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Re: Thoughts about Verizon Updates for the One
If you want the latest version when available for Android - or as close to 'when available' as possible - your options are limited to one of the following:
Originally Posted by leathernuts#WP
- Get a Nexus smartphone
- Get a Google Edition smartphone
No skinned version of Android - I repeat, NO skinned version of Android - will be updated to the latest version of Android when it's made available by Google. There will always be a several months (at best) waiting period or you may simply never get it depending on what version of Android you're currently on when the latest version comes out.
Unfortunately for S4, not much better really. This really is a pretty common situation with skinned versions of Android and especially with Verizon. Even if/when the OEM's provide updates in a timely fashion (which, let's be honest, doesn't happen often) the carriers will often times play politics and purposely delay the release for reasons mentioned above. It's primarily the main reason why I recently just decided to go with stock android. Not only did I like it more than the skinned versions of everything I used, but it'll get timely updates. I turned my S4 for Verizon into a business line only (because I refuse to give up unlimited until they make me) and just activated a Google Edition of the HTC One for T-Mobile (1 month prepaid that I had when I tested out the Nexus 4) and then switching it to AT&T when the month is up (didn't like T-Mobile service where I live).
When it comes to Android - at least if you're going with a skinned version - you have to decide if you're happy with the current experience considering that you don't really know what the next version of Android will add. Sometimes the next version of Android is no big deal to a lot of people and sometimes it is. If the update is a major upgrade in terms of not only features, but also visually, you can pretty much guarantee that your current skinned android smartphone will not be getting updated to it because OEM's typically just decide to work on a new phone with a new skin to match the new version of Android. If it's mostly feature additions and behind the scenes tweaks you'll likely get the update, but even then the average time span seems to be 6-12 months AFTER it's released and, of course, by that time another version of Android will be out. So, best case scenario you're always going to be at least 1-2 versions of Android behind the current release. Take the HTC One for example: It launched with 4.1 when 4.2 was already out, barely getting 4.2 in the states now (Verizon only currently) when 4.3 is out. HTC has commented that they are "trying" to get 4.3 out by end of September, but that doesn't mean it'll be made available by the carriers by then and then Key Lime Pie is likely being announced in October. So, always 1-2 versions behind the current software.
Coming from an iPhone, though, I don't know how much you'll be concerned by that. Apple doesn't really do major software updates except for once a year anyway - with only incremental bug fixes during the course of the year. Your android phone will likely get an update before 12 months - it just may not be to the "most recent" version of Android, but when it does get an update it'll likely at least be to a version of Android that adds features to your phone and improves performance. You'll just have to deal with the mind game of knowing you're not running 'the latest software'. If it makes you feel any better, look at it like Apple updates for older iPhones: you're getting the latest software, but you're not always getting "all of the features" in that software because Apple often times block things from older phones.