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While Apple has the muscle to overrule carriers and roll out new versions of their operating system, Android phone manufacturers (mostly) do not.
Again, this is getting better, but it’s still not great.
But if you’re not running a stock Android handset that is updated your phone will ever even see any of those updates.
New Android users are often disappointed to discover that their shiny new smartphone won’t get any updates—or worse, that it’s running old software the moment they bought it.
Google also guarantees that level of support for at least two years for all major Android updates, and an unprecedented three years for monthly security updates. (And despite what you’ve heard, it’s not exclusive to Verizon.) If you absolutely can’t buy the Pixel, though—say, if you’re dead set on getting the newest Samsung Galaxy—then go for it.
The good news is that most of the major players, like Samsung, have gotten much better about supporting their flagship handsets, at least for a couple of years.
Unlike Apple’s ecosystem, where Apple releases a single i Phone each generation, Android is a much more open (and messy) environment.
Custom ROMs allow Android geeks to buy hardware they like and install a more stock Android operating system on it, removing the manufacturer’s software customizations and updating the operating system to the latest version.RELATED: Android is open source, so it’s possible for Android users to take its source code and roll their own operating systems—known as a custom ROM—for their smartphones.If you have a reasonably popular device, there are likely other Android users out there developing and tweaking custom ROMs for it—Lineage OS is currently a great place to start if you’re looking to get in on some ROM action.But all these additions take a lot of time and energy to add.So every time there’s an Android update, the manufacturers have to take time adding all their fancy crap in. And, of course, some new versions of Android just come with increased hardware requirements, preventing them from working on older devices—the same is true for the i Phone (and even desktop computers).