Android Updates to Slow to One Per Year

Ryan Whitwam

Android is often criticized for its relative lack of cohesion when compared to the iPhone platform. But if Google's Android chief Andy Rubin is to be believed, Google expects to reduce the fragmentation problems by slowing the release schedule . The statements were made in an interview with the Silicon Valley Mercury News. This would give manufacturers more time to ready software updates and new hardware based on the new version of Android.

Android has been moving at a breakneck pace since it was debuted in fall of 2008. In the last year, we've seen no fewer than 5 updates to the platform: 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, and in the coming weeks 2.2. This has made it nearly impossible for manufacturers to update existing hardware, and new devices often launch with older version of the software.

Rubin explained that there was a lot of work to be done on Android. He said that 1.0 felt more like a 0.8 release. Even now the cycle has slowed down from where it was just recently. "Our product cycle is now, basically twice a year, and it will probably end up being once a year when things start settling down, because a platform that’s moving — it’s hard for developers to keep up," said Rubin. We like software updates as much as the next gaggle of nerds, but this seems like a good thing for the platform overall.

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