Software Updates have always remained as one of the weakest points of Android throughout its period of existence. This can be well-resorted to the sheer number of devices, component vendors, and the whole economic viability argument.
But, there is no justification for manufacturers to leave the customers on an older version of the software, compromising both security and functionality. While OnePlus has a fairly good track record with software updates (except the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X), they’ve notched it up a bit by announcing that OnePlus 3/3T will be getting Android P update.
Android P Update For OnePlus 3/3T
OnePlus, yesterday on their forums announced that based on the feedback from their users, they’ve decided to skip Android 8.1 Oreo update for Android P update later this year. That’ll make 3 major version updates for the devices which is a rarity in the Android world.
For instance, OnePlus 3/3T are the flagships from 2016 with Snapdragon 820/821, came out of the box with Android Marshmallow and have been later updated to Nougat and Oreo (8.0). The handsets were one among the first to receive Android 8.0 Oreo update as well.
OnePlus has also released an updated roadmap for their devices last month stating, every device from OnePlus 3 onwards will receive 2 years of major updates as well as bi-monthly security updates for another year.
How Does This Affect Android Updates?
With 3 major updates, OnePlus has essentially matched Google in terms of updates. That means, if a company like OnePlus can keep their devices updated, there is no reason for larger companies like Samsung and LG to skip them even on mid-range handsets.
At least some of you might be saying – “It’s because OnePlus has a smaller portfolio and other companies are also providing updates for their flagships”. That’s true, but only up to an extent. Let me take an example here, Remember the LG V20? A cutting-edge flagship of 2016 that cost well above Rs. 50,000 when it launched. It was the first non-Nexus smartphone to sports Android Nougat out-of-the-box, but haven’t yet received an update to Android Oreo.
This move by OnePlus should essentially make them the go-to choice for users who intend to stick to their devices for a longer period. Also, it’ll increase the resale value of OnePlus devices so that customers who want to upgrade can easily sell their current device and go for a newer one.
Taking Android Updates Seriously
OnePlus is not the only company which takes software updates seriously. Nokia and Essential are also doing a commendable job on updating their devices regularly. Google has also made it easier for manufacturers to provide updates by incorporating Project Treble to the core of Android. Now, it’s time for manufacturers to make use of all the available technologies and provide regular updates.
Let’s hope that companies like OnePlus, Nokia and Essential would finally lead the big players like LG, Samsung and Huawei to acknowledge the demand among users and the benefits of software updates and take measures to deliver them in a timely manner.
[This article is not to praise OnePlus for providing updates, they’ve done what is intended to be done. But I’m really happy to see progress in this area and I hope other manufacturers will sooner or later follow their path.]
Written by Naufal AJ (intern), edited and published by Atish Rajasekharan.