Google may soon ban proprietary charging methods

Google has updated the Android Compatibility Definition Document with a new clause about USB charging methods over USB Type-C. The company strongly recommends not using proprietary charging methods that modify Vbus voltages.

It’s no secret that USB Type-C has brought with it many problems. Non-standardized cables, missing resistors, and standard-breaking quick charging have all caused problems like potential and very real damage to hardware. Benson Leung and the USB-IF has been fighting to push USB standards across hardware and now it’s Google’s turn.

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.

This is the new section in the Android CDD. Nothing is banned yet, but Google says this might soon be mandatory. This will effectively ban Qualcomm Quick Charge in lieu of the standard (and not standard breaking) USB Power Delivery. When your charging method requires going against the standards the USB-IF has set, it might not be that great of an idea.

We’re all for pushing for standards and not creating huge rifts in hardware compatibility and potential dangers. Good on Google for putting its foot down. Hopefully this will become mandatory soon, making it that much easier for people to buy safe charging hardware.

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