Members of the Android engineering team at Google are participating in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) today. Find a list of the team members participating here.
One of the questions was about Project Treble and was wondering if thinking it could fix Android fragmentation was too optimistic. The response from the Android team explains most of what we need to know about Treble, and affirms many of the guesses crafted from the information we did have.
Devices launching with Android O will come Treble-enabled out of the box. Project Treble will make it easier, faster and less costly for device maker partners when these devices are updated in the future. In addition to the engineering changes, which enable Project Treble on all new devices launched with Android O and beyond, we're working closely with device makers and silicon manufacturers to both get required Android customizations (such as carrier-specific requirements) into AOSP, and reduce their cost and complexity when updating to the new version of Android. For example, Sony and Qualcomm have already contributed dozens of features and hundreds of bugfixes into AOSP so they no longer need to rework these patches with each new release of Android.
We'll publish more information about Project Treble on source.android.com soon.
We know from Google I/O 2017 that many companies who make the components were asking for something like Project Treble, and seeing Qualcomm already taking advantage is a great sign. Further confirmation that smartphone makers have to incorporate Project Treble in new models is also good to hear.
We want Treble to make a significant difference. The existing way is obviously broken, so we can't help but hope the next step is better. These early indications keep us hopeful.