Lest this is misconstrued, I understand the necessity of software updates, particularly security maintenance releases. You can never be complacent with the security of your mobile devices. We hold our entire lives in these tiny slabs of metal and glass. I wouldn’t mind ten security updates a month as long as they were keeping my device secure.
What I don’t feel too excited about are annual software upgrades that make some cosmetic changes and throw in a few features for good measure. I’m not counting down the days till the next One UI beta program or hoping for the day that Samsung device owners can directly participate in Android betas.
My premise is simple enough. I’m satisfied with what I have. Most core features have remained the same over the past few years. Even as I’ve switched between different devices and experienced every flavor of Android and One UI that has followed, I don’t find myself relying on anything else than the features that have always been there.
Usually, these updates end up making me more frustrated than grateful. Either features that worked perfectly fine are changed or the UI is shuffled so much that tasks previously performed with muscle memory being requiring a conscious effort. For example, I was fine with how the share menu worked, I don’t particularly enjoy the changes made to it with One UI 4.0.
I understand the need for Samsung and Google’s relentless pursuit of software advancement. They have to be seen doing something, changing something, making tweaks, and improving things to show that the wheels of innovation are always turning, no matter how trivial it might be. Heaven forbid we go through a year where everything stays the way it was.
If you look beyond the echo chamber of the online tech media, you’re hardly going to find people who spend as much time obsessing over software updates. Most only come to know that a new update has been released when they get a notification on their device. Even then it’s not going to be something that excites them much.
Nevertheless, it’s going to be a very interesting few months for those who really care about updates. The Android 13 beta program is coming to an end. We now have a better understanding of everything that Google has improved with this release. Samsung is expected to launch its One UI 5.0 beta program earlier this year. This will give Galaxy device owners to take the next iteration of its custom Android skin for a spin.
Personally, I’m indifferent to it all. I wouldn’t mind if things were kept exactly the way they are right now. When the new software upgrades inevitably arrive, sure, I’ll update my phone and see what has unnecessarily been made more complicated and whether some meaningful improvements have been made. Till that time, I’d much rather focus my energies elsewhere.
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