One of the most relevant announcements for India at Google IO was how the Android P Beta is coming to a lot more devices. four of the best selling brands in India were on the list - Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and OnePlus. Even Nokia and Essential devices will have Android P beta.
This is especially exciting, since the beta version of any Android operating system (OS) is usually exclusive to Google phones, like the Pixel and Pixel 2. Samsung was probably the most glaring absentee from the list of participants.
The change in direction points to a faster roll out of Android updates on smartphones in general. But since these brands do focus their business on India, it also means users can expect faster updates.
It’s a step towards reducing the disconnect between Google, Android devices and customised user interfaces, something the company has been trying to get a handle on for over a year now. Fragmentation in Android is one of the main reasons why Marshmallow has the widest distribution despite being three versions old.
It’s not surprising if this reminds anyone of Project Treble, which was launched early last year. Essentially, these new partnerships cater to the same goal, making vendor implementation faster.
According to reports, the Android P will be available on seven smartphones - the Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Essential PH-1, Oppo R15 Pro, OnePlus 6 and Nokia 7 Plus. Only the latter two devices are currently in the market or will be, in the case of the new OnePlus flagship. But, nonetheless, this development paves the way for faster updates on future devices under these brands.