Android updates are getting faster, but also more sporadic | Phones

Pixel 6 Pro Android 13 Update.jpg

Over the past few years, the problem of getting major Android updates out to users has become faster than ever, but at the same time, it’s felt like the rollouts have become more sporadic and random than ever before. Is that actually a problem? Let’s discuss.


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For years, Android updates were a mocking point of the OS. The scattered use of different OS versions, the random availability of features, the length of time at which updates were made available, and more. It was all pretty hard to keep track of, and earned the platform a less-than-ideal reputation. But, especially in the past few years, things have changed a lot.

Where the first few Pixel phones only get three years of updates, Google is now supporting the Pixel 8 series for an industry-leading seven years. Samsung, which regularly took the better part of a year to launch a major Android update back in the day, is currently rolling out its Android 14 update to dozens of devices, a process that started merely a month after Pixel phones were updated. And Google continues to offer more and more flexibility in updates too, as many new Android features are being delivered through methods outside of a traditional system update.

Yet, there’s a noticeable trend ongoing.

Android updates, for as much as they’ve improved in cadence, feel much more sporadic nowadays.

First, let’s take a look at the Pixel. Google’s “Feature Drop” has become a…

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