Opinion | It looks like Android OEMs are getting better with OS updates
Android 10 was released back in August, which means it's been a touch over three months since Google debuted the current iteration of the Android OS. Since then, several companies have sent out the OS update to their devices. It's starting to look like the adoption rate of Android 10 is higher than those of previous Android versions. Does the reality of the matter actually differ, though?
As of today, these are the companies that have sent out the Android 10 update. Excluding Google, for obvious reasons.
- HMD Global
Comparing their Android Pie rollout times to the Android 10 one makes it evident that things are actually better this time around, For example, it wasn't until Christmas 2018 that Samsung started pushing out the Android Pie update to Galaxy S9 models in Europe. The Android 10 rollout has been faster, with S10 users in Germany confirming receipt of the update back in late November.
The case is similar with Huawei too. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro didn't get the stable Android Pie-based EMUI 9 update till mid-January, but the Mate 20 Pro started receiving the update back in November.
Asus, likewise, has gotten better. The Zenfone 5Z had to wait until January for the Pie update, but the Zenfone 6 received it in late November. The Nokia 9 has also received the Android 10 update a bit earlier than the Nokia 8 got the Android Pie update last time.
At this point, it's not anecdotal. The Android 10 rollout is actually more efficient than Android Pie's was. Sadly, the monthly Android distribution page has been abandoned for months now, so we can't get official adoption metrics. But all facts point towards the major companies sending out the Android 10 update faster than they did with the Android Pie update last year.
And that's a win.
Yes, there are a few outliers. Sony appears to have gotten worse. It sent the Pie update to the Xperia XZ2 phones in October last year, but the Xperia 1 and Xperia 5 didn't get the Android 10 update till this week.
The OnePlus 6 received the Pie update in late September last year, while the OnePlus 7 got the Android 10 update around the same time this year. Essential also had day one adoption of both versions of the OS.
The great—with software—OEMs are adhering to their already high standards, while the mediocre ones are getting better.
The big question, of course, is why? Why the improvements? Could it be Project Treble? Increased competition? Some new policy the public isn't privy to? Who knows? We'll take what we get.