Android Lollipop Rollout Gains Steam
Google released Android Lollipop not too long ago at the beginning of November to the masses with the release of the source code into the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). In feat that hasn’t been seen in the history of Android, the Lollipop update has already seen some manufacturers lead the way in releasing the update to their devices – some even before the search behemoth released the update to its flagship Nexus line of devices. We’ve covered some of the rollout in our earlier article, but here’s an update.
It comes as no surprise now, that Motorola led the way with the release of Android Lollipop to their second generation Moto G in a matter of weeks from the official release of Android Lollipop. Reports place the update being released on 11 November while reports of a soak test came even earlier in the week. This update was then seen on their 2014 flagship Moto X in a matter of days. On the 13th of November, Motorola officially announced that their “Pure edition” of the devices which come without carrier branding or bloatware.
There has been no official word on whether the update will make its way to the first generation Moto X or Moto G. There has been little mention of Motorola’s little phone that could, the Moto E when it comes to the update – but we will definitely be updating you that.
Google is following in a close third behind LG and Motorola. LG begun its rollout of the Android Lollipop update to its flagship within a week of the source code being released to AOSP.
— Android (@Android) November 12, 2014
However, Google has caught up with tweet announcing that “most Nexus devices” are receiving the update. The delay with the release of the Nexus update to Android Lollipop was largely due to a bug which was found to adversely affect the battery life of Nexus devices – though it seems like the bug didn’t affect other devices (or OEMs simply squashed it themselves). As of this writing, the factory images for the Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) , the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 10 are available. No word yet on the release of the Nexus 4 factory images.
Nvidia is arguably one of the youngest players in the Android ecosystem when it comes to hardware. But, their choice to stick to near stock Android seems to be paying off with their update to Android Lollipop already rolling out to the NVIDIA Shield Tablet. The update will undoubtedly be heading for the other Shield devices soon.
HTC is dragging in the rear with their release of Android Lollipop. However, their promise of 90 days after release is still intact with a quickly ticking clock. Their Google Play edition of the One M7 and M8 were supposed to have received the update sometime last Saturday (Friday US time) but there has been no information on the update since the last announcement/apology from Moversi.
@martywinsen Hi Marty, got delayed – new target is Friday. Working aggressively to get it out as quickly as possible. Thanks. Mo
— Mo Versi (@moversi) November 18, 2014
But fret not, we’ve got screen shots and leaks of the upcoming Sense UI version of the Lollipop update headed for HTC devices already surfacing. It’s safe to say that the update is already making its way through the approval process.
Sony has already released the source code for the Xperia Z3 update to Android Lollipop to the AOSP. However, this doesn’t mean that the update is ready for rollout just yet. Instead, what Sony has done is made publicly available the code or base of their software update that they will implement with their update which is to be released later on. It comes as a disappointment that Sony didn’t simply release the update simultaneously with the binaries/source code.
Samsung is undoubtedly one of the biggest players in the Android ecosystem. However, their reputation when it comes to updates has been spotty to be kind. We’ve already seen leaked videos of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 running a new version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI which substantially changes the look of the S4’s interface. The same interface and update seems to be making its way to the Galaxy Note 3. SamMobile has released an exclusive preview of the update on their website.
The update to the devices is supposedly hitting the devices in early 2015, although, we should expect a bit of delay.
One of Google’s newest babies when it comes to the Android ecosystem is the Android One programme which has been launched in India. The Android One programme promises timely updates even with a device priced at sub USD$ 100 (MYR 320). However, there has been no indication of a release date. Apparently, carriers are saying that the update will come sometime in January next year but some other sources are pointing to a release date much earlier than that, possibly in a few weeks time.
Custom Android ROMs
One of the topics we have yet to explore here at techENT. But the custom ROM community of Android is undoubtedly a hallmark feature. Devices such as the Nexus One – a device which Google has stopped supporting a long time ago – continue to see updates with the custom ROM community.
Developers such as CyanogenMod have announced that they will begin development soon and nightly releases are likely to hit users in the coming weeks, if not sooner. In fact, popular developer group OmniROM, has already started development of their Android Lollipop release and have announced that they have a bootable image.