Google has recently talked about something called Project Treble, which is a big idea that plans go rearchitect Android in order to separate the Android framework code from the hardware vendor implementation. The whole point of this is to make user’s lives easy, and to give the device makers a whole new, easy way to provide Android software updates, by combining fragmentation and making the devices with Android more secure. Every device that comes with Android 8.0 Oreo and above should have this feature.
We all know how Treble was able to make the team behind the Android devices to release Android Pie betas together with Google Pixel devices, but that’s not all – with Treble, we can get access to future, brand-new versions of Android, like Android Q.
GSI and its importance
An important part of the Project Treble is called Generic System Image, GSI for short. This is an unmodified build of Android, that comes from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP for short). This actually means that there are no device maker customizations, or even carrier customizations – so no additional features from LG, Sony, Samsung, Motorola or Huawei. To be able to keep the Treble compliance, Google has to do something so that all the devices that are compatible with Treble can be able to boot GUI. Google asks for a series of tests, like CTS-on-GSI and VTS to ensure itself that the basic hardware functionality is working smoothly when it runs a GSI. The plan is to make GSIs useful for the general public.
The ROM community is pretty much aware of the utility of GSIs. There’s an entire forum for that, in which they explain how to install GSIs on devices that are compatible with Treble.
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