The fast-paced technology of our days may sometimes feel frustrating. We tend to form bonds with our possessions, especially when their daily use proves satisfactory. Therefore smartphones cross the boundary between indifferent objects and cherished goods. Many appreciate the new, improved devices, yet still hold on to their older ones – it’s an element of comfort. It may also be an action of wise financial considerations or sustainability.
Regardless of the reason, a lot of people desire to keep their current devices, yet would like to benefit from the latest software updates. Depending on the tech leaders’ policies, this may or may not be possible. What else is there to do, besides giving up your older smartphone and getting a new one just because you want the latest OS features and access to the newest apps?
Android Oreo and smartphone obsolescence
Unveiled on the 21st of August this year, the latest Android version was confirmed to arrive preinstalled on smartphones such as “BlackBerry, HTC, Nokia and Sony”, as GhizmoChina confirms (also see here the list of devices that get the new OS).
The logical assumption is that older smartphone versions will not get the Oreo update.
The same publication mentions that, however, those who really wish to have the latest Android version working on their current smartphones can employ custom ROMS and install Oreo. This “solution” is highly questionable, due to its instability and unofficial character – so if you are thinking of it, better move past it.
The hardware-software hybrid comes with its own rules
Whenever we acquire a “bundle” made out of hardware and software, we should understand that this type of property is not autonomous, especially in a world of connectivity. The benefits are many, but the rules are very specific ones we must abide to.
Perhaps the digital generations find it hard to even examine this issue in terms of autonomy versus dependency, but the services’ merging that we are witnessing do cause this type of interlocking for various elements, paid or free.
We buy a smartphone – it comes with a preinstalled OS that is part of our decision process when we decide to make this purchase. We install various apps, some of them free – in many instances because we want to connect and our friends and peers are reachable on those particular networks represented by the apps. Or we simply extend our abilities via the apps and we make our activities easier.
From the get go, the quality of digital user will suffer the impact of various factors.
Is the customer a false or a true king?
The idiom “the customer is always king” knows a radical transformation in the digital age. On the one hand, the companies do pay attention to the way users react to their product and services and analyze the market before every change – the slightest annoyance can snowball into a worldwide phenomenon or at least has the potential to impact a brand’s image. Therefore, risk management includes the customer reaction as one of the most important factors.
One the other hand, some changes need to go through, no matter what. As we know, innovations are rarely able to guarantee public approval before they launch – so they need to be introduced, they hold risks and often meet the audience’s hostility.
Of course, not everything comes in A/B tests. Some changes that seem to be pre-approved by the customers go wrong when standing the reality trial, while some innovations prove winners, regardless of the first impact.
The idea here would be that, when considering smartphones and the related software, be it their OS or their apps, any major change turns into a global roll out. When the change implies modifications that we do not like, unwanted updates, or even replacing our smartphones for compatibility – we hardly feel like kings.
Enjoy what you have
The good part is that old sayings never go out of business – and the ones about enjoying what you have are the golden rule when in doubt about changes that you are not sure of. Ponder your options – you have the time since usually there is a lag between the new and the old, in the sense that you are able to keep your old options/devices and not be completely out-networked for a while.
The same advice should go to the companies, as well. The truth is that customers appreciate not being pushed into unwanted options, or being left behind because they choose to do things differently. The ethics, the customer-friendliness and the customer loyalty are perhaps harder to quantify, but extremely valuable. When introducing innovations, it would be nice to let them exist along classical options, instead of annihilating these last ones. Just saying… at least when there is enough room for both to coexist.