Google to update your Android faster with Project Treble3 min read

Google Project Treble
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Updates for Android devices has been a mess since forever especially in 3rd party devices like Samsung. It takes almost a year for Samsung to deliver the latest Android update. In some cases, they don’t even provide any major updates. But Google wants to eliminate this problem with Project Treble.

Google is hard at work by collaborating with device makers and silicon manufacturers to solve this problem. According to Google, “Project Treble is the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of Android to date”. This means starting from Android O they are changing their code base to be more modular. This will help Silicon Manufacturer, Device Maker, and Carriers to only commit changes in their modules to make the update available to end-users. The picture below will help us understand more about these changes.

  1. The Android team publishes the open-source code for the latest release to the world.
  2. Silicon manufacturers, the companies that make the chips that power Android devices, modify the new release for their specific hardware.
  3. Silicon manufacturers pass the modified new release to device makers — the companies that design and manufacture Android devices. Device makers modify the new release again as needed for their devices.
  4. The device makers work with carriers to test and certify the new release.
  5. Device makers and carriers make the new release available to users.

With Android release in 2007, Google released Compatibility Test Suite which helped developers to write a single app that worked across a billion devices running on different hardware from different manufacturers. From Android O, they are releasing Vendor Test Suite (VTS) which helps the vendor to scale their hardware to run on the different versions of Android with updates to the code. The vendor interface will be validated by a Vendor Test Suite (VTS), analogous to the CTS, to ensure forward compatibility of the vendor implementation.

Benefits of Project Treble

The code for interface varies from vendor to vendor, a lot of code need to be updated when a device moves to a newer version of Android. It also depends on the SoC, which has to update its drivers to work on the new version of Android. With a stable vendor interface providing access to the hardware-specific parts of Android, the device makers can now easily deliver a new Android release to consumers by just updating the Android OS framework.


Treble Difference
Treble Difference

Project Treble is coming to all devices launched with Android O and beyond. In fact, the new Project Treble architecture is already running on the Developer Preview of O for Pixel Phones. For more see the full documentation, here.

Against all previous attempts by Google to make update more efficient will this succeed? Share your thought in the comment section below.

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