Purchasing a Nexus devices has had many perks over the years but one of these has been the fact that you can be sure of receiving new software updates as they’re released, owners of Nexus devices have always been happy with the service and longevity of their devices, even the oldest Nexus phones are some of the most optimized devices in the market but unfortunately, it’s rather hard to keep devices up to date with the latest software, especially when the device itself isn’t capable of running the software in the first place.
Hardware gets old and unusable, software needs to be optimized, optimization takes a lot of time and investment from manufacturers, this is why a dual core, low clock-rate device with less memory from Samsung can perform better than the ‘octa-core’ devices.
How long will Nexus devices be kept up to date?
Google has the information hidden away on their support page, you can access the entire FAQ entry over here, but here’s the important excerpt.
|Device||No guaranteed Android version updates after|
|Nexus 6P||September 2017|
|Nexus 5X||September 2017|
|Nexus 9||October 2016|
|Nexus 6||October 2016|
|Nexus 5||October 2015|
|Nexus 7 (2013)||July 2015|
|Nexus 10||November 2014|
As for what this means, it’s fairly simple. We’ve already seen the older Nexus devices become abandoned by Google, fortunately though, Android gives us freedom to alter our devices however we place, letting us use third party software such as the CyanogenMod.
Sure it may not be as optimised as the original software but it’s still the best choice out there if you’re interested in the latest Android experience.
Why is Google ending support?
Google’s ending their support for Nexus devices for the same reason that all other manufacturers let devices fall off, at the end of the day, it’s all about the cost vs benefits.
There’s a few different things that Google has to provide if they have a ‘forever and ever’ policy about software updates:
- First of all, they’d have to develop new versions for their devices, all Android devices are different, all Android software is different, similar to how older computers can’t run Windows 10, an older Android device can’t run the latest OS.
- If, by some miracle, they’re able to overcome that limitation then they’d have to continue providing technical support and security patches.
- After all of this is said and then and something goes wrong, Google and/or the manufacturers will be held responsible since they were still officially supporting the device.
By ending their support for older devices, they’ve not only given people an incentive to upgrade to a newer flagship, but also protected themselves against any security flaws that may have existed in an old device and gone unnoticed.
You simply can’t hold a company responsible for a device whose last official security update was a decade ago, especially if the company itself has stated that it won’t be providing any more updates.
Google may still provide you with security patches if any are developed or needed, but this list simply makes it possible for them to not do so. Again, it’s not a 100% statement that we won’t provide new updates, it’s just them saying that we shouldn’t expect any updates after the date has passed.