One of the main criticisms of Android is the fragmentation that exists within the platform. Whilst every mobile platform has an element of running a variety of different operating system versions as the supported devices get older and more generations exist, it’s easy to see that Android is the worst offender. Google seems to be wanting to address this if a recent memo is anything to go by.
Android devices can become outdated as quickly as they get released, with some devices running an outdated version of Android at release – something that shouldn’t be the case.
A leaked memo from Google HQ was sent out to one device manufacturer stating that starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases.
“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.) The policy could only mean good things, especially for the smartphone user.”-Leaked memo from Google to handset manufacturers
Each platform will have a GMS approval window that will close nine months after the next Android version release is publicly available.
What is Google GMS?
The approval window covers the Google Mobile Services which covers Apps like Google Now, Google Maps, and the Google Play Store – basically the heart of an Android device. If a manufacturer cannot meet these requirements and hit the window, then Google will not permit the GMS bundle to be licensed to the device.
Hopefully this will definitely mean that new devices will be released with the latest version of Android and Google can finally get a hold on Android fragmentation.