The mixed track record of Android phone vendors offering software updates for their devices has been one of platform's weaknesses, overblown as it may be by Apple fans. Back in May, Google tried to address the problem by getting handset makers and carriers to agree to update all phones for at least 18 months.
Now, with the major Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" update upon us, PC Magazine's Jamie Lendino says phone makers are failing to live up to their commitments and the May promise is "dead."
The thing is, while the Google Update Alliance ended up being one of the biggest stories to come out of Google I/O, we've heard almost nothing about it since then. You can bet we weren't just going to forget about it and pretend it never happened—especially after the release of Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), which is a huge leap in UI design and overall performance.
So seven months in, we thought we'd circle back and ask all those vendors an important question: How's it going? Here's what they had to say—and unfortunately, it's not at all good.
-PCMag.com, December 16, 2011
It's a fair topic for a hard-hitting story and it's a great idea for a high-profile publication like PC Magazine to press manufacturers and carriers on this issue and publicize their vague non-responses.
On the other hand, if a big player like Samsung offers no information about which of its four recent handsets will get the "Ice Cream Sandwich" upgrade, it's hard to conclude much about the state of the company's update commitment yet. Furthermore, Sony and HTC have already announced they plan to update all their recent phones. I'm all for holding Samsung's feet to the fire. I'm just not sure it's time to declare the whole effort "dead" yet, as Lendino does in the headline.