January 2019 didn’t bring a fresh firmware update to Zenfone Max Plus M1 users.
Update February 21, 2019: Selena_ASUS replied to a user question in forum that the team is working on the next update. It should bring best performance, so we should be patient. Here’s the quote:
Team is work on it . In order to brings best performance to ASUS phone. Please be patient for next image update notification release on ASUS website.
How unusual is that?
Asus was updating its ZenFone Max Plus (M1) pretty regularly so far. Even if there was not many new features or bug fixes, there were monthly updates with Google’s security patches. Every month around the third week the new version of firmware for the phone arrived and installed new version of a security patch. Usually the version was dated 5th in the same month, which was pretty expedite, especially compares to other phone makers.
Were there any exceptions?
July 2018 patches didn’t arrive because there was no new firmware that month. My idea was that the developer who takes care of the patches was on holiday.
September 2018 patch was another exception. When asked, Asus reported that they changed the timing of patches and that they will delay them for a month to do more testing. The reason for a missing firmware update was probably because work was done on the version of Oreo, which was released in November.
What happens now?
Asus recently wrote in a forum that ZenFone Max Plus M1 is getting an upgrade to Android 9 Pie. This was huge news, but users on a forum were mocking Asus for always being late with new versions and were joking that it will arrive in the year 2020. If the update to Pie really comes, it will probably take more time, so the January missing update is probably not because of development of Pie version.
So the reason might be that Asus is fixing many bugs and errors that are present in its Oreo firmware release, and it just takes more time because this time they want to do it right. So the next version might just be Android 9.
Another reason might be just late development, same as in July last year. In that case we might see a new release of OTA firmware and downloadable one in the official site soon in February.
Updated on February 21, 2019 with the comment from Selena_ASUS.