The topic of Android OS updates is always a hot one, and today Google and Qualcomm announced that they're working together to provide more Android updates for consumers.
Google and Qualcomm say that they're enhancing and extending Project Treble in a way that'll enable device makers to offer four Android OS upgrades and four years of security updates to their customers. These enhancements will be available on devices with Snapdragon processors, starting with the new Snapdragon 888.
What the two companies are doing is making it so that OEMs can release Android OS upgrades without modifying Qualcomm's chipset-specific software. This will reduce the amount of time and resources that a device maker has to pour into an Android OS upgrade, making it easier and faster to get new updates out to customers.
Here's Google going into more detail about Project Treble and how it's improving that effort in this collaboration with Qualcomm:
"The crux of the problem was that, while device requirements were never retroactive, the requirements for SoCs were. For example on Android Pie, SoCs had to support two versions of the Camera HAL API on a chipset if it was used to support new device launches and upgrades.
"From this perspective, the solution was simple: we had to extend the no-retroactivity principle to the SoCs as well as to devices. With this change, the SoC provider would be able to support Android with the same vendor implementations on their SoCs for device launches as well as upgrades."
Google also says that it's "reusing the same OS framework software across multiple Qualcomm chipsets." This will lower the number of OS framework and vendor implementation combinations that Qualcomm will need to support across their chipsets and result in lower engineering, development, and deployment costs.
The one thing to note here is that while Google and Qualcomm are making it possible for device makers to offer four Android OS upgrades and four years of security updates, it's still on the companies making Android phones and tablets to develop and release those updates. The hope is that the work Google and Qualcomm have done, along with the fact that these two major companies have come together to put in that work, will spur on device makers to put in their own work on supporting their products with updates.