Google's Project Treble Is A Modular Base For Android

Google's Project Treble Is A Modular Base For Android

But the Pixel devices that are now on the Android O Developer Preview are running Project Treble architecture. Google thinks it finally has the solution for updates with something called Project Treble that will arrive first in Android O. The VI's aim is to separate the "Vendor Implementation" (that is, "the device-specific, lower-level software written in large part by the silicon manufacturers"), from the Android OS framework.

As Google describes, the current process is enormously time-consuming, forcing phone makers to not only update their own implementation but also Google's OS framework.

While the fragmentation situation has gotten better over time, it certainly hasn't gone away: the latest version of Android, Nougat, has been out for more than eight months and is still on only 7 percent of Android phones. If device manufacturers can't get new drivers for all their components, their phone or tablet is essentially dead in the water when it comes to updates.

All about that Treble: While we still have a long time to wait to see if Project Treble actually does what Google says it will, for the first time since Android launched, we have hope.




Before Project Treble, a lot of Android code would need to be updated with each new version of the operating system.

OEMs (Samsung, LG, HTC) step in and "modify the new release again as needed for their devices". However, the Project Treble architecture is now running on Pixel phones using the O Developer Preview.

It's powered by the new Vendor Test Suite (VTS) and is conceptually similar to the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS), which lets developers write apps that work across devices running on different hardware from different manufacturers. Think about how Google now allows developers to create a single app that works across numerous versions of Android and countless devices. As Google describes, Sony and Qualcomm have already contributed "dozens of features and hundreds of bug fixes to Android O", so they won't have to redo their work with each new Android release. Google has announced this week that they're initiating a so-called "Project Treble" to make that a reality.

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