1. AC Question's Avatar
    I happen to like Google. When they update the Android OS, I want to get the update asap. Samsung has had a history of 'enhancing' the Android OS and therefore requiring extra time to incorporate new versions from Google. I have noticed comments about the S6 and S6 Edge that suggest that the OS (I am using the term loosely) is less bloated, but has Samsung redesigned their enhancements such that (a) the updates won't take long to release or (b) the updates can be immediate? (That's my Hail Mary.)
    07-18-2015 11:43 AM
  2. Rukbat's Avatar
    Samsung has had a history of 'enhancing' the Android OS and therefore requiring extra time to incorporate new versions from Google.
    Android is written to run on the current Nexus hardware. Each manufacturer has to modify that to run on their hardware. If you want fast and "pure Android", buy a Nexus. Otherwise, you have to wait until the manufacturer modifies the hardware interface of th update. (And the carrier, in most cases, will add their junk after that.)

    I have noticed comments about the S6 and S6 Edge that suggest that the OS (I am using the term loosely) is less bloated, but has Samsung redesigned their enhancements such that (a) the updates won't take long to release or (b) the updates can be immediate? (That's my Hail Mary.)
    Only Apple updates are immediate (because they don't announce a new version until it's ready to ship, so it seems as if they're doing an update in a couple of days). Nexus updates are usually pretty fast after announcement. (M, or version 6, has kind of been rumored, but that's not a "release". Apple wouldn't release rumors until they're ready to ship - so that inherently adds "delay" to Android - it's a marketing thing, not a technical thing.)

    How quickly does Samsung release updates? If you're with AT&T, slowly. AT&T is the bottleneck. With some carriers, very quickly - once they've modified it to work on their hardware. (Apple makes all hardware compatible with all future releases - Google doesn't control the hardware, so each manufacturer has to mo modify a new release to work on each phone - the S6 update isn't the same as the Note 4 update is - for one thing, Samsung would have to add the hardware abstraction layer [firmware, or ROM] for the S-Pen function for the Note series, and that would just be wasted space in an S6.)
    07-18-2015 06:30 PM
  3. Runyon Borofsky's Avatar
    I understand your points, but I'm wondering if anyone at AC knows more specifically about the design changes that have been suggested in various comments that indicate that the S6 software is less bloated. To make my question a bit clearer, I will say that when I have had previous Samsung phones, it could take 3-6 months for a new version of Android to be available, while with my Motorola phones, such as the RAZR and Moto X, the delay was much shorter. I understood that this was because the 'enhancements' included by Samsung added a lot of work for their engineering staff every time a new version of Android was developed. Features such as Eye Scrolling apparently required a lot of work with every release and increased release schedules even more. However, as a software developer, I understand that it is not always necessary to rewrite a core platform if you can use features designed into that platform to access external code. In some cases, you accept the limitations of this approach (speed and function issues, e.g.) as the cost of working with that platform. In my case, I care more about what Google develops than what Samsung develops in the way of integrated OS enhancements.

    My question is specifically about the S6, not about other phones that I could buy. If anyone knows about the S6 design as it relates to the native Android OS, I would love to know the answer to my question. Thanks.
    07-20-2015 04:47 PM

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