Some seven months after it was released, Android Oreo is now the required Android version for manufactures who want their new phones certified by Google. The change means that if a manufacture wants to introduce a new phone to the market and wants that phone certified by Google to run Google Mobile Services and access the Play Store, it will have to be on Oreo 8.0 or later. Phones running Android Nougat will no longer be certified.
While we can debate why it took the Mountain View company seven months to require this, it is good news on the whole. Oreo is far more stable and secure than any previous version of Android and it arguably provides one of the best user experiences at the same time.
The knock-on effect of this is that manufactures will now be forced to support Project Treble, the new architecture of Android where core system updates will be coming from Google and not manufactures. This won’t come to much impact until we see Android P later this year but it is a big step in the direction of tackling the huge Android fragmentation problem.
Android Nougat does not have support for Project Treble.
For their part, Google is trying to deal with the challenges of multiple versions of Android still running on devices that come to the Play Store. It is a complex problem with Google, manufactures and mobile providers all to blame for the mess. This small step however is one of several that the company is doing to try to get the horse back in the proverbial barn – but there is still a huge amount of work to do.