Google Play edition Androids: the kernel issue
Earlier today we saw the first two Google Play edition Androids go up for sale, with both HTC and Samsung making available versions of their flagship handsets running stock Android software. At least, that’s the impression we’ve had going in to this, and while it’s largely true, we’re now learning a few new details concerning the software on these devices that’s worth sharing.
The issue is that while these phones run mostly stock Android, they’re doing so on Linux kernels provided by the OEMs – not by Google, as we see with pure Nexus devices (above, right). The end result of that is that future updates are going to be dependent on Samsung and HTC being prompt with any kernel changes.
We don’t necessarily believe that this will have any adverse effect on how speedily users may get access to future Android releases, but seeing as this whole Google Play edition project is brand new and we’re still getting our heads around just how it works, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.