Home >mint-lounge >features >Android Nougat: When will your phone get the OS?

Google has now started rolling out the Android Nougat operating system for smartphones. But this is good news only if you own a Nexus smartphone, specifically the Nexus 6 (made by Motorola), Nexus 5X (made by LG) and the Nexus 6P (made by Huawei).

Google says that the update will reach all eligible Nexus phones over a period of two weeks, so you’ll need to be patient if the update has still not popped up on your Nexus phone just yet.

However, the reality is that most Android phone users do not use a Nexus phone. The software updates are pushed out to them by the phone manufacturers themselves, and if the past has taught us anything, that takes a significant amount of time. If you are lucky to be owning one of the eligible phones from a phone maker which is comparatively more prompt then others, you are looking at some time around November-December for Android Nougat to be available for your phone. If not, then the update could be available for your phone even around March 2017.

Also read: Android Nougat: Peel the wrapper, and a smarter OS emerges

After Nougat has been rolled out, smartphone maker HTC has confirmed a tentative timeline for the updates—unlocked versions of the HTC 10 will start getting the update sometime in the fourth quarter of the year, which means October at best, and all the way through to December. After that, the One M9 and One A9 will also receive Nougat updates, which could be early next year.

Sony have said that they will make Nougat available for Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z4 Tablet, Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia X, Xperia XA, Xperia XA Ultra and Xperia X Performance smartphones, “as quickly as we can," according to their official statement.

We are yet to see any updates or confirmations from the likes of Samsung, LG and OnePlus, for example, on a tentative roll-out plan. And it is this sort of wait which causes fragmentation in the Android ecosystem.

There are reasons for this delay. Phone makers sell Android phones after wrapping some customization around the basic Android software. The idea is to sometimes add more features, or to differentiate useability compared to rivals or even to push specific apps to users. This means that when they get the new software code from Google, they start various levels of testing to ensure every extra customization, feature and app works seamlessly with the new code.

According to a report by mobile-development firm Apteligent, Motorola is first to roll out new versions of Android for their phones in India, followed by HTC and LG, while Sony and Samsung are usually at the back of the queue when it comes to releasing the updates. After Android 6.0 Marshmallow was first released 5 October 2015, the report suggests that Motorola first rolled out the new Android for the Moto X Style, and then waited for about two months before rolling it out more widely.

LG had a similar approach, by rolling out the update first for the G4. In the meantime, both Samsung and Sony unleashed the new software for their phones almost 5 months after the release. Read more.

There are two ways to look at this—first, certain phone makers are more careful about thorough testing before sending a new software to users, and second, that they are just not too bothered about allocating resources to work on a new software for phones which are now old, in their arsenal.

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