Google just wrapped up Day 1 of its annual developers’ conference, Google I/O 2018. Similar to previous years, the company announced details about the upcoming version of Android, Android P in this case.
In addition to details about the OS, the company also announced the launch of Android P Beta Program for its Pixel lineup. What was different this year was the fact that Google went ahead and expanded its Beta program to include a number of non-Pixel devices.
Expansion of the program
This is a significant step from Google allowing users who have not bought Pixel devices to test drive the latest version of Android. This will allow a greater number of users to take part in its Beta testing program giving Google a lot more feedback to work with to refine Android P. According to Android Developers website, the reason for this is likely to be Project Treble.
For the uninitiated, Project Treble is a new way that Google developed for its Android updates. According to the company, previously, smartphone makers had to take the updated Android OS framework with each new release of Android and add its own “vendor implementation” including drivers for hardware components such as the SIM, display, sound, and others. Addition of this vendor implementation with each new update would mean additional testing for the company before it would roll out the update.
Project Treble would separate the original vendor implementation from the OS framework eliminating the need add the implementation with each new update. This has allowed Google to expand Android P Beta program to a number of devices.
Newer devices on board
List of eligible devices for Android P Beta Program:
- Google Pixel 2
- Google Pixel 2 XL
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel XL
- Essential Phone
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Oppo R15 Plus
- Sony Xperia XZ2
- Vivo X21UD
- Vivo X21
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- OnePlus 6
Watch: Nokia 7 Plus
This list of devices adds a healthy mix of devices from companies ranging from HMD Global, Essential and Sony to Xiaomi, OnePlus and Vivo. However, one thing to note here is that there were no devices from giants such as Samsung, LG or even Motorola.
We can understand that Samsung and LG don’t really run near stock Android OS but the exclusion of Motorola was surprising, to say the least. We hope that these device makers can get their figure out a way to allow their users to install Android P Beta though that would mean basing their OS on Project Treble.