Earlier today (17 December 2020), Google and Qualcomm announced a major improvement in the existing update cycle for Android smartphones. This was largely believed that Android devices will now be eligible for “four years” of Android updates, which is a year in addition to what some manufacturers such as Google or Samsung are offering with the major their smartphones. Although, this is not exactly what the two companies meant by the new news.
Apparently, the news and headlines of various reports have been a bit confusing or even somewhat misleading, but that’s just because of the original announcement from the chipmaker and search engine giant. According to the AndroidPolice report, little is changing with this release of four years of Android updates. For those unfamiliar, Google and Samsung are currently offering around three major OS updates on their popular smartphones.
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However, the news today from both companies does not add to this number. Instead, this just makes for a policy that was already an optional extra for smartphone OEMs working with Qualcomm. In fact, it certainly doesn’t extend the lifespan of Qualcomm’s final chips in any way. This is all very confusing due to how well Google and Qualcomm announced the whole news, but there are two main points to note:
- Qualcomm will support three major Android OS updates for the full package of smartphone chips are underway, starting with the Snapdragon 888.
- It looks like OEMs will be able to offer a smartphone now four full years of Android security updates ongoing (based on our reading of the news).
These points from the outset mean that four years of updates are guaranteed and not four years of Android OS updates. So, don’t expect four major updates to the OS version anytime soon. Google is already offering around 36 months of security updates, which will now be extended to 48 months after this news. In addition, this also applies to all Android smartphones featuring Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 SoC for now.
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