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Old 18-02-14   #1
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Icon10 Google Asks Phone Makers to Launch Only KitKat Devices


Mountain View-based Internet giant Google is reportedly trying to enforce a new rule to its phone manufacturing partners, asking them to launch only devices running under the latest version of the Android platform, namely KitKat.

The info comes from a leaked document that emerged over at Mobile Bloom, which appears to suggest that the rule will apply to all smartphone segments.

Apparently, the document refers to major mobile phone makers out there, including Samsung, HTC, LG, ZTE, Motorola, and others.

However, the rule should be applied only to smartphones that come with access to the Google Services Framework and Google Play Store, it seems.

Apparently, the search giant is working on addressing the fragmentation that the Android operating system has seen for the past few years and that is deepened by the launch of new devices that run under different, older flavors of the mobile operating system.

Of course, there’s no official confirmation that Google is indeed enforcing the new rule to its partners, though chances are that we’ll see a change in their habits when it comes to new devices.

According to Mobile Bloom, Google also considers it unwise for companies to launch devices that are not running under the latest OS version out there, especially since Android 4.4 KitKat is a viable solution even for entry- and mid-range handsets.

“Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases,” the aforementioned document reportedly reads.

“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).”

From a user perspective, the new policy should be a good thing, as new handsets will have more features and better performance and security capabilities to offer to them. Stay tuned for more on this.

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Old 18-02-14   #2
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Re: Google Asks Phone Makers to Launch Only KitKat Devices

I support this sort of an arm bending since there are lots of devices in the market still launching on Jelly Bean 4.1/4.2 and some manufacturers (Sony/LG amongst usual culprits) don't bother to update even their premium handsets to current Android versions. Most of us have to install custom ROMs to get the taste of the newer Android versions. Add to that the practice of leaving previous-gen flagships in dark while announcing updates and you get a messy picture.

Google needs to have some sort of versioning control over their software across the board, and this is a positive first step in that direction IMHO.
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