Google’s Play app will now update select pre-loaded apps even if the owner of the device hasn’t logged in with their Google account.
The change plans to unify the Android experience for a higher number of Android users. Most users will sing-in or create a Google account after they turn on the device for the first time, but some prefer to skip the step and use third-party app stores instead. Without a Google account, the device is not able to download core updates that could improve overall performance in some system apps.
Developers were asked by Google to modify their apps to make them work even if a Google account is not detected. The change will only work on devices which are running Android Lollipop or a newer version of the OS. The change will also minimize the cost faced by app developers that are forced to support obsolete versions of their apps.
The open source nature of the Android OS made it very popular among developers and smartphone manufacturers from all over the world, but nothing is perfect. The main issue is posed by the fact that the openness of the OS is at the same time its greatest weakness.
iOS may be a closed system, but in most cases, the latest version will run like a charm even on iPhones that were released five years ago. When it comes to Android, most manufacturers will rarely release more than two major updates. This means that iPhone 6S owners can enjoy most of the features that came with iOS 12 while S8 owners may not get the latest Pie update.
Google has tried to encourage manufacturers to offer extended support for old Android smartphones. The initiative is spearheaded by Project Treble, which aims to reduce the fragmentation by promising a streamlined update path that allows manufacturers to update a higher number of devices in a shorter period.