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Google’s own Jean-Baptiste Queru threw up some thoughts on Google+ on Android updates and utilizing Google’s own channels to sell devices. Queru specifically touched on the lengthy process of updating from Android 3.2 to Android 4.0. Explaining that the large differences in framework between the two platforms lends to the often irritating delay in release. Queru goes on to say that updates from Gingerbread take even longer as a greater set of differences between Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich exist than there are between Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich.
Queru also commented on what is arguably one of the more frustrating problems with delays — those requiring “operator approval.” Carriers control the testing and OTA process and while Google has influence in the update, ultimately it’s up to the carrier to send that update out. It’s equally frustrating for the Android community as conversations over Jelly Bean as we’re still looking at less than 3% of users on Ice Cream Sandwich.
From his comments we can extrapolate that delayed updates are now to be expected, that even minor updates, such as going from Android 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 can take a month or two. That’s just how things are with the continued use of custom skins, carrier and manufacturer testing.
“The part that blows my mind is that some variants of the Google-engineered flagship devices still haven’t received Ice Cream Sandwich (or are stuck with older versions of Ice Cream Sandwich) because of delays introduced by operator approvals. I’m very glad that Google is back in the business of selling phones directly without any middlemen to interfere, and I’ll be even happier when I see that program expanded to more countries.”