• Monday, July 15, 2019

HMD explained how Nokias get their updates

Android software updates are things we want to see as often as possible on our phones. It may seem sometimes that manufacturers don't bother that much to release the newest updates, but more often than not it's not up to them, rather the issue is with the chispet producers. This is why MediaTek is so infamous. HMD, the Finnish owner of the Nokia brand has released a document showing the stages the software update goes through in order to reach your phone, so let's take a look at how this process goes on.

The first step is on Android owner – Google. They release the OS and ship it to chipset producers together with all necessary files needed to develop the software. It all depends on the company though, as Google can choose to deliver the files to different companies whenever they so wish.

Following this step, it is now chipset vendors' turn. They then work on HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) platform which is then shipped to smartphone manufacturers. The reason behind some phones receiving the update sooner than others is that the vendors also choose which manufacturers they will ship the HAL to making priorities of their own.

It is now smartphone manufacturers' turn to work on the UI, or if they don't have their own skins like Nokia doesn't, they need to work on the special Anrdoid One features that will be implemented into the software. Nokia says that their phones are bloatware free, they don't have skins or preinstalled applications, so their phones are among the first to receive the update.

Now it's time to test the platform – it is delivered to operators worldwide where phones, messages, web-browsing, music reproduction, video viewing, network frequencies etc. are tested – i.e. everything that an end user might do it their phone gets thoroughly tested. This step includes engineers' tests who run literarly thousands upon thousands of automated tests.

Speaking about tests, there are also beta tests. Users who wish to be included into the beta program of a software may choose to be so. They receive new updates through a special program, however, these versions of a software are generally unstable. What is more valuable to manufacturers that opinions and feedback from end users? If a fatal flaw gets notices in this stage, everything takes a step back, this issue is fixed and then what follows is UI and special manufacturer tailored skins development.

We now come to the certificates that the phones receive, and mostly these are Wireless and Bluetooth certificates, and all this is tested once more. Then there are final tests by the manufacturer in order for them to make sure that everything on the phone works as it is supposed to.

The last step is the release itself to the users around the world, mostly as an OTA upgrade. You should always welcome the update, and everytime accept and install them since they can not only make your device run faster but also add new features, improve old ones as well as install the latest security patches on your most valuable pocket companion!