Not many months ago, Samsung stunned the entire smartphone community with its new promise of giving three years of Android OS upgrades to all of its flagship models after the Galaxy S10 series, and some of its popular midrange A series devices. This made Samsung a part of the exclusive club of OnePlus and Google that delivers three OS upgrades to their phones. Google now wants this to be the norm for all Android phones and it is working with Qualcomm on the same. Also Read - Samsung working on sensor-shift camera feature for better photo quality
Based on a report from Android Police, Google is now working on its Project Treble with Qualcomm to simply the process of distributing new Android versions easily. Previously, the Treble project helped several OEMs to support their older devices longer by making the core parts of Android modular in nature. However, this made the lives of chipset manufacturers harder, given they have to make the chips ready for future versions of Android that could be more complex. Also Read - Google Photos' updated video editing tools live for Android users globally
Future Qualcomm chips could facilitate 3 Android OS upgrades
With the new collaboration in place, Qualcomm could find it easier to support older phones with the latest versions of Android. Google is said to have worked with Qualcomm to bring the modularity of the Project Treble down to the chip level. This has now resulted in the possibility of three years of Android OS updates and up to four years of security support. The move isn’t official but Google and Qualcomm could announce it in the months to come. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Quantum 2 with quite an old Snapdragon 855+ chip launched
However, there’s a catch. The possibility of three years of OS upgrades comes only with future Qualcomm chips, including the just-announced Snapdragon 888. Hence, all the 2021 Android flagships relying on the Snapdragon 888 platform could theoretically assure three years of OS upgrades and four years of security support.
Don’t get too excited though. While the new Snapdragon chips will be able to support three OS upgrades easily, it is still up to smartphone manufacturers to implement those moves. OEMs like Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, and others customize their software heavily and it takes months for them to prepare the stable builds of the new version of Android. Hence, it depends on the manufacturer as to whether they can deliver new updates to old phones.
Currently, it’s Google, Samsung and OnePlus leading the charts for supporting their phones for the longest. However, none of them are closer to Apple’s support for five years for its iPhones. Unlike Android, Apple offers complete five years of OS updates as well as security patches. The iPhone 6S from 2015 got the latest iOS 14 update on the same day as last year’s iPhone 11 got it this year.