One of the big draws of owning an Android device is variety. There are hundreds of different Android smartphones compared to Apple’s lone flagship. Variety may be the spice of life, but it comes with a catch in the smartphone world as Android quickly became fragmented. Those days may be over if a new internal memo from Google is true.
According to the leaked policy, device manufacturers must start shipping their newest devices with the latest version of Android (currently 4.4) or face the wrath of Google. As you can imagine, you don’t want to feel Google’s wrath…
“Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases,” the memo states. “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.)”
This gives phone makers 9 months to get the latest version of Android on their new smartphones, and while it’s still a large window, it’s a step in the right direction. Fragmentation is something almost every Android user has had to deal with and if the memo is true, Gingerbread, Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb, and poor little Froyo will all be things of the past.