iPhone 6s, a 6-year-old phone, is getting iOS 15, and Android needs to learn something from it

iPhone 6s, a 6-year-old phone, is getting iOS 15, and Android needs to learn something from it

Have you ever heard that an Android device older than three years is receiving a new software update? Not likely, right? Well, Apple just made a record of sorts by announcing that the iPhone 6s, a phone that launched in September 2015, will be receiving the iOS 15 update later this year. The iPhone 6s is the oldest on the compatible list alongside its bigger sibling, the iPhone 6s Plus.

Apple confirmed that iOS 15 would roll out to close 20 iPhone models ranging from iPhone 12 series launched in 2020 to the iPhone 6s from 2015. The next oldest device set to receive the iOS 15 update is the iPhone SE first-gen, which launched in March 2016.

While it's no surprise that the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE may miss out on a bunch of new features introduced with the iOS 15 update. Mostly because of the hardware limitations, but anyway, it's a promising thing for someone in the Android ecosystem and who can understand what it means to be left out of even promised software updates.

The Verge points out that the iOS 15 features like Visual Lookup, Live Text in photos, FaceTime updates, and some other features won't be supported on the iPhone 6s due to processor limitations.

Ars Technica and Macworld did a performance check on the iPhone 6s post the iOS 14 update last year, and both the publications pointed out big issues with battery standby. This means that the iPhone 6s users who still want to continue using their phones post iOS 15 should be excited about lighter features like added privacy features, notification refresh, and more. There are also security patches and bug fixes that the new update brings.

The extended iOS support for the iPhone 6s comes as a surprise, considering the iPhone 5s stopped receiving iOS updates after five years. The iPhone 5s received the iOS 12 update but wasn't eligible for iOS 13. With the extended software support, Apple gives another reason why buying an iPhone is actually great value, and there's just no Android parallel.

With iOS 15 update announcement, meme fest kicked off to hail iPhone 6s

Soon after Apple revealed the list of compatible iPhones which will get an iOS 15 update, it sparked jokes on Twitter where some hailed iPhone 6s while some criticised the move.

A few were concerned about the iPhone 6s performance post iOS 15 update, while some compared it to the Android ecosystem.
Android OS update cycle: What Google, OnePlus, and others promise

Starting with Google, the company offers Pixel phones with Android version updates for at least three years from when the device first became available. The same is followed for security updates as well.

Talking about the current phones from Google, the Pixel 5 will stop getting Android updates after October 2023, the Pixel 4a 5G and 4a in November 2023 and August 2023, respectively. The Pixel 4XL and Pixel 4a will stop getting Android updates in October 2022. The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will stop getting updates in May 2022, while the Pixel 3 and 3XL in October this year.

Samsung, earlier this year, committed to four years of security updates for its 2019 and later phones. However, the thing to note here is these are security updates and not OS updates. Last year, the South Korean company announced that its Galaxy S-series, Note series, Foldables, and Galaxy A-series would be eligible for three Android OS updates.

Another major smartphone manufacturer which promises three years of Android updates is Vivo. The announcement was made earlier this year and applies to only the X-series of premium phones launched after July 2021.

Talking about other manufacturers, like OnePlus, it promises three years of Android updates and three years of security updates. Oppo, on the other hand, recently announced that three years of Android OS updates is only applicable for its flagship Find X-series, while there's no official word about other smartphones from the company.

Coming to Xiaomi, the company promises two Android OS updates for its majority of phones, while there's no clarity on security updates for its phones.

Realme also follows a limited support cycle for its smartphones and promises two major Android OS updates. Motorola is another smartphone manufacturer that has been delaying updates for its mid-range phones. The company is currently only offering one major Android OS update for its devices. This is a big surprise considering the Moto smartphones run on nearly stock Android UI.

Looking at the long list of Android OEMs, you may have understood how irregular the update cycle is on these devices. No smartphone manufacturer in the Android ecosystem follows a strict Android OS and security patch update cycle except Google, but that shouldn't be surprising.

Apple scores high in terms of updates compared to Google's Android, which needs to stop the catch-up game and implement a strict rule that forces every Android OEM to roll out timely updates for their devices. At least in terms of rolling out software updates, Google should get inspired by Apple's strict update cycle timelines.