With its latest version of Android, Google is signaling it’s going to try to copy what Apple has done with respect to keeping control over mobile software updates pushed to end users. But its policy has a loophole big enough to throw a galaxy through.
Devices shipping with Android Q will receive over-the-air security patches without having to go through device manufacturers.
Devices updating to Android Q will not work with over-the-air security updates and some manufacturers can opt-out altogether, according to The Verge, which first reported the news, rendering the feature effectively useless. The new feature will also not be backported to earlier versions of Android.
According to distribution data, close to half of all Android users are still on Android 5.0 Lollipop and earlier, it could take years for Android Q to match the same usage share.
Nice try, Google, but you still haven’t solved your Android device fragmentation and abandonment problem.