Google is doubling-down against fragmentation with Treble and Android O

Google is doubling-down against fragmentation with Treble and Android O

Google's Project Treble is a modular base for Android, and today Google is giving the world a quick look at what Project Treble is and how it will benefit the Android operating system. Essentially, a new "Vendor interface" will contain all of the low-level software for a device - like the chipset drivers.

Project Treble's updates do not seem to cater to older devices. Google is aiming to solve this with "Project Trebble", which will modularize part of the Android OS to decrease the time OEMs spend updating their devices. That's the dream, really - for those that wish to get Android updates. In theory, this change would allow for a new Android update to be flashed on a device without any involvement from the silicon vendor.

It's not clear if this removes all hurdles or if manufacturers will still have to update Android's code to make sure that features specific to their phone are working. In a nutshell, it aims to significantly lessen the burden on third-party phone manufacturers so they can deliver updates in a timely fashion. Device makers modify the new release again as needed for their devices.

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Project Treble brings this in the form of a software Vendor Interface that's created to be forwards-compatible.

Carriers add more apps, more branding, and "test and certify the new release". It's only that, with Project Treble, no additional work will be required from silicon manufacturers before a device maker can get into that process. However, Pixel devices running the current O Developer Preview is already running the Project Treble architecture.

Trebles are threes, and the project's name brings about a three-tier architecture for Android that's all about ensuring compatibility between versions now and into the future. This is achieved by the introduction of a new vendor interface between the Android OS framework and the vendor implementation. There aren't many other details on how this system will work just yet, but given Google I/O is happening next week, we expect to hear more very soon.

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