Google is considering naming and shaming manufacturers that are slow to roll out the latest version of Android to mobile devices in a bid to solve the fragmentation problem that blights the platform.
Sources told Bloomberg that Google is frustrated with tech firms that make Android smartphones, such as Samsung, Huawei and Sony, and drag their heels when it comes to pushing out updates.
Google apparently has a list that ranks manufacturers in order of how quickly they update devices to the latest version of Android, currently Marshmallow. Android N will be released later this year.
Google is now apparently considering making this list public to shame some hardware makers into getting their acts together.
Of course, that’s if they decide to pay attention to the search firm. Plenty of manufacturers use the appeal of the latest version of Android to tempt consumers to adopt their latest smartphones.
Having Android phones running a diverse range of OS versions is a bit of a pain for Google as it wants to ensure that new features and services introduced with each new version of Android reach as many people as possible.
Google is looking at working around this by offering more standalone apps, and the introduction of its Instant Apps service helps ensure that the latest apps can run on older versions of Android.
But encouraging adoption of the latest versions of Android also helps the company in its battle with Apple, which enjoys healthy adoptions of each new version of iOS, although that could be attributed to having a much smaller range of devices.
Getting the majority of Android users on the latest version also helps plug any security flaws identified in the OS, such as Stagefright, which is handy given that such vulnerabilities can wreak havoc when used by a savvy hacker.
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