Android OS updates have been a hot topic since the platform’s launch back in 2007, and while some manufacturers have become good about pushing out updates in a timely manner, others are still a bit slow. According to a new report, Google knows this and is trying to change it.
Sources speaking to Bloomberg say that Google is ranking the various Android device makers based on how up-to-date their phones are with security patches and OS updates. Google actually shared its list with Android partners earlier this year, the sources say, but that might change.
Google is reportedly having internal discussions about whether or not it should release its Android update rankings to the public. The reason for publishing the list would be to publicly shame the lower-ranked companies in the hopes that that would spur them to speed up their rollouts. Publishing a list would also highlight OEMs that are good about updating their devices in a timely manner.
Updates have gotten better with Android lately. For example, Google and several other manufacturers have pledged to push out security updates every month. Still, those Nexus devices are often cited as the way to go if you care about getting updates in a timely manner, as Google updates the phones itself.
Whether or not Google publishing a list of slow-to-update Android OEMs would actually get them to push out updates faster remains to be seen. It could make some of them look bad for a bit, but they could just issue an official statement on why it takes time to roll out updates and continue on.
In the US, the carriers also play a part in the update process for the majority of phones. Sprint says that it’s working to get updates to its customers more quickly, cutting its approval process from 12 weeks to a few weeks and applying pressure to device makers. However, a Bloomberg source says that Verizon’s testing can take months and that while it was shortened by a few weeks recently, it’s tough to shorten it further because Verizon supports many different phones.