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The Android Update Problem

This week Google announced the first preview of the next version of Android.

Since the first launch in 2008, the Android project has thrived on the incredible feedback from our vibrant ecosystems of app developers and device makers, as well as of course our users. More recently, we’ve been pushing hard on improving our engineering processes so we can share our work earlier and more openly with our partners.

So, today, I’m excited to share a first developer preview of the next version of the OS: Android O. The usual caveats apply: it’s early days, there are more features coming, and there’s still plenty of stabilization and performance work ahead of us. But it’s booting :).

Of course what followed online was all the jokes about how your phone will never see this update.  For a majority of users this of course is the case.  It’s time to start looking at Android updates in a different light. This is the OS that is made for phones launching a full year from now.  Over the last few weeks we have seen new flagship devices from LG, HTC, and others that are launching with Android N. This was the OS announced a full year ago.  Now some of those phones will get this update after the official release, but will most users know or care?  Apple’s release cadence with iOS is the exception, not the rule.

So for the people that know or really care about having the latest and greatest OS on their phone they have the Google line of phones.  For the rest of the world, a year from now a new version of Android will be on your phone.  Don’t worry you won’t notice as Samsung or LG will make it look just like the phone you are using now anyway.