The Google Main Project, announced at I / O 2019, will provide security updates to Android devices through the Play Store. Google bypasses traditional and slower update channels, which are based on device manufacturers and operators. That means this to you.
However, before we can see what Project Mainline means for the future, it’s best to consider Android’s troubled past when it comes to updates.
Android «fragmentation» has been a problem for a long time
You can hardly hear anything about Android without the word «chunking» appearing. Basically, this refers to the fact that different Android devices run different versions of the operating system. This, of course, is in contrast to iPhones, which run the same operating system (all devices that support iOS 12 run iOS 12, for example).
It’s an issue that has affected Android almost since Android started; even now, I have four different Android devices at arm’s length and all four run different versions. Google has done a lot to try to combat this problem in the past, but nothing seems to work. Really . While full updates to the Android operating system will continue to be a labor-intensive thing, Project Mainline will fight what’s probably more important: security updates.
Android update alliance failed
In a first attempt to combat fragmentation, Android Update Alliance has been announced at Google I / O 2011. The goal was noble: to work with operators and manufacturers to deliver faster Android updates.
At the time, I thought this would be the end of fragmentation as I knew it. The bad news is that, in addition to announcing its existence, the Alliance has done absolutely nothing to combat the slow updating process. What the, nothing .
It was so DOA that the stories only started appearing a year later wondering what had happened to him. It never appeared; he never proved good at any of the promises. He left the phones in the same sad state they were in the first place: outdated and worse, insecure.
Then came Project Treble
Six years after the Android Update Alliance was announced, Google was still trying to fight for the good fight and announced Project treble. This was more than a promise to fix the update issues, it was a restructuring of how Android updates work along with a real framework created to help the update process. High adoption was initially slow as it was an optional upgrade for manufacturers, but starting with Android 9.0 (Pie), high compatibility is required.
In theory, this means that creating and delivering updates for Android phones is easier for all manufacturers. So you should be able to provide faster updates, especially for full operating system updates. And so far it has shown some pretty positive results. Come on!
However, despite the fact that Google requires manufacturers to commit at least two years of security updates, most devices do not see the monthly security updates that Pixel devices make; are generally updated quarterly, which means they could be vulnerable to some pretty incomplete nonsense. for three months. This is a problem.
Project Mainline is the solution to an old problem
So now we come back to today’s Mainline Project announcement. This will allow Google to bypass manufacturers and send security updates through the Play Store, which will be extremely beneficial. As a bonus, you’ll be able to apply updates without the need for a system reboot, which is currently required to apply operating system updates to all Android phones. This is a small victory, but still a victory.
This means that you will no longer have to deal with the use of a compromised device for several months until your device manufacturer sends an update. This is huge.
But there’s a problem – it’s part of Android Q. That means you’ll have to wait until your phone runs the Android version of Google, which hasn’t been released yet, before you can take advantage of this new system. Good things take time, I think.
The other thing to note is that you will have to keep your expectations under control. This I do not know applies to all updates; for example, Google will not be able to send full versions of Android to your phone through the Play Store. You will still have to wait for the manufacturer of your device to do this. Maybe one day we’ll get there, but that day isn’t today.
Conformable The Verge, Google will be able to update 12 different «modules» using this method, which are only smaller parts of Android, such as multimedia components. However, this is a big step towards a more secure future on Android.
When will your phone receive updates from the main line?
This is part of Android Q, so it means that your phone will need Q before you can start taking advantage of Mainline. However, when you will receive the Q phone is a completely different question.
The good news is that Google has announced that as well Q beta will reach 15 new phones starting today; If your phone is on the list, you may be able to start taking advantage of Q and Mainline very soon.
- Asus Zenfone 5z
- PH-1 essential
- Nokia 8.1
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- LG G8
- OnePlus 6T
- Oppo Reno
- Realme 3 Pro
- Sony Xperia XZ3
- Tecno Spark 3 Pro
- I live X27
- I live in NEX S
- I live NEX A
- Xiaomi Mi 9
- Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G
So here it is, and here it is: if your device has made the cut, you’re about to enjoy not only what Q has to offer, but a safer phone everywhere. And if not, maybe this list will help you decide your next phone purchase.