Android P, the next version of Google’s mobile operating system, is expected to release later this year. At Google I/O 2018 last evening, the company announced public beta of Android P for Pixel smartphones and mobile devices from seven other OEM partners. It is a strong indication that Android P roll out will happen faster than previous iterations since Google is trying hard to fix fragmentation this time around.
Qualcomm, the leading mobile chip manufacturer, whose SoCs power most Android devices, wants to ensure Android P reaches more devices sooner. Qualcomm says it had early access to the new OS version and it was able to optimize its Snapdragon 845, Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 636 processors to “to ensure readiness for OEMs to upgrade to Android P at the time of launch.”
In the case of Android updates, the process is rather inefficient with Google releasing the OS first to Android Open Source Project then chip makers like Qualcomm and MediaTek taking time to optimize and then mobile manufacturers finally adding their own customization before releasing it to end consumers. With Android P, Qualcomm wants to help Google eliminate that tedious process and streamline the software rollout.
The end goal here for Google and Qualcomm is to make Android P more widely available through collaboration. “We’re excited to work closely with Qualcomm Technologies on a streamlined implementation of Android P for Snapdragon silicon,” Google’s VP of engineering Dave Burke said.
Google announced that Android P beta is now available for Pixel smartphones, Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S, Nokia 7 plus, Vivo X21, Essential PH-1 and the upcoming OnePlus 6. Google is making it possible with Project Treble, which is included with the release of Android 8.0 Oreo.
Watch: Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S First Look Video
The Project Treble separates the vendor implementation from the Android OS framework via a new interface for the vendor. This will make it easier and faster for OEMs to add their own implementation to new version of Android and release updates to their smartphones faster. With Qualcomm announcing support so early, it seems people will get Android P update sooner than later.