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Android phone updates to become annual events?

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Android phone updates to become annual events?

Android updates could soon arrive annually, Google's Andy Rubin has revealed, amid concerns that the current frequent programme of upgrades could be storing up problems for the future of the platform.

In an interview with the Silicon Valley Mercury News, the search giant's Vice President of Engineering said that the release of new versions of Android will be carried out over a longer period to avoid fragmentation of the platform across different smartphones which ultimately causes compatibility issues for software developers and mobile manufacturers.

He added: "Our product cycle is now, basically twice a year and it will probably end up being once a year when things start settling down, because a platform that's moving - it's hard for developers to keep up.

"I want developers to basically leverage the innovation. I don't want developers to have to predict the innovation."

Google has published eight versions of Android since it launched a year and a half ago. Were it to adopt an annual update policy, it would bring it in line with Apple which issues a single new iPhone OS iteration every 12 months.

Google has managed to get 45.1 per cent of the Android-owning world onto version 2.1 of the platform. However, with Android 2.2 just around the corner, even more smartphone owners will be left behind, particularly those who are still waiting for their mobiles to make the leap from 1.5 or 1.6.

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