The one thing Android users always complain about is not getting updates. While our dear friends with Apple devices enjoy regular updates to IOS. With project treble, Google might just end up solving the problem with regular android updates.
Why are Android updates so slow?
The very simple reason for this is that Android is a platform. It is an open source project that runs on not just one but thousands of different devices. So any new feature or change needs to be made first within the android project, then upon that, necessary changes need to be made by the company that manufactured the hardware and finally, additional changes need to be made by the company that is going to market those devices. This is what causes the time delay.
On the other hand, if you notice, Apple is very quick with updating its devices, since it makes the software and hardware itself.
What is project Treble?
Project treble is Google’s attempt in trying to fragment out the Android system so that the core Android system can be kept separately and it can be updated without having to wait for OEMs to make changes.
How does it work?
Whenever you download some application from play store, that application will use different hardware from your devices. Let’s say you downloaded Instagram, and you decide to click a photograph with your new girlfriend to make your Ex-Crush feel jealous(I feel like I am giving out too much information about my personal life). So to click that photograph, your Instagram will have to use the HAL – Hardware Abstraction Layer. The Hardware Abstraction Layer is a layer of software that helps all these apps communicate with the hardware of that device.
This HAL must be custom made by the hardware since all devices have different hardware and apps are not made for specific devices. So apps use the HAL to access device hardware.
Now, what used to happen earlier is that whenever Google released an update or a patch, that patch had to be first anticipated by the hardware manufacturer into the HAL and then the update could be made for the device. This was actually a very tiresome process and you must have seen that in many cases it almost took a year for your device to get updated even after new android versions came out.
Starting from Android Oreo, The HAL layer will be separated from the Android OS framework so it will be possible to update android without having to do the hassle with re-working with the HAL.
Current Status of Treble
Treble has been launched with Android Oreo and all devices that ship with Oreo shall support treble updates. But devices that were not shipped with Oreo, but have received Oreo update may or may not get Treble updates.
So I guess what we can conclude is that project treble will make it easier to update Android devices as the HAL layer will be separated from the Android OS framework. So the hardware manufacturers do not need to do a lot of heavy code editing for providing updates and that will save months of time on every update.