It’s been almost three months since Android 7.0 (aka Nougat) was released, yet it’s still not available in most Android devices. In fact, it has only been rolled out to certain Nexus, Pixel C, and Android One units, leaving those who own other makes and models to wonder: why is it so hard to get Android Nougat in my phone and tablet?
If you’re one of the people who ask this question, you’ll find that there are actually several answers to it. We’ve listed some of the reasons why most Android users find it difficult to get their hands on Nougat.
OEMS have to rework the software
This is perhaps one of the biggest factors that affect the rollout schedule of Android updates. Before they can be released to the public, they first have to go through OEMs like Samsung, Motorola, and HTC. These companies evaluate the requirements of the new update and integrate the source code with their own-brand versions of the Android firmware (such as Samsung TouchWiz, Sony Xperia UI, and HTC Sense). They will then run several tests to ensure the update looks and functions as desired and doesn’t have any bugs. The entire process takes weeks or months, and it can even take longer if OEMs run into bugs that are difficult to fix.
Carriers make their own modifications
OEMs aren’t the only ones who rework Android updates since carriers like Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon also want to add their own touch. These carriers work with OEMs to define the apps, services, and other elements they want to add to the update, and the OEMs incorporate these modifications to the source code. Of course, various tests need to be run to search for critical bugs, and fixes will have to be developed to solve these errors. Just like with OEM reworks, incorporating carrier modifications can take weeks or months, particularly if hard-to-fix bugs are encountered.
Some devices are not eligible for Nougat
OEM and carrier modifications aren’t the only reasons why Android users find it difficult to get the Nougat update. In many cases, the problem lies with the specific make and model they own. Devices aged two years and older usually have hardware that cannot handle the advanced requirements of Android 7.0, which means they’re ineligible to get the update.
There are even younger devices that don’t have the chance to receive Nougat. Those that are built with Snapdragon 800 and 801 chipsets, for example, will not get the update because Qualcomm does not provide support for these chips under Nougat.
What can you do?
If you have a device that’s confirmed to be eligible for Android Nougat, one of your options is to wait. Many OEMs are promising to roll out the update to certain makes and models before the year ends or in the early part of 2017, so you don’t need to wait for long.
If you really want to get your hands on Nougat ASAP, you might want to check if your device is eligible for beta testing. Samsung, for instance, is beta testing the Galaxy S7 in the UK, while Sony has opened the Concept for Android program for Xperia X users in Europe. Of course, you can look into downloading custom ROMs; many Android Nougat-based ROMs are now available, although downloading them comes with the risk of voiding your warranty and bricking your phone.
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