It’s been months since Google released the source code for Android 4.4 KitKat, but some phone and tablet makers continue to release new devices running software that’s as old as Android 4.0.

While most newer Android apps will run on older devices, having to support older devices could be holding developers back from implementing newer features — and device makers and wireless carriers that are slow to release OS updates can also pose a security risk to their customers.

So what power does Google have to make sure device makers ship products with newer versions of Android? It can refuse to offer support for the Google Play Store and other hallmark features unless OEMs use relatively recent builds of Android… and according to a report, that’s just what Google may be starting to do.

Google Android platform numbers

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7 replies on “Lilbits (2-10-2014): End to Android fragmentation in sight?”

    1. This has nothing to do with how open Android is. It’s only for those that want google services on their devices and those apps are proprietary, always have been.

      1. Don’t bother replying to him, he’s clearly here to rip on Android from his huge collection of Apple devices.

  1. android fragmentation will never end as long as OEMs only support devices for 18 months or less.

      1. true. . . however, for Google, at least, it is officially 18 months of software support from release — I doubt anyone will do better, they certainly have done worse.

    1. agreed I still use an HTC EVO 4G and while it runs JB perfectly I can never fully enjoy it unless I forgo hardware decoding (no netflix or similar sites), no wimax, and no front camera. I wish hardware manufacturers would just open source the drivers after a product has reached end of life like HP did. I mean there is nothing more to gain financially at that point so why not?

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