Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all

From InfoWorld: If there’s one thing we hate about Android phones, it’s the lack of regular and speedy updates for all but Google’s own Pixel series. Whenever a new version of Android comes out, even just a small one, it takes LG, Samsung, Sony, HTC, and everyone else months to push out an update to their latest smartphones. And if you don’t have a flagship Android smartphone, you’re lucky to get an update at all.

But a major change coming to Android O might make our hand-wringing a thing of the past.

In a post on its developer’s blog, Google unveiled a sneak peek at Project Treble, which it says is “the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of Android to date.” In a nutshell, it aims to significantly lessen the burden on third-party smartphone manufacturers so they can deliver updates in a timely fashion.

As Google describes, the current process is enormously time-consuming, forcing smartphone makers to not only update their own implementation but also Google’s OS framework. Basically, there are five steps to follow each time a new version of Android is released:

Under the new system, Google is boiling those steps down to just one. The core concept involves separating the vendor implementation, which is the device-specific software written in large part by the silicon manufacturers, from the Android OS Framework. Starting with new devices that ship with Android O, Google will introduce a new “vendor interface” between Android and the unique device implementations that will provide access to the hardware-specific parts of Android. That means device makers will be able to push out new Android releases “without any additional work required from the silicon manufacturers.”

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