Google’s Project Treble is a modular base for Android, and today Google is giving the world a quick look at what Project Treble is and how it will benefit the Android operating system. The first thing to note is that this is a change to the low-level system architecture for the Android operating system and is meant for device manufacturers who need to implement changes to the OS version of a device as part of the update process for the software.
This isn’t something that will be user-facing, meaning Project Treble isn’t going to have any shiny new features or tools to play with as an end user. However, what it does mean for the end user is faster software updates, as the idea behind Project Treble is to make it less time-consuming and less costly for device manufacturers to update their smartphones and tablets to a new version of Android when the software is finally released by Google. The diagram above explains things at their most basic, with Google first pushing the software release out to the world, and from there it moves to the silicon manufacturer to modify it for their hardware, who then passes it off to the device manufacturer to customize with carrier requirements. The next step is to get technical acceptance from the carrier who then works with the device manufacturer to pass it off to the end user, and then the end user gets to download and install the update.
With Project Treble in play device manufacturers won’t have to seek additional work from the silicon manufacturers to complete an update, they’ll simply be able to choose the ability to update the OS framework and begin pushing it out to consumers. This is all made possible by Google introducing what they refer to as a “formal vendor interface” so that the device manufacturers won’t have to update tons of code across the Android OS. Google says that Project Treble is already available on Pixel devices that are running on the Android O developer preview, and it will be coming to all devices that launch with Android O, as well as every device that comes with a version of Android after O.