Qualcomm and Google have confirmed that they would collaborate to extend Project Treble, Google’s ambitious multi-year project that aims to simplify OS updates to make it easier for smartphone makers to upgrade phones and tablets to new versions of Android without thinking about the software unique to Qualcomm’s chipset.
The aim is to make it much easier for users to get the latest Android version on their phones (something that is not always guaranteed) and to make sure that four Android OS updates and four years of security updates will be provided by new Qualcomm chips, a major leap forward from what most Android phones currently deliver.
In terms of long-term software support, such an achievement, if actually achieved, would place Android smartphones closer to Apple’s iPhones.
What Qualcomm and Google are doing here is somewhat technical, but ultimately, it boils down to a similar implementation of the current Project Treble strategy, which breaks down Android into different pieces by itself.
OEMs will in theory, only use the modified portion of Google’s program thanks to Project Treble, without having to think about waiting for updated components from silicon firms, such as Qualcomm.
The new Qualcomm approach makes it simpler for the chipmaker by cutting down on the added software combinations it was forced to help (thanks to previous Treble attempts), enabling quicker updates, at least in principle.
The catch is that it will take a few years before we can see what if any, advantages this software creates to speed up the upgrade cycle of Android or increase the lifespan of the system. This is because Qualcomm, beginning with the forthcoming Snapdragon 8888, is only making this pledge to future smartphones (set to arrive in phones in early 2021).