Qualcomm and Google collaboration provides three years of Android upgrade support

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 will power the next wave of flagship Android phones arriving in 2021.
Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm and Google recently announced plans to ensure that new smartphone chipsets can support three years of Android updates and four years of security upgrades. The hardware firm’s Snapdragon 888 platform will be the first processor to feature the new architecture. The two corporations’ collaboration is part of Project Treble, the search company’s software optimization initiative.

Qualcomm and Google’s collaborative project will enable manufacturers to make Android-powered handsets more competitive with the iPhone.

What is Project Treble?

Three years ago, Google realized its users wanted faster access to the latest and greatest version of Android. The corporation addressed the situation by launching Project Treble, which aims to decouple operating system (OS) frameworks and providers’ device-specific software.

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The Big Tech firm facilitated that major programming shift by publishing Android derived Generic System Images (GSIs). By releasing an unaltered version of its new source code, the company gave chipmakers and phone manufacturers the ability to align their apps and functions to its upcoming operating systems. Google also lets providers check the compatibility of their programs via its Vendor Test Suite (VTS).

The Big Tech giant’s developer tools are useful because they reduce hardware maker design time and costs.

Google found that Project Treble helped its partners deploy Android 10 to Android Pie. Its data indicated that users got its next annual software upgrade even more quickly because GSI and VTS had grown in popularity. Thanks to its new collaboration with Qualcomm, it might pull off its most expedient OS deployment to date.

The corporation’s software optimization initiative could ultimately pay major dividends. By making its future OS deployments wider, Google can potentially sign up more users for its latest products at launch. That way, the company could make a forthcoming subscription service, like a new fitness platform, an immediate hit worldwide.

The Smartphone Landscape Just Got More Competitive

Google’s Project Treble could also end up being hugely beneficial for Qualcomm and the device makers who use its products.

One of the key selling points of Apple’s iPhone is its A-series mobile chipsets. The corporation designs its mobile processors to be incredibly powerful and support several years of its software updates. That way, the firm’s customers will not miss out on its latest iOS feature even if their phone is four or five years old.

Previously, vendors of Android-powered phones could not make the same pitch to the public. Manufacturers could pledge that their premium handsets would support a few years of software upgrades, but not their entire lineups. But Project Treble has changed all that by making it easier and cheaper for companies to push out device updates.


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