Regular security and updates support is probably one of the most prominent features of iOS. Android smartphone manufacturers and Google have been working hard to improve the Android update experience. Still, it is lagging behind compared to the iOS update support. Currently, most smartphone manufacturers offer two years of security and feature updates for the flagship and, at times, mid-range devices. Low-end devices rarely get any feature updates, but the ones on Google’s Android One program receive major updates for the next three years.
Now Google and Qualcomm (the biggest smartphone chip manufacturer) have shaken hands on improving the Android update system. Both companies will collaborate and work on making sure that upcoming smartphones powered by Snapdragon processors receive four years of upgrades. Google’s “Project Treble” has made it easier for manufacturers to offer increased support for smartphones. It requires more work from the platform providers, and this is where the new collaboration comes in.
Since the low-end chips are the most affected by the OS updates, the collaboration will be most beneficial for low-end smartphones. Together both companies will ensure that every new Snapdragon chip starting from the Snapdragon 888 will support at least four major Android updates. Here major updates mean upgrading from Android 10 to Android 11 and so on. The same goes for security updates as well. These new processors will offer four years of security updates.
The grey area, in this case, is the manufacturer’s decision to provide relevant updates. At the end of the day, it’s the smartphone manufacturer who decides whether the device will be upgraded to the next version or not. Google and Qualcomm are fulfilling the prerequisites for increasing Android support, but it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to implement these and transfer these to the end-user.