Google, Qualcomm partnering to hasten process of Android phones getting latest software updates
Since most Android phones are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon family of processors, this partnership will further simplify the update process for the majority of such devices. The two companies said that their partnership will reduce the time and money phone manufacturers will need to invest to make their products compatible with the latest version of Android. A major grouse with Android users has been the lack of software support for old phones when compared to Apple’s ecosystem, where even older-generation phones run up-to-date software.
The Snapdragon-equipped phones that come out of Qualcomm’s partnership with Google, will receive up to four major Android updates and four years of security patches. This promise is inclusive of the version of Android that a phone is pre-installed with, meaning that most high-end phones which are released with the latest operating system, are guaranteed an addition year of security updates.
The first batch of smartphones that will benefit from Project Treble will be those running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip. It is likely to make its way to high-end devices in early 2021. The chipmaker later said that it planned to extend the enhancements achieved by Project Treble to lower-tier chips in the future. However, a large chunk of Android users are likely to miss out on the extended software support offered under Project Treble.
While Qualcomm’s processors are found under the hood of most high-end Android phones, a lot of entry and mid-level devices run on MediaTek processors, or those by Huawei and Samsung’s Exynos. Moreover, it should be noted that smartphone manufacturers like OnePlus, Samsung, and Nokia need not adhere to the policies of Project Treble, as some of them run their own customizable operating systems on top of Android. Google’s collaboration with Qualcomm will only make it easier for manufacturers to extend the life of their phones by offering software support for longer.