Google working with partners on Android fragmentation issue

During Google I/O today, the company announced that it’s working with its partners – including AT&T, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless — on getting new Android updates to users faster and on curtailing Android fragmentation. As part of the same effort, if your hardware supports it, Google and its partners will guarantee that your phone gets the latest Android iteration for at least 18 months after the device hits the market. That should mean that end users won’t have to sit around for months, or years, to find out that the hottest version of Android will never be available for their devices. Google hasn’t clarified if this begins now with Android 2.3 (we doubt it), or if it starts with Ice Cream Sandwich. For now, Google just admits that it’s a “logistic problem,” and it’s unclear how long it will take for Google’s partners to actually get the updates out the door. It sounds like Google has its head in the right place but it doesn’t seem like the company has fleshed out how it can deliver on these promises yet. We just hope that it won’t involve too many compromises.

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