I meant to post this when it came out a month ago…but better late than never…
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, a computer security journalist, wrote about why he’s ditching his Android phone for an Apple one, in an article entitled Goodbye, Android. He’s not a particular fan of the Apple ecosystem but feels he must make the change for security reasons, and that’s not Google’s fault — they’re quite prompt about issuing security patches — it’s a feature of the Android ecosystem.
Google still has very little control over software updates, and Android users are basically at the mercy of their carriers and phone manufacturers when it comes to getting updates or new operating system versions. For example, it took Sony more than six months to push Android 5.0 Lollipop to its new line of Xperia Z phones, despite the fact that it had promised for a much shorter turnaround after Lollipop was released by Google. Just for comparison’s sake, when Apple released iOS 8 in September of last year, it immediately became available for all iPhone users, even those with an 2011 iPhone 4S.
As security expert Cem Paya put it, that was a conscious decision Google made when it created Android. Paya called it a Faustian deal: “cede control over Android, get market-share against iPhone.” Basically, Google was happy to let carriers put their bloatware on their Android phones in exchange to having a chance to fight Apple in the mobile market. The tradeoff was giving carriers and manufacturers control over their Android releases, leaving Google unable to centrally push out operating system updates.