One of the major struggles of the Android ecosystem has been the delay in updating devices to latest version of the OS. Google is introducing a new tool dubbed as Project Treble, that might fix Android’s biggest problem. Google says the main aim of Project Treble is“re-architecting Android to make it easier, faster and less costly for manufacturers to update devices to a new version of Android.”
Google announced that starting with Android O, all devices will be coming with Project Treble. The company 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. Google is introducing a new vendor interface between the Android OS framework and the vendor implementation. The new vendor interface is validated by a Vendor Test Suite (VTS), analogous to the CTS, to ensure forward compatibility of the vendor implementation.
Iliyan Malchev, Project Treble team lead wrote in a company blog post,
Project Treble aims to do what Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) did for apps, for the Android OS framework. The core concept is to separate the vendor implementation — the device-specific, lower-level software written in large part by the silicon manufacturers — from the Android OS Framework.
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 Project Treble architecture is already running on the Developer Preview of O for Pixel phones.