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Google making Digital Wellbeing and open fast-charging standard must for new phones

08 October 2019 0

Google is about to make certain guidelines mandatory for the Android device makers to standardize a few things for better. According to a document (copy of version 7.0 of GMS Requirements published September 3rd, 2019) obtained by the folks over at XDA Developers, Google has outlined some technical requirements that the Android phone manufacturers must follow to maintain a standard for fast-charging tech solution.

Several OEMs are coming with their proprietary fast-charging chargers and bundling them with their respective phones. The biggest problem with these growing number of proprietary chargers is that they require you to stick with these chargers only; you have to have manufacturer’s charging cable and adapter. So, Google wants to have a common solution and it aims to implement the same using the open fast-charging standard for devices with USB Type-C ports.

It’s the USB-PD (Power Delivery) charging standard that the manufacturers would need to comply with to offer flexibility to the users as well. The phones with proprietary charging technology are incompatible with USB-PD chargers so Google is pushing the OEMs to change this.

It’s not a sudden change that Google will be implementing. The company, in fact, has been working on this for a couple of years now. Previously, in 2016 it was noted that Google will bring a stringent guideline for the OEMs. In the Compatibility Definition Document for Android 7.0 Nougat published in late 2016, it was even mentioned as “strongly recommended,” OEMs to “not support proprietary charging methods …may result in interoperability issues with the chargers or devices that support the standard USB Power Delivery methods.”

But Google didn’t enforce the manufacturers at the time and it was more like a heads up like in future Android versions might require all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers. And now, according to the document, the manufacturers must fulfill this requirement.

It reads,

New DEVICES launching from 2019 onwards, with a USB Type-C port MUST ensure full interoperability with chargers that are compliant with the USB specifications and have the USB Type-C plug.

Another reported change coming is the requirement of Digital Wellbeing into new phones and tablets coming with Android 9 or Android 10, and the devices updated to either OS after September 3rd, 2019 must also contain these features. The Digital Wellbeing gives users the stats on their usage habits like how frequently they use different apps or how often they check their phones. The app also helps you to disconnect with your phone and reminds you to switch off at night and have a good sleep; all these features for the betterment of your health.


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