Google forges deal with manufacturers and carriers to ensure devices receive OS updates


Yes, you read the headline right. Google is in fact dealing with what may be the most common complaint about their Android OS: the lack of guaranteed updates. I envisioned the moment this news was announced at Google I/O today as a collective sigh of relief. 

Beginning today, Google is guaranteeing that any and all Android devices purchased will be upgraded to the latest version of the operating system for 18 months after their release. In my opinion 18 months is plenty of time for a phone to become obsolete, but it would have been nice if Google had stretched it to 24 months, the standard length of a cell phone contract. In order to be faithful to this ambitious guarantee, Google has made deals with all four major US carriers and most Android hardware manufactures like HTC, Motorola, and even the notorious Samsung.

Although this ensures that your device will eventually get the latest version of Android, it makes no mention of the timeframe in which the update must be released. There were also no details on what kind of penalties Google will dish out for noncompliance, or the benefits of giving updates on time. Hopefully manufacturers and carriers alike take the initiative and release updates, but if they don't there doesn't seem to be much Google can do.

Even if deal this doesn't work out right away, it is yet another sign that Google has been listening to us. I am very happy they are taking the fragmentation problem into their own hands and hope that it will work out both for manufacturers and users that just want the newest software on their devices.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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