While Nexus and Pixel phones are known for getting speedy software updates, most other devices take several months to get major Android OS updates. A new Google project aims to change that.
Google today announced Project Treble, which the company says should make it easier for other device makers to update their phones. The gist of it is that Google is re-architecting Android, separating the core Android OS framework from the lower-level from silicon manufacturers. Previously, these companies would have to provide updated software with each new Android OS framework, but Project Treble will change that by letting device makers update the core Android OS without touching the lower-level software, cutting out a piece of their current update process.
Project Treble does this with a vendor test suite and vendor interface that are similar to the compatibility test suite that helps enable apps to run across all of the different Android devices out there. In Google’s words:
“The core concept is to separate the vendor implementation – the device-specific, lower-level software written in large part by the silicon manufacturers – from the Android OS Framework. This is achieved by the introduction of a new vendor interface between the Android OS framework and the vendor implementation. The new vendor interface is validated by a Vendor Test Suite (VTS), analogous to the CTS, to ensure forward compatibility of the vendor implementation.”
Project Treble will be included with devices that launch with Android O. It’s already running on Google Pixel phones with the Android O Developer Preview, so Project Treble has already started to make its way onto devices in the wild.
Google’s Project Treble sounds like a pretty major update to Android, and it’s good to see Google continue to work to make Android OS updates easier and faster for device makers. We’ll have to wait and see if Project Treble actually does end up making a difference, but it does sound promising.
For a deeper dive into Project Treble, hit the link below.