Google wants to standardise the design of processors across its Android devices, in a move aimed at making its partners’ high–end smartphones more appealing and more secure.
That’s according to unnamed sources, who claim that Google has spoken with chip manufacturers about building a processor to its own specifications, much as Apple does with its A9 chip.
It means that Google could potentially force manufacturers to include depth sensors, better cameras and a bigger CPU memory cache, with the search giant telling partners exactly what it expects in return for free use of its operating system.
Such a move could also mean updating Android devices would be much quicker, with users no longer having to wait for manufacturers to run their own checks to see if a new update is compatible with an old phone.
The changes could also mean improved security. Android malware remains a major headache for Google and could be partly solved by a standardised chipset.
The sources say Google execs are worried about Apple’s ability to maintain solid performance when its new software is running on older devices. Cupertino’s iOS 9 is capable of running on 2011’s iPhone 4S. Android devices of the same vintage cannot run the new Marshmallow version.
While Google may believe this would bring more consistent performance, it's likely to face opposition from the likes of Samsung, not to mention chipmakers such as Qualcomm. However, it could finally mean a more stable Android.