support. Back when I had an OG Droid, I updated the OS to a newer version using a bootloader unlocking hack and a community supported ROM (cyanogenmod). If a manufacturer doesn't want to release an OS update, they should unlock the phone so that the end-user can update it themselves if they wanted.
  • If you have to root your phone and apply a completely different version of OS just to stay updated, then the manufacturer has failed.

    The average user should not be required to go to such an extreme just to extend the life of their phone and get security fixes.

    I had to do this with my Galaxy S3 just to make it useable. Between the crapware they saddled it with, and their inability to provide regular updates to THEIR FLAGSHIP PHONE, solidified in my mind that I will never buy another Samsung Android device a

  • First you have to wait for a new version of Android. Then you have to wait for the manufacturer to integrate their special bells, whistles and bloatware. Then you have to wait for your carrier to add their branding and bloatware. It takes time to add all that bloatware
  • I would pay on 2 conditions:
    1) as near stock Android as possible i.e absolutely no extra bloatware and no features locked out by the carrier (such as hotspot)
    2) its available within say a month of the official Google release (which should be easily possible if all you're doing is re-adding a few existing device drivers and not wasting time integrating other crapware).

  • The solution is simpler than that, OEM should be obligated to sell unlocked phones, and let the user install the vanilla Google Android version if he wants to.

    No more awful customisation and uninstallable apps, and easy upgrades as soon as they're published by Google.

  • By buying Nexus branded devices instead of the OEM versions. Calculate the difference between the two prices, and you know what I pay!
  • A moderate amount of money. I'd also pay for an official rooting method/toggle. i.e.: An official feature of Android, not depending on a exploit which will work only with certain software versions. Mainly for removing unused apps (some Google's).
  • From TFS:

    everyone's been sucked into the whirlpool of razor-thin profit margins, and nobody can afford the luxury of dedicating too many resources to after-sales care.

    Hmmm. I know of at least ONE Cellphone OEM [phonearena.com] that hasn't fallen for the deadly "Race To The Bottom"...

    Funny. That also happens to be the same OEM who has a (deserved) reputation for not only supporting the vast majority of their mobile devices for longer than pretty much everyone else, but also rolling-out most Security Updates in a very timely manner.

    I wonder if they're on to something...?

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus

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