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Google updates us on Android version distribution and Project Treble's success

Project Treble promised us faster Android updates by helping OEMs get them out quicker. Are they?

Published onOctober 23, 2019

ASUS Zenfone 6 Android Pie easter egg portrait

With Project Treble, Google promised us faster Android updates by helping OEMs release them at a quicker pace. However, the only way to determine if Treble was actually working was to wait until there was enough data to see any trends develop.

With two Android releases under its belt since the first push of Project Treble began (Android 8 Oreo and Android 9 Pie), Google can now conclusively say that Treble is a success. It has helped Android OEMs deliver faster updates to more devices than ever before.

According to Google, there were two points in time that were very important for examining Treble’s effect. The first is July 2018, right before the launch of Android 9 Pie. The second was this past August, right before the launch of Android 10. By examining these two points in time, Google could determine how well the previous Android update of each year fared after a full year of OEM updates.

Check out for yourself how that looks in the chart below:

Project Treble Android Distribution 2019

The chart shows that Android 9 Pie landed on far more devices in one year’s time than Android 8 Oreo did in the prior year.

As far as distribution percentages go, Google says that Oreo was on 8.9% of Android devices a year after its launch, while Pie was on 22.6% after a year. That 22.6% number makes Pie the largest fraction of the entire Android ecosystem.

Related: Understanding Project Treble and Android updates

Although we won’t know anything about how Treble affects Android 10’s distribution numbers until late summer next year, at the earliest, we can assume that it will be even more successful than Android 9 Pie. We’re comfortable with that assumption because more devices are already on Android 10 than were on Pie around this time last year, including devices from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Essential, and others. Even Samsung is already testing Android 10 beta programs for the Galaxy S10 series and LG has promised to deliver Android 10 to devices by the end of this year.

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