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Google thinks more phones will get Pie in 2018 than Oreo in 2017

And we all have Project Treble to thank.

Published onNovember 15, 2018

The Android Pie easter egg.
  • Google says it expects more Android phones to be running Android Pie in 2018 than were running Android Oreo in 2017.
  • The company pointed to developments in Project Treble as the reason.
  • By January 2018, Android Oreo was running on 0.7 percent of smartphones.

Google has published a new post on its Android Developers blog discussing the current state of Project Treble. In the post, the company said it expects more handsets to be running Android Pie before the end of this year than ran Android Oreo before the end of last year.

It’s a hopeful sentiment and one which could cement Project Treble’s benefit. Though Project Treble was introduced with Oreo, Android Pie represents the first real opportunity to see its effect. If it’s a significant success, it would show Android fans that faster updates is the reality, not just the intention, and could encourage greater update improvements in the future.

What you need to know about Android Pie's lockdown mode

Android updates are a source of much frustration for Android smartphone owners, as it often takes many months for these to roll out. As of October 26, Android Pie is on less than 0.1 percent of Android phones, despite it launching on August 6.

Android Oreo found itself on 0.7 percent of Android phones by January 2018, so Project Treble doesn’t have a huge mountain to climb in order to beat that — 0.7 percent of phones is nothing, and Pie would have been available almost five months come January 2019.

The Android distribution numbers are, however, only an indicator of the Android Pie update pace; some phones launched with Pie, meaning they would contribute to the tally without actually receiving an update. Google only referred to phones running Pie in its blog, not exclusively updated to it, so an influx of such handsets would increase distribution regardless of update speeds. Still, it will be interesting to see how the distribution chart looks come January.

More on Project Treble

Project Treble essentially allows the Android system makes a clearer divide between hardware and software layers. This means OEMs like Sony, Xiaomi, Samsung and the others, don’t need to rely on chip manufacturers when they’re developing their own software based on new updates. Both chip manufacturer and third-party OEM can confidently develop independently of each other, so long as their hardware supports Treble. The good news is that Google says all smartphones launching with Android Pie or later will support it.

Not only may this lead to more phones receiving Android Pie this year, but a Google engineer also suggested it could help get early builds of Android Q to people next year. For more on that, hit the previous link.

Up next: Understanding Project Treble.

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