Android smartphone, USB-PD support mandatory

The latest version of the requirements GMS (Google Mobile Services) contain numerous innovations that Android device manufacturers must comply with to obtain certification. In addition to the obligation to adopt new navigation gestures, OEMs will be obliged to use the standard USB-PD for charging the battery via USB Type-C port. Google has also imposed the presence of digital Wellbeing and Family Link features or similar solutions.

Many manufacturers sell high-end smartphones with proprietary charging technologies. The goal is to reduce the time needed to recharge the battery via the USB Type-C port. However, maximum performance is achieved only with the cable and charger included in the package. The standard actually exists USB Power Delivery (PD) which, theoretically, allows to reach a power of 100 Watts, but using a USB-PD battery charger the charging speed decreases dramatically because smartphones do not support the standard.

Since the launch of Android 7.0 Nougat in 2016, Google has advised OEMs not to use proprietary charging methods to avoid problems with interoperability. With the 7.0 version of the GMS specifications, that suggestion became a obligation. In section 13.6 it is written:

The new devices with USB Type-C port that will be launched from 2019 onwards must guarantee full interoperability with chargers conforming to USB specifications.

However, Google does not impose minimum power. In fact, the recent OnePlus 7T supports the 15-watt USB-PD standard (5V / 3A). For greater speed, use a charger and cable compatible with Warp Charge 30T technology.

The same Google document requires the obligation to install the apps Digital well-being with parental control (Family Link) on new devices with Android 9 Pie or Android 10 announced after 3 September 2019 and on those updated to Android 9 Pie or Android 10 after the same date. However, custom solutions are allowed. Without these features, GMS certification will not be issued. Finally, the experts at XDA Developers have discovered which, starting from 1 February 2020, Google will only approve new devices with Android 10.

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