For years, Android users have known the sad story of update rollout. Major manufacturers such as Samsung, Xiaomi, HTC, Huawei and others offer excellent hardware but struggle terribly when it comes to the rollout of regular updates. The delay or ignorance in rolling out updates has often made the platform more prone to security threats. However, Google has been trying hard to reduce the plight that Android users face and therefore has updated its terms and condition of the Android license terms.
The Verge has got hold of the latest terms and conditions of the Android license book, where it clearly states that all manufacturers using Android as the operating system will have to deliver regular updates to their devices for at least two years. Manufacturers will be required to roll out at least four security updates within a year of the device’s launch. For the second year, Google hasn’t laid out any particular timeframe, but manufacturers are required to patch any security vulnerabilities that been detected and fixed by Google.
However, there are a lot of agreements to this contract. Google has made the following licence terms only for those devices that are popular, i.e. the particular model should at least touch the 100,000 sales mark. The terms only apply to devices that have been launched after 31st January, 2018. Additionally, there will only be selected devices that will be bound by the security agreement, which could eventually be restricted to premium devices and Google-branded devices.
Wonder what happens if manufacturers don’t comply? According to license terms, Google could be forced to deny the approvals of future devices from the manufacturer, eventually preventing them from being released.
Do note that these terms aren’t present on Google’s global licence terms and have been only found by The Verge for now. However, the effects of this new agreement are visible this year as several third-party manufacturers, especially the ones who were a part of the Android Beta Program, have rolled out the latest updates to compliant devices within a few weeks. Google has also been trying its best to help manufacturers roll out the latest updates via Project Treble, which separated the core of the Android OS from the modifications that are mounted over the stock OS.
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