We’ve seen manufacturers using dated versions of Android on their latest smartphones and apparently Google is aware of it too. A leaked memo on Google’s part reveals that it is planning to curb this habit of manufacturers. The memo reveals that Google will no longer approve GMS (Google Mobile Services), which includes apps like YouTube, Maps, Gmail and more essentially, Play Store, on new devices running an older version of Android. The memo reads as, “Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases. Each platform release will have a ‘GMS approval window’ that typically closes nine months after the next Android platform release is publicly available.”
This can only mean good news for consumers who have to settle for older Android versions on their phones, especially budget ones. While Google cannot directly dictate manufacturers to not use older Android version, since the OS is open platform, by refusing to provide GMS, it can pretty much get the job done. We’ll see first batch of budget devices running the latest and greatest version of Android next week in the form of trio of LG L III series phones. The move should address fragmentation on Android. We hope the company also brings similar policy related to providing Android updates on phones, so that manufacturers may also support their phones with timely Android updates.