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And that even google-sourced devices have a very short lifecycle for OS and security updates. Google seem to be running under the assumption any phone over 12 months old is reaching the end of its usable life.



Google has a engineering philosophy of constantly deprecating old stuff. They largely ignore backward compatibility and stop supporting stuff all the time. Their SOAP API for AdWords would break if it wasn't updated every 3 months and this is an API for paying Google money! They are trying to do this in the consumer space, but I don't think this is going to work for things like Nest where people don't want to have to upgrade their thermostat to the new model every year.


Nothing unique to Google. I have taken to consider it the Web-Dev/push-To-Prod mentality. This because on the web a change is a page reload away.

And this mentality is eating its way into all corners of IT as there is a generational changing of the guards. More and more Linus Torvalds (Linux) and Daniel Stenberg (cURL) staying with a project for decades are massive outliers rather than a norm.


Well, if you use your phone a lot you kind of have to buy a new phone regardless. Non-replaceable batteries should be illegal.


An ARM Chromebook that I bought more than 4 years ago still receives updates.


So does my 9 year old HP Elitebook running Win10 now. The problem is that vendors are allowed a say in the matter. If MS used the Android model I'm sure PCs wouldn't be update either.


Yes and no. While Google will backport security fixes, and change the Chrome related layer, the kernel version you are running is likely the very same one your Chromebook shipped with.

This is why they can claim that anything shipped from 2017 onwards will support Android apps, but maintain a list of potential devices from before that. Because said support need various container related features only found in newer kernels to work.

Effectively Google has further masked but not really fixed the issues that makes major updates to Android devices such a hassle.


Google did updated kernel on the Chromebook. It happened at least 3 times IIRC.


A Google device receives security updates for 36 months. Not sure where you pulled your 12 months from.


Ah I'm a little salty because although you get security updates for 3 years you only get feature updates for 18 months. Combine that with the fact the Google so poorly plan their product releases that supply is constrained for the first 6 months of the product lifecycle. So in practice someone who manages to buy a device when they're generally available has at best a year to get updates for their shiny new $500-$900 device. It was egregious when a new Nexus device was $500+, now it's outrageous.

The Pixel XL was released in October of 2017 which means updates stop one year away from today in April of 2019. Top of the line is $968 and you want top of the line for best memory performance. Why buy one of those phones and purchase sub par performance? It's a waste of money. So if I wanted one I'd pay $80/month for a device that's replaced in October of this year (Pixel 2 is supposedly an end-of-year release) and dropped from feature upgrades not too long after that.

Google need to fix their feature window by extending it to two years and fix their supply pipeline by ordering apple-like quantities of product. Otherwise they're not really competing with Apple.




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