Sunday, May 14, 2017

Google’s Project Treble Promises Faster Android Updates

 

Everyone knows that Google's partners has been terrible most of the times at updating their phones to the latest Android OS. Some of them take forever or some of them give up on the updates. So yesterday, Google has taken quite a few steps to help speed up the process of rolling out OS updates for smartphone OEMs. However, none of them have really helped much, with OEMs still taking months to roll out Android updates to their devices.




Ahead of Google I/O though, Google has announced a new project that seems very promising and can possibly help Android OEMs roll out updates faster.


The basic idea behind Project Treble is that Google is “re-architecting Android to make it easier, faster and less costly for manufacturers to update devices to a new version of Android.” How are they going to do that? By specifically separating out the “vendor implementation” portion of Android, which is the lower-level software that is controlled by silicon makers, the guys who make the processors and chipsets for devices. A modular OS framework means that OEMs can push out updates without having to wait for an updated low-level vendor implementation from their silicon maker.

As Google puts it, this is how the old android phone process and the new ones which are on Android O:


With Android O and Project Treble, Google is introducing a ‘vendor interface’ allowing Android OEMs to update the Android OS framework without a reworked vendor implementation from their chip maker. The concept of vendor interface is similar to CTS which ensured that millions of Android apps are compatible across thousands of Android devices out there. There will be a Vendor Test Suite (VTS), similar to CTS, to ensure forward compatibility.

With a stable vendor interface providing access to the hardware-specific parts of Android, device makers can choose to deliver a new Android release to consumers by just updating the Android OS framework without any additional work required from the silicon manufacturers.

Now, here comes the bummer. Project Treble will only be applicable on new Android devices that launch with Android O or newer version of the OS. The Pixel phones, however, are already running the Project Treble architecture with the first Developer Preview of Android O.

Google also notes that it is working with its partners to implement common code changes directly into AOSP. It says that Sony and Qualcomm have contributed hundreds of such patches to AOSP which ensures that these companies no longer have to work on them when a new version of Android is released.

Google will be providing the full documentation on Project Treble later this summer when Android O launches.

Source : Android Developers