As Android fans, we’ve got a heck of a lot of choice when it comes to phones these days — a dizzying array of sizes, styles, manufacturers, and features.

But there’s one element you’d be well-advised to consider over any other distinguishing factor in your next phone-purchasing decision — and it’s one that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.

I’m talking about the manufacturer’s level of commitment to ongoing and timely future software support. And believe you me, it’s more important now than ever.

We’re reaching a point where finding a device with solid performance, a decent display, and a capable camera isn’t all that difficult to do. Really, once you reach a certain standard of quality, the practical differences in those areas are generally pretty subtle to most people. Future software support, however, is something that’s going to have a meaningful impact on everyone — and yet it’s something few people place much weight on when contemplating a new device.

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