Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Ars Technica’s Android 6 Review

As iOS becomes better at connecting different apps, Android becomes more aware of user privacy. As iOS expands to different hardware in various guises, Android becomes more polished and user-friendly. The platforms continue to converge while also innovating, and everyone wins. (How wild is it that Android and iOS both gained embedded browsers by way of Chrome Custom Tabs and Safari View Controller within the same year of updates?) But, as Ron Amadeo of Ars points out, most users won’t see this update:

If we were to ask for any new feature from a new Android version, it would be some kind of scalable update solution. Right now a custom update still needs to be built for every single individual device model, and that’s really not a workable solution when you have over 24,000 models out there. The Stagefright vulnerability seemed to be a wakeup call for the Android ecosystem, but it came too late to affect anything in Marshmallow. Google instituted monthly updates for Nexus devices, and OEMs are pledging to bring the monthly update program to flagship devices. The majority of Android devices, though—the low end devices—are being ignored. Monthly updates for Google, Samsung, and LG flagships only works out to a very small percentage of the Android install base.

The Motorola E from earlier this year will not be seeing an update — just 219 days after its release. Manufacturers are treating these phones like commodities, and regularly leave over a billion devices without critical security patches.