Why is Android 12 So Buggy?
Monday January 17, 2022. 10:25 PM , from Slashdot
Android 12 is one of the platform's most ambitious updates in recent history, bringing a major design overhaul to every corner of the operating system. It has also been one of the rockiest Android OS launches in the past few years. From a report: Both Samsung and OnePlus paused the rollout of their stable Android 12-based updates amid reports of serious bugs. Google itself has addressed a laundry list of bug reports from Pixel 6 owners, just as it's trying to convince them it's finally figured out how to build a truly premium phone. What in the heck is going on? The short answer is that there are some unique complicating factors at play this year but also that Android is inherently a little bit messy -- that just comes with the territory when you're designing a delightful public park compared to Apple's walled garden. Despite a refreshed look and some appealing new high-end handsets, Android is still Android -- the good and the bad.
To try and figure out what the heck is going on, we talked to Mishaal Rahman, former editor-in-chief of XDA Developers, who's well known for digging into Android codebases and discovering Google's secrets. Speaking to the Pixel 6 bugs in particular, Rahman guesses that it has a lot to do with the unusually large size of the update. 'Many people have called it, myself included, the biggest OS update to Android since Android 5.0 Lollipop, and that was many years ago. There are just so many massive changes to the interface and to the feature set.' He also suggests that Google's commitment to issue a new Android update every year can make things worse when it's trying to do so much, and the self-imposed one-year development cycle doesn't leave much wiggle room in the timeline. 'They started immediately after Android 11 was released to the public -- and they have a hard cutoff date... After that, they just focus on fixing bugs.' Delay any longer, and they'd risk bumping into next year's development cycle.
It's also possible that the attempt to bring timely Android updates to non-Google devices wound up backfiring. Android phone owners have been asking for faster updates for a long time -- outside of Google's Pixel phones and pricey flagships, many devices face long waits for OS updates. Sure enough, the updates have come faster this year. Case in point: Samsung users are accustomed to waiting about three months after an Android stable release to get their finished One UI update with the new version of the OS, but this year, One UI 4.0 arrived just one and a half months after Android 12. But the way things have gone this year, many users would likely have opted for a slower, stable update rather than a fast one riddled with bugs.
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