Google will force OEMs to ship devices with an up-to-date version of Android

NoNexus

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If this is true, it is not really effecting much. Most flagships (with the exception of LG) ship with the newest OS or one behind.

This only applies to newly launched phones. Where things get dicey is upgrading. Once a phone is certified for play services, the OEM won't care.
 

Tom Westrick

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Something about all that doesn't seem right. I know us on the forums like everything to be bone stock running the latest and greatest, but it doesn't benefit Google in anyway to force the OEM's to update their devices as mentioned in the link. In fact, it seems like something Google would want to avoid to keep OEM's from getting angry and potentially using a different software platform.
 

foxbat121

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Every major release of Android OS released with new Nexus devices are always buggy. Google itself have to update the Nexus firmware couple times before it was stable (N5 included, one right out of box and another one after). There is no way they can force OEMs to use the latest code base when it was not even stable.
 

Bront

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Something about all that doesn't seem right. I know us on the forums like everything to be bone stock running the latest and greatest, but it doesn't benefit Google in anyway to force the OEM's to update their devices as mentioned in the link. In fact, it seems like something Google would want to avoid to keep OEM's from getting angry and potentially using a different software platform.
It could be in the version ballpack. IE, any device being launched now would have to be Kitkat, but it can be any version of KitKat. Prior to KitKat, it would be Jellybean (but 4.1 would have been fine).

There has to be some level of transition time too. A phone launches 2 weeks after a major update might not be required to have it, but one launched 9 months later should.

Updated phones help everyone, from devs, to hardware partners, to users.
 

ptonantryloc

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Something about all that doesn't seem right. I know us on the forums like everything to be bone stock running the latest and greatest, but it doesn't benefit Google in anyway to force the OEM's to update their devices as mentioned in the link. In fact, it seems like something Google would want to avoid to keep OEM's from getting angry and potentially using a different software platform.

Google's not going to force OEMs to UPDATE their old devices. They're going to require them to have a recent version of Android on any NEW devices they sell:

...A leaked document reportedly reveals Google?s plan to enforce a minimum OS version on all new Android devices....

...the company will no longer certify Android devices running older versions of the platform. How old? Well, it varies. Android 4.1 and older expired on February 1, so OEMs are working only with version 4.2 or newer now. Android 4.2 expires on April 24 of this year, and 4.3 is slated for sunsetting on July 31. This works out to nine months for an OEM to move on from an old version of the platform when its successor is announced. That should mean all devices are no more than two API versions behind the Nexus program.
 

gabbott

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So this only seems to impact offbrand OEMs. The major OEMs have already been doing this.

Posted via Android Central App
 

Ry

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This does nothing for updates.

And an OEM could just get certified but not release the device until must later. Example: OEM1 gets devices certified for Android 4.1 + GMS on 1/31 but doesn't make the device available for sale until 10/1.
 

foxbat121

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And an OEM could just get certified but not release the device until must later. Example: OEM1 gets devices certified for Android 4.1 + GMS on 1/31 but doesn't make the device available for sale until 10/1.
Not likely to happen. In order to get certified, I guess the device needs to be mostly working. What is there to gain for the OEM if their phone sitting there doing nothing for 9 months.
 

Ry

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Not likely to happen. In order to get certified, I guess the device needs to be mostly working. What is there to gain for the OEM if their phone sitting there doing nothing for 9 months.

Not saying that it was likely. Could still happen though.
 

barth2

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Google is trying their best to address the is fragmentation problem.

I notice most apps in the play store require android 2 or some such. I also have an iPad and already there are many apps that require iOS 7 (the latest) because they take advantage of some new api (or maybe the dev just don't want to bother maintaining backward compatible looks). It is not unreasonable as 80% of device already run iOS 7. Having most people run updated OS helps both devs and users and solves the chicken and egg problem. Users want to update to run the new apps, devs want to update their apps to compete and not look outdated.

I think Google should require OEM to keep their devices updated for X years. X may vary according to price and capability., eg, your flagship device needs to be updated for 3 years. Your entry level phone 18 months.
 

bjrosen

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Android app quality suffers because of the wide range of Android versions that have to be supported by app developers. It would be much better for both developers and users if everybody was always on the most recent version of Android, or at least the most recent and the most recent -1 release.