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Google to publicly shame handset makers into updating Android


Over the years, Google has attempted several different strategies to get manufacturers to send out updates to customers in a timely fashion. It’s one of Android’s biggest drawbacks, causing a deep fragmentation within its 1.4 billion active user base.

Google has now come up with a tough-love plan which tries to shame firms into improving their upgrade track record. Insider sources told Bloomberg that the search giant has drawn up a list which ranks Android manufacturers according to how up-to-date their devices are on the basis of its OS version and security patches.

Sadly, no one has gotten their hands on this list and made it public yet. No one might even have to since Google is planning to do exactly that if companies don’t fall in line. The move would serve to highlight proactive manufacturers while simultaneously humiliating sluggish vendors who are behind the times by omitting them from the list.

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This sounds like an excellent idea which would benefit consumers by giving them a clear idea on which brand to go for when buying a phone. However, the question remains whether Google’s plan will be enough to get tardy firms moving in the right direction. Developing software upgrades can be a time-consuming and expensive process with little monetary benefit.

Most manufacturers nowadays are more interested in making money via selling new phones to people rather than improving the existing ones. Other than handset makers, Google is also putting pressure on carriers like Sprint and Verizon in the US to shorten their infamously stretched-out update testing cycles.

While Google may never pull the trigger on its list, the company is still trying to make things easier for older Android patrons by introducing features like Instant Apps which can be accessed even by Jellybean users.