Android updates are a series of tubes ...
Android version updates are a pretty big deal for a lot of end-users. Enough that a few have climbed aboard the Nexus train to keep things timely, even though they enjoy the features an OEM might add to Android. We aren't going to question — we like Android updates, too.
What we like even more is transparency from the people who are delivering these updates. That's why we're really digging HTC's new infographic detailing the process from their end. It confirms a lot of what we assumed was going on, without passing the buck along to anyone else when things don't work the way we want them to work. The image itself is after the break — and it's really worth a good long look — but here is the process in a nutshell:
- Google delivers the PDK (Platform Development Kit) before they announce the update for HTC to evaluate
- After announcement, Google delivers source code to HTC and the folks making the chipset
- Chip makers evaluate, and if the board will support the new version, they deliver updated software packages for it to HTC
- HTC then evaluates if the device can support the new software with HTC Sense
- If they can, the carriers get involved for carrier branded phones at this stage
- Software gets built, and GPe devices and unlocked devices get tested by HTC, carrier devices by the carriers
- Things go back and forth until it seems to be bug free, then it gets tested and certified by carriers, Google and any other regulatory bodies that need to certify it
- After all this is done and approved, it can then go out over-the-air
There are no real surprises here, but it's nice to see the entire process broken down into a way that's easy to understand. We assume the process is the same for other OHA phone manufacturers, too. A little bit of that inside baseball Android fans love to peek at. Hit the break for the big picture.