Even though Android has made significant strides over the course of the past few years, its adoption rate is still somewhat short of appalling.
One of Google’s biggest problems is getting partner manufacturers on board with pushing out updates based on the latest OS builds. Even though the company works hard to keep its flagship Nexus and Pixel devices in the loop, other brands like LG, Samsung, HTC, Blu, OnePlus, and others usually take a bit longer to catch up due to the extra work requires to custom update each device.
While other high end brands try to push the latest Android builds to their top of the line models, those devices still only represent a smaller portion of the pie as Android also consists of a lot of medium to low end devices as well, most of which either receive only the bare minimum or no updates at all after release.
According to the latest stats from Google, even with the latest push behind their Pixel and Pixel 2 devices, Oreo has only been adopted by a mere 0.5% of the global market share running Android. Compare that to a 59% adoption rate of iOS 11 on the Apple iPhone, iPod, and iPad platform.
It’s not a fair comparison, but it’s definitely something that has been addressed too late.
Most Android users still seem to be stuck with Marshmallow and a later build of Lollipop. At least 19.3% are getting to enjoy the more refined version of Android, but Google should really be trying to push other manufacturers to jump on board version 8.
With so many devices on the market, it’s usually a challenge for hardware makers and carriers to push out updates in a timely manner, due to how much work is required to update different builds for different devices.
To solve the problem, Google has launched Project Treble which splits the operating system’s core Android OS Framework from the vendor specific code (e.g. custom themes, apps, chip performance). This should make it easier for hardware makers to push newer updates (and not make excuses), as the core framework can be updated without interfering with specific manufacturer code.
The downside to this is that Treble will only be force implemented on devices shipping with Oreo out of the box. 3rd party manufacturers are not required to implement the update on devices that are being upgraded to Oreo (e.g. going from Nougat to Oreo via an OTA update).
Until more brands push out devices with Oreo out of the box, it’s going to take quite some time before we can see the real benefit of Treble.