Project Treble by Google to fix the most annoying thing about Android

Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL will work with Google's Project Treble

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Highlights

    • Project Treble to fix slow Android OS update
    • It will be available for devices launched with Android O
    • Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL will support the new system

Android Fragmentation has been a major issue which is criticised over time. While Google’s own devices are the first to receive early OS updates, owners of non-Pixel or non-Nexus devices have to wait several months or more to get the latest version of Android. Up until now only about 7 per cent of all Android devices are running on Android Nougat and OEMs are still releasing new smartphones with the older Android Marshmallow OS.

However, the Mountain View Company in an effort to mitigate the Android update issue has announced the “biggest change” called Project Treble. The new system will modularise part of the Android OS to decrease the period of time between releasing new Android versions and OEMs updating their devices. Google says that it is ‘the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of the operating system to date’.

For those who are not familiar with the general Android update process, Google has listed the following points to summarise it-

  1. Google releases a new Android version which Silicon manufacturers (Qualcomm, Samsung Exynos, etc) modify it for their ‘specific hardware’ so that Android can boot on their chips
  2.  After that, OEMs (Samsung, LG, Huawei, OnePlus, etc) can start re-adding all the changes and “modify the new release again as needed for their devices.”
  3. For ‘carrier-sold phones/tablets’, OEMs will then have to wait for the carriers to “test and certify the new release”.
Source: Android Developers
Source: Android Developers

With Project Treble Google plans to speed up the process, as the new system will change the architecture of Android. For this Google along with silicon manufacturers have created a stable ‘Vendor Interface’ that will consist ‘low-level software for a device’. The Vendor interface is similar to Compatibility Test Suite (CST), that ensures third-party Android apps can run on their OS implementation. The silicon manufacturers will now get a ‘Vendor Test Suite’ (VTS) that ensures “forward compatibility of the vendor implementation.” The advantage behind this change is that the device makers or the OEMs will now be able to choose to update their phones by ‘updating the Android OS framework’ instead of waiting for silicon manufacturers to update their implementation code.

Source: Android Developers
Source: Android Developers

Project Treble will be made available to all new devices launched with Android O and beyond. Interestingly, Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone will also be a part of this new system. David Burke, VP of Engineering for Android taking up stage at one of Android Fireside Chats Google I/O conference said that the Google Pixel smartphones will work with Project Treble.