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Fragmentation status on Android: who is to blame?

Pixel 4 XL, bottom

As much as it hurts many people, we must recognize that iOS, Apple's iPhone operating system, is far ahead of Android in some aspects such as the updates and support that its terminals receive. According to a study, 2 out of 5 Android devices are at risk of being hacked because of using an obsolete version of Android and this is something that It does not seem to matter to many brands and especially to Google.

Fragmentation is a problem for users. Many terminals that go on sale, especially the cheapest, will never receive an update or a security patch, which seriously endangers the security and privacy of thousands and millions of Android owners. Hence the urgent need not only for Google to take action on the matter – we have been asking for it for years – but also for us as consumers, Let's do an exercise of responsibility supporting only those brands that have a good update policy.

This is the Android landscape in terms of updates today

OnePlus 7T Pro, software

But this is not easy. Knowing the current situation of the Android market is not easy, especially because of the large number of brands present in the market and the multitude of terminals that go on sale. Luckily, some media like Computer World have done a magnificent job analyzing the most important companies in the sector and checking where are your most important terminals.

According to this analysis, which we encourage you to read in its entirety, and despite the fact that Google is the company with the best update support, the firm that deserves the most recognition is undoubtedly OnePlus. In 2017 with the official arrival of Android Oreo, its main terminals received the update after 138 days, while with Android 9 Pie, the Chinese brand reduced this waiting time by only 47. Lastly, OnePlus further improved its times and took longer. only 18 days to update their top of the range to Android 10. Without a doubt an exceptional job that other companies should imitate.

The problem lies in the high-end phones of previous generations, many of them barely a year old and at the time cost almost 1,000 euros. Here the waiting times to receive Android 10 are unreasonably lengthened. While OnePlus is again the company with the shortest waiting times –OnePlus would have to wait three months to receive Android 10– and Samsung has improved a lot compared to previous years, many other brands are still not updating or have taken too long.

Android 10

Two clear examples. ASUS announced a few days ago that Android 10 was coming to its ROG Phone 2 – more than six months later – while companies like LG and its curious G8X ThinQ double-screen phone, the analysis of which can be consulted below, maintain the version Android 9 Pie.

Where is the problem then? The conclusion reached after analyzing this whole situation is that the main culprits are the different brands. That a company takes months and months to update a terminal that has cost us between 800 and 1,000 and that only has a few months to live in the market is something unjustifiable. All these firms that every year try to convince us to buy their new top of the range should guarantee immediate updates for a couple of years in order to protect the privacy and security of those consumers who have opted for their terminals.

Unfortunately, no one can force them to update smartphones – what does Google have to say in this regard? – although we as consumers we can't stand with our arms crossed. If we are so aware of our privacy, we should forget about bloated technical specifications and extravagant designs and we should only go for those brands that maintain a good update policy. The same way we get something.

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