> Other than the fact the replacement cycle for phones is now around four
> years, so even though 5G coverage was just rolling out last year, by the
> time you do a phone replacement it'll have been widely available for
> three years.
Andy Burns is not like nospam so if he's "worried" about updates, then there
must be something to his worries, even as I feel I get too many of them.
Given Android is updated like most other operating systems (where none are
updated the way iOS is), it would be interesting to see how much of Android
11 and Android 12 isn't updated essentially forever nowadays.
We have to keep in mind updates on Android are similar to those of most
other operating systems in that many Android core modules are updated
outside of the OEM (just like Windows core is updated outside of Dell or
Is it currently around 80% of Android? 90%? I don't know but it's a lot.
(It's 25 core modules in Android 12 and 24 in Android 11 that I have.)
All of those, AFAIK, are _also_ donated to the Android Open Source Project
(which is why it's a "double forever" on the support of core components).
Many of the firmware modules are updated outside the carrier (just as they
are with Windows PC's) unlike iOS where _everything_ requires Apple in it.
And just as with Windows, Android key default apps are almost all (if not
all!) available asynchronously via Google Play, again, updated essentially
forever (again, unlike iOS where that update stops well before forever).
It would be interesting to figure out exactly how _little_ of Android is
updated now (in Android 10, 11, and 12) the way it was in the olden days via
the carriers and their outdated push methods.
> But 5G really is of little benefit on a phone, at least in
> terms of theoretical data speeds unless you're using the phone as a
> hotspot, and even then some carriers throttle hotspot data on unlimited
You are correct, where my carrier only gives me a puny 5GB of free 5G
hotspotting, and then, after that 5GB is used up per month per phone, they
say they won't drop me but they can lower the speeds to a measly 2G if the
network tower I'm using for hotspotting connections is considered
"congested" that month.
Since I have so many of these free phones, I can swap them about and get
15GB to 20GB of this free 5G hotspotting, but after that, it's down to 2G.
> Where 5G is also nice is that LTE towers are sometimes capacity
> constrained, whereas there are so few people using 5G that you don't
> have the congestion that is often present on LTE.
One place I've been having success swapping out these free 5G phones is with
the 8 PG&E power outages this month alone (two outages a week, each for
about a day).
The batteries on Android phones are huge nowadays, so the phones last for
days but if the outage comes at a bad time, you can swap the SIM card into
another phone which has a five amp hour battery, so you never need to charge
because that can last through two subsequent PG&E power outages.
(Normally we only get one power outage a month for about a day each, but now
it's getting to twice a week for about a day each, so PG&E must have changed
something recently that made what was acceptable to an unacceptable level).
Luckily, Android phones usually have huge batteries, so it's not so bad.
The WISP's have battery backups so we still have Internet connectivity,
although I pity the people who have cable as I'm told Comcast does not.