Android updates gone wrong for average users

Here at Phones Review we often notice that our posts spark debates over the Android platform vs. Apple’s iOS platform and users seem to be fiercely loyal to one or the other. Android is often praised for being a more open platform but this also means it’s more fragmented and it seems this is causing issues for many average users when it comes to Android updates.

As soon as a new Android OS is on the way many users start to get excited about their devices receiving an imminent update but as in the case of the latest mobile OS, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (and previous new iterations), this often leads to disappointment. We’ve noted many times how users feel let down that it sometimes takes so long for their devices to receive the latest OS and then when they finally do receive the update they notice problems.

When 4.0 ICS arrived on the Galaxy Nexus late last year many manufacturers issued guidance on the devices that would receive the update but plenty of users are still waiting, leading to increasing frustration for many. As PC World reports though, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing as the Android update trap can mean people who do manage to update then spot issues they didn’t have previously. We’ve also had many examples on this site of users complaining about problems after a new OS update. A recent example of this being the Galaxy Nexus signal problems noted by some after the 4.0.4 update.

Another example, this time from PC World, is of a Samsung Galaxy S II user on AT&T who had nothing but positivity for the handset in his first few months of use. However after an OS update to Android 2.3.6 David Petty’s phone was then plagued by battery life issues and he soon learned from other Galaxy S II owners online that he was not alone with this problem. Indeed PC World has compiled a whole list of examples of OS updates to Android devices that have gone wrong, with details from online forums. These include a host of problems such as random shutdowns, signal loss, internal memory leaks, problems receiving texts, deleted contacts and more.

It was also noted that in 13 instances an operating system update was actually suspended by either the carrier or manufacturer because of serious bugs. In other cases though, the phone makers or carriers have never acknowledged any issues. This is not to say that Apple users have never noticed problems after an iOS update but the fact that the platform is not so fragmented and only for one kind of phone means that any issues are much easier to deal with. There are a plethora of Android devices though, all with different specs and features to take into consideration, as well as the fact that manufacturers also add their own interfaces and software to Google’s stock OS.

It’s difficult right now to imagine what manufacturers and carriers can do to avoid the problems that often seem to arise from a new update. If an OS update is delayed that is frustrating for those waiting but then if it’s rushed out further issues can arise that are even more aggravating.

What do you imagine can be done for the Android platform to stop so many of these issues occurring? Have you noticed problems with your mobile device after an OS update and if so, was this an isolated incident or something that has happened more than once with updates? We’re interested to learn how widespread these problems are so let us have your comments on this please.


4 thoughts on “Android updates gone wrong for average users”

  1. Bobby Jones says:

    yes i made a simple update last week to my droid 2 and my operating system was completely wiped couldn’t do a thing. then verizon told me i had two options buy a new phone or use my insurance which would cost 90 dollars for a new phone. hahaha i said thats not right give me a phone and they did.. free.. verizon fuckers

  2. Michael Scotts says:

    I bought the Samsung Galaxy S II just before Christmas and it was my first smart phone.  I was very happy with the operation although I was surprised at how quickly the battery drained.  However, on Tuesday 24 April, it automatically updated its software – 250+Mb!  Once it completed and rebooted itself, I can no longer connect to the internet and many of the Apps and downloaded programs no longer work, freezing up until the phone cancels the program and returns to the main screen.  I now have a mobile phone that is less usable than the Nokia 3315 it replaced.  The Nokia’s battery lasted a week before recharge was necessary…  I have emaild Samsung (Australia), and I wait with trepidation.

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