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Google is planning to cut problems for Android phone software developers with new policy of limiting the number of operating system updates for its smartphones.

Google's first measure will simply involve a reduction in the rate at which it develops and launches updates to the Android platform.

This comes after the arrival of four different versions over a 12-month period, leaving developers reeling.

Google's second idea is to shift its attention from the inner workings of the Android platform towards the app market itself.

A consequence of this will ideally be that the apps become more distinct from the platform, which means that one can change without the other being affected.

Engadget has reported that Google is hoping to kick start this latter plan when it launches the next version of Android, codenamed Froyo. Google has not revealed its own position on the matter.

Google's ultimate aim is to compete with Apple's iPhone and now that it has a solid software platform it can begin to eat into the app market.

It cannot do this without support from third-party developers and thus the focus on apps and platform unification makes a good deal of sense.

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