According to some people, Google’s claims that its operating system Android is more open as compared to the closed interface of iOS are incorrect. Rather, they say that a new term, ‘clopen’ would be more appropriate for it since it appears to be both at different times. Their allegation is that Android might be open for all the companies to use it as software for their own hardware but when it comes to the consumer, Android is closed because a user does not have any choice but to use the version of Android that phone supports or is given by their service providers.
Google recently released the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, but this version is available only for the Galaxy Nexus and will be available only for a handful of handsets in the future. Another accusation points out that Google makes it very difficult for the users to know whether or not their phone is upgradable to a higher version and if it is, when it would receive the update. On the other hand, Apple and Microsoft make it easier for the customers and inform them if their devices are upgradable and how the users can upgrade them on their own.
It has been confirmed only for the following devices that Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich would be available:
Google: Nexus S phones would be upgraded but Sprint users of the same have not been notified anything about the same.
HTC: HTC Vivid, Sensation (including XE and XL), Rezound, EVO 3d and Design 4G will be given Ice Cream Sandwich
LG will release it for the various devices somewhere in the second and the third quarters.
Samsung Galaxy devices will be updated in the first quarter of 2012.
It is absurd that whenever one wants to get a phone with a new version, one has to buy a new one since neither Google nor their service providers leave them with another option. Among all this mess and clutter, Google still remains the market leader in the smartphone segment, but many feel that the company should make an effort to clean the mess.
Keeping this in mind, the company has announced that it will continue to update all phones for 18 months from the date of their manufacture or as long as the hardware is not a hindrance. It remains to be seen how far these efforts will go, since carrier restrictions are the main reason most phones never see the light of day with respect to latest OS upgrades.