Project Treble is Google’s latest attempt to deal with the fragmentation on the Android market. Treble allows a simpler update process for Android Oreo devices, that will allow manufacturers to update more device and offer more support. We wrote more about Project Treble here.
Nokia 8, HMD’s flagship Android device, unfortunately cannot support Project Treble, because of hardware limitations. As Juho Sarvikas, HMD’s CPO describes on Twitter: To run Project Treble, you need to: 1) “ Adapt to the new Vendor Interface implementation” and 2)”Standalone Vendor partition to contain Vendor Implementation”. Nokia 8 lacks the standalone vendor partition for vendor implementations in ROM, that cannot be added via OTA updates, so I called it a “hardware limitation” in the title. Maybe that term isn’t 100% correct, but seems appropriate in this case.
Treble requires 2 conditions to be met:
1) Adapt to the new Vendor Interface implementation
2) Standalone Vendor partition to contain Vendor Implementation
Nokia 8 does not have separate Vendor partition in ROM space and the partitioning cannot be done OTA.
For the end user, this doesn’t affect much. It is just that HMD’s engineers will have to work more to deliver new version of Android. Considering a 2-year promise of updates has been made, most customers, that care about updates, probably won’t care if HMD spends more hours than it could in updating the device. After all, updates will arrive for all Nokia smartphones.
The issue about Project Treble arose in Nokia Community support forums, where one of the moderators caused some confusion with her answers. The issue was later clarified, that lack of Treble on Nokia 8 is not Google’s, but HMD’s fault because a partition for vendor implementations wasn’t allocated in the first place. It’s a shame that HMD will have to spend more resources than necessary to update Nokia 8, because that “overtime” could’ve been spent on other modifications and improvements.
We also don’t know if other Nokia phones have the same partition problem as the Nokia 8, but considering that the 8 is a flagship, is more a yes than a no.