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Google will reportedly shame Android OEM partners who are sluggish in rolling out updates, via a public list

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Google has always been at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to timely updates to Android partner devices. But a Bloomberg report now suggest that Google is making an effort to save itself from the indecent rebuttals from its arch enemy Apple, and speed up the Android update process.

Google has been head over heels trying to make OEMs adhere to a timely update cycle, but nothing substantial has happened, since it has no control over the manufacturing partners who have been negligent to the cause. Google, however is now ready to take an unconventional stringent measure that will put all slow and slacking Android partners to shame, and encourage them to provide timely updates.

The problem of ‘fragmentation’ – as the term suggests is Google’s biggest nightmare as a multitude of old smartphones are still running outdated software with no security update. Google has been insisting manufacturers to accelerate security updates, reduce testing requirements and building technology workarounds, but all in vain.

According to Bloomberg‘s report, Google is now taking the matter seriously and has created a list of manufacturers based on their Android update timeliness. The tech giant has also taken into consideration the fact – how up-to-date each handset is, security updates and operating system versions to prepare a list ranking them on this basis. The list is however private and has already been circulated to the manufacturer’s internally last year.

These hasn’t been much action from the manufacturers and they haven’t lept to the opportunity and update their device offering regularly. So, Google is now planning to make the aforementioned list public to highlight the most active manufacturers and shame those who are having a picnic at the bottom rung of the ladder. This will thus make the manufacturers realize their position in the global market and increase competition among the partners to build better products and provide updates more efficiently. And if Google thinks that the partners are still not complying with them, they might eventually omit them from the list and end the alliance.

Other workarounds to the problem suggest that Google is asking phone manufacturers and carriers to shorten their prolonged update testing cycles(and provide faster security updates) for the betterment of the users. Sprint has confirmed to cut down its update cycle, while Verizon is still amidst the thinking process. Google has already upheld the task of improving and updating most important apps via the Play Store. Due to the same reason, they have been launching standalone apps so that users don’t have to wait to enjoy updated security features due to a carriers delayed update cycles.

Google has been trying to keep Android fresh and interesting by releasing new iterations of the software each year, but the negligence of the OEM’s has made them a laughing stock. Google has also tried to lead by example and offered security patches for their Nexus line-up each month, but other manufacturers have deemed the process as just impossible. Google is still the most widely used operating system on the market, but the fragmentation is still a lack-luster issue with the platform.

If the problem with Android isn’t fixed, it will become difficult for the tech giant to compete with Apple Inc who because has control over both software and hardware is able to update their iPhones timely. Currently, over 84 per cent of Apple’s devices run the latest version of iOS while only a meager 7.5 per cent of devices are running on Marshmallow.

Its still not certain whether Google will make the list public or not, but we’ve tried contacting them for a comment on the report findings and will update you once we hear back.


A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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