Help me understand OS updates
Just like BlackBerries, it seems like Android OS updates reaching the end user depend on two factors, albeit slightly different ones. For Android, this is my rudimentary understanding of how these updates work:
1. OS is released by Google, then adapted by OEM for their devices.
2. OEM releases adapted OS, which is then further adapted by carrier, and released for the end user.
This got me thinking about two points:
1. What if an end user buys a carrier/SIM free (non-Nexus) phone? Would he get an OS release sooner, since he doesn't have to deal with the carrier adaptation delay? Is it even possible to download an OS directly from the OEM?
2. Can an end user install an OS for the same device from a different carrier, like it's possible with BBs with the whole vendor.xml removal?
- 11-18-12, 12:42 AM #2
1&2 Yes. Google devs, Handset manufacturers slap a GUI (Touchwiz for Sammy) (Sense for HTC), then the carriers add bloatware.
1. You can buy a carrier/SIM free device, but the model number had better match the one you need for your carrier. I have a SGH-1747m (Bell<--Me, Telus, AT&T, SaskTel, Virgin, and Rogers all use that model. T-Mob uses the SGH T999(something), and that is the same model for Mobilicity and Wind Mobile. Those two models differ from the Asian and International models. I'm not sure if you could buy a G3 from Bell (That model), and it would work with T-Mob, but I know that I couldn't buy an unlocked G3 from T-Mob and use it with my carrier cause T's version doesn't have 4G/LTE. They do share the same 2G/3G/HSPA+ bands though.
Bottom line, is be careful. With BBs, all you need to do is ensure that you have any OS that is compatible with your device, regardless of carrier. With Android, it's about model AND carrier. While some carriers do share the same models, there are others that do not (Like Sprint or Verizon). Android Central is an awesome place to go if you want to know a bit more about Android.
Bummer. I am going to be getting a SGS2 from Telus, which is identical to T-Mobile's SGS2, except for one letter (SGH-T989D). I was hoping that I could install 4.x releases from whoever releases them first (Telus/TMO/other SGH-989/D carriers). Guess I'm stuck with Telus OSes. Oh well...hope they don't bloat up their phones too much
- 11-18-12, 09:33 AM #4
- 11-18-12, 11:05 AM #6
- 11-18-12, 11:09 AM #7
I would still go with the root/ROM route though.Specialized polished version of Android specifically for your device. It's what I do to any Android device I own, even if it happens to be a Nexus.
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