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All Android devices released after June to come pre-loaded with Android KitKat?

By Simon Thomas on 18th February 2014

Google Android Versions

Google to coerce manufacturers to use latest version of Android on new devices.

 

Over the last couple of years Google Android has become pretty fragmented across smartphones and tablets. A small number of devices have got the bump to the latest version Android KitKat, but the majority of older and even a lot of new devices run on older versions of Google's operating system.

 

The intention with Android KitKat was to change all that, with the operating system designed to run on flagship and entry-level devices alike. However, so far it's failing to do its job because it's only installed on 1.8 per cent of smartphones and the majority of new devices still come pre-loaded with Android Jelly Bean.

 

A leaked document suggests that Google are now pro-actively taking steps to change the situation and get all new Android devices running on the latest version of their operating system.

 

'Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases. Each platform release will have a 'GMS approval window' that typically closes nine months after the next Android platform release is publicly available.' stated the leaked report.

 

That means manufacturers have to adopt the latest version of Android on all new devices nine months after the operating system is released. If they fail to do so they won't get Google Mobile Service (GMS) approval which means they won't be able to use any Google's core apps, such as Google Maps and Google Play.

 

Android KitKat was unveiled back in September 2013 meaning that - if these leaked documents are legitimate and finalised - all new devices released after the end of June will be required to come pre-loaded with Android KitKat.

 

This seems like a logical move, but forcing the manufacturers hand might lead to an increase in smartphones development costs and consequently higher prices for consumers.  Hopefully, Google will increase the life-cycle of each Android version to ease-the-strain on smaller manufacturers.

 

What do you think of the potential requirement for all new smartphones to come with Android KitKat? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

 

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