The Unacceptable Planned Obsolescence of the Android
June 5, 2015
The op ed on Tom’s Hardware titled Google Can’t Ignore The Android Update Problem Any Longer inspects the release process for Androids, particularly the Android 5.0 Lollipop and the 5.1 iteration. The problem Google faces with its major upgrade per year schedule is that while the Lollipop garners 9.7 percent of the market, it might be several years before the majority of android users catch up to this version, by which time Google might be releasing Android 8.0 (Snickers? M&M?) The article explains the issues with transitioning,
“Because Android is open source and because so many (essentially) OEM-tweaked “forks” of it exist, a “clean” upgrade path is almost impossible. To have a clean standardized update system would mean all the OEMs would have to agree to abide strictly by Google’s guidelines for what they can and cannot modify on the platform.
However, as soon as Google tries to do something like that, the OEMs usually cry foul that Google is making Android more proprietary.”
Obviously Google does not want to lose the business of those OEMs, either. But the article argues that this is unlikely due to Android and iOS cornering the market. The final point is the weakness in the update system due to users desiring more secure platforms, meaning Android adoption will only lessen.
Chelsea Kerwin, June 5, 2014