The Verge has published an article with the damning fact that only 7.5% of active Android devices are using Android Marshmallow (6.0.1). This on he cusp of the next Android software release in two weeks, version 7 or ‘N’. Android 6 is the version I have running on my aging 2013 Nexus 7s, and it is those two Nexus 7s that are the only Android devices I actively use. All other devices, specifically the Samsung Galaxy S4s my wife and I replaced with the iPhone 6S+ are sitting in a drawer, totally discharged by now. And stuck on some version of Lollipop (5.x). Which, according to the Verge article, has nearly 36% of those Android capable devices.
It only goes downhill from there. Android Gingerbread (2.3) still has 2% and change of all of those devices. The last time I used a Gingerbread handset was my HTC myTouch on T-Mobile, and I switched to AT&T and the Samsungs because T-Mobile at that time would not update the HTC handsets and did not have the latest and greatest Android handsets for sale at that time. When AT&T came calling with their more comprehensive plans and handsets it was a no brainier to switch.
Unfortunately two-plus years with Samsung on AT&T, with it’s oddball software updates and the would-they-or-wouldn’t-they-update-at-all eternal question finally pushed me into the Apple camp. I have repeatedly commented on how Apple keeps its iOS software up-to-date on a regular basis across all devices. It might not be perfect, and there are those who say that Android, especially Android 6, is far better than iOS 9. But I’m not in the mood to buy one new expensive handset after another just to get the latest Android release. Google itself made an promise that starting with Android 5 (Lollipoop) major new releases would run without impact across all devices if they are least could run Android 5 to start. I’ve seen that promise delivered on my 2013 Nexus 7s that uypgraded OTA from Android 4.4 to Android 6.0.1. Unfortunately Samsung with AT&T stopped at Android 5 on the Galaxy S4. I was certainly no fan of the S5, and didn’t care all that much for the S6’s features either. When the S6 came out looking like a clone of the iPhone 6, I figured I might as well go buy the real thing. Especially when it was revealed that the Apple iPhone 6 was less expensive than the Samsung Galaxh S6.
I don’t care how good Android is compared to iOS. You can’t get the latest releases with fixes and new features unless you commit to a purchasing a new Android flagship phone (or one close to it) every 6 to 12 months. With Apple I have the knowledge that my iDevices will all be automatically updated to the most current release.For example my iPad Air 2, purchased November 2014, has upgraded automatically from iOS 8 to iOS 9.x, all when it was supposed to. It runs as well now, if not better, than it first did with iOS 8. In the short time I’ve had my iPhone 6S+ it’s also upgraded, on the same day as my iPad, to the same version. Timely upgrades and having the latest to run on my iDevices is a key feature I won’t trade away it purchasing another Android device. I don’t ever see Google fixing this problem.