Coinciding with Google I/O 2018, Qualcomm announced it has been working behind the scenes with Google to support Android P “on select Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platforms.” Specifically, Qualcomm states it has been using an early version of Android P to ensure the software is optimized on the likes of the Snapdragon 845, 660 and 636 SoCs. This chimes with other announcements that are now starting to come through from select manufacturers confirming their intention to make a beta version of Android P available on their devices powered by the Snapdragon 845.
In other words, Qualcomm is stating that it has been working with Google to ensure the update cycle from the current version of Android to the next can happen as soon as possible. Over the years this has proved to be an issue for Android in general due to the lack of enough phones getting updated to a newer version of Android in a timely enough fashion. As a result, this announcement essentially looks to explain some of the ways in which Google is working with its close partners to fast-track the delivery of the next version of Android. As due to Qualcomm’s work, OEMs will now be able to include any of the mentioned processors in any of their new devices with the understanding the SoC has already been fine-tuned to make the best use of the new software, and its features, from the start. Of course, from Qualcomm’s perspective this adds to the reasoning for why an OEM might want to opt for one its SoC solutions over those from competing manufacturers.
On the topic of Android P, while the next version of Android is still without a name, Google did today announce the availability of the P beta program. This is an early access program that lets those interested (and who own an eligible device) to enroll their device and again access to Android P ahead of schedule. As this is a beta version of Android P, this does mean it will be more prone to containing issues and bugs, compared to the final and consumer-ready version that is expected to become available later in the year.