The update situation of Android is known to be bad. Even flagship phones like the Galaxy series take months to get the latest feature updates to market . However, Google is not resting and its hard work with Project Treble is paying off.
What is Project Treble?
Until last year, building an Android update was much more involved. Each update required the following, no matter how small:
- Google created the new update and added it to the AOSP repository for Android open source projects.
- Silicon vendors such as Qualcomm and MediaTek would add and test code for the processors to support the new software release.
- Hardware manufacturers like Samsung and LG are adding and testing code to support other phone hardware and their own software features.
Project Treble simplifies that somewhat . Starting with phones included with Android 8.0 Oreo, the manufacturer code of the silicone may be separate from the hardware provider code. Instead of using Qualcomm, MediaTek, and other SOC manufacturers who need to write new drivers for each update, the driver interface can be used with newer versions of Android and will continue to work. Samsung, LG and other device manufacturers do not have to wait for this code to begin their work on the update, which means they will be made available to consumers much faster.
It was optional that phones upgraded to Oreo were Treble-compatible, but Pie goes away: Any phone that receives an update for Android Pie must be compatible with Treble.
It's starting to work
After one year of use, Project Treble is already starting to pay off: Google expects more devices to be upgraded to Android 9.0 Pie by the end of this year, as updated to Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of 201
When GSI runs on all these different phones, it's an excellent testament to how well Treble works, and application developers can use GSI to test app compatibility with Android P That is, on a device that was not officially updated by the manufacturer.
That's fine if you're an app developer, but if you're the average consumer, it can be hard to handle. But that's what matters: It's likely that your phone will get a software update faster because some of the work required to update it can be skipped. This also makes the update cheaper for the phone manufacturer and gives them more incentive to support older devices.
But it's still not perfect
Although these improvements are great, if quick updates are the most important factor for you,  there are only a handful of manufacturers to choose from . The pixel phones from Google would be the fastest, but phones from Android One like the Nokia line are not far behind. We'll see if the treble enhancements help, but Samsung tends to maintain software updates until the next Galaxy S phone arrives, which means users need to wait until Spring to see platform updates.
While not perfect, Project Treble has already greatly improved the Android ecosystem, and the phone is updated many times faster!