The latest rumor on the Android fragmentation front is a god-send to most Android fans.
If true, this could be as much as a sea change as the Sprint/Softbank merger is to the telecommunications front. Or on the same scale of Windows Mobile becoming Windows Phone.
As of late, Android has really taking some heat because of fragmentation.
The wise among the Android collective know, however, that even devices running version of Android going back to 2.1 are still very capable with a solid operating system. Android doesn’t suffer from security being neglected on older versions in that, Google fixes security related issues server side. Then once a 2.1 device communicates at any point to the Google server, it is updated with the latest security and/or browser patches required to keep each user safe.
On top of that, Google has made it so that core Google applications are compatible with versions of Android going as far back as Android version 1.6. But to the consumer who becomes aware of the fact that there are newer versions of Android that may be compatible with their device, it’s natural to desire the upgrade. Even though, just like on an older Windows machine, some devices just do not have the muscle to enjoy the latest megabytes being applied to its hardware.
In which case, most manufacturers are leaving some older devices behind (once again, similar to how Nokia is doing with its older Lumia devices). But what’s being told by an anonymous source to AndroidandMe.com is about to change all of this.
We’ve heard before of operating system developers requiring specific hardware on a device for optimal performance. It seems as if Google is taking this stance as well with what is being dubbed the ‘Certified Nexus Device” program. In this program, a manufacturer could apply for this designation, build a device to Google’s specification, then the device will operate as do all Google Nexus devices. Receiving more updates than you can shake a stick at.
The devices will not need to carry the Nexus title in their name, rather it will be a stamp of approval from Google. The rumored requirements will force new smartphones to ship with stock Android and pack sufficient power to run mobile games made specifically for the Nexus brand. In addition, each Google-approved device will need to support Google Wallet through built-in NFC.
Also, the consumer does not have to worry about the carrier sending OTA’s to the device whenever it feels it has the time. It’s what is known as a ‘pure Google experience’, versus a manufacturer branded or carrier bloat-ware loaded device. For most Android enthusiast, this is welcomed.
You get the newest updates for your device (until your device is not able to handle the load any more of course…even though Android 4.o was loaded on the very first Android device made) when Google releases them for your upgrading pleasure. Besides the prestige that comes along with the Nexus brand, the devices will feature a new media streaming service offered via Google Play and access to games that will only function on Nexus products.
All very much welcomed by me and i’m sure most of the (as of this writing) 480+ million Android device users. The next Google event takes place on 10/26/2012, being put on by LG. The predominant thought is that a few of these ‘Certified Nexus’ devices could be introduced there. Stay tuned, Mobility Digest will be monitoring this and all other Android events to bring you the latest news.