Despite all attempts of Google to solve the problem of fragmentation, every year, the problem is only getting worse. As writes Ars Technica, a number of very powerful smartphones like the Nexus 5 or the HTC One M8 will not receive official updates to Android 7.0 Nougat. The reason for this is quite simple: a smartphone will be left without updates not only because of the reluctance of manufacturers to support the device, but due to the fact that Qualcomm has decided not to update the graphics driver for their Snapdragon processors 800 and 801 for compatibility with Nougat.
The reason is that a graphics accelerator Adreno 330 doesn’t support latest API, Vulkan, and Qualcomm has decided that since the chip is outdated morally, and support it in current platforms is not worth it. The problem is that the Snapdragon 800/801 processors installed in almost all the flagships of 2014 and even some 2015 vehicles (many companies chose to remain in the trusted chip than to use a controversial Snapdragon 810).
The list includes well-known vehicles of almost all manufacturers. Among them are the Google Nexus 5, HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3, Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and LG G3. Given the prevalence of Snapdragon 800/801, the list in reality includes dozens of popular smartphones that will get Android 7.0 Nougat. For comparison, the forthcoming iOS operating system 10 will work on all iPhones starting with the iPhone 5, which debuted in 2012.
For owners of the “guglofonov” the situation with the inability to upgrade to Android 7.0 Nougat can not be called pleasant: many devices still have a high enough performance and is theoretically able to provide excellent work fresh operating system.
Along with vulnerabilities in security software support problem operating system up to date is one of the main disadvantages of Android. Currently in use is many Android-based smartphones from different manufacturers with different functionality and different operating system versions. This complicates the work of developers, creating applications for different systems, and poses a threat to data security. For example, in March of this year the iOS 9 for Apple mobile devices reached 79% in that time, as fresh at that time, Android Marshmallow, released around the same time, only used by 2.3% of the devices.
According to the official statistics from Google, nearly 50% of all Android devices are running Android KitKat 2013 and even older versions of the OS. Say what you will about the benefits of the openness of Android, but it is this very openness often stopping to use the new features of the OS and poses a risk to the device user.