Google, Qualcomm Partner for Faster Android P Upgrade Adoption

Subject: Mobile | May 9, 2018 - 02:21 PM |
Tagged: snapdragon, sd636, sd 845, sd 660, qualcomm, android p

It's no secret that one of the easiest to point out critiques of Android is the lack of major software updates for the majority of handsets. While this has gotten slightly better over the years, new Android releases still take a substantial amount of time to roll out to existing phones, if they do at all.

However, with Android 8.0 (Oreo), Google began to address some of the core technical issues preventing phone manufacturers from quickly releasing software updates through an initiative they call Project Treble.

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Essentially, Project Treble decouples the Android Operating System from the proprietary software bits such as drivers needed to provide support for a given SoC. Instead, Android 8.0 and up moves the SoC support to a separate software layer, which a vendor like Qualcomm can universally implement for their SoCs and pass to a handset maker, instead of needing to be implemented into software updates for each specific model of phone.

Qualcomm announced earlier this week that they have been working with Google ahead of the Android P developer preview release to "pre-integrate" support for the next version of the operating system with Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices, specifically devices with Snapdragon 845, 660 and 636.

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We are already starting to see some of this work pay off, with an expanded list of devices that are already compatible with the Android P developer preview, as compared to previous Android betas.

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In addition to the standard Google development devices, the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL, other various other phone makers are rolling out options to enroll in the Android P developer preview program, including:

  • Essential Phone (Snapdragon 835)
  • Nokia 7 Plus (Snapdragon 660)
  • Oppo R15 Pro (Snapdragon 660)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 (Snapdragon 845)
  • Vivo X21 & X21UD (Snapdragon 660)
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S (Snapdragon 845)

Despite Qualcomm's work with Google on Android P "pre-integration", the ball remains in the court of OEMs like Samsung, and carriers to push these updates through to consumers.

Source: Qualcomm

May 9, 2018 | 07:22 PM - Posted by odizzido2 (not verified)

I wish we as users were given control of updates instead of relying on these garbage companies to care.

May 9, 2018 | 07:41 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

In theory, Project Treble actually helps developers make their own ROMs, but that depends on an unlocked bootloader.

May 10, 2018 | 03:38 AM - Posted by dragosmp (not verified)

•Xiamo ==> Xiaomi

May 10, 2018 | 09:37 AM - Posted by CB

While we have heard the faster pace update story from Google before, I think this has real potential to help Android fragmentation in the future.

Those other phone showing up in developer previews is a really good sign.

May 13, 2018 | 10:59 PM - Posted by lexx

still going take years before this mess is sorted out

OEMS are still not even using seamless a/b update layout yet just to demonstrate to friend, i pushed the "check for update" button as i knew May patch level update probably around was available and both Pixel 2 and Pixel XL (none 2) downloaded and eventually did the update in the background and around the same time presented the restart to finish update and the phone restarted like mostly normal (about 30 seconds instead of 15 seconds, due to extra checks to make sure its working) and i could use my phone right away once i unlocked the phone

do this on a typical android phone or iphone you not be able to use the phone for 30 or 5-10 if iphone minutes assuming if the person has the free space to do it or does not actively avoid doing the update due to somthing been changed layout wise or phone perceived going slower

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