Google is introducing new guidelines for Android phone manufacturers that need to be followed to get access to Google Mobile Services (GMS). According to multiple online reports, Google is making changes on a number of fronts, including approval window for devices on older Android versions, availability of Digital Wellbeing tools, USB-C PD (USB Type-C Power Delivery) charging standards, and gesture navigation systems. Some of these changes are already in effect, whereas the other ones will go live in the coming months.
According to an alleged Google's GMS Requirements document that has been obtained by XDA Developers, any Android device that is being launched with Android 9 Pie or Android 10 after September 3, 2019 should come with a Digital Wellbeing solution with parental controls. The manufacturers can opt for Google's Digital Wellbeing app or build their own app with similar features. Same goes for devices getting upgraded to Android 9 Pie or Android 10 after September 3, 2019.
Separately, XDA Developers is reporting that GMS guidelines now include a mandatory requirement for device makers who are launching products with USB Type-C to ensure full interoperability with chargers that are compliant with the USB specifications and have the USB Type-C plug.
Moreover, Google is claimed to say it will stop approving devices based on Android 8.1 (Go edition) on October 31, thus making sure that future Go edition phones either run on Android 9 (Go edition) or Android 10 (Go edition). The company will also stop approving devices based on Android 9 Pie on January 31, 2020, forcing companies to pre-install Android 10.
The leaked GMS Requirements document has also suggested that Google is working on a Gaming Device Certification programme. If a manufacturer wants to say its device supports gaming device certification, it needs to comply to a few requirements. There is no word on when this certification programme will go live.
9to5Google has also managed to get hold of Google's GMS Requirements document and it notes that Google is asking Android devices with Android 10 to come with either the three-button navigation layout or Android 10 gestures. Also, if a company ships a device with Android 10 gestures, then it needs to include the three-button layout as an option. If OEM uses its own gestures, they need to be hidden below the Android 10 gestures and accessible via Settings.