Android O may be set to fix one of the operating system’s most persistent issues – the significant gaps between version updates.
Google has announced that one of the upcoming OS’ key features will be a significant change to the software’s underlying architecture, dubbed Project Treble. This will will make it substantially easier for OEMs and device manufacturers to push the latest patches out to their products.
“One thing we’ve consistently heard from our device-maker partners is that updating existing devices to a new version of Android is incredibly time consuming and costly,” the Android Developers Blog announced. “With Project Treble, we’re re-architecting Android to make it easier, faster and less costly for manufacturers to update devices to a new version of Android.”
Project Treble will cut out some of the steps involved in the release patterns of Android patches, which have to be created by Google, modified by manufacturing partners and then further customised by actual device-makers before ending up on users’ phones.
The change will ensure customers get the latest Android features faster, as well as more quickly plug security holes. The slow speed of updates means that many devices can be left vulnerable for months (if not longer) while a fix is rolled out for their device.
Project Treble is currently included in the Android O developer preview, and will be rolling out as part of the OS’ general release.