We've told you before why a three-stage process means that Android updates often take time to reach the market officially. A blog post from Vodafone highlights that the most common factor that derails that process is an inability to deal with emergency calls correctly.
Picture by Alpha
Elly outlined recently how Android updates have to be coded by Google, tested by handset manufacturers and then tested by network operators to make sure they meet operational requirements. One of those requirements is the ability to make emergency calls on any phone even if it's locked, has no credit or can't access the network it normally uses. Vodafone's post outlines some of the circumstances in which Australian regulations mean an update doesn't get approved, most of which relate to that requirement:
- Device unable to make emergency calls when a SIM-PIN is enabled
- Device displays an emergency calling option on a device which does not make voice calls
- Device cannot successfully attach to a third-party network to commence an emergency call
- Device does not display an emergency calling option when a device PIN is enabled and the device is woken from sleep
- Device does not properly detach from network when end-call is pressed
- Device attempts to register on a third-party network for a non-emergency call
I know many readers happily install their own Android updates ahead of the "official" release and experience no problems. But if you imagine the kerfuffle and news headlines that would result if an attempt to call an emergency service failed because of a bad software update, you can see why caution is usually the approach taken.