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Google is making a concerted effort to speed up the often lengthy process of updating Android handsets to the latest versions, according to a report in Bloomberg. Since Google has little control over which handsets its manufacturing partners update, and when, it is apparently considering some unconventional methods for encouraging more timely, and more inclusive, upgrades.

One method allegedly under consideration is the publication of a list, reportedly already circulating privately, that ranks manufacturers based on their updating proficiency. The idea behind this public display — which could be seen as either highlighting leaders or shaming laggards — would be to encourage partners to compete in order to avoid low rankings (or total omission, depending on how it were structured).

Presumably, poorly ranked manufacturers (and network providers) would eventually feel an impact on their bottom line and would adjust their updating strategies in order to regain consumer trust. It seems like a very capitalist solution, whose beauty lies in its ability to passively encourage partners to self-correct.

The Bloomberg report doesn’t mention any timetable for the publication of such rankings, or even the likelihood of it becoming a reality. With Google acting as the steward of the world’s most popular mobile platform, though, it certainly has the necessary leverage to implement this kind of system, if it so chooses.


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