Oreo update for Galaxy S8 does not support Project Treble

After months of being stuck in beta, Android Oreo for the Galaxy S8/S8+ is officially rolling out as a public release. Oreo adds a lot of welcome features to the S8, such as better performance, picture-in-picture, Google's Autofill API, and more, but one thing you won't find is support for Project Treble.

Project Treble was announced last May, and its main purpose is to help increase the speed of sluggish software updates that plague so many Android phones. Devices that ship with Oreo and later are required to have it, but a phone that shipped with an older version and was then updated to Oreo isn't required to do so.

In addition to the Galaxy S8/S8+, we also saw OnePlus choose to not support Treble with the OnePlus 3, 3T, 5, and 5T.

This may sound like a huge blow to the Galaxy S8 considering that Samsung's update speed has been notoriously slow, but we still haven't seen any real-world benefit from Treble. The idea of having faster software updates is undoubtedly nice, but until Google can prove that it makes a meaningful difference, it's not worth getting worked up over a phone not supporting it.

If you're the owner of a Galaxy S8, is the lack of Project Treble a big deal to you?

Samsung is finally rolling out the Oreo update to the Galaxy S8/S8+

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Surprised? Nope, not at all.
  • Not surprising, especially since many OEMs chose not to adopt it for current phones unless they’re released with Oreo
  • Yawn. [extra words here]
  • Shamsung gonna Shamsung.
  • Marshmallow to Oreo seems like a pointless update without Treble. Everything else Samsung already has something to fill the void and doesn't have the hideous coloured notifications.
  • Is it included with the Note 8?
  • I don't believe it shipped with Oreo in the first place. So it shouldn't have it
  • Likely no. Only phones to have Treble are the Pixels, the Essential and a couple of Huaweis along with an ASUS (though with no vendor partition). Most of everyone else pretty much said "Nah, we ain't putting some elbow grease in that".
  • You missed the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. They launched with Oreo, so they should have it. Unless I missed something.
    But yeah, the list is really sad. And we won't get to see whether Treble actually works until 9.0 comes out. These big updates is where the speed of updates gets tested.
  • I left out those phones because they launched with Oreo. Any phone launching with Oreo has Treble support already. I specifically focused on phones that received an Oreo upgrade and have Treble support added. Only Essential, Huawei and Google (Pixel 1 only) along with ASUS (without a vendor partition) have decided to add support in their respective OTAs, but others like HTC, Samsung and even Sony have decided not to add it to their Oreo updates.
  • We shouldn't really say what the Essential phones Oreo update includes until they actually release it.
  • No surprise here. Carriers and manufactures laugh all the way to bank while slow walking updates -- they want to sell new phones! I think some sort of law should be passed that compels phone manufacturers to offer a replacement battery for $50! They could do it under the auspices of "being green." Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. are always bragging about their data centers being powered with renewable energy. Compel them to offer a $50 battery for folks that purchase a $700 or more phone!
  • I seriously doubt anyone but a nerd buys a new phone to get a newer version of Android. In fact, I seriously doubt 99.9% of Android phone owners even know what version is running on their phones.
  • That's probably true, but everyone should be concerned about getting timely security updates. Treble should ensure that consumers, especially those who use their phone for work, have the ability to receive timely security updates.
  • We do get timely security updates. That, and most people don't download from unknown sources
  • Irrelevant, we are here on a tech site. Matters to us. Down with the masses.
  • It’s not irrelevant though, it’s the masses these money making companies are catering to, not us.
  • Fair enough, then we need to stop having any discussion of updates or articles concerning this matter.
  • I’d be fine with that actually. Samsung has showed their hand. You want updates, you’ll get them, on Samsung’s timeline...end of story. Want fast updates ? Buy a Pixel. End of ******* story. I’m not sure why year after year we have this same discussion. It’s stupid. The choice is ours
  • Agree
  • It's not about the latest phone and Android update, challenge is - Google is always improving or adding new capabilities to Android that newer Apps can enlist to do thing s like AR Core. These new class of apps require newer Google Services APIs, a few only available in the latest Google Android update to work. this is horrible for consumers, especially who own devices that the hardware is more than capable of sup[porting those software innovations. This furthers fragmentation and confusion in the market place possibly persuading even more Android users to move to other Android smartphone manufacturers offerings or even possibly migrating to iOS (Apple).
  • See all the comment about latest OS. Apparently no one cares.
  • A law? Lol, hell no
  • How did I know the mention of "government oversight" would trigger you LMFAO.
  • Haha, you know me well
  • He's right though. That can only end badly in an industry like this
  • Hmm, I have mixed feelings. That would be nice but I thought part of the good thing about having Oreo is having access to that. Maybe the answer (for me, that is) is to get a phone that ships with Oreo at some point.
  • I am not sure if Treble will be supported on the next Galaxy phones running Oreo, but if this is going to be a thing Samsung does, it would be pretty telling for Treble. Samsung, being a huge Android handset supplier could basically set president to other manufacturers to not include it either.
  • Treble is a requirement to ship any device running Oreo out of the box If it has Android Oreo out of the box and has Google services, guaranteed that Treble is there
  • Correct. So we will see how Treble pans out with the next generation.
  • Sad ...cheap ass Sammy
  • Treble costs nothing but extra time to add to an existing device, though. Don't think saving money was the reason.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, even having treble doesn't mean jack. Makes it easier to update , but doesn't force a OEM to update. Still their timeline.
  • This^
  • Well, since one of Samsung's major selling points/features is slower-than-a-turtle-on-vicodin pace of updates, why would they include something that would possibly eliminate that? /s
  • They have more to update and want the updates correct not fast
  • It would be nice, but it doesn't bother me much. We'll see how it pans out on the S9 (assuming it supports it), and then maybe I'll get upset about it. I'm liking Samsung these days, and a lot of that has to do with Samsung Pay and MST (and my rewards points in Samsung Pay), so I'll probably be getting the generation following the S9 and I'd like faster updates there.
  • Although it would have been a bonus to have, like was said, there hasn't been any real world advantages to having this... Yet. For now I'm happy with oreo on my s8 and having Samsung pay everywhere I go.
  • I'm really satisfied that #Huawei choose to implement treble with the Oreo update for my Mate 9 Pro. 😀
  • Probably so they can tout the feature on the S9. Gotta drive phone sale somehow
  • Eh, this isn't a feature they'll make a big deal of on the S9. It's too technical, and no one but nerds like us even cares about OS updates at all, let alone a non-user-facing feature that makes software updates easier to implement.
  • Eh, they aren’t. I doubt the average user of a Galaxy smartphone is interested in Treble or even knows what it is. It’s more of a thing for devs to make updates easier to develop. The end user may benefit but it’s still up to Samsung or other OEMs when it comes to pushing updates.
  • They certainly don't need this to drive sales.
  • BS, this is a big deal. When other companies like Asus, Essential, Huawei already supporting Treble - Samsung should set an example and stop holding their dedicated consumers in contempt. Like Apple, this is a calculated move to sell more incrementally updated devices along with new device colors on an annual cycle. With Treble, large updates like 8.1, which we may never see on Galaxy S8 series devices, would be easier for them to add and support older flagship phones. Sell your next big thing on hardware innovation Samsung, not crippling and withholding software innovations that only Google can provide. Flagship $1K+ phones and their consumers definitely deserve this, all consumers deserve this. Companies supporting Project Treble.
  • Treble doesn’t guarantee that the S8 will ever receive 8.1 It makes it easier and quicker to develop updates since it moves the vendor stuff out of the system partition and into a new vendor partition on the device’s main storage medium, meaning that the system partition can be updated independently of the vendor one. That means OEMs no longer have to wait for vendor drivers to be rolled out before work can be started on a new OS upgrade. While this is great, whether you will receive an update still depends on the update policy of your OEM. If they have always sucked, I doubt Treble is going to change much. I fully expect the S9 to receive Android P at around this time next year. Samsung has never been quick with updates and while I would love to be proven wrong, I don’t think Treble would change much.
  • Or maybe other companies should take the example of the largest Android phone maker in the world. Maybe there's a reason. Those other companies are insignificant
  • It's not about the latest phone and Android update, challenge is - Google is always improving or adding new capabilities to Android that newer Apps can enlist to do thing s like AR Core. These new class of apps require newer Google Services APIs, a few only available in the latest Google Android update to work. this is horrible for consumers, especially who own devices that the hardware is more than capable of sup[porting those software innovations. This furthers fragmentation and confusion in the market place possibly persuading even more Android users to move to other Android smartphone manufacturers offerings or even possibly migrating to iOS (Apple).
  • Who gives a ****
  • Not you
  • For myself the worst part of owning a Samsung phone, you guessed it the updates! Other than that I really enjoy my s8+!
  • I don't think it matters much to 99.99999% of users.
  • Not surprised none of the updated phones support it yet. Any word on Aptx HD on the official release? Beta 4 didn't have it and if they do not I am not switching to Samsung.
  • Eh, not that big of a deal really. Treble is another hyped feature that's supposed to help the update situation on Android and I'm betting it does little to nill in the long run. As long as phone manufacturers (and in the states, carriers) are involved in the update process it's going to be slow and frustrating. There just isn't a ton of incentive for it to be handled any differently.
  • Spot on, Treble makes it easier. That is all.
  • Yep. Google can make OS updates as easy as they want, but as long as they provide neither carrot nor stick to incentivize providing updates, nothing will change.
  • Unfortunately you’re right. Nice try Google, but I don’t see this moving the needle at all.
  • So this is where Google start pushing certain certifications/requirements to include Google Services and special access possibly to specific apps/technological advances first. maybe they need to purposely fragment Android into multiple versions. Android One
    Android Standard
    Android Premium (Certified) Android Premium (Certified) would be similar to ChromeOS that requires manufacturers to meet certain hardware requirements and most importantly un-restrict OS updates based on marketability, but only on hardware/performance capabilities. Basically all updates would be released by Google. Android Premium would get same update schedule as Google's own Pixel line including supporting Google developed/supported apps. They do this on ChromeOS and Google Home device partners now, somewhat on Android Wear - Why not Android proper smartphones? So manufacturers, carriers, consumers would have a true choice on what device they will support with their pockets.
  • And carriers can speed up the update process too. It goes both ways.
  • Treble just sounds so much like "terrible". Seriously, who came up with that name?
  • Kind of like "Dreamers", tugs at your heart strings.
  • I hold Samsung responsible for monthly (or at least bi-monthly) updates. It’s good for the health and security of your device. As far as the latest version of Android, Samsung has every right to release Oreo when they are ready to. Seems like February is when people can expect it, and I defy one person to explain to me why they should rush out major updates like these to their phones before they decide they are ready. Because your neighbor got it 3 months ago and you feel left out? Grow up. The world doesn’t revolve around your schedule. Everyone is free to choose another company if you want it faster. Samsung has showed you that they will update their phone to Oreo when they are ready by their company guildlines, and they showed us YEARS ago.
  • The world might not revolve around my schedule, but it revolves around me 😭
  • I don't care much for their os release schedule, it's their horrible security patch schedule and the fact that they abandon their devices quickly that leads me to never buy another Samsung phone. The S7 was a hot laggy unsecured mess 6 months in... No thanks.
  • You mean 30 days?
  • What about the S8 Active? Is that included in the update?
  • Samsung or Nexus/Pixel product = Missing core feature means no big deal
    OnePlus or anyone else = Blasphemy! Horrible company how could they not offer this? Double standard at this place I love it lol
  • Notoriously slow? Hardly. Especially first year on carriers. Also, could you post about how adding Treble would affect a phone that is on a previous version of Android? Would you need to re-do partitions? "This still isn't a big deal." yet the headline implies that it is.
  • My S7 and my brothers S8 were never on the current month patch. It was always at least a month if not two behind, and thats just first year. Completely understandable if that's not an issue to but let's not sugar coat reality.
  • Does Treble take OEMs/Vendors completely out of the equation when it comes to updates? Does Treble allow Google to update a device without the input of the device maker?
  • Only vendors since it makes it so that device manufacturers don’t have to wait for new vendor drivers to build a new version of the software. It makes it easier to develop but you’re still at the mercy of how well (or how poorly) your device manufacturer pushes out updates.
  • I knew they were going to take it out! I am not surprised one bit. I love my Galaxy S7, plan to get a 9, but this is absolutely no surprise to me.
  • Gee, I'm shocked 😱, Lol. 😂
  • Not surprised. Samsung doesn't care because it knows people like their phones enough for paid updated or don't know any better to care. They won't care if they lose the hardcore nerd crowd to pixel or iphones.
  • You're probably right. you're not their target market
  • Let me guess, some of their apps talks to the hardware APIs directly, hence cannot support the switch yet? Like what some of the Samsung Research devs lazily do?
  • I don't even care anymore
  • Just for fun, I googled "History of Apple IOS problems." Oh my... Apple has only it's own hardware to give consideration to, but significant bugs on what are approved, released to the public IOS updates are notorious. The only Apple phone I ever owned was the 4S, and IOS updates were a disaster then too... You don't dare be an early adopter of Apple software updates until you first see what critcital problem may be exposed by the faithful who give it a try. I'm cool with slow updates from Samsung, if they are executed cleanly without any problems. Android fragmentation is understandable, given the significant diversity in phones. But it is a developer problem, not so much a consumer issue. Security? Privacy online was only ever an ideal, never a reality. Good advice given to me years before Edward Snowden had his 15 minutes of fame by someone who positively knew was: "Don't do anything online (text, web search, phone call, literally anything) that you would be unfortable with if it were featured as front page news the following day." Truth is... Your data, and what you communicate, is only as secure as the device (or end user) you interact with.
  • Your opinion on privacy has nothing to do with a patch for various security flaws existing and your phone not getting it.
  • What does that mean?
  • When Oreo update is available for Moto z2 play
  • Wasn't treble made so manufacturers and carriers could get updates out sooner? Google needs to start flexing their muscles like apple does
  • Not surprising, seeing as Samsung's take on android is so heavily customised it's unreal.
  • That's the beauty of Android!
  • So does that mean Samsung will never launch another phone with the updated software? Think about it, if Samsung doesn't want to adhere to Google's policy, they can launch every new phone with Nougat and upgrade it to the next version of Android after launch. That way, they will never have to have treble. Sneaky, Samsung, sneaky.....
  • They don't plan on updating it to next version is my guess. Or reeeaaallllyyy taking their time. Losers.
  • So their Beta process was for nothing? Really?
  • Doesn't matter to me. Correct is better than quick
  • A lot of talk about Samsung being slow because they want to get any update right and make sure it works before releasing it.
    Fine point but every Samsung I've ever owned S6 and S7 was as buggy as hell!
    Just release phones with basic Android and offer the other features as add-ons...
  • That's not the point. This is about Samsung REJECTING Google's method of making it easy to update software on any given manufacturer's phone under the android umbrella. It has nothing to do with Samsung being meticulous with Oreo's implementation.