Android 10 is official and is only available on a very small number of phones: Pixels and a few others. Here’s a quick preview: it’s good, does a better job of protecting one’s privacy, but none of that matters if one can’t get a smartphone that operates it.
It’s not easy to maintain a sense of outrage over Android’s atrocious track record of offering upgrades to users year after year. We’re at the tenth version, after all, and the story on updates and modifications is still the same today as it was a decade ago: first-party Google devices get upgraded quickly, everything else takes months or doesn’t get updated at all.
It’s not entirely fair to say nothing’s changed, though. The tech giant possesses strong-armed manufacturers and carriers into letting it push critical security patches out more quickly. And beginning with Android 10, a new initiative called “Project Mainline” will mean some of the plumbing inside Android can be upgraded directly via the Play Store.
Although all this is essential, it’s not what users want. They want huge upgrades. Yet the Android ecosystem appears to be designed to keep major OS updates from getting prepped and provided to users. That is because it is. And since this situation has still not changed in a decade, there is an incontrovertible conclusion to draw:
Google can’t fix it. No one can.