Over the past year, Google and Qualcomm have been hard at work trying to prolong the life of today’s phones with more software updates. And why shouldn’t they? Smartphones these days are the most powerful they’ve ever been, and more expensive than ever. We should all get as much life out of these devices as possible, and not be restricted due to the lack of OS and security updates.
Together the two companies have now announced that all Qualcomm chipsets will support four versions of Android and four years of security updates, starting with the Snapdragon 888.
Hold the phone though, because that four generations of Android includes the initial version of the OS your handset ships with. So what this actually means is, your phone will support up to three Android OS updates and up to four years of security updates.
If you’re using a Pixel phone or a recent Samsung flagship, not much has changed. Both Google and Samsung have already promised three generations of Android OS updates, but this does add an additional year of security updates to the mix.
The real winner here will be low-end and mid-range Android phones, because now all of Qualcomm’s chipsets will support three generations of Android OS updates. However, this in no way guarantees you will receive three OS updates or four years of security updates on your Android device.
That responsibility is still solely on the manufacturer of your phone. The only difference being that now the blame cannot be placed on Google or Qualcomm for the lack of updates. Still, this is fantastic news for the Android platform as a whole. All we have to do now is keep the pressure on OEMs to continue updating its lineup of phones at all levels, whether it be a $1000 flagship or a $200 entry-level smartphone.