No plans for Android consortium in Aus

Summary:Google has announced plans to form a consortium of US mobile carriers and handset manufacturers to deliver more timely updates to the Android mobile platform, but, for the time being, Aussie owners are set to miss out.

Google has announced plans to form a consortium of US mobile carriers and handset manufacturers to deliver more timely updates to the Android mobile platform, but, for the time being, Aussie owners are set to miss out.

The consortium, called the Open Handset Alliance, was announced at Google's I/O Conference in San Francisco overnight. It sees carriers like Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Vodafone US and manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola partner with Google to ensure less disparity between when different handsets and networks receive Android software updates. Google has also opened the door to other carriers to participate in future.

For now, however, the initiative is limited to the US, with Google Australia telling ZDNet Australia in a statement that it had nothing to announce at this time.

"In terms of a specific timeline for Australia, we don't have anything to announce right now," Google Australia said.

Details on the US consortium, while limited, do include the official news that all new devices from consortium members will receive Android updates for 18 months from the time the device is released, unless the hardware can no longer handle the latest Android software.

Andy Rubin, Google's Android chief, was asked when consumers would start to see a more unified Android update schedule, but said that he didn't "have the answers right now". He stressed that getting all of the Android partners gathered around the same table was simply the first step.

Other announcements to come out of the Google I/O conference include new updates to Google's tablet-tweaked version of Android, also known as Honeycomb, as well as the search giant's new cloud-based music service.

Topics: Android, Google, Mobility

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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