Android KitKat - Red Mascot, KitKat Helmet

One of the most frustrating parts about Android ownership is waiting for software updates. The process is long, and typically beset with delays due to how involved a simple upgrade can be—there are more moving parts than we think. While many companies have improved their punctuality—Motorola is among the quickest—HTC this week began giving consumers a behind-the-scenes look at its software updates, and the process each device goes through—five stages in all—before the latest Android version can be pushed out to customers.

The point of HTC’s new initiative is to be more “transparent” for the sake of the customer, and avoid leaving owners hanging as to when an update will be out. At this very moment, the company is understandably focused on getting Android 4.4 KitKat to its HTC One, with its flagship device (on all four big U.S. carriers) still in the integration phase before reaching carrier certification. The company, meanwhile, has already rolled out the latest version of Android to the unlocked, developer and Google edition iterations of its aluminum flagship.

By now the process is pretty familiar, but HTC has decided to visually detail what it takes in a nice little infographic (this same process can likely apply to competing OEMs). Basically, once Google provides the source code to HTC, the handset maker will then evaluate the software’s requirements, figure which devices it’s compatible with, and then start development. After that, HTC works with carriers to “define the scope of carrier modifications and, once internal and carrier testing is done, the update is then pushed out to consumers.

Android updates are never fun, and even when a company shares a target release timeframe, delays are always a possibility. As of now, we’re expected Android 4.4 KitKat to hit the HTC One sometime in January, but there could always be setbacks. While HTC’s site doesn’t share day-to-day updates, it’s a nice way for the company to open up its door to fans, and show that there’s a lot of work involved in getting updates pushed out. If you’re at all interested in the anatomy of a software upgrade, or want to check the status of your favorite HTC handset, you can find all the information you need at the source link below.