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With Treble, Android O comes to you with faster updates!

Anyone with a prolonged experience on using Android would know how much of a lagging process it takes for a new version to arrive on your device finally. Some lucky guys will get it quickly, depending on the phone manufacturer, while others have to wait for ages, or they never get it. For every Android user out there who’re hyped about the newest upgrade “Android O”, here’s good news! This time round, it’s equipped with the latest feature named Treble, which enables the Android updates to arrive faster and make it all easier and less costly for the manufacturers.

What is this Android Fragmentation?

Compared to Apple iOS upgrades, Android’s distribution of latest versions is destitute due to lack of modularity in the system that Android uses to deliver these updates. Ever wonder why is that? After the development of the Android OS, it’s going through several procedures to ensure the hardware compatibility of the devices. After creating necessary supporting driver software, it goes to separate device manufacturers to get it customized with their own features. This is the reason for the sluggish updates on Android.

treble_flowchart

“Project Treble” comes to aid

Google has been continuously testing out solutions for the above-stated fragmentation issue all these past years, and finally, they have succeeded in creating a new feature that will be inside of Android O, which said to be able to resolve this problem. It’s introduced as “Project Treble”. We know there are mobile apps that run on different platforms like iOS, Android or Windows. Treble uses a similar approach when dealing with various types of hardware implementations of devices by introducing a new vendor interface, which is the hardware specific part that needs to be developed by manufacturers each time when doing an upgrade. So with this new vendor interface, they will be able to send out updates more timely with less workload.

treble

But will it truly save the day?

You’d think Project Treble seems like a legit fix for the Android fragmentation, right? Before jump into conclusions, let me point out a couple of things first.

The scope of changes

Vendor interface mostly concentrates on the lower level compatibility with hardware. Google doesn’t specify anything about how it will affect the application level changes. So all the manufacturer specific features that add to the device before it goes live have to be checked thoroughly. This leads to the second problem below.

Motivation of the manufacturer

To be honest, manufacturers only focus on how they can sell what they make. We can say they lack the motivation to carry out the after sale support, which includes all the updates issuing as well.

Things will hopefully change for the better after Android O goes live. However, it’s still not sure if all the Android phones will ever get the new upgrade with the new feature, considering most of these are still running Kitkat or Marshmallow.

References

  1. The Verge. (2017). Android O is supposed to make Android updates arrive faster. [online] Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/12/15632552/android-o-faster-updates-project-treble-google [Accessed 19 May 2017].
  2. Android Developers Blog. (2017). Here comes Treble: A modular base for Android. [online] Available at: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2017/05/here-comes-treble-modular-base-for.html [Accessed 19 May 2017].
  3. Raphael, J. (2017). 2 big asterisks to Google’s Android upgrade fix. [online] Computerworld. Available at: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3196830/android/google-android-upgrades-project-treble.html [Accessed 19 May 2017].
  4. Updates, W. (2017). What is Project Treble? Google’s master plan to speed up Android updates. [online] TrustedReviews. Available at: http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/what-is-project-treble-google-android-updates-fragmented [Accessed 19 May 2017].
      

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Maneesha Ratnadiwakara

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