Google vows to end Android Fragmentation with Project Treble

Android LogoAndroid users have long had an issue with updates for their phones, something that Google has not found a way to fix despite all its efforts. Now, it looks like Google might finally have an answer to the problem of Android fragmentation called Project Treble.

What’s happened to Google is that the updating of Android OS is not very good. The newest version, Nougat, is only on 7% of all Android phones. More users are using Jelly Bean, meaning that any new features or functions that app developers can utilize are kind of useless. Also, if you think about the recent ransomware attack on Windows PC, it is important for users to have the latest updates for their security.

Why Project Treble?

Fragmentation happened to Google and not Apple as Android is on so many devices across so many manufacturers and uses a range of chipsets. With each update, manufacturers had to rewrite the Android code to work with their hardware. Something that didn’t seem to happen in the way Google would have liked it.

Project Treble will allow Google to create the Android code and a company such as Samsung or HTC to rewrite the code to suit their hardware. The companies will not need to wait for a chip partner to send updates before implementing the upgrade.

An Old Process

The standard procedure for Android updates did not force anyone to rewrite the code updates in a hurry. Google would release the open source code. Silicon manufacturers were expected to change the release to their specific hardware.

The next step was for the phone maker to then modify the code modified by the silicon company for their device. Then, the version is finally tested and certified for release.

The New Process

As you can read, this process is long and convoluted. Google learned from its apps that consistency is important. To aid developers, a compatibility program called Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) and Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) for Developer APIs. This idea inspired Project Treble’s new vendor interface called Vendor Test Suite (VTS).

Google want the next iteration of Android, Android O, to be on as many devices as possible. For developers, they will know that the apps they use will be on the updated OS. For users, their devices will have up to date software without having to wait years. For manufacturers, they will not have to rewrite code always to keep up with updates.

Source: Android

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