Android improve downslide

Android upgrades had been a supply of frustration for years now. However, it is rare to get a glimpse at simply how substantially the diverse producers’ overall performance has been degrading over the past few years. I’ve been monitoring Android upgrade progress carefully since the platform’s earliest days. Each year, I publish the outcomes in an Android Upgrade Report Card that measures how lengthy extraordinary tool-makers take to get the latest fundamental Android OS to replace their current and previous-gen flagship telephones (the use of the primary availability of the software program inside the U.S. As a metric).

With Oreo, to put it mildly, it wasn’t a pretty image. It becomes by using a long way the worst overall result I’ve visible in all the years I’ve measured these items, with only a single passing grade followed by using one D-degree score after which a gaggle of F’s. Two of those F’s have been definitely zero percent, too, due to a whole failure by the manufacturers to begin any stage of rollouts in the first six months of Oreo’s launch.

Android upgrades: A zoomed-out angle

Given all of that, I concept it would be interesting to zoom out to a bigger photograph view — to pull facts collectively from the past four years of Android OS updates and spot how the principal manufacturers’ performance has evolved from the time of Lollipop, in 2015, to Oreo, now. You can don’t forget that Lollipop marked the primary time Google provided an early preview of its software program — months ahead of the public release. The idea turned into that with extra development notes; manufacturers might begin prepping their devices and then be ready to roll out upgrades faster than they had controlled within the beyond. Google-driven the preview up earlier and in advance with each next year, giving agencies increasingly the time to paint the software program.

His chart represents every major producer’s Android Upgrade Report Card rating from Lollipop through Oreo. You can see the precise formulation for the score’s calculation right here; however, in short, 60% of it’s far primarily based on how long it took for a replacement to reach an organization’s then-current flagship, 30% is primarily based on its time to the employer’s preceding-gen flagship, and 10% is primarily based on the agency’s overall communique with clients in the course of the technique. Google, as you could see, has remained notably consistent. Its scores stay step by step in A territory, with 95’s, a 93, and a 94.


HTC has become on a perfect streak from Lollipop to Marshmallow, in the meantime — with first-rate ratings of 85% and 86%, respectively. Then, with Nougat, things began heading south, with a drop all the way down to 77%. That trajectory picked up pace drastically with Oreo, which noticed HTC incomes a trifling forty-nine% grade. LG’s baseline has continually decreased, but it simply made a teensy little bit of effective development from Lollipop to Marshmallow — moving from a sixty-eight to a seventy-one. After that, however, the downward slope hit hard. The company earned an underwhelming 47% for its Nougat performance and a massive fat zero for its embarrassing failure to do whatever within Oreo’s first six months of life.

Motorola’s been on a consistent decline from Lollipop on — not entirely unexpected, possibly, thinking that Lollipop turned into the beginning of the organization’s Lenovo-owned era and the end of its Google-owned glory days. And as for Samsung — properly, it is usually performed quite poorly with enhancements. However, it’s slumped similarly down the route from “bad” to “worse” with every passing 12 months. (And yes, that almost-lacking final bar inside the green spot represents a zero, much like it did with LG.)

Upgrade delivery times for flagship phones

Those are composite scores, so allow’s wreck matters down even further and study the actual quantity of days it took every organization to get an Android release onto its U.S. Flagship — and don’t forget, that is measuring most effective the primary look of the software on a U.S.-to be had tool, so it would not even don’t forget the variance and further delays we regularly see across a couple of carriers and fashions. This must be pretty obvious. However, it appears worth emphasizing: Here — unlike in our first chart — the decrease the wide variety (and the shorter the bar), the better.

You can see that the identical general development extra or less holds proper on this domain: Google holds regular with very rapid and reliable updates to its flagship devices, even as HTC indicates shipping times slowly but steadily growing worse. LG had that twelve months of slight improvement, then worsened a bit the subsequent 12 months and completely dropped the ball this trendy pass-spherical. Motorola, in reality, did k with Lollipop (on its cutting-edge-gen flagship, at least — you’ll see the other a part of the tale in a moment) however, then shot up notably with its rollout time the following year and persevered to get slower with its rollouts on every next 12 months. And Samsung started underwhelming and was given meaningfully worse, without exception, each unmarried 12 months.

But again: My rankings deliberately factor in each contemporary-gen and previous-gen flagships — because producers ought to be offering a timely and dependable guide to their pinnacle-tier devices for not less than years. And the records for the ones previous-gen telephones is possibly the most telling part of all: Basically, if you purchase a phone from LG, Motorola, or Samsung, you surely should not keep your breath for an improvement to your device’s 2nd 12 months.

LG completely failed its customers with its previous-gen U.S. Flagship replace for Nougat and has but to deliver Oreo to its preceding-gen tool as of nowadays, more than six months after the software’s release. In the meantime, Motorola took 433 days to get Nougat onto its preceding-gen flagship — a tool that changed into sold most effective unlocked, at that! — and is also nonetheless currently a “TBD” for Oreo, 1/2 a year into that replace’s lifestyles. And Samsung’s constant tick upward remains real on this realm, too, with another “TBD” in place for its preceding-gen Galaxy S7 flagship as of this writing.

One aspect you can say for the fundamental manufacturers is that, with more than one obvious exception — LG, as noted above, and also Motorola, which deserted some of its U.S. Flagship customers a few years again — most of them do offer updates to their current flagship devices in the end. But ready inside the darkish for months upon months, no longer knowing if or while more and more stale-developing software will attain you and receiving little to no verbal exchange along the way, is not precisely a really perfect experience.


Writer. Pop culture buff. Certified alcohol trailblazer. Tv nerd. Music fanatic. Professional problem solver. Explorer. Uniquely-equipped for working on Easter candy in Las Vegas, NV. Uniquely-equipped for analyzing toy monkeys for the government. Spent a year testing the market for action figures in Minneapolis, MN. Spent high school summers donating walnuts in Phoenix, AZ. Earned praised for my work researching human brains in Orlando, FL. Spent college summers writing about pubic lice in Washington, DC.