Bad news for older Chromebook models today even for the not so old Chromebook Pixel 2015 model. It seems that Google has no plans to release Android P for models that are currently powered by kernel version 3.14. Older versions of the kernel are obviously also included. The news surfaced in recent a comment on the Chromium Code review at the end of June.
According to Chromium code reviews it is already well known that Android P for Chrome Os is hot in the works, and slowly but surely all the needed features and compatibility issues are being addressed. The only down side is that only the newer kernels got most of the attention mainly version 4.4 and 4.14 (not currently available on any device) all the way back to version 3.18. The comment we were talking about somehow defined the rage and it’s end point – version 3.18. This means that kernel versions older than 3.18 have little to no chance of getting the Andoid P compatibility – at least for now – who knows what the future brings.
From our experience this is not the first time Google has decided to strip certain Chromebook models from certain features. For instance the original Chromebook Pixel did not get Android apps and the same can be stated about other older machines that will not be able to run Linux apps.
On the other hand, there is no guarantee that models that are currently running on older kernel versions will lack of Andoid P support, until we see the final release, so we advise you to take this info with a grain of salt.
The comment we are talking about also mentions that Chromebooks running on 3.18 like the Samsung Chromebook Pro for instance will not be Andoid P ready before version 71 at least, scheduled sometime at the end of this year.
Is there still hope?
From our point of view the only way older Chromebooks will get the Android P is via a support extension sometime after the initial rollout, but as we said before it’s not something users should cling on. Google has a reputation of releasing new features only to a couple of selected models although the initial promise was far more generous (look back on Android two years ago – almost fourty models are still waiting for compatibility)
This is not exactly good news for Chomebook lovers around the world that have upgraded to newer machines. It’s such a pity that good and resilient machines that are well known for their durability and stability should be swapped just for software compatibility issues.
While Google has made some efforts in the past to upgrade the kernel for older models, the extensive testing that is needed to insure system stability for each device is money and time consuming according to the search engine giant.
Unfortunatelty, at this point, all we have to do is wait and see as more info surfaces on the matter. Either way we’ll keep you posted.