Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

A single Android N change could fix Android’s biggest weakness

Published Mar 10th, 2016 2:42PM EST
Google Android N Developer Preview Features

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

What’s the biggest problem with Android? It’s fragmentation, of course. Android users just can’t get too excited about new Android features that Google unveils every year at Google I/O because they know it will likely take a year or even longer for them to get these features on their own devices. Google has been hearing complaints about this for years and even though it’s promised assorted fixes, the situation hasn’t really improved.

However, AndroidCentral did some digging through the first Android N developer preview and found that Google may have finally figured out a way to make it easier to get newer software out to users on a more timely basis.

RELATED: Video walkthrough shows us everything new in Android N

So what is this big change? According to Android Central, it looks like Google has started to separate its mobile operating system into two pieces: The core OS and the user interface that OEMs modify to add their own apps and features. Splitting these two components could theoretically allow Google to quickly push out important updates to the core OS while also letting OEMs push out changes to their own apps and overlays without worrying about how they will affect the platform’s overall functionality.

To cite one particularly important example, this could enable Google to push out major security fixes to devices without having to go through carriers or OEMs first.

“Let Google worry about patching Widevine or Stagefright, and Samsung can worry about its own software — the thing it knows best,” Android Central explains. “Samsung can rightly let Google be the fall guy when it comes to native Android bugs. Even the Evil Cabal of North American Carriers can butt out of the security patch process. Everyone wins.”

The whole report is worth checking out and can be found here.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.

More Tech