When Will Google Finally Sort Out the Android Mess

When Will Google Finally Sort Out the Android Mess

Is Android 14 the Current Standard Across Google’s Ecosystem?

No, not everywhere. In October 2023, Android 14 made its debut, yet it hasn’t become the standard across the myriad of Google’s different Android platforms. This issue continues to draw criticism, and quite rightly so. The question remains: when will all platforms be uniformly updated?

Google’s Big Devices Adopt Android 14, but What About the Rest?

Google has released Android 14 for its larger devices including tablets and smartphones. Furthermore, Android Automotive, Google’s comprehensive car operating system, has also reached version 14. However, the scenario is different for other gadgets. For example, Wear OS is seen as “outdated”.

Outdated Android Platform for Smartwatches

Despite the smartwatch operating system being updated to version 4 in 2023, it still operates on the previous year’s Android 13. When the big switch to a newer version will happen remains unknown. It’s possible that Android 14 may even be skipped, something we’ll be observing in 2024.

Google TV’s Unclear Strategy with Android TV OS

The strategy seems clearer for Android TV OS, which falls under Google TV. It’s currently available in version 13, and the beta for Android 14 started earlier in the same year. The downside is that Android 14 is not only yet to be released but also it is unpredictable when this newer software will actually make it onto devices.

Inconsistent Software Updates on Google TV

In terms of Google TV, Google isn’t making as strong an impression as it does with its Pixel devices. Software updates for the two Chromecast models with Google TV are more sporadic than systematic. When Android TV OS 14 does arrive, there’s no guarantee it will be promptly distributed as an update—an issue that’s not unique to Google but prevalent among other manufacturers as well.

Chromebooks and the Delay in Android Runtime Updates

Then there are Chromebooks, which carry an Android runtime for apps. Android 14 is not yet available for these devices, and generally, the provision of a more current Android version is not a given for ChromeOS.

The Challenge of Unifying the Android Ecosystem

Despite significant developments over the years, there’s still room for improvement in aligning the entire Android ecosystem under a single standard. Certainly, this will be a task for the coming years. In particular, the update service for Google hardware, like the Pixel Watch and Chromecast, could still see some improvements, which in itself would be quite gratifying.

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