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Articles Tagged:

software updates

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[Update: Downloads are up] OnePlus 3 and 3T are gone but not forgotten, receiving minor OxygenOS 5.0.4 update

Even though OnePlus still sells only one phone at a time, pulling the plug on the well-reviewed 5T far too early, the company’s software support for both new and old devices can be pretty impressive. Unless you don’t still own the OnePlus 2 or OnePlus X, in which case we’re sorry.

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OnePlus Software Maintenance Schedule promises two years of software updates and three years of security patches

In the last few years, OnePlus has gotten serious about keeping its devices updated. While it can feel like stable OxygenOS releases take a while sometimes, the Open Beta program represents what OEMs should do: give those who are willing early access to new features, Android versions, and so on. Further attempting to bolster its positive reputation in this area, OnePlus released the Software Maintenance Schedule, which promises two years of software and three years of security releases for each device and it's already in effect.

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[Update: 5.1.1 hotfix, downloads] OxygenOS 5.1.0 begins rolling out to OnePlus 5 and 5T with iPhone X-like gestures

After a brief one-month beta period, OnePlus has now begun rolling out the latest stable version of OxygenOS 5.1.0 to OnePlus 5 and 5T devices. The version is based on Android 8.1 Oreo and includes April's updated security patch.

The complete changelog from OnePlus is shown below.

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Android versus iOS software updates revisited: Two years later and not much has changed

Two years ago, I drew up a little comparison between the duration of software support for iOS and Nexus devices, and the differences were stark. Whereas Google only committed to 24 months of OS updates on its flagship phones, Apple typically updates their iPhones for up to 5 years after release. At the time, I was somewhat hopeful that things would improve gradually over time: Google had just formalized the 24-month update policy a few weeks prior, and we were already seeing a few devices like the Nexus 4 and the 2012 Nexus 7 that were being kept up-to-date for 34 or 38 months.

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Android O will be the last major version update for the OnePlus 3 and 3T, according to OnePlus' Head of Product

In a recent interview that was published on the OnePlus forums, the head of product at OnePlus revealed that Android O would be the last major update that the OnePlus 3 and 3T would see. However, the company remains committed to providing security updates for the foreseeable future. He further revealed that the OnePlus 3 and 3T should see OxygenOS v4.5 within the next few months. 

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HTC's broken 15-day update promise for the One A9 is a small symptom of a larger malady

Last year, HTC promised that the One A9 would receive Android OS updates within 15 [business] days of the first Nexus device to get that update. HTC almost immediately failed to meet its self set goal with security patches, and last I checked, my One A9 was rocking a June 1st security update in early August (it does now have the August security patch, though). Now HTC is seemingly implying the One A9 may not get Nougat until 2017, or: at least not until well after the end of August it would have under its 15-day no-longer-a-rule.

Given very few people bought the One A9, this should not surprise you in the least.

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[Update: Honor 5X confirmed] Honor promises at least 24 months of OS updates for current and future phones

Most OEMs don't have much of a reputation for providing timely and consistent OS updates. There are a few exceptions here and there — LG's V20 is set to become the first non-Nexus smartphone to launch with Nougat sometime around September — but while there may be a growing trend for devices to receive major updates shortly after they're released, it is much rarer to see them getting software support for more than a year or so. Only last year did Google begin promising 3 years of security updates and 2 years of major OS updates for all Nexus phones and tablets — which is still almost half as long as an iPhone's lifecycle.

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Software Updates: A Visual Comparison Of Support Lifetimes For iOS vs. Nexus Devices

Software updates are a big deal. They deliver bug fixes, new features, refreshed interfaces, and a lot more. Sure, there might be that feature or two that gets discarded and breaks someone's workflow (relevant xkcd), but for the most part, newer means better. And if software updates are important for apps, that's especially true for operating systems.

Largely due to the proliferation of smartphones, we have come to take free and consistent OS updates for granted. Users assume that a new phone bought this year will still be running the latest OS in the next, and no one expects to have to pay for that software update.

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