Iliyan Malchev, Architect for Project Treble, presented the latest progress of the platform at the 2018 Android Dev Summit showcasing the features that OEMs could benefit from.
Project Treble was launched alongside Android Oreo in 2017 that detached the fundamental operating system layer from the OEM system dependencies. Usually, an Android update would typically be issued to an OEM in the first instance to allow it to be adapted to the OEMs software which incurred a significant delay before it made its way to the consumer. With Project Treble, the two are detached that enables the underlying Android software to be updated independently of the OEM layer.
During the presentation, devices from different OEMs running the same Generic System Image (GSI) were displayed that showed the benefit of running Project Treble.
We highlighted the availability of GSI for Android 9 Pie that app developers can use to develop and test their apps with Android 9 on any Treble-compliant device.
The Project team has been working with OEMs to define Vendor Interfaces (VINTF) that would draw a clear separation line between the vendor and framework code on Android devices.
The GSI is built from the latest AOSP source code and even includes the latest bug fixes contributed by the OEM. He said “Device manufacturers already use GSI to validate the implementation of the vendor interface on their devices, and Android app developers can now harness the power of the GSI to test their apps across different devices. With GSI, you can test your apps on a pure AOSP version of the latest Android dessert, including the latest features and behavior changes, on any Treble-compliant device that’s unlocked for flashing.”
Malchev highlighted that all devices going forward that launch with Android Pie or later will be Treble compliant and benefit of the architecture that would enable faster updates. That net result is that more devices are expected to be running Android Pie by the end of the year than the number of devices that were running Android Oreo at the same time last year.
Seeing more devices natively support Project Treble is only a good thing when it comes to addressing Android fragmentation to help roll out the latest version of code and fixes across the Android platform.