Google May Publish List of Android OEMs That Are Slow to Update: Report

Google May Publish List of Android OEMs That Are Slow to Update: Report
  • Slow Android updates are the biggest problem in the ecosystem.
  • Google may list Android OEM makers based on their rollout behaviour.
  • Google's new move may force handset makers to release timely updates.
The slow pace of Android rollouts (both OS updates and security updates) by its OEMs have been one of the biggest problems for Google, causing fragmentation in the ecosystem and reducing user security, despite company's efforts to provide security updates well in advance. To put the slow-pace of Android update rollouts in some context, the iOS 9 adoption rate crossed 70 percent mark in February whereas Google's Android Marshmallow reached just 7.5 percent of active Android devices in May 2016.

If a new report is to be believed, this may change soon as the company is planning to release list of Android vendors who are slow to update their devices. Bloomberg reports that Google is getting serious with the rollout of Android updates and is gearing to pressurise the handset makers to release the Android OS update in time.

The report citing people familiar with the situation claims that Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is "getting tougher" and will draw rankings of OEM partners based on Android update release behaviour. This may publicly shame the OEM partner and may result in quick rollouts.

Android's Chief Hiroshi Lockheimer at the recently concluded Google's I/O developer conference had said that Android updates have been "the weakest link on security on Android" and "it's not an ideal situation."

He further added that Google "for the good of users" will persuade handset makers to release security updates quicker. Lockheimer further said that the same process could be then followed to release Android OS updates to phones. By security patches, Google is referring to the monthly process it began after the critical Stagefright bug that affected about a billion Android-powered devices was found.

According to people familiar with the matter, Google has ranked Android phone makers based on how up-to-date their smartphones are based on security updates as well as Android OS versions. The report claims that Google has already shared the ranked list of OEMs with partners earlier this year.

It added that Google has plans to make the list public highlighting which manufacturer is proactive

It has discussed making it public to highlight proactive manufacturers and shame tardy vendors through omission from the list, two of the people said. The people didn't want to be identified to maintain their relationships with Google.


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Further reading: Android, Android M, Google, Mobiles, Tablets
Ketan Pratap
Ketan Pratap is the editor at Gadgets 360 - with over 12 years of experience covering the technology domain. With a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field, he's done extensive work across news, features, reviews, and opinion pieces. But what's truly inspiring about Ketan is how he spends his free time. He's often found gazing at snow-capped mountains from over 20,000 feet while sitting on the hood of his car, taking in the breathtaking beauty of nature. His passion for the great ...More
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