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Google memo suggests all new Android phones must run Android 4.4 KitKat

All new Android phones must come pre-installed with the latest Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, a leaked internal Google memo has suggested.

The claimed Android memo has suggested Google will fail to approve the GMS distribution of new handsets that favour older Android iterations over the latest KitKat OS. It has been suggested that the restrictions will affect all handsets, from the high-end likes of the inbound Samsung Galaxy S5, to mid and low end models.

The document has surfaced courtesy of Mobile Bloom, with claims suggesting the Google memo was sent from a senior member of the Android team to at least one major OEM partner.

Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases,” the internal document reportedly stated.

It added: “Each platform release will have a ‘GMS approval window’ that typically closes nine months after the next Android platform release is publicly available.”

Despite the claimed inbound Android restrictions, a move that would act to heavily reduce ongoing Android fragmentation issues, handsets unveiled this month have landed with older Android iterations. Just today the entry-level Huawei Ascend Y530 was announced running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Although helping reduce fragmentation and improving Android-wide software support, the move would mean truly budget handsets, or those targeting emerging markets, would be phased out as minimum specifications requirements would need to be hit.

Without Google’s GMS approval, devices would be bereft of a number of core Android features, such as Google Maps, Google Now and Hangouts.

Google has yet to officially comment on the newly teased Android restrictions.

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