AH Intel and Google

Intel And Google Aim To Speed Up Android Updates Through The ‘Reference Design’ Program

April 9, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

If you’re reading tech blogs often and are interested in Android, chances are you’ve heard the word “fragmentation” been thrown around a couple of times. That word has been mentioned quite a lot in the Android world because of the software on Android phones. Every time Google announces new version of Android operating system, a ton of manufacturers start working on updating their skinned Android-powered devices. That on its own takes quite some time because of software coding and different hardware configurations in the Android world, not to mention how long it takes for carriers to test those updates out and finally push them out to consumers. Long story short, it usually takes quite a long time for consumers to receive Android updates, and the latest Android distribution numbers are only proving that fact.

Well, Intel and Google want to change that. The Mountain View giant has been trying to do that for quite some time now, but nothing has been as effective as they’ve hoped. What is the plan of these two companies? Well, every smartphone and tablet that is made as part of a new Intel mobile device development program will be able to receive a new version of Android in two weeks via an over-the-air update (OTA). The official name of Intel’s new program is “Reference Design for Android”, and it will provide a blueprint for device makers to build smartphones, tablets and phablet with a consistent set of internals, and also system images. This will make updating those devices a lot easier, the two companies are hoping this will have a serious effect on updates.

“The quick delivery of updates will keep mobile devices fresh and “always available with the latest capabilities in Android,” said Doug Fisher, Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Software and Services Group at Intel. It will be interesting to see if this program will catch some traction, because it simply wasn’t possible to update a ton of devices that fast due to different set of hardware configurations, not to mention software obstacles. Mr. Fisher has also added that there’s currently only one device available based on the aforementioned program, Cloudfone’s 7-inch tablet. He also said that some smaller companies like Malata, ChipHD and ECS are developing mobile devices based on the specifications.