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Android phones run old software and break more than iOS, report suggests

A new report from Blancco Technology Group has shed new light on the state of mobile repairs in 2018. According to the findings, Android still lags behind the iPhone when it comes to getting the latest software installed, and also tends to fail more often. 

In 2018, over a fifth of Android devices tested were running versions of the software released in 2013 or earlier. That’s means these devices are missing out on almost five years of security updates, bug fixes, and new features.

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It’s not all bad news for Android though. Apparently its problem with devices running older software is slowly improving (down 10% since the end of 2017), though it’s still far from achieving the same levels as iOS. According to the report, 30% of tested Android devices exhibit issues.

When it comes to iOS, it’s perhaps not surprising that older iPhone 6 and 6S devices exhibit the highest failure rates. Not only is the 6S the oldest handset still being actively sold by Apple, but it was also the last to feature both a headphone jack and a mechanical home button, which both presumably add additional points of failure.

Android’s fragmentation problem

It’s hard to see how hardware issues are the fault of the Android operating system, but software fragmentation is still a big problem that Google needs to somehow address.

But with dozens of different pieces of hardware to support with each new version of the software, there’s no easy solution to the problem.

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That doesn’t mean that Google can rest on its laurels though. Devices running old software means devices with security vulnerabilities, and which won’t offer the full breadth of what the Android operating system can now do.

With iOS 12 coming to devices as old as the iPhone SE, Apple has set a high bar for extended support.

How long do you think is reasonable to support old devices with new software? Let us know @TrustedReviews.

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