Brown’s Bytes – My Oreo Has Gone Stale

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

23th March 2018

Today is a momentous day!! I woke up this morning to be told by my Samsung Galaxy S8 that it is waiting to install Android Oreo.

As a former iPhone user, I was used to getting these updates flash up on my phone – the constant nagging of the settings app with its red notification icon.

However, since switching to a Samsung device last year this isn’t something I have had much experience of. When I bought the device, I knew Android Oreo was coming soon and I was assured that I would get the update. Since then it’s been a very long wait…

In fairness I knew it wouldn’t be immediately after the launch. I’ve written Bytes before about the state of Android patching, but even my low expectations have been exceeded by Samsung this time.

Look at this timeline for Oreo:

March 2017 – First Developer Preview
May 2017 – First Beta release
August 2017 – Android Oreo released
March 2018 – My phone gets the update

Clearly the timeline goes back further than that inside Google and I would hope that Samsung had access to it before the first developer release. However even if you use March 2017 as the start of the clock, it means it has taken Samsung a YEAR to get this release out to this end user on what was the flagship phone in its range.

I keep banging on about patching on Android and how it is the Achilles heel of the platform. The notable exception to this are the Google Pixel devices which manage to take their updates from Google direct. In fact, it’s probably one of the main reasons the Pixel/Nexus programmes exist at all. Google must be totally hacked off with how slowly their hard work is pushed out into the market (if at all).
In the Enterprise this matters. As stated before these updates are a mixture of new features, but also security updates. A long delay to deploy something just isn’t acceptable any more.

Check out the latest OS adoption stats across Android here. Oreo accounts for just 1.1% of the devices out there… that is simply dreadful when you consider it has now been 6 months after it was released!

I spent a month extolling the potential of my Samsung S8 as a mobile only device earlier this year, but this is a reality check for Samsung as far as I am concerned. They must do better if they’re serious about the Enterprise.

Google have shown it is possible to do this on Android… there are no excuses Samsung!

My next upgrade is looking like a Pixel (or back to Apple).

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