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Android Phones to Get 18-Month Support Cycle

One of the biggest let downs about Android is waiting for the update. Sure, Nexus One and Nexus S users get them as soon as Google is ready to roll out the new software, but everyone else is left waiting for carriers and manufacturers to get their ducks in a row. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some users to not get an update. However, Google recognizes the fact that having such inconsistent software upgrades is a deal breaker for some customers and is hoping to address that issue.

Yesterday at Google I/O, Google announced that it was forming an alliance with phone manufacturers and carriers to ensure more reliable updates for Android users. Revealed during the keynote yesterday, Google hasn’t provided full details just yet, but we do know which companies are on board and how long they'll be supporting hardware for.

Google revealed that the new guidelines mean future hardware will be supported for 18 months after launch. That means you can count on your phone receiving all compatible updates for a year and a half after you buy it. Engadget reports that LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, AT&T, Vodafone, Sprint, Samsung, HTC and Verizon Wireless have all signed up so far. Andy Rubin, the father of Android, also mentioned that there is an ‘open invitation’ for other manufacturers and carriers to join, too. We’ll cross our fingers and hope more companies decide to get involved, but what we really, really want to know is if Google can get these guys to commit to rolling out the updates quicker.

We’ll keep you posted on that one.

  • imin
    this is what i want to hear before i buy any android device
    Reply
  • proxy711
    Good news for samsung phone users. They take forever to release updates.
    Reply
  • sadly what its coming to is hardware functionality and network reliability, as far as the top questions to ask when choosing a android phone. Apart fro that those in the know, realize that the best thing they can do is to root their new device ASAP, dump the useless pre-installed apps and the 'already obsolete' version of android the device same with and put on the latest avail. android version on there with the apps and features they want.
    Reply
  • jeffq
    Of course, what the carriers might mean by supporting phones for 18 months is that you can expect one update 18 months after you buy your phone. AT&T (and Samsung) got almost halfway there by taking 7 months to get Froyo to Captivate, complete with an absurdly complex, flaky, Windows-only, manual process instead of an over-the-air automatic update. Nice job making phones as complicated and trouble-prone as PCs, guys!
    Reply
  • Updates are set back because 1 the carrier needs time to load all their bloatware on it and it cannot be removed unless you root, and 2 they "leak" updates to see if it can be rooted and how to stop it. Motorola is notorious for locking down their phones, stay away from Motorola!! And Verizon loads all this unwanted garbage (bloatware) on the phone, avoid them also!! Currently HTC is apparently the way to go. Knowing what i know now, I will never buy another motorola phone
    Reply
  • alikum
    jeffqOf course, what the carriers might mean by supporting phones for 18 months is that you can expect one update 18 months after you buy your phone. AT&T (and Samsung) got almost halfway there by taking 7 months to get Froyo to Captivate, complete with an absurdly complex, flaky, Windows-only, manual process instead of an over-the-air automatic update. Nice job making phones as complicated and trouble-prone as PCs, guys!As trouble-prone as PCs? LOL my HTC Desire updates over the air. What do you say about that? And seriously? PC? Trouble? Those 2 shouldn't even be in the same sentence.
    Reply
  • rantoc
    jeffqNice job making phones as complicated and trouble-prone as PCs, guys!
    Trouble-prone & Complicated? Do you mean installing Windows7 once for instance and then don't have to care about it at all, if a person can't handle that with automatic updates etc they should not have any tech beside perhaps a toaster and a calculator!

    You Sir either troll or simply should not own any tech since it seems to be to complicated for you!
    Reply
  • humbi83
    I have Sense 3.0 on a Desire HD today and it works just fine. They should ask the help of the xda community for porting to older devices. They should just allow access to their source repositories and not waste the time of talented people on decompiling their things.

    Just my 2c.
    Reply
  • The elephant in the room is security updates. Do they really intend to give people on a three year contract only 18 months of security updates?
    Reply
  • Griffolion
    An excellent idea, let's just hope it follows through as planned.

    humbi83I have Sense 3.0 on a Desire HD today and it works just fine. They should ask the help of the xda community for porting to older devices. They should just allow access to their source repositories and not waste the time of talented people on decompiling their things.Just my 2c.
    I agree, there's a whole community out there that can have their talent tapped.
    Reply