In a recent presentation at Linaro Connect, it was revealed that the Linux kernel would be moving to a six-year LTS. Right now LTS kernels are only supported for two years, which can be a problem when a hardware design pipeline can take more than 12-18 months for a device to make it into a consumer's hands, and that's not even taking into account SoC development. This new change, combined with Google's Project Treble, could further extend device support for Android updates and might spell good news for consumers. Read More
One of the big advancements in Android O will be support for the new Project Treble system framework. This modular approach to Android could accelerate the update process and ensure devices are supported for longer. However, we've been hearing that Treble would only work on new devices that ship with Android O. The exception to that being the 2016 Pixels. Google engineers revealed on a podcast today that some other devices could get Treble in an update, too. Read More
With a recent example of how not to do a Reddit AMA still fresh in the mind courtesy of OnePlus, yesterday was Google's turn to show us how it's done. A long list of key personnel from the Android engineering team took to r/androiddev to answer questions from the community regarding the upcoming release of Android O. As you'd expect, the team remained coy about a number of things they're simply not yet allowed to speak about, but they did have some interesting things to say. Here are some of the highlights. Read More
There are a few reasons why your phone or tablet stops getting Android updates. One reason could be that the maker of your device's processor (e.g. Qualcomm or MediaTek) never updated the drivers for newer versions of Android. This is why no phones or tablets with the Snapdragon 800/801 chip ever officially received Android 7.0 Nougat, including the Nexus 5.
Google announced Project Treble a week ago, which aims to solve this particular problem by separating the Android OS from the 'Vendor interface' (the part with all the low-level drivers and binary blobs). The vendor interface under Project Treble is also designed to be forwards-compatible, meaning that it shouldn't have to be updated for every Android update, in theory. Read More
Easily the most annoying aspect of using an Android phone (with the exception of Pixel/Nexus) is slow updates. Android 7.1 (which came out last year) currently sits at 0.5% marketshare, and brand new phones are still being released with 6.0 Marshmallow. Google is aiming to solve this with "Project Treble," which will modularize part of the Android OS to decrease the time OEMs spend updating their devices. Read More