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Android O will let you update graphics drivers directly through the Play Store

You'll soon be able to update your device's specific graphics drivers over the Google Play Store, removing the need for a full system update.

Published onMay 19, 2017

We’re nearing the end of Google I/O 2017, and we’ve already seen a huge number of crazy software changes making their way to Android. The annual Fireside Chat happened just last night, and an interesting new feature came to light from a random developer question asking what features may have been omitted from the big announcements.

In answering the question, a Googler named Romain Guy mentioned that his team implemented the ability to update graphics drivers from the Play Store in Android O. This is more than likely a feature dependent on Project Treble, which aims to modularize Android and allow manufacturers to implement their own ‘vendor implementation layer’ which sits on top of the Android framework. Since this layer works mostly independently from Android as a whole and can be tailored specifically to a particular device, users should theoretically be able to do updates like this over the air.

While we don’t know the specifics of how this feature will work, it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out once Treble makes its way to new devices in the future. Being able to update drivers like this in the background is very valuable, as it means you shouldn’t have to do a full software update and should be able to download them just like other apps and Google Play Services.

Is this feature something you’re interested in? While Google didn’t mention much about it at this year’s event, we’ll likely hear more about it once Android O is officially released.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Google I/O hub page for all the latest news from the yearly developer conference.

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