Ever wondered, what it takes to build an Android update? How long does it take to build an update? Why does it take longer for some devices to get the update and not so much for the others? To answer your questions, HMD Global has released an infographic with details on each step that a software update goes through before it finally lands as a software update for your Nokia smartphone. But the process is nearly the same for everyone else. Let’s take a look.
According to the infographic released, the update starts with Google releasing the OS code (source files + platform development kits) to chipset vendors. The chipset vendors utilize the source files and development kits to make the ‘OS compatible drivers’ for their chipsets. They also play a role in prioritizing the chipsets that would get the newest updates first.
Once the code leaves chipset vendors, it is taken to the next step that HMD calls, Nokia phone-ification. In this step, special Android One features are integrated with the OS. Usually, this step does not take a long time, but, in case of some other manufacturers which have their own skin on top of the OS, the process can take much longer. Since Nokia smartphones run on Android One, which does not have any bloatware or skin on top of the OS and aims at providing a close to stock Android experience on smartphones other than Google’s, this step is comparatively shorter in case of Nokia.
The update is now sent for testing, which takes place in three different stages. The first stage involves sending the private betas for the build across the world to test things like voice calls, web browsing, video streaming, VoLTE, etc. While this step goes on, the second stage takes place in parallel, in the private labs of the company and involves the engineering and testing team to manually perform thousands of tests on the smartphone. In the third stage, the build is sent out in the form of a public beta to a group of selected Nokia fans across the world for testing.
The final stage, called ‘Garnishing and final touches’ by Nokia, involves mandatory conformance tests related to various technologies present on the smartphone like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. The tests help in ensuring everything works fine on your smartphone. Once all the tests are done, the build is passed on to the operators to test it on their networks and regions. Since these technologies differ from region to region, it is a really important step to ensure the OS works flawlessly on the smartphone. If everything goes well and the test is passed, the final build is sent out to the public in the form of a software update.