New Android smartphones must run 4.4 Kitkat

New Android smartphones must run 4.4 Kitkat, says leaked Google memo

#ANDROID KITKAT
New Android smartphones must run 4.4 Kitkat, says leaked Google memo
Google forcing OEMs to launch Android smartphones with latest OS version (Image credit: Reuters)
By CrackVTS /  18 Feb 2014 , 09:21
Further strengthening the rumours that Google has instituted a new policy for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to launch devices running the latest Android version, another leaked memo has surfaced. The leaked document claims that all new Android smartphones must come preinstalled with Android 4.4 KitKat, be it entry-level, mid-range or flagship devices.

According to a report by Mobile Bloom, the memo was sent by Google’s Android team to some major Android OEM partners.
According to them, the memo reads:
“Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases. Each platform release will have a ‘GMS approval window’ that typically closes nine months after the next Android platform release is publicly available.

Any Android update is made up of two parts. The first is the AOSP, or the Android Open Source Platform while the other is the GMS (Google Mobile Services). GMS or Google Mobile Services include all Google apps and the Play store. To get GMS, the device has to pass a technical evaluation meeting certain requirements such as performance, screen resolution etc.  Without GMS, the device will not get apps like Hangouts, Maps and so on.

A previously leaked document had revealed that Google plans to close down the window for older mobile iterations nine months after the new Android version is released. It is rumoured that the window to certify devices running Android 4.1 or below with Google Mobile Services expired on 1 February, this year. The report also pointed out that after 24 April 2014, manufacturers would not be allowed to launch devices running Android 4.2 and the same would apply for Android 4.3 starting 31 July 2014.

This may not be happy news for OEMs, especially the ones building budget or entry-level smartphones for emerging markets that usually run on an older OS version even after new versions of the OS are launched. For consumers however, it is definitely a win-win situation as they will get to lay their hands on the latest Android version as manufacturers will be compelled to push out updates quickly.

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