Google has just released the public version of its software extension development kit which allows older versions of Android to take advantage of new features. We take stock of what this means for your smartphone.
Google is trying to bring new features to phones that haven’t received system updates for some time. To do this, the company is launching its “software extension development kit”. Enough to take advantage of certain new features without having the latest version of Android.
Reduce Android Fragmentation
Every year, Google launches a new version of its mobile OS. Unfortunately, the large number of brands and products using Android leads to significant fragmentation and lag, or even the absence of updates on certain models. The Mountain View giant is aware of this and is looking for new ways to facilitate the deployment of Android’s new features on as many phones as possible.
Thus, Google has been working for a few years on adding features for Android via the Play Store, its application store. This project called “Mainline” was born with Android 10. It is exactly in this spirit that the company is now making available its software development kit, that is to say a set of tools intended for developers to facilitate their work.
In its blog post, Google announces that this will allow “to extend support for certain platform features to existing versions of Android”. As an example, the brand shows a feature that developers could deploy on Android 11 and 12: the new photo picker, hitherto exclusive to Android 13.
Primarily addressed to developers, this announcement could however have a direct impact on Android smartphone users. Provide the ability for Google’s many partners to quickly deploy new features without waiting for a major operating system update.
All of this is enabled by the modularization of Android which gives Google more control over how features like Wi-Fi, app permissions or media playback can be updated. A laudable effort, but which is still far from solving the problem of the fragmentation of the system.
On the same subject : How to update Android to have the latest version
Indeed, many new features of Android 13 remain integrated into the operating system despite everything and cannot be updated via the Play Store. Also keep in mind that this tool is currently available to developers and it is up to them to decide how they want to use it. There is still a long way to go, but Google seems to be heading in the right direction.
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