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Google strongly recommends against proprietary USB Type-C fast-charging


Fast-charging is awesome. Be it in a smartphone, tablet, double A battery, or even on a Tesla, having the option to charge up important devices in a jiffy is always fantastic to have. However, when it comes to Android smartphones, complications can sometimes occur — especially when proprietary fast-charging technology is concerned.

Google is looking to change that.

PhoneArena discovered, in the Android Compatibility Definition document for Android Nougat, that Google might look to block proprietary USB Type-C charging standards and stick to a universal fast-charging solution. Here’s an excerpt from the document:

“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.”

Now I love how some manufacturers push the limits of fast-charging to give us the fastest and safest ways to quickly recharge our smartphones. OPPO’s VOOC and OnePlus’ Dash charging spring to mind when I think of the champions of fast-charging. But my problem with those smartphones is that I have to use their power bricks if I want to get those benefits. Anything else and charging speed slows to a crawl.

What’s more, sometimes even devices from these specific manufacturers don’t come bundled with a compatible fast-charging power adapter, requiring you to pick up another adapter from the company.

For that reason, I often gravitate towards Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology instead. It’s a more universal standard and does support interoperability plus compatibility with Quick Charge power banks.

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What it looks like Google is trying to do with fast-charging technology, is enforce a standard form of fast charging across the board for USB Type-C so Android phones can share fast-charging power adapters with each other. This, of course, has several implications, both good and bad.

The good is that you won’t have to worry so much about searching for a compatible power brick when you’re out and about anymore. It also means that you won’t be held hostage by a certain manufacturer because an adapter from any other manufacturer will suffice too. What’s more, it becomes a lot easier for manufacturers to produce fast-charging power banks for everyone to use.

On the flip side, this could also render third-party fast-charging solutions incompatible which would undoubtedly cause an uproar among Android smartphone manufacturers. It could also inhibit the development of fast-charging technology as a whole. So, as smartphone battery capacities get higher, charging times may get even longer.

That said, Google didn’t specify how they would enforce something like this, only that they “might require all Type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard Type-C chargers”. We’re also unsure how Google might enforce this in all Android smartphones either.

What do you guys think of this? Should Google enforce standard fast-charging standards for Android USB Type-C smartphones? If you have anything to add, or if you spot any mistakes, do drop your comments down below!