When I started off using Android I was quite optimistic and passionate about Android updates. Gradually, however, the passion ebbed away. Over the years, I have found that Android updates arrive way too late (if ever), don’t mean much to consumers even when they seem to be asking for them everywhere on the social media, and more often than not, they break more than they fix. Most people I know who have installed version upgrade seek assistance to roll back to the previous version. In our experience, OEM version updates are often not as stable, can irreversibly screw battery life or bring one or the other annoyance to your smartphone experience.

The Image depicts Android update process. After Google shares code, Chipset makers provide drivers, then OEMs customize it for individual devices and then Careers.
The Image depicts Android update process. After Google shares code, Chipset makers provide drivers, then OEMs customize it for individual devices and then Careers.

As far as quotidian users go, the incremental changes made to Android versions have mostly been in the background (save for Android Lollipop). People often listlessly mention that they just installed a version update but couldn’t spot much difference. They often see about the same OEM interface on top irrespective of what’s running underneath.

All this has been associated with the broad issue of Android fragmentation, something that’s taken to be a part of Andriod DNA.

Project Trebble Will Facilitate Faster Updates

Well, with project treble Android’s DNA is about to change and, maybe, many of the Android update issues are likely to be addressed (in the long run, though).

Also Read: Fragmentation woes – Google now wants to design Android phone chipsets for better control

Project Treble, that’s already a part of Android Oreo, adds modular structure to Android. This means, what manufacturers add on top of Google’s code will be treated as a separate overhead and Google will be free to roll out an update for the Android Oreo part on your phone.

Will Project Treble come to old Android phones?

Since Pixel devices already support Project Treble, it’s technically possible to update old Android phones to be compatible with Project Treble, but this should require a major restructuring and there are healthy chances that most phones launched in 2017 do not get this update at all.

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Project Treble – Biggest Change To Android Architecture

Google rightly calls it “the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of Android to date”. In simpler terms, Android version can be easily updated without any involvement required from chipset manufacturers.

Should you be excited?

The update will, however, still need to be tinkered with at manufacturers and career end before they are passed on to the consumers. So in a way, only one step out of three (or two in India) has been fast-tracked. And after your OEM is done with customizations on his end, the update might still be as buggy as it has ever been.

Moving forward, OEMs won’t be able to point fingers at Chipset makers anymore. Android updates on project treble phones will mostly be their sole responsibility.

From the consumer perspective, Project Treble is not anything revolutionary. It’s just one of many significant first steps Google has taken towards solving Android fragmentation.

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