With Android O, Google will offer faster Android updates, making it quicker and less expensive for manufacturers while updating smartphones to newer Android versions.
Even the staunchest of Android supporters will have to accept that the devices are rather slow, as far as receiving the latest updates are concerned, unless of course, in case of Nexus and Pixel devices.
The feature called Project Treble in Android O will enable a faster update to smartphones. Manufacturers will be able to offer the update for their devices, without needing to make plenty of software changes to begin with. The problem with slow updates is usually because the burden for issuing the update usually falls on the OEM and this takes some time.
What Google has actually done is to separate its work on the Android OS from the partner hardware manufacturer’s work, so that Android works with the latest chips. Google claims that Treble can work to accomplish faster Android updates for devices.
Google states that the basic concept behind the new Project Treble is that it separates vendor implementations from the Android framework. The vendor implementations are specific for the device and form part of the lower levels of software that are written by the silicon manufacturer. Using new vendor interfaces between them results in separating them. This interface gets validation by the VTS, the Vendor Test Suite, in order to make sure of forward compatibility with the vendor implementations.
A stable interface from the vendor offers access to the hardware aspects of Android OS, so that manufacturers of smartphones can offer new versions of Android and release it to the users merely by updating the Android operating system framework, without having to perform addition changes related to the silicon manufacture.
Taking a look at the latest figures shows that Nougat has not yet broken the 10% level, though it has been quite a while since the new OS update has been available for Android devices. All this will change with the new Android O update, with the Project Treble, as it will help the OEMs problems with Android versions and updates and help them to offer to more quickly to users.
Not for Older Devices
However, the new Project Treble of Android O cannot be applicable to the older smartphones. This means that only the new mobile devices having Android O in it will be able to take advantage of the new feature. There is some good news, however, as the presently available Pixel mobile phones have the Android O developer previews enabled and are already running on the new architecture of Project Treble.
Another issue with Project Treble is that it is not very clear whether all the problems for updating new Android versions are removed. It is to be seen whether manufacturers might have to update the Android code in order to ensure that the features that are specific to the particular device are working. However, the new feature on Android O is a welcome one and a concrete action by Google for addressing the issue of Android fragmentation.