Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 18th Jan 2014 20:00 UTC

To be sure, it's no magic solution to the gargantuan task of moving the entire Android ecosystem forward. And the update situation for non-flagship devices remains something of a crapshoot. But it's a start, and a big step in the right direction. And as we move from Jelly Bean into the KitKat era, it's enough to give us some hope for the future of Android updates.

Read on to find out why.

Still Android's biggest weakness. Baby steps are made, but a solution there is not.

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RE: Importance
by phoenix on Mon 20th Jan 2014 00:17 UTC in reply to "Importance"
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The article covers a lot of ground, but one thing I feel is missing is why it is so important for users to be able to update their phones to the latest Android release. I've talked to a handful of Android users and most of them don't know which version of the OS they are running, let alone what updates might be available. Heck, I have an Android device (running 4.0) and I'm not particularly interested in upgrading. I've played with the latest releases and there isn't any killer feature there I need.

Speed/smoothness of the UI and battery life improvements. If you haven't tried anything above 4.0, you really don't know what you are missing.

My Optimus G (the big brother to the Nexus4) shipped with 4.0.4. I rarely got a full day out of a charge, and usually only 2-2.5 hours of screen-in time.

There was an update from LG to 4.1.2. The LG features (QSlide, Eco Mode, etc) weren't that great, but the UI smoothness improvements were. Much less lag in scrolling, and could get 3 hours of screen-in time.

Installing 4.2 6 months or so after getting the phone made it feel brand new. Everything was *much* smoother, apps loaded faster, and everything benchmarked higher. Was able to get over 4 hours of screen-on time and go 50-odd hours between charges.

Installing 4.3, though, was the best. Over 6 hours of screen-on time, and over 50 hours between charges! Was looking forward to the "user profiles" and "restricted profiles" feature, but that was locked to tablets. ;)

The pattern has repeated for every forum on XDA I've read through (4.0 --> 4.1 --> 4.2 --> 4.3 leads to UI smoothness and battery life improvements). It's worth upgrading for those alone.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Importance
by hobgoblin on Tue 21st Jan 2014 11:10 in reply to "RE: Importance"
hobgoblin Member since:

4.1 was the big jump, as that was when Google put Project Butter into the wild.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Importance
by phoenix on Tue 21st Jan 2014 16:37 in reply to "RE[2]: Importance"
phoenix Member since:

Maybe in general. For my phone, it was 4.2.

4.0 to 4.1 was noticeable. But 4.1 to 4.2 was an "oh wow!" moment. And 4.2 to 4.3 was an "now that's how it should be" moment. Especially when it came to battery life.

My app mix hasn't changed in over a year. My usage hasn't changed much over that time (e-mail, facebook, xda forums, g+, RSS feeds, web browsing, podcasts, music, ebook reading). But battery life has increased, and screen-on time has increased dramatically, with each version since 4.1.

I've recently gone back to the LG 4.1.2 ROM on my phone as it's being sent in for repairs, and it's horrible compared to 4.3.1. 2.5 (sometimes 3) hours screen-on time is a good day now, and I can almost see the battery level draining while reading books via the Kobo app (set to night mode, brightness at 0%).

Edited 2014-01-21 16:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2