Treble is paying off for android!

in #android3 years ago

Looks like fragmentation is on its way out for Android! I wonder how Apple will start off WWDC now?

How is this being carried out?

We are seeing the results even now with the beta of Android P. Prior to this release every beta from Google was reserved for the Nexus and Pixel series. Now, popular alternatives such as the Essential phone, Nokia 7 Plus, Sony Experia XZ2 among others. This trend will certainly expand due to treble support being mandatory on any device on android P so you might see your device there in the future. Because Google has a policy that won't allow devices releasing in the future to release with a previous software version after a certain amount of time then all OEMs will be able to participate in theory!

What is Treble exactly?

Treble is, simply put, the solution for android's biggest problem. In the past an Android update took quite a few trips before showing itself as an update to your phone. First Google would send the code to the various chip manufacturers to implement their specific drivers and make sure it is usable. Following that, the Android manufacturers would take the update and apply whatever themes and features they have in store for that particular device. Finally the update is passed along to the phone carriers to test the compatibility of their network and then pass it along to you (Hint: get an unlocked device to skip this part). As you can guess, this takes a while unless you use a pixel/nexus. It has been noted that it takes around 3+ months for a device that goes through this process to receive the update and in some cases the rumors of the next update are circulating by the time you see a new update!

Treble simplifies this by breaking apart the OS from its dependence on the vendor additions by adding a "Vendor Interface" that will allow the software and the hardware additions to plug in with an ability to work from the get-go. This allows the the other parties to work on the update at the same time because the hardware vendors are not holding the code from Google hostage anymore. Treble also deals with HALs (Hardware abstraction layers) independently, breaking them down into components such as the camera, audio, Wi-Fi chips etc. and Google lists them in a database to see if they are still able to be utilized in future Android releases. Therefore, this also saves the manufacturers money because they will only need to utilize what's already supported and make something new through the "Vendor NDK" to make their own HALs.

Conclusion; Real change is here

With this initiative, OEMs have little reason to not update a device, doubly so if they have a popular device. There is now a price and time reduction thanks to Treble so at the very least they can't cop out of an update they promised like multiple manufacturers in the past did. Thanks to this being mandatory, it will soon be a race between manufacturers to provide stable releases in a sensible amount of time. Then us as the consumer benefit as we wont be buying 400+ dollar equipment that will be obsolete in a year.

Photo by Michael Mroczek on Unsplash

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Great work!

Thank you! More to come soon!

This is great news! I have a Pixel myself which I love. It is about time that they got everyone on the same page with OS updates. I remember when I had a Samsung Galaxy S4 and it would take forever for the OS updates to be pushed down by my carrier. The phone was more than capable of running the new software, the carrier was just too lazy or didn't see the profit benefit of putting it out there. They could make more money by making me want to upgrade. Thanks for sharing this!

Thank you for reading! I'm happy with my pixel because I am guaranteed two years of updates and three years of security updates. If more manufacturers saw the benefits of providing this, they would retain more customers. Fortunately we don't have to wait too long to get more manufacturers on board.

For sure. I have had my eye on the Pixel 2, but since my Pixel is still running great and it is still getting all of the updates, I am having a hard time justifying upgrading.

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