Google and Qualcomm collaborate to provide up to 4 years of updates to Android

Intending to reduce the Android ecosystem’s fragmentation through different mobile manufacturers and devices, Google had launched Project Treble. The project initially focused on helping mobile manufacturers push out updates rapidly. Now, Google has announced a new partnership with Qualcomm to develop and expand Project Treble to the SoC level.

According to the report, Android was well known to be highly fragmented before Project Treble; OS updates were taking so long or even it was not coming to the users because it cost OEMs’ development and time to change a new Android version with their own customizations. Project Treble solved this, and the advantages are clearly evident with the adoption rate of Android 10, as you can see in the graph.

Although Project Treble made moving Android OS updates easier for OEMs, SoC manufacturers struggled to build new chips to support multiple Android versions and their implementations. This exact problem is targeted by the latest partnership between Google and Qualcomm and extends Project Treble right down to the SoC level.

This means for users that new devices will provide up to 4 years of Android OS upgrades (launch edition + 3 major updates) and 4 years of security updates with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs. So, if Android 11 is released on the phone, it will get Android 12, 13, and 14. This is quite a bit longer than the 2-3 years of updates that are prevalent right now, and these advantages will start rolling out first on the Snapdragon 888 SoC that should power the 2021 flagship smartphones.

David Burke, vice president of Android engineering, Google, commented on the partnership, saying, “Google continues to work closely with our technology partners to increase the freshness of the Android ecosystem. Through this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, we expect that Android users will have the latest OS upgrades and greater security on their devices.”

Kedar Kondap, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. vice president, product management, said, “We are excited to work with Google to extend our support for Android OS and security updates on future Snapdragon mobile platforms utilizing the Project Treble enhancements. Through this collaboration, we expect accelerated Android OS upgrade on Snapdragon-based devices while providing a superior user experience for end-users.”

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