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Android Phones to Get 18-Month Support Cycle

One of the biggest let downs about Android is waiting for the update. Sure, Nexus One and Nexus S users get them as soon as Google is ready to roll out the new software, but everyone else is left waiting for carriers and manufacturers to get their ducks in a row. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some users to not get an update. However, Google recognizes the fact that having such inconsistent software upgrades is a deal breaker for some customers and is hoping to address that issue.

Yesterday at Google I/O, Google announced that it was forming an alliance with phone manufacturers and carriers to ensure more reliable updates for Android users. Revealed during the keynote yesterday, Google hasn’t provided full details just yet, but we do know which companies are on board and how long they'll be supporting hardware for.

Google revealed that the new guidelines mean future hardware will be supported for 18 months after launch. That means you can count on your phone receiving all compatible updates for a year and a half after you buy it. Engadget reports that LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, AT&T, Vodafone, Sprint, Samsung, HTC and Verizon Wireless have all signed up so far. Andy Rubin, the father of Android, also mentioned that there is an ‘open invitation’ for other manufacturers and carriers to join, too. We’ll cross our fingers and hope more companies decide to get involved, but what we really, really want to know is if Google can get these guys to commit to rolling out the updates quicker.

We’ll keep you posted on that one.