Google is reportedly working on taking control of Android with its own closed-source version of the mobile operating system. An analyst says that, although Google won’t admit that there’s a problem with updates to the latest Android OS, the company is aware of it and trying to solve the issue.
Technology analyst Richard Windsor has stated that Google is working on a highly confidential internal project aimed at rewriting the ART runtime and at removing lingering dependencies from the code base in Android Open Source Project, according to The Register.
The analyst has revealed that Google intends to take complete control of the Android software and add more functionality to the Nexus line of devices, and thus make them more appealing. However, in order for few features to perform well and avoid battery drainage on such handsets, the Android code needs some minor changes. In fact, Google might actually use a fully closed, proprietary version of the OS.
Google sees an issue with the fact that, although a new Android OS version is released each year, updates take too long to reach users. The issue with endemic fragmentation would be solved with a proprietary Android version, and software updates would reach users sooner rather than later.
The analyst discloses that it takes about 4 years for a new Android version to reach a notable market share, compared to just a few months for iOS. He also states that smartphone manufacturers are reluctant to update phones because of the chance that users won’t want to buy a new device.
Windsor adds that Google might have been forced to do so because of the slow pace of updates and OEMs reluctance to provide Google updates in time. However, the mobile industry would be clearly affected if Android becomes proprietary, and Facebook is already rewriting its apps to reduce dependence on Google, Windsor also notes.
The analyst adds that signs of Google’s move should appear in early 2017, so there’s not a long time left until his presumptions are confirmed or refuted. Until then, Google is set on launching the Android N this summer.