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Google reportedly will force OEMs to use the latest version of Android

In order to have access to Google Play and Google services
Tue Feb 11 2014, 13:55
Android KitKat logo unveiled at Google headquarters

SOFTWARE HOUSE Google reportedly plans to provide its own apps and services only to smartphones that launch with the latest version of its Android mobile operating system, likely in a bid to curb fragmentation.

Earlier this month we reported that Google met with Samsung to get the Korean phone maker to tone down its custom Magazine UX user interface that debuted on the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet.

It looks like Google plans to go one step further to end fragmentation and have a better handle on its open software. Documents obtained by Android Police claim that the firm will pressure OEMs to ship devices running the latest version of its mobile operating system in order to have access to Google Play and Google Apps.

That's not all. Google reportedly will not certify devices past a set cut-off date for each release, and if a leaked image is legitimate, these dates have already passed for Android versions Android 2.3 Froyo through Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This means that Google will no longer certify devices that launch running an Android version older than Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

The leaked image suggests that the cut-off date for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is 24 April 2014, while it will reportedly stop certifying Android 4.3 Jelly Bean devices from 31 July 2014, hinting that it might announce another version of Android around that time.

The leaked document reads, "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."

Android Police added, "In other words, we all have nine months to get new products on the latest platform after its public release."

Google has yet to comment on the speculation. µ


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