So now when the new Lollipop is on it's way we all have our feeds filled with magazines or sites telling us how awesome LG or Samsung is to release Lollipop so soon.

My question is,

Why is this such a hard thing to do?

How come it's much easier to switch from Windows to Linux on a PC? Or even switch hardware product and download a driver? Why aren't the drivers or hardware products in our phones compatible with every operating system or phone model just like a PC?

Okay, screen sizes may differ, but a vibrator will still work as a vibrator.



1 Answer 1


The hardware is different on each device. In addition there's added value software like more advanced camera functionality from the manufacturer which needs to look good on the new release.

LG has features loke knock-code.

Samsung has skins and special hardware like a wacom digitizer on the note series.

  • But they have their own version of Android. Why wouldnt they want to 'release' these drivers (or what you call them) for all phones? Why do they care if only their brands model uses it? It's like saying an AMD's graphics card can only be used with 1 specific model of PC. I can install drivers or software to a LG webcam even though I don't have one. It's my decision. How can the company make profit of not releasing the 'drivers'? Nov 11, 2014 at 12:50
  • @JonasB having a customized version of Android with closed-source features is how they keep a "competitive edge". Your example is exactly what happens in the mobile industry: manufacturers partner with companies to create hardware that is only compatible with specific builds of Android because the drivers are closed-source; they then can build features on top of this. This usually means that only that company can boast that feature, like a 16 MP camera with ultra image stabilization. Some companies still release the source anyway (HTC, for example).
    – filoxo
    Nov 11, 2014 at 16:13
  • @filoxo I understand. This is in the PC-world as well. Dell, Sony, Packard Bell are all using the same OS but with different hardware parts. There's the'competitive edge'. There is none. Why is this so different? Why don't they add all drivers to Android's massive library, like in Microsoft Windows, and then if you have a Xperia phone which has a specific camera you have all the drivers from the Android Library instead of what comes with the phone and that specific version of Android? It's so sad they ruin the one thing thats awesome with Android - You can do whatever you want. Almost. Nov 12, 2014 at 15:39
  • The cool thing about phones id that they usually works. After upgrading Windows i lost all the special keys, one noe laptop the processor just stats in a slow powersave møde, camera doesn't work. All the festures On the gfx card doesn't work. I really like getting testes software from the original equipment manufacturer. ;)
    – tovare
    Nov 13, 2014 at 17:17

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