Qualcomm wants to make it easier for OEMs to update Android, will announce something later this year

Qualcomm logos at MWC

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

TL; Dr.

  • A Qualcomm executive said Android Authority that the company is working to make it easier for OEMs to keep devices with older Qualcomm chips updated.
  • The company recognizes that updating older devices is currently “complicated,” not to mention expensive.
  • There will be some announcements on this topic “later this year”, presumably around the release of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4.

Over the past couple of years, Android OEMs have really stepped up their game in terms of keeping older devices up to date with security patches and Android upgrades. Led by Samsung and Google – both of which offer up to seven years of support for certain devices – this is a sharp change from five years ago, in which two years of support was the disappointing norm.

Although timely and extensive Android updates/upgrades are very complex with bottlenecks from multiple sources, one of the cogs in that machine is the chip vendor, e.g. Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung, etc. As chips age, the makers of those chips tend to move away from them in terms of support, making it harder for OEMs to keep device software current. Historically, this has been a significant factor in devices receiving only one or two Android upgrades — or sometimes none at all.

Fortunately, Qualcomm knows this is a problem and is working to make it easier for OEMs to keep their products up to date. I recently sat down with Chris Patrick, SVP and General Manager of Mobile at Qualcomm, and he told me that this is not only a significant concern for the company, but that it will also be announcing something soon to address it.

“It’s very complicated for a customer — an OEM — to get security updates, get Android version updates, and then get that to every end user,” Patrick told me. “It’s actually very expensive and very complicated.”

Patrick was quick to point out that he doesn’t think Qualcomm is the main obstacle to this problem, and in any case, the company has been working to make it easier for a long time. “One of the things we’ve been working on over the last couple of years with Google and with the OEMs is changing the structure of the inline code — to change the type of machine for how we do those updates.”

In theory, these changes should remove at least some of the friction OEMs face when keeping devices up to date. Of course, removing a barrier doesn’t mean OEMs will automatically meet Google and Samsung with seven years of updates, but it should at least move the needle a bit.

Although Patrick says this code optimization has been happening for years, there’s more the company hasn’t told us yet. “You’ll see that, later this year, we’ll be making some announcements about some of those changes that we’ve made to facilitate that and help the entire ecosystem keep Android phones closer to being up-to-date,” he said.

Although “later this year” isn’t very specific, there are only two other major events coming up in 2024 where Qualcomm would make an announcement like this, which is IFA in September and the Snapdragon Summit in October. The first is a major tech event featuring brands from around the world, while the second is a Qualcomm-specific event that will almost certainly see the debut of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. Our money will be on this news coming to Snapdragon Summit, but we have to wait and see.

Either way, we hope these statements will result in Android phones staying software-secure for much longer than they have been!

Do you have a tip? Talk to us! Email our staff at news@androidauthority.com. You can remain anonymous or take credit for the information, it’s your choice.

#Qualcomm #easier #OEMs #update #Android #announce #year
Image Source : www.androidauthority.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top