Android’s presence at Google I/O this year turned a lot of people’s heads, but there really wasn’t that much time dedicated to the largest mobile platform in the world. When a few members of the Android team sat down with All About Android
, they said this was because a lot of the new changes are very technical. So the team didn’t feel a lot of the changes really fit in a broader keynote speech. Still, there’s a lot of work going on in Android O and a new Q&A with Ron Amadeo from Ars Technica
touched on a few things.
When David Burke spoke about the changes in the Android O developer preview, he said they wanted to lay the foundation of how to improve Android over the next 5 to 10 years. This ended up having most of the upcoming changes fall into two categories: Project Treble and Vitals. Mr. Burke said setting things up for Project Treble took a lot of time and doing so required that the team to change a lot of the underlying code of the Android OS.
He said that the goal was to minimize the amount of work silicon vendors needed to put into getting a new update running on an existing phone, but admits that you’ll still need some level of support from them due to bugs. Another topic of interest here was about the Linux kernel and how Android is still using a kernel (3.18) from 2014. Mr. Burke says they have version 4.4 working internally but that doesn’t exactly mean they will ship it with the new update.
They are, however, working with the Linux community to extend LTS to be longer. Their goal is to make sure the LTS outlasts the multiple years of security updates that Google requires and right now things don’t exactly line up. While these are some highlights, the rest of the Q&A talks about the new Vitals changes, Android Extensions, high-quality Bluetooth, and is definitely worth a read for a more technical discussion of changes coming in Android O.