Google may soon shame manufacturers by publishing Android update speeds
The most persistent issue with the Android ecosystem has been the speed at which manufacturers push out OS updates. Google has tried a number of passive-aggressive tactics to make manufacturers speed things up. Google had manufacturers agree to update handsets within 18 months of hardware release (but had no punishment for failure.) Google also had manufacturers agree to release hardware with the newest version of Android available (but has no punishment for that either.)
The last move was to add a line to the About menu in the System settings to show what was the latest security patch installed on a device. But, a new report says Google might have another passive-aggressive move in its arsenal: public shaming. Bloomberg says that Google has been tracking how long manufacturers have taken to release Android updates (which itself is not surprising at all), but the interesting part is that Google might have put together a list that ranks manufacturers based on how up-to-date devices are with OS versions and security patches. Google has even allegedly been having conversations about whether or not to make that list public.
Doing so would make sense from a number of perspectives. Not only would it fall in line with Google's tendency towards being transparent with data, but it would highlight manufacturers who need to work harder on getting out updates. However, its unclear if such a list would make a meaningful difference in getting those manufacturers to change.
The problem is that the only people who would pay attention to the data on such a list are sites like ours and readers like ours, who already know all of these issues anyway. The general public might not care much, and that's the audience that would need to complain more in order to make a change.