Telus has just updated its ‘Software Update Schedule’ so we can finally get an idea when Marshmallow – Android 6.0 – will get pushed to some fairly important devices. It seems as though the update has taken forever to hit the Samsung line, but March 9 is just around the corner. It is sad that the main stay device, the Samsung Galaxy S6, will have to wait until April 13 for its update – Samsung is starting with the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus on March 9, then jumping to the Galaxy S6 Edge on March 16 and finally the basic Galaxy S6 on April 13. Telus also threw in the LG G3 on March 16 to receive its Marshmallow loving. As Telus reminds us, these updates are always subject to change…but normally they are fairly accurate.
This constant waiting for the latest Android OS upgrades has long been a valid criticism, although one of the problems presented when manufacturers insist on using their own ‘skin’ on top of the pure Android. It has long been Android devices’ greatest strength and their greatest weakness. It allows for manufacturers to add features and customization to differentiate themselves from other devices – it is what makes a Samsung device so different from an LG or HTC smartphone, when they use TouchWiz, LG UX and Sense, respectively. These ‘skins’ are also the reason it takes so long to take the newest Android OS and ‘translate’ it to their platform – that and the manufacturers are too busy working on their latest devices and ‘skins.’ One would think that the manufacturers would have an entire section devoted to software updates to push them out as soon as possible, but it does not seem to be that way.
Each month there is an update showing the distribution of Android versions and it does not bode well that there is still over 20-percent using Jelly Bean, over 35-percent using KitKat, almost 35-percent using Lollipop and only about 1.2-percent using the newest Android 6.0 Marshmallow – which has been out since the first of October 2015. There was a jump from 0.7-percent to 1.2-percent from January to February. There are rumors that Google would like to take more control over the software to increase the speed of upgrades.