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May 26, 2016

Android N could arrive on your phone sooner than you think

by John_A

Google’s parent company Alphabet is reportedly stepping up its game to make sure operating system updates arrive faster across devices, which should start with Android N.

Currently the Android operating system can rollout quickly to gadgets running pure Android, like Nexus devices. Other handsets with their own user interfaces, like Samsung with TouchWiz, take longer to get the OS as an update. Sources of Bloomberg claim Alphabet is considering using a system to speed this process up.

Alphabet allegedly plans to publish a ranking system that promotes those who get the update rolled out quickest, but shames those who take too long.

Apple is the big competition here. Thanks to its more closed system, that only works on its own hardware, the latest iOS is on 84 per cent of handsets. Android, by comparison, only has its newest Marshmallow software on 7.5 per cent of Android handsets.

Since Google relies on getting its new software to users, via the updates, it’s important for the fragmentation of hardware to stop affecting software updates. This is also an issue for security which may put off some users entirely, especially after the Stagefright hack.

Google has reportedly already drawn up a list ranking phone makers by how up to date their security patches and operating systems are. That list may soon become public as a way to help speed up future updates. Even getting this threat in the media could be a move by Alphabet to prod manufacturers and networks.

Now we simply have to wait until the Android N update begins rolling out in the autumn to see if any of this takes effect.

READ: Android N preview: Everything you need to know

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