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Google is doubling-down against fragmentation with Treble and Android O
13 May 2017, 01:28 | Candice Butler
Google expedites Android updates with Project Treble
Google says that all phones and tablets running Android O and later will incorporate Project Treble, and that the first Android O Developer Preview already has it, waiting patiently for the VTS to roll out.
Google is calling this a "modular base for Android", and says it is the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of the operating system to date.
Android O is the foundation for the change, and it is being made in a manner to make the update cycle faster and affordable for the manufacturers. And if you don't have a flagship phone, you're lucky to get an update at all. When a final version is ready, device makers have to get approval from carriers before pushing that update out to your phone. Android's underlying architecture requires updated drivers for device components as new versions of the operating system are released, and some vendors don't like to update drivers for old components, and not necessarily in a timely fashion.
OEM Modifications - This modified source is then given to device manufacturers (OEMS such as Samsung, LG, Huawei/Honor, OnePlus, HTC, etc.) so they can modify the source to include their own software.
Carriers add more apps, more branding, and "test and certify the new release".
With Project Treble would be eliminating the unwanted factors by introducing a new vendor interface that will act as a bridge for Android OS framework and the vendor implementation.
"With a stable vendor interface providing access to the hardware-specific parts of Android, device makers can choose to deliver a new Android release to consumers by just updating the Android OS framework without any additional work required from the silicon manufacturers".
The new "Vendor Interface" separates the Android framework from the hardware.
Google plans to publish the full documentation for Project Treble on source.android.com with the launch of O later this summer. And the new VI will be validated by a Vendor Test Suite (VTS), which is analogous to the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) that Google has been using for API testing of apps. 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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