Samsung’s been making some good headway to keep up with its original Android 11 rollout schedule. Its current flagship lines have already received the One UI 3.0 update on AT&T and Verizon, although T-Mobile’s S20 hit a roadblock last week resulting in a halted rollout. However, T-Mobile has still seemingly gone ahead with the Note20's update as many users have already started receiving the Android 11-based One UI 3.0 experience on their 2020 Note flagships.
The Nord N100 — the more affordable of the two budget phones announced by OnePlus earlier this year — is receiving the December 2020 security patch along and a few other fixes with the OxygenOS 10.5.4 update (OxygenOS 10.5.5 for EU).
OnePlus updates most of its phones on a bi-monthly schedule, but even in months where a certain model does receive security patches, the OTA usually comes in a month (or more) after Google publicized the fixes. Sure enough, the OnePlus Nord is now receiving its December 2020 security patches with only a few days left before January.
While the Android 11 update for last year’s OnePlus 7 and 7T series has been delayed, OnePlus continues to work on subsequent beta releases for the 8 and 8 Pro. The two 2020 flagships have now reached their fifth beta round, which brings a ton of fixes, most of which are pretty minor, and bumps the phones to the most recent security level.
OnePlus has just announced the rollout of OxygenOS 10.5.8 for the Nord N10 5G. This latest update doesn't deliver any specifically named features, but it does have improvements to power consumption, system stability, the camera, and connection stability, plus the currently latest December 2020 security patches.
An early version of Samsung’s Android 11 release roadmap weirdly missed the Galaxy S20 FE, but the company was quick enough to announce that the budget flagship wouldn't be too far behind the main S20 line. While the One UI 3.0 update for the handset wasn't supposed to land before January, Samsung seems to be in a festive mood right now as it has already started rolling it out, right on the heels of the Galaxy S20.
The Android 11 update for the OnePlus 7 and 7T series of phones will be delayed, according to an announcement made to the company's Chinese forum. This contradicts the earlier leaked schedule that indicated a December release date. Given we're halfway through December, that almost certainly means it won't land until next year.
Today, Google and Qualcomm announced what seemed like a big improvement to updates for Android smartphones. The headlines (ours included! We were confused, too) largely read as though Android phones with Qualcomm chipsets would now receive "four years" of Android updates, an additional year on top of what manufacturers like Google and now Samsung have offered on their top-tier smartphones. Except, that's not actually what it said.
After speaking with both Google and Qualcomm (and chatting with AP alumnus Ron Amadeo), I received confirmation of what I suspected was the point of confusion about today's news, and that, in fact, very little is changing if you have a Google Pixel or high-end Samsung smartphone.
Google has built on the success of things like Project Treble to increase the pace of Android update rollouts. Last year, Android 10 was the fastest-deployed update ever. But it looks like Android 11 has just barely beaten the number of active users in the wild compared to the same time last year.
In what might prove to be the biggest Android news story of the week, today Google announced that all of Qualcomm's future chipsets, starting with the upcoming Snapdragon 888, will support three Android OS updates and four years of security updates. In layman's terms, that means some new phones landing in 2021 will probably get an extra year of updates — assuming OEMs step up to the plate and follow suit.