backtop


Print 20 comment(s) - last by Strunf.. on Feb 12 at 8:01 AM

Google may be ready to force more OEMs to deliver new devices with current versions of Android

One of the biggest issues for many with the Android ecosystem today is fragmentation. The problem is that there are still many new smartphones and tablets shipped today that don’t include a current build of Android. This annoyance becomes even worse when you consider that many OEMs drag their feet when it comes to providing OS updates for customers.
 
According to a new report from Android Police, Google is going to force OEMs to certify their Android devices with a recent version of the Android OS if they want to gain access to Google Mobile Services (GMS). GMS includes a license for apps like Gmail, Google Play, Maps, YouTube, etc.


API Version GMS approval window open (AOSP release date) GMS approval window close
Gingerbread 6-Dec-2010 1-Feb-2014
Honeycomb 24-Feb-2011 1-Feb-2014
Ice Cream Sandwich 16-Dec-2011 1-Feb-2014
4.1 (API level 16) 12-Jul-2012 1-Feb-2014
4.2 (API level 17) 13-Nov-2012 24-Apr-2014
4.3 (API level 18) 25-July-2013 31-Jul-2014
4.4 (API level 19) 31-Oct-2013 TBA with API level 20 release


The chart above (which was reportedly sent to an unnamed Android OEM partner) clearly shows the window for OEMs to certify a device running Android 4.1 or lower has closed. This is particularly interesting since Android 4.1 continues to be the most popular version of Android.
 
If this chart is accurate, that means that as of now, any new device submitted to Google for GMS approval needs to be running at least Android 4.2 or higher.
 
A description from Google that is claimed to have been sent along with the chart reads:
 
Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases. Each platform release will have a “GMS approval window” that typically closes nine months after the next Android platform release is publicly available. (In other words, we all have nine months to get new products on the latest platform after its public release.)
 
Google promises to help OEMs with continued optimization for Android with low memory devices. Google also says that it will provide OEM partners early access to new OS releases via the Platform Development Kit.
 
According to Android Police, this new policy does not affect device updates; it only pertains to the version of Android installed on brand new hardware.

Source: Android Police



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By NellyFromMA on 2/11/2014 12:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
The funny thing is this is the computing environment Google pushed HARD. I don't think I ever heard of MS forcing OEMs to make new PCs. They just did what they wanted and thrived.

This seems a very odd move. Doesn't Google realize it doesn't just want to initialize relationships, it wants to RETAIN and MAINTAIN them.

Very odd move indeed.


By bug77 on 2/11/2014 1:23:08 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure what making hardware has to do with anything, but there is a notable difference: Microsoft always went the distance to ship (basic) drivers for everything but the most exotic hardware. Thus, the letting the end user to decide when/if to upgrade.


By icrf on 2/11/2014 1:59:49 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft does stop selling older versions of its software, which is essentially all Google is doing here, except that it doesn't charge money for them.


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki