Google and Qualcomm are collaborating to give Android users at least four new Android versions (including the Android version launched with the device) with four security updates. To provide you with an insight, current Android OEM makers promise a two or three-year software upgrade depending on the manufacturer. For instance, Samsung and Pixel devices get three years.
The collaboration now gives all upcoming Android 11 devices featuring new Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, software updates for up to four years; however, it starts from the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platform. Which means current Snapdragon phones are likely not eligible for the upgrade. This comes as part of an extension of Google’s Project Treble program, which itself is a re-architected program for Android devices to get faster software upgrades.
Google, Qualcomm Collaboration
With this new collaboration, Qualcomm enables OEMs to upgrade to the latest Android operating system without the need to modify Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset specific software — instead, use a common Android software branch to upgrade devices. Further, the collaboration also tends to offer enhancements designed to save resources and time to upgrade. On the whole, the collaboration led initiatives will deliver faster Android OS upgrades and that too for at least four years.
On another front, Google says its efforts were to offer faster and easier Android OS upgrades until now. But the company also implies to plan and offer devices software upgrades for more extended periods. This new collaboration aims to see that all Qualcomm platform devices, which release after Snapdragon 888 featuring phones would get four Android versions along with four security updates.
Earlier, OEMs regularly relied on Google and Qualcomm to get faster Android updates under Project Treble. But Qualcomm SoCs could only support the upgrades for maximum up to three years. That’s because SoCs could create a suitable OS framework for three years — after which, the chipset needed multiple OS framework combinations, which led to more time and resources. Hence the OEMs held back from the updates as the SoC’s framework support is limited.
Starts with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset
Google suggests while the device demands for never retroactive but the SoCs’ existed. This will apparently change with this new collaboration, suggests Google and Qualcomm. That means, reusing OS frameworks for multiple chipsets will reduce framework combinations. And, eventually get faster updates for up to four years. As suggested, this will start post-Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset featuring phones, which will debut next year. Devices include Samsung Galaxy S21 series, or the next OnePlus 9 flagship phone or Mi 11, for that matter.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 — launch
Meanwhile, in another news, Qualcomm has introduced a new Snapdragon 678 SoC, the successor to the two-year-old Snapdragon 675 processor. Since it carries a lightly bigger 678 moniker, it is an incremental upgrade from the predecessor. Meaning, the 11nm SoC comes with same architecture but promises a minor improvement in clock speeds.
In comparison, the 675 achieved clock speeds of up to 2.0GHz and the new 678 SoC bring up to 2.2GHz. Similarities carry to GPU as well, featuring Adreno 612 GPU. Qualcomm further claims to have improved connectivity and photography experiences with this newly announced chipset.