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Google could ban third-party fast charging hardware in upcoming Android phones

Google updated one of its Android hardware requirement documents, stating that it could require USB Type-C phones to stick with standard charging specs.

Published onNovember 8, 2016

google pixel xl initial review aa (29 of 48) usb-c usb

We all want our smartphones to charge up faster. However, it looks like Google might want to put the brakes on some methods that promise those kinds of fast charging times, but don’t use standard hardware. The company quietly updated its Android Compatibility Definition Document, where it offers some strong recommendations on what it wants to see in future phones, in terms of USB Type-C devices.

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Google Pixel 7 smartphone charging stock photo (2)

The most well known third-party fast charging technology for smartphones is Qualcomm Quick Charge, which is now in its 3.0 version. There are also some other non-standard fast charging hardware out there, like OPPO’s VOOC and MediaTek’s Pump Express. However, the updated documentation from Google clearly wants smartphone makers to stick with the USB Power Delivery standards that are used on its own Pixel phones:

Type-C devices are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to not support proprietary charging methods that modify Vbus voltage beyond default levels, or alter sink/source roles as such may result in interoperability issues with the chargers or devices that support the standard USB Power Delivery methods. While this is called out as “STRONGLY RECOMMENDED”, in future Android versions we might REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers.

That last sentence should be a pretty clear warning that Google could clamp down on these outside fast charging technologies offered by Qualcomm, OPPO, MediaTek and others in the near future. Do you think Google should try to force smartphone hardware makers to stick to one standard for battery charging?

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