Android 8.0 Oreo is finally official, but that has little meaning for most Android users out there. Aside from a few millions of Pixel and Nexus devices that can be updated to Oreo right now, all the other Android users are left in the dark, having to rely on the “old” Nougat, at best, for now. The fact that Android 8.0 has an incredibly cool name won’t comfort those users who’d like to update to Oreo as fast as possible, without being forced to buy one of Google’s devices to enjoy this perk.
However, Oreo does come with a hidden feature that might be one of the best Android tricks we saw in years. You won’t even know it’s there, but it might make a world of difference.
How cool would it be for non-Pixel devices to get almost instant Android updates? That’s something Google was never able to achieve no matter how much it tried. Android fragmentation is a major defeat that was almost always sold as an advantage to the user. But it definitely isn’t.
That’s why tucked in Oreo code, is Project Treble. That name is definitely not helpful, as people will soon forget what it means. They should have called it Project Faster Updates, so everyone realizes its potential.
With Project Treble, Google is aiming to help Android device makers and carriers push out Android updates faster than the current schedule.
From Google’s own documentation, Project Treble is described as a sort of software modularization that would help out with fast updates. A few months ago we learned that Google’s current Pixel models will work with Project Treble, which might extend their life past the guaranteed two years of Android updates.
Now that Android Oreo is official, Google Android Product Manager Sagar Kamdar confirmed to 9to5Google in an interview that Google is working with several partners on Project Treble. Every new phone that will launch with Oreo is “treblized,” which means those devices will be easier to upgrade to future Android releases. At least, that’s the theory of Project Treble.
Who’s working with Google on Oreo updates? Sagar mentioned 11 partners in the short video at the end of the post without naming names. However, earlier this week, Google’s Vice President of Engineering David Burke mentioned a few of them in a blog post about Android 8.0. Google is working with Essential, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, Motorola, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony on Oreo upgrades and new devices that will run Android Oreo out of the gate.