Time for Google to take control of the Android update process

Too many customers are not happy with lack of updates for Android phones. It's time for Google to step in and take control over the Android update process, no matter how many partner feathers get ruffled.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Android is always a hot topic on the web since it's grown so big. Unfortunately for Google, a lot of the conversation centers around the pitiful update process that has customers venting frustration at the delays (or lack) of updates for their Android phones. I understand that the update process is complicated and involves too many entities, but Google is ultimately the company that gets kicked in the shins as its brand gets dragged through the mud over the frustrating update situation. That's reason enough for Google to step in and take control over the Android update process, no matter how many partner feathers get ruffled.

The whole "open" concept behind Android implies that Google should keep producing its code and keeping its hands off those who are building products with it. That is the ideal process, but it's not working when so many customers are unhappy with support. They may be mad at Samsung for the lack of updates, or their telco, but ultimately it is the Android brand that bears the brunt of customer discontent.

If OEMs have such a difficult time producing updates for handsets, then something is wrong with the process. If OEMs are holding off releasing updates for business reasons, as many customers believe, then the process is flawed in allowing that to happen. If the telcos are dragging the process down with testing delays, then the process is not working. It is time for Google to step in and address all of the issues affecting timely updates to its customers, and make no mistake, Android customers are Google's customers.

Google needs to establish an update process for partners that paves the way for faster (and continual) updates to handsets, no matter the telco. If partners are having such a hard time getting Android updates incorporated in handset updates, then Google needs to aid in this process. Form a business group that does nothing else but gets actual handset updates into customers' hands.

If the handset update process is not really that complicated, then Google needs to put mandates on partners requiring a reasonable (to customers) timeframe in which handsets get updated. Just because Android is open doesn't mean Google can't put controls on businesses using it. It is time to step up on the behalf of customers and get things right. Partners won't like it, but they're making too much money on Android to turn away now.

Image credit: Google

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