Google has announced a new coalition of Android device makers and mobile phone carriers who are committing to releasing regular software updates for their products for at least 18 months. That means if you buy an HTC phone next month from AT&T, you can be pretty sure that when Google releases a new version of Android next summer you’ll be able to upgrade the operating system.
There are a few caveats. First, Google said this deal is only good as long as the hardware supports the new software. That may seem obvious, but since it’s hard to tell whether a phone released tomorrow will be able to support software released in 18 months, it means that you could still end up with an outdated phone.
Google also didn’t say how quickly the updates would roll out. Just because Samsung says it will continue offering updates for 18 months doesn’t mean that you’ll get Android 4.x the very same day it’s released.
Still, it’s nice to see these companies commit to supporting their hardware with regular software updates for almost the length of a standard 2-year service plan.
Companies that are already part of the alliance including AT&T, Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Vodafone.
image credit: Android Central