Currently, Google Pixel phones and flagship Samsung devices are among the few phones that guarantee three years of major Android releases and security updates.
In 2017, Google restructured the Android system to be more modular, allowing it to facilitate and speed up the launch of updates. With its project called Project Treble, it has become possible for companies making devices operating with the Android system to update to the framework of the system without the need to switch in the method of implementation of each company.
While this approach has been beneficial for device manufacturers, it further complicates the process for chipmakers, as these companies – for each processor model – need to create multiple sets of vendor implementations to support each company that may use these chips to launch new devices. Then deploy OS upgrades to previously launched devices.
The new step comes from Google to reduce the effort needed to bring newer Android versions to old chips. Over the past year, Google has worked with major companies that manufacture chips for Android devices, so that all new mobile platforms from Qualcomm benefit from the principle that allows processors to obtain four versions of the Android system and four years of security updates.
This extended support will start from the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, which will power the leading phones and mobile devices that will be launched during 2021, and was announced earlier this December.
It should be noted that the new step includes the original version of the Android system that the device is launched with, and then three major updates after that, bringing the number of versions in which the device works to four. There will be an additional year of security updates for the latest major supported release.