Author: Shannon Carter
The release of Android 13 will spread to numerous mobile devices over the next few months. The new version will include features like auto-theming icons, more intuitive QR scanner support, and a private photo selector, which are nice but could have been dropped as feature updates.
Since the release of Android version 9 pie every year between August and September, Google has issued a significant new update. And about six months later, work on the developer preview of the next version begins.
Since there are also Quarterly Platform Releases (technical intermediate updates between major releases), the situation is considerably complicated.
Every year, there are conversations about how Android is progressing. This article will discuss whether or not these yearly updates are necessary.
Is there a need for a new Android version every year?
Google releases updates more often than Apple. It also introduces a new operating system in September, coupled with its new phone releases every year. While comparing the two operating systems from a media viewpoint makes sense, it doesn’t align with a practical standpoint.
Because of Google’s distribution model, Android, as opposed to iOS, needs fewer operating system (OS) updates to offer customers new features.
Google’s Project Treble aims to update as many components via the Play Store and Play services for as many people as possible, regardless of the user’s smartphone brand and Android version.
On iOS, things work differently, and occasionally updating the operating system is necessary to update specific apps and features. To understand how frequently the new iPhones genuinely need a new operating system, consider the dynamic design of the iPhone 14.
Apple creates both hardware and software, and when making the hardware, it considers the software’s specifics.
Simply put, pursuing Apple in this manner is absurd, given that the company has different goals than Google and Android.
Android is excellent because of its wide variety. There are so many producers, and Samsung sells the majority of them all. Each has a unique UI designed to improve Android or make it more remarkable for its consumers.
However, it is disappointing that different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are having trouble keeping up with the updates. Especially given that Google changes the operating system on an annual basis.
Should Google abandon big-version Android updates?
In some ways, Microsoft made the right decision when it declared Windows 10 as the final release and opted for routine upgrades. Windows 11 ruined the goal partially, due to security concerns, but the intention was good.
Mature operating systems should be projects that are constantly evolving and getting better rather than ones with updates every year.
The annual “OMG, a new Android version is coming” hype cycle has died, which is a tribute to Google’s efforts to simplify updating Android using Treble and Mainline. However, this does not always mean that a new release must occur annually. Google should use a more effective update strategy.
The manufacturers are struggling to keep up.
There isn’t much time left between one major Android version release and the next. As a result, manufacturers don’t have enough time to intervene and alter the user interface of their products. The earliest update it will do so is when the newest operating system version is released. However, introducing new features might easily cause delays that most loyal users will not appreciate.
The dynamic nature of One UI, MIUI, Color OS, etc., has gradually diminished. This is partly because they have to move quickly to produce their version of the new Android every year. Manufacturers also \ make modifications to the user interface even though they may already be available.
However, we understand the value of upgrades, especially security updates that strengthen each smartphone’s defense. Having said that, it is absurd to announce Android 13, which users perceive to be just Android 12.1, and to require different producers to update as soon as possible.
Google won’t abandon Android 14, partly because it is crucial to the mobile PR machine. Even if it did, a significant version release would still be required on occasion to redesign the user interface, provide support for novel hardware concepts like foldable phones, and implement other unforeseen fundamental adjustments. However, we’d prefer to see Google downplay the significance of OS launches and keep up with regular monthly upgrades and feature drops, making new features more quickly available to AOSP (Android Open Source Projects) partners. That might push other manufacturers to provide more frequent updates and long-term support while alienating the few remaining manufacturers who continue to operate under the sell-and-forget approach.