Project Treble: Google's new plan to roll out Android updates

Google has revealed Project Treble; it’s new initiative to ensure that Android updates reach consumers more timeously.

If you’ve ever considered flip-flopping between iOS and Android, an aspect which may have put you off the latter is the fact that one is unlikely to see more than one Android update (if, at all) during the life-cycle of their device. Google has taken many steps to address this, and now the Mountain View company has launched a new initiative, dubbed Project Treble, to ensure updates reach consumers more timeously.
Project Treble aims to ‘modularize’ Android by separating the operating system-specific code from ‘vendor specific’ hardware code – in theory, this would allow Android updates to arrive on devices with no intervention needed on behalf of hardware vendors.
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Google has described the change as “the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of Android to date”, and the initiative is now baked into the Android O Developer Preview aboard the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
Project Treble will unfortunately only affect Android devices running O and onwards, and naturally won’t be able to redress the fact that OEMs (such as Samsung, LG, Sony and others) will need to ensure their hardware drivers still work, nevermind the fact that network carriers will need to test and certify a new update.

project treble android
The present Android update cycle, which Project Treble seeks to circumvent.

Google cites that Project Treble will enable vendors to deliver an Android update to consumers without any additional work from the hands behind silicon chips, though the initiative does not address the aspect that some OEMs – such as Samsung – rely heavily on a software skin atop of Android in the first place, and hence have reason to delay updates until all functionality works adequately.
The fact that Project Treble has arrived on the Google Pixel speaks to the fact that other OEMs could well be able to update their device to become compliant with the initiative, and that – in the far flung future – we could live in a world where Android updates arrive far more timeously.
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What are your thoughts? Can anything solve Android’s fragmentation problem? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA