I spent hours updating my old phone only to make it worse

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While trying to fix a screen flickering issue with my Pixel 6 Pro, I had to switch to an older phone. I dug through the piles to find one that can be updated to Android 13 and ended up with the OnePlus 8. The gorgeous Interstellar Glow model still has a volume rocker like a proper OnePlus phone.

After a day and a half of downloading about 16GB, I realized why a lot of people don’t bother updating their old phones – because the process sucks.

Initially all Android phones were updated in the same way. You were forced to take the update one at a time and once the file was downloaded it took half forever for the process to happen.

Google fixed the issues through the years by adding a way to speed up the updating process and use a second partition to initiate a delta update, where you only had to install the things that actually changed and a Could roll multiple small updates to the file.

Oneplus 8 getting updated

(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand)

I wasn’t thinking about that when I charged and turned on my OnePlus 8. To be honest, I was thinking about how to remove the display on my Pixel 6 Pro without breaking it so that I can push the bad cable all the way into the socket. A broken screen means about $200 out of my wallet.

I knew one or two updates would be waiting for me. Nevertheless, I ended up sitting through four security patch updates, the Android 12 update, another Android 12 update, the Android 13 update, and one final security patch update. About 16GB of data and about three hours of my valuable time, for anyone keeping track.

I was curious so I dug out my Pixel 4 and did just that. I got an update that put me on Android 13 with the February 2023 patch. I wish the Pixel 4 battery wasn’t a complete waste so I could use it without any hassle.

One place where OnePlus gets it right is how it uses a separate update partition so you don’t have to sit through a long awful file flash while looking at the boot screen. However when it comes to Android updates the company gets it all right.

Galaxy S21 joins Verizon 5G

(Image credit: Hayato Hossein)

This matters because Samsung does exactly that. OnePlus may make good phones but hardly anyone is using them, while Samsung is the biggest phone maker in the world. You know someone who uses a Samsung phone and chances are you are using one too.

Many of them do not care for updates, and the painful process is the reason. No one likes rebooting their phone and will remember once they had to do it eight times in one afternoon as I did. Instead, you ignore it and swipe the notification away.

I want to be fair here so I have to say that I don’t know that this is something that OnePlus has sorted out with the new model. Samsung hasn’t and if you have a Galaxy S21 you haven’t turned on for a few years, you’ll need to go through the same process I did.

The better the software the less you get. All those complaints about Android 13 Color OS that are on OnePlus forums are genuine. It’s so bad that OnePlus has created a tool that allows you to roll back. Of course, I didn’t read any of them before starting because I tend to do things without thinking.

Anyhow, I still have a phone running Android 13 with me in case I need to do some testing while trying to work up the nerve to open my Pixel 6 Pro. It’s just taken a long time to get here and it’s a terrible experience that made me reconsider just how bad my Pixel 4 battery really was.

#spent #hours #updating #phone #worse

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