Google No Longer Certifying New Devices Running Android Nougat

Google Pixel XL

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.

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Reality Check – Don’t Expect Project Treble on Your Android O Upgraded Phone

Android O Logo

Friday for the Android faithful was a fun day.  Ahead of Google I/O, which starts this week, the company announced Project Treble, a modularized change to Android that will make it far easier for Google themselves to upgrade the core OS while leaving the manufactures and carriers to upgrade their bits on your phone.  It has a huge amount of promise and would go a long way in sorting out one of Android’s biggest problems – timely updates.

Timely updates, particularly security updates, has always been a challenge.  Manufactures are slow (and don’t really have an incentive to keep things upgraded) and carriers just add to the pain. It is a key reason I have chosen Google Nexus and Pixel products as my main drivers.  I know I will get timely updates.   Treble would leave the base level OS upgrades to Google who could upgrade your devices directly for things like security patches without having to involve the manufactures or carriers.

Unfortunately, I have to rain on everyone’s parade a bit.  Treble is coming for Android O and this week at I/O we are likely going to hear a lot more about it.  But don’t expect it to hit your current phone.  Even if you have a Google Pixel, don’t expect it.  Why?  Two Words:  System Partition.

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