Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/179638/not-getting-android-os-updates-heres-how-google-is-updating-your-device-anyway/
Android updates don’t matter anywhere near as much as they used to. Most Android devices don’t get timely operating system updates, but Google is updating more and more of the Android operating system in the background.
The best part? You can use CyanogenMod, and still get these updates - manufacturers might not like custom ROMs, but Google says if your device's stock ROM came with Gapps (Google apps, for those who don't know. These include Play Store, Services, Search, among other stuff), you have every right to have Gapps, even while on a custom ROM.
So less and less of Android is part of the open source distribution. No wonder Samsung and Amazon are developing on their own forked versions or looking at other OS's. Didn't Microsoft do this with Windows and the whole market place was in a uproar and wanted them broken up because of this?
Don't forget that Samsung (not Amazon), HTC, and other big-name manufacturers, along with your US carriers (we don't have carrier-bought phones east here) are the ones who caused Google to do this. Sure, it's not like Google wants updates for every phone - don't think it's even possible - but at least a phone - even a low-end one - that shipped with 4.1 at least gets an update to 4.2 or 4.3, if not 4.4.
Here's something. Samsung's current flagship, the Note 3, is getting KitKat right now, when it was released back in November (October 31, but it's pretty much the same). And that's only unlocked phones - carrier-locked ones will probably take anywhere from another week to another month. Sony seems to have forgotten everything as well - not even the Xperia Z1 has received KitKat, and most devices are still getting 4.3. HTC has at least updated its flagship, the One, to 4.4, if not any other phone. Motorola is the best here, and both of its newer releases, the Moto G and X, are already running 4.4 - the X even before some variants of the Nexus 4.
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