The Android Compatability Definition Document or CDD is a list of requirements that Google places on OEMs who want to use their particular flavour of Android and get access to the Play Store and other Google Apps. Google has updated the document this week for Nougat-flavoured Android 7.1 devices and it’s got a couple of interesting changes in it.
I have to admit, I wish Android was standardised much more than it is. I for one would be happy for Google to impose all kinds of restrictions, like having to provide security updates x monthly for y years, or requiring core elements of the experience remain unchanged. Google does require some elements to be standardised – e.g. multi-window – but others (such as the notification shade) can be really changed around.
Google has made some changes to the notification shade, though – the new stackable notifications and notification actions are now a mandatory part of any Android 7.1 certified device. I see this s a win for users, as once you’ve tried it you just can’t go back.
The second change is the new A/B updates introduced on the Pixel with Android 7.1. This allows a system update to happen in the background without all of the “optimising app 19 of 251” business. This isn’t mandatory though, it’s optional. The sceptic in me says that Google is happy for OEMs to not include this, as it differentiates their hardware without breaking the daily user experience of Android. The more forgiving part of me says perhaps it’s difficult to implement and so Google is taking easy on OEMs. I don’t see this as a win for users, but nor is it a massive negative.
We’ll keep skimming the document’s 86 pages and see if anything else jumps out at us.