Following the initial release of Android Nougat yesterday, word came in from Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke via a blog post that the company will be shifting to a more consistent update scheduled they describe as a “new regular maintenance schedule.” This will result in regular maintenance updates for Android devices which will arrive separate from the monthly security patches we’re all used to.
Regular updates will arrive each quarter to resolve any problems with Android alongside bring in fresh features and tweaks that will make the experience better. Google has already started work on the first maintenance update for Android Nougat which will be released this Fall. In fact, the update will be available to developers first who sign up for the beta program, just like Android N was available to them before the general public.
It’s unclear at this point whether these updates will bring any change to Android Nougat’s name or not. To be more specific, we don’t know if the first update will be Android 7.1 or if the second will be 7.2. All we know at this point is the fact that the updates are indeed coming and that Google’s working hard to deliver the first one. We’ll keep our eye on further details, however.
With these new updates, manufacturers will have yet another piece of software to push out to their devices. I’m not sure if these companies will be snappy about this procedure or not as security patches that are released each month can take quite a while to reach all eligible devices, so it’ll be interesting to see just how quickly Android Nougat devices receive the software upgrades.
Of course, with the updates Google is creating a more consistent schedule across the board which is what Android needs. There needs to be some direction in the future of Android, so I believe Google’s making a very smart move here that not only will benefit consumers, but also the company in full. With a schedule like this, Google will have a purpose to update Android every quarter with something new, tweaked, or at least fixed. And in my eyes, that’s the biggest plus to this new maintenance schedule.