Samsung chose April Fools’ Day of all days to drop some news that few expected they would ever see. The company announced it is moving its Galaxy S10 smartphones to monthly update cycles, where security and performance patches will be rolled out every four weeks.
This is a big move from Samsung as it is Android’s leading OEM and the world’s largest smartphone brand. Android OEMs and Samsung in particular have often been criticized for releasing updates late, causing massive fragmentation across the platform. Many services run better on newer software, so searching for a Pennsylvania lottery bonus code on an up-to-date system ensures optimal results.
Image credit: samsung.com
Samsung’s new decision will help to ease the release backlog and get Android updates to users more quickly. Google has been sending out monthly Android patches for several years, so Samsung’s decision to schedule a similar release cycle makes sense.
The South Korean company made a change to its Android Security Update page to show when its smartphones are updated. As you may expect, Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphones are moving to once-monthly rollups, including the Galaxy S10 family.
Here are all the handsets moving to monthly updates:
- Galaxy S7 Active, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8 Active, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e
- Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 9
- Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A8 (2018)
While the scheduling of monthly releases is open to change, Samsung usually sends out patches towards the end of the month. It is also worth noting when you get the update will depend on your region and network carrier. For example, networks like Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. tend to delay updates even if they should be available monthly.
Samsung also decided to downgrade the update cycle of the aging Galaxy S7 family. Now three-years-old, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will only receive quarterly updates from here on, meaning updates every three months.
As mentioned, Samsung embracing monthly updates across more devices may help to ease fragmentation on Android. Google’s platform has been troubled by fragmentation for years. As an open source OS, manufacturers are free to release updates for Android whenever they want. This often means delayed releases and dropped support for new Android builds.
For example, Android Pie (version 9) is the current newest version of the OS, but it is on less than 3% of devices nearly six months after its launch. In fact, Google has already started rolling out Android Q in preview. Android Pie’s time will come and go with only a small fraction of smartphones ever seeing it.
Google’s own data shows Android Marshmallow (Android 7) is the most widely distributed version but was released in 2015 and still holds only around 20% of the market. Other highly distributed Android builds include Lollipop (2014), Nougat (2016), and Oreo (2017).