Google’s Project Treble was designed as a way to mitigate the problems of Android fragmentation going forwards. However, the initial seeding phase of the initiative has seen some teething pains, and Nokia’s current run of Android phones are not immune.
Project Treble, at its core, is pretty straightforward: it separates the core Android OS framework (Google’s bit) from the vendor’s )the phone maker’s) customization so that updates can be pushed through to the phone OTA without the vendor needing to modify it.
This way, whenever a new update is ready, phones rocking Treble would receive the update OTA without the maker of the phone – LG, Samsung, Huawei, HTC – having to lift a finger. On paper, and in the future, it is a brilliant plan to solve the issue of Android fragmentation that plagues millions of devices in circulation.
However, in order for Treble to do its work, it needs to be up and running on the phone before it is shipped to the customer – and it is here where some brands are running into trouble. Over time this will not be an issue, as all Android phones should ship with it, but for now, there is a bit of catch-up going on.
And HMD’s Nokia brand is firmly in the “catch-up” camp, confirming that none of its current-generation Nokia Android phones will support Treble. Nokia says Treble cannot be retrofitted on a handset after it has shipped… but this isn’t entirely true.
Huawei, for instance, has confirmed that it will bring Treble to its older phones during the latter part of 2017, indicating that Nokia might just be telling porkies about not being able to install Treble on older handsets.
Huawei also confirmed, during its Note 10 launch, that it has been working closely with Google on getting Android P better integrated with its Kirin chipset. The company, which is fast becoming one of the biggest players on the planet, is keen to usurp Samsung as the king of the Android space and is working closely with Google to achieve this.
Perhaps Nokia should drop Huawei an email and find out how it’s retrofitting Treble on older Android handsets. I’m sure its punters would appreciate it!