Google's Project Treble Is A Modular Base For Android

In a post on its developer's blog, Google unveiled a sneak peek at Project Treble, which it says is "the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of Android to date". 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.

The catch is that Project Treble's updates will not apply to older devices, only new devices released with Android O and beyond. Google releases a new version of Android, and while Nexus and Pixel devices get updated, other Android OEMs mostly shrug their shoulders and go about their business. Yes, we are talking about the messy update cycle, which has got most of the Android users complaining. Google says that it would be active for the "devices launched with Android O and beyond".

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. In the case of carrier-sold phones/tablets, device makers then have to wait for the carriers to approve the update. It eliminates one step from the drill that would help the OEMs to deliver timely updates.

Carriers add more apps, more branding, and "test and certify the new release".

Project Treble takes inspiration from the Compatibility Test Suite that allows developers to write apps that work across billions of phones and tablets without needing to make tweaks for each device type. However, the Project Treble architecture is now running on Pixel phones using the O Developer Preview.

Google has essentially split apart its own work on Android from the work that its hardware partners do on Android to make sure it works with their latest chips. These companies modify the new release of software according to their specific hardware. 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.

  • Essie Rivera