Project Mainline | Understand what will speed up Android updates
By Ingrid Wilhelmina 2019-05-11 106 0
Much of this is the device manufacturers' fault, w hich controls the availability of these updates, as much as everyone uses Android, each of these companies "edits" the system to sell it as their own version. That's why a Samsung smartphone has some different system assignments from a device from LG or Sony.
What is Project Mainline anyway?
To understand the project announced by Google, it takes a bit of context: Google has been trying to combat the fragmentation of its operating system since the I / O of 2011 when it announced the Android Update Alliance in the original nomenclature ). At the time, the idea was objective: to establish partnerships with operators and manufacturers to provide faster and more dynamic operating system updates.
Did not work. And no one knows the reason: with the exception of his announcement during the event eight years ago, nobody knows what actually happened, that we did not have any news about the project, to the point that the specialized press published articles asking Google what had happened.
Years later, in 2017, came Project Trebble, again with the goal of accelerating and streamlining the practices of operating system updates. Here, we had quite positive results, despite the slower start: this is because, even with the participation of the manufacturers being optional, Trebble changed the whole update process, involving not only security patches, but the entire operating system.
Since the arrival of Android 9.0 (Pie), the commitment to Trebble has become mandatory, and today companies using Android must, by obligation, sign terms that force them to provide system updates at faster times. With the growth of Google's own line of Pixel smartphones , this further encouraged the rest of the industry to improve its security steps.
However, even this has not proved sufficient: while the Pixel line goes through updates every month or a month and a half, third-party devices usually go a whole quarter without seeing patches installed. Needless to say, this makes most devices more vulnerable, for longer.
How does Project Mainline speed up Android update?
Basically, the announcement made yesterday is Google's message to manufacturers: "We're taking the security assignments out of your hands and taking on that responsibility ourselves."
For Mainline, the idea is for Google to provide patches and security updates through the Play Store, which in theory translates into the user no longer having to wait months on end for defense updates of the device he has at hand. On paper, the idea is great. In practice, we are quite sure that it will be so.
Google will make security updates for Android devices available through its Play Store, taking this responsibility away from manufacturers. But, like everything else in life, there is a "but": Project Mainline will only be valid from Android Q and subsequent versions of the operating system. In other words, if you were already getting carried away with the idea, it is important to know that you will have to wait for the Android version to arrive, which also started during Google I / O (see list of the first devices below).
Beyond that, it's important that your expectations are not too high: Google will not deliver full system updates, meaning you will not download Android Q through the Play Store. In this part, carriers and manufacturers will still have control, probably in order for them to customize later versions of the system to update their own experiences.
In what will fit Google, however, the company says it will be able to work on 12 "modules", which, according to it, are nothing more than small parts that make up the operating system
Project Mainline works only on Android Q? And when does it arrive?
According to experts, the new version of Android should be released by Google between August and September, but this is speculation based on the calendar of previous years. The company has not yet given any official forecast for the Q.
What Google did, however, was the endorsement for Android Q betas to be made available during Google I / O yesterday. The list of initially compatible devices follows below, but there is bad news: this is beta 2, developer-focused and stuffed with apps in unfinished versions. If you're a consumer, you might want to wait for more stable beta releases.
Asus Zenfone 5z
Huawei Kill 20 Pro
Realm 3 Pro
Sony Xperia XZ3
Tecno Spark 3 Pro
I live NEX S
I live NEX A
Xiaomi Mi 9
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
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