Google’s Android has been around for close to 10 years now, at least based on the launch of the first commercial smartphone back in 2008.
Unlike Apple’s iOS that resembles a barricaded wall, Android is open source, where anyone can pick up the OS, modify it to their own liking and use it on their smartphones and other Android devices. Being open source has turned out to be the greatest selling point of Android, but it has also become a huge stumbling block when it comes to updating the software.
Due to the many vendors involved, all the way from Google as the owner of the source code to the manufacturer of the smartphone, it takes ages before software updates can reach consumers. This is because after Google makes modifications to the OS, vendors (Qualcomm, MediaTek etc.) are also supposed to modify the code so that it aligns with their chipsets. It’s only after they do so that smartphone manufacturers can pick up the code and once again modify it to align with their preferred skins.
Now, with Google Project Treble, Google is separating this entire process into individual phases, with the vendor interface now living on its own. This separation means that the entire software can be modified without altering with the vendor interface, which won’t need any changes in order to work with the updated version. This, basically, is a short cut for OEMs as it will now take a shorter time to roll out updates.
Today, many Android devices are still using operating systems that have been around for years now. Since vendors were kind of reluctant when it comes to doing their part in the old system, the new system should allow smartphone manufacturers to release regular updates. With Google Project Treble, many know that they’ll have a better chance of getting more software updates compared to today, even if they are not timely.
In case you didn’t know, Google Project Treble only comes as part of Android Oreo. While devices like Google Pixel and Pixel XL will get Treble through software updates, your best chance with other devices is to buy one that comes with Oreo out of the box. So far, we only have a handful of these devices on the market, but we should see the numbers grow bigger at the onset of 2018.
Some people aren’t into software updates, but it’s likely because they don’t know the importance of updates. The lack of regular updates on most Android phones made it even worse, but things should change with Treble. One little problem, though, is that it could take years before all Android devices support Treble. Going by the current stats, where Android Marshmallow is the most popular after being around for more than two years, it’s safe to assume it may take probably five or more years before Treble takes over all Android devices.
Are you excited about Project Treble? Let us know in your comments below.