One of the big problems of the Android ecosystem is that most smartphones receive very little support. Google frequently releases new versions of Android with security updates and new features but many phone makers aren't keen to pass these updates to clients.
Google is reportedly trying to solve the issue via several new measures. It's accelerating its security updates, rolling out technology workarounds and reducing phone testing requirements. But perhaps the most interesting initiative is a new ranking system that basically acts as a "Hall of Shame". Bloomberg writes Google shared the rankings with manufacturers earlier this year and may decide to make it public to apply more pressure on the laggards:
Google is using more forceful tactics. It has drawn up lists that rank top phone makers by how up-to-date their handsets are, based on security patches and operating system versions, according to people familiar with the matter. Google shared this list with Android partners earlier this year. It has discussed making it public to highlight proactive manufacturers and shame tardy vendors through omission from the list, two of the people said. The people didn’t want to be identified to maintain their relationships with Google.
"Google is putting pressure on," said Sprint’s Sullivan, who has seen data that Google uses to track who is falling behind. "Since we are the final approval, we are applying pressure because our customers are expecting it."