What is Project Treble? The Android upgrade fix explained!!
I just fed the technical explanation into my patented Geek-to-English Translation Machine, and here’s what came out: Project Treble, at its core, is all about making it faster, easier, and cheaper for phone makers to process Android software updates and get them out to users.
What Treble does is separate that lower-level stuff — the areas of the code related to a phone’s processor, modem, and so on — from the rest of the operating system. That way, those lower-level elements don’t have to be updated every time a new Android version comes along; they just exist as a constant foundation beneath everything else, and that first part of the process is no longer required.
Whereas Apple is able to keep most of their devices, even many older ones, up to date with the latest software, Android device makers have varying degrees of success keeping their devices up to date. Some device makers like Essential and Google are pretty good providing at security patches while others can delay updates by months at a time. That’s without considering major software updates such as from Android nougat and Android Oreo a software release which is installed on slightly more than 10% of all Android devices.
Project Treble is a re-Architecture in the way Android Works! In essence, it separates the Android operating system (the Android ‘framework’) from the vendor Hardware Abstraction Layers (‘HALs’) that allow for the OS to work with the device’s hardware. Before Project Treble, the Android framework and the HALs usually reside within the same area (the system partition). With Treble, the HALs are moved to their own area (a vendor partition) and now communicate with the Android framework in a more standardized way. The benefit of this is that it allows for companies like Samsung, LG, HTC, and others to work on modifying the stock Android framework while they wait for vendors such as Qualcomm to provide updated HALs. Theoretically, this means that updates should happen more quickly.
For the Android enthusiast community, though, Project Treble has provided another benefit: the ability to quickly boot functioning AOSP ROMs without the need for many hacks. Now, it hasn’t been a perfect solution for those looking to enjoy custom ROMs such as Lineage OS since there still may be some lingering issues or certain hardware doesn’t work because it isn’t supported yet in AOSP (such as iris scanners) , but it has certainly led to a revolution in custom ROMs.
This list will be continuously updated as we learn of new devices updated, both officially and unofficially, with Treble support. This list will not cover every single device that supports Treble—that would make this list too long since Google requires every Certified Android Device launching with Android 8.0 Oreo and above to support Treble.
How to Check if Your Android 8.0 Oreo Device Supports Project Treble??
If you have a flagship device that is expected to be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo, how will you know for sure if it supports Project Treble? Unless the release notes outright tell you, which they likely won’t given that it’s such a low-level change, you’ll have to find out another way. Luckily, there’s a really, really simple way to find out if an Android Oreo device supports Treble.
In this Tutorial we’ll show you how you can tell if your device supports Project Treble. Obviously, for this, you’re going to need official, stock Android 8.0 Oreo, since Treble is not supported on 7.0 and lower. And as a reminder, if you have a Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, or any device that launches with Android 8.0, then that device will for sure support Treble.
Unlike most adb/terminal tutorials we’ve done previously, this one does not require root, since we’re simply getting a build.prop value. You do need Termux (or any other terminal application) going forward, though.
The image on the right shows you how it should look. Once you’re set up inside the app, simply type the following command:
It will return a boolean value, true if your device supports Treble and false if it doesn’t.
Know if Your Android 8.0+ Device Supports Project Treble (ADB)
Firstly, you’ll need to set up the Android Debug Bridge on your device in order to get going.
Then, you’ll need to connect your device, either with USB debugging or WiFi debugging (we recommend the latter, but either one will work just fine). Whatever one you choose, be sure to check if it’s connected using “adb devices”. The image on the right shows you how it should look.
Then, we’ll proceed to start the Android terminal inside ADB. For this, use:
Afterwards, use the following command:
The shell will return a boolean value. If it returns true, then congratulations: your device supports Project Treble!
It’s actually pretty simple. Project Treble isn’t really a value that you can see or configure in Settings, device info or other places, however if your device does support it, a preference in build.prop lets any apps know of that fact. This is probably because the Google Play Store needs to read this flag in order to deliver updates for things like Graphic Drivers and other vendor-related stuff. This flag is required on all devices supporting Treble. The build.prop file is located in the system partition, but its values are readable without root, making this tutorial possible.
However, this does NOT mean you can enable Treble on your device by simply adding this flag to your build.prop since it will do absolutely nothing. As we said above, it requires OEM implementation since it’s pretty much a complete rework of a lower layer of Android, and Google is actually working with OEMs to bring Project Treble to existing devices.
As such, this is not something a custom ROM developer can simply bake into their ROM like a regular feature. And should an OEM refuse working with Google to bring it to their device, they can just roll out a simple Android 8.0 update without Treble. The list of OEMs working on Project Treble support for existing phones hasn’t been disclosed either. So, until phones start shipping with Android 8.0 (Project Treble is required for all new devices running Oreo), this will be the only way to actually know if your updated Android 8.0 device supports Treble or not.
Hope This Helps!
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