Google Says 'Project Treble' To End Device Update Woes
Google today announced Project Treble, which it hopes will solve the pain of updating smartphones to the latest version of Android. As it stands today, the process is multifaceted and includes a number of moving players, including Google, silicon makers, manufacturers, and carrier partners. The complexity of all the pieces translates into lots of time and money for the ecosystem to test, certify, and release new system builds for existing phones. Project Treble, which will work with Android O and subsequent versions of Android, rearranges how the operating system is configured at a base level in order to simplify the process. "The core concept is to separate the vendor implementation — the device-specific, lower-level software written in large part by the silicon manufacturers — from the Android OS Framework. This is achieved by the introduction of a new vendor interface between the Android OS framework and the vendor implementation. The new vendor interface is validated by a Vendor Test Suite, analogous to the CTS, to ensure forward compatibility of the vendor implementation." Put more plainly, device makers will be able to update their devices to newer versions of Android underneath their custom UI without disturbing it, and without requiring help from silicon manufacturers. Google says some aspects of Project Treble are already included in the Developer Preview of O running on Pixel phones. The company plans to work with its silicon and device partners to ensure a smooth transition to the new architecture for future phones. Google expects to release full details of Project Treble with the launch of Android O later this summer.
Oppo Makes Near-Stock Android Available to Some Phones
Oppo today began offering customers an alternative to its ColorOS. The company has created a new operating system based on Android 5.1 Lollipop that it calls Project Spectrum.
Google Brings the Moto X4 with Android One to Project Fi
Google's Project Fi just scored its first non-Nexus / Pixel handset. The company added the Motorola Moto X4 to the selection of devices compatible with Project Fi, which is Google's low-cost MVNO.
Google Says ARCore Will Push Augmented Reality to the Android Masses
Google today introduced ARCore, a software developer kit that will bring augmented reality to existing and future Android smartphones without the special hardware required by Project Tango. Google says it built ARCore on the foundation set by Project Tango, but has tweaked it in a way the will allow most devices to run AR apps and content.
Google Drops Android O Release Candidate
Google today made Android O Developer Preview 4 available to application developers and said this is the final preview before Google releases Android O to consumers later this year. This build contains the final user interface system behaviors, the latest bug fixes and optimizations, and the final set of APIs.
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