One particular of the items that Apple and iOS can hold more than the Android ecosystem is how rapid OS updates on iPhones and iPad are put in. Having said that, when compared to the abundance of prospective hardware out there in the Android ecosystem, Apple is restricted to a rather smaller sized established.
It has been a problem with Android from the start off, and in 2017, Google took ways to make the update approach smoother with Challenge Treble, which break up the OS framework off from the small-degree vendor implementation in every single handset.
And it labored, to an extent.
As Google explained in a site publish on Wednesday, when an Android OS launch transpires, Google publishes a generic picture from the open-resource version of Android that is guaranteed to be backwards-compatible with the prior three variations of seller implementations. New units need to also have vendor implementations that are suitable with the generic visuals.
“This is the primary vehicle for reducing fragmentation in the OS framework,” Google mentioned.
“Other than the reuse of a vendor implementation across OS updates, the Treble architecture also facilitates the re-use of the exact same OS framework code throughout distinctive seller implementations.”
Nonetheless, this picture receives a lot murkier for a firm like Qualcomm, who wants to help several of its distinct procedure-on-chip (SoC) products, and gadget makers paying for the silicon.
“The final result is that 3 yrs further than the start of a chipset, the SoC vendor would have to support up to 6 combos of OS framework program and vendor implementations. The engineering prices associated with this guidance restricted the period for which SoC vendors offered Android OS software package aid on a chipset,” Google mentioned.
“The crux of the challenge was that, while machine prerequisites were being never retroactive, the requirements for SoCs had been. For example on Android Pie, SoCs experienced to help two variations of the Digicam HAL API on a chipset if it was employed to assist new product launches and upgrades.”
Immediately after a 12 months of operate with Qualcomm, Google claimed it has created variations that will let chip makers to use the exact same vendor implementation for SoCs for the supported life time of the device — that being four a long time consisting of the primary Android OS model and three OS updates — as very well as the search big also making use of the OS framework throughout a number of Qualcomm chips.
“Heading ahead, all new Qualcomm mobile platforms that just take benefit of the no-retroactivity basic principle for SoCs will aid 4 Android OS versions and 4 years of security updates,” Google explained.
“All Qualcomm customers will be able to take advantage of this security to additional reduced both equally the prices of upgrades as nicely as launches and can now support their units for for a longer period durations of time.”
The changes will start out with all chips launching on units running Android 11 and later on.
In the past fortnight, Qualcomm has launched its new flagship Snapdragon 888 chip, and on Wednesday unveiled its new mid-tier 678 chip.