Who is likely to update your Android phone more often? AOSMark aims to find out

android 9 pie
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Despite Google’s best efforts, achieving prompt updates across the Android range continues to be a tough nut to crack. Due to the fractured nature of Android, major OS updates tend to be pushed out by individual phone manufacturers rather than Google — so while Google may have introduced Android 9.0 Pie in August, many manufacturers still haven’t updated eligible phones to Google’s latest operating system.

Waiting for the newest version of Android and all its cool new toys can be frustrating, and we try to keep you abreast of the Android 9.0 Pie update schedule where we can — but some manufacturers are worse than others when it comes to updates. New website AOSMark is ranking manufacturers based on their reliability for Android updates, and it has released its first report of the best 20 Android manufacturers.

Google sits atop the list, with a score of 3.5 updates on average for each of its phones. Since the Pixel (and previous Nexus) range are always the first to receive the latest version of Google-made Android, and tend to be supported for a few major updates, this is no surprise. What is surprising though is that OnePlus comes second on the list with a score of 2.75. OnePlus phones originally ran the Android fork CyanogenOS, so it’s ironic the Chinese company has become such a strong Android advocate in the last few years.

Nokia comes in third at 1.82, thanks in large part to its embrace of the Android One program. Nokia’s phones run almost pure stock Android, so it’s much quicker to send out updates than companies who use a heavily modified Android skin — like Samsung or LG. Sony runs a similar almost-stock Android, and it’s been rewarded for this with a fourth-place position. Other well-known manufacturers don’t fare as well. Samsung finds itself in eighth position, while Motorola and HTC hit an unenviable eleventh and twelfth. Huawei, Xiaomi, and LG all find themselves in positions of shame with scores lower than 1 — meaning these three companies have not managed an average of a single major update across their released devices.

If those scores seem low to you, it’s worth pointing out how AOSMark formulates its numbers. Essentially, AOSMark awards points for each major update. Security updates and more minor updates don’t count (Android 7.1.0 to Android 7.1.1, for example), but the bigger API changes do — so an upgrade from Android Oreo to Android Pie counts, as does upgrading from Android 8.0 to 8.1.

What’s the point? Well, pressuring manufacturers into prompter upgrades is likely a big part of it, but it’s also about making sure consumers know their future upgrade prospects when they buy a phone. Consumers can expect a manufacturer with a lower score to be less reliable at upgrading a recently released budget phone, while a higher scored manufacturer will be more likely to send out major updates to even its cheapest phones.

Product Review

Honor schools other phone makers on design with the hole-punch View 20

The Honor View 20 is Honor’s best phone to date. Why? Just look at the punch hole screen, the striking design, and the exciting 48-megapixel camera for evidence. Here’s our review.

HMD Global confirms which Nokia phones will definitely receive Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.

Moschino glams up the 48-megapixel Honor View 20 at Paris launch

After its success with the View 10 in 2018, Honor has announced its sequel, the Honor View 20 with an entirely new type of display which has a hole-punch for the camera rather than a notch.

10 top features you should be using on your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch can do more than just tell you the time, but you may not be aware of all the different functions it has. Our list of the 10 most often used functions and features will help you understand what it can really do.

Photograph your meal with the Foodvisor app for caloric, nutritional estimates

Many of us understand the importance of a healthy diet, but counting calories and diving into nutritional data is a lot of work. The Foodvisor app for Android or iOS gives you a calorific and nutritional breakdown of your food from a photo.

Get your photos on billboards with Apple’s 2019 ‘Shot on iPhone’ program

Like previous years, Apple has once again launched its Shot on iPhone program, which encourages users to submit the best photos they've taken with their iPhone. Ultimately, the winners will get their photos featured on billboards.

Embrace your inner Dr. Frankenstein with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and this cool app

Ever wanted to make your favorite toy come alive? If so, and you have a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, then you need to grab the 3D Live Maker app and try out some augmented reality magic. Here's how to use it.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus photo leaks with dual front-facing camera

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Social Media

Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October

Google confirmed that it will begin retiring the classic Google Hangouts app in October. The company will start by pushing users to move to the new Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.

How to make a contact group on an iPhone

There's no obvious way to crate contact groups on your iPhone, but you can do it through iCloud or you can install a third-party app to help. We explain both methods as we explore how to make a contact group on an iPhone.