There has been a lot of talk about how Android devices are fragmented and there is a lot of fragmentation in the Android operating system. One of the biggest problems here is that there are a lot of OEMs running Android. While Google delivers the latest Android updates to its Pixel devices, the same can’t be said about other OEMs. The situation has gotten better in recent time but we had a lot of such issues earlier where a device launched in 2019 would also run an Android version released in 2017.
But Google seems to have finally taken note of the issue and they have now set stricter guidelines to ensure that Android devices releasing next year run the Android version released this year. Basically, Google wants Android devices to launch with Android 10 and so they will stop certifying devices running on Android Oreo or older starting from next year.
To be precise, a leaked document received by XDA-Developers reveals that Google has set a deadline for approving devices running Android 9.0 Oreo till January 31st only. Now, the problem here is that approval from Google for OEMs is generally done earlier while the actual launch of the phone takes time. So let’s assume that a device was approved in January and it launches in April then we will still see it running Android Oreo. However, we believe that devices running Android Oreo might only be seen in the first half of 2020 while every smartphone in Q2, 2020 must be running Android 10.
On the other hand, there is still a problem of Android updates for older devices from an OEM. This guideline from Google only applies to new devices while older devices have no such guidelines. Therefore, it is for OEMs to decide when they want to release the update for their devices. That still remains to be an issue which will not be solved easily.