OnePlus doesn’t support Project Treble because it doesn’t want to brick existing phones
If you’ve been following recent reports about OnePlus devices, you would know that the company’s last four devices have Android Oreo, but without Project Treble support. Well, the company has finally provided an explanation for why it chose to do so. A OnePlus employee explained on the company’s forums, that Project Treble isn’t supported because it didn’t want to bring existing phones.
Project Treble requires a phone to have both system and vendor partitions, separating vendor code from Android’s core framework.
The company has sent out the Android Oreo update to the OnePlus 3/3T and OnePlus 5/5T. However, given that both devices are from the Android Marshmallow/Nougat period, they don’t meet Project Treble’s requirements. Project Treble requires a phone to have both system and vendor partitions, separating vendor code from Android’s core framework. That makes it easy for OEMs to upgrade the underlying Android software without making changes to the vendor part of the software.
The OnePlus 3, 3T, 5 and 5T were shipped with a single system partition. So, OnePlus is afraid that repartitioning devices now may lead to irrecoverable data loss or bricking of these devices. While that is indeed a possibility, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. OnePlus seems to be unwilling to take the risk in this case.
Here’s the complete forum post:
Yes, we are happy to share our rationale. Recently, we received requests from users and community members, some of which signed a Change.org petition to support Project Treble on the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T. Project Treble is a really exciting technology, but it is not the right fit for us now. I assure you we’re still updating our devices and will continue to deliver high-quality, stable software updates. That being said, we always welcome feedback, and I want to further shed some light on why we are not implementing Project Treble on these devices.
Project Treble requires a storage partition, by which the Android framework and vendor image are separated. However, because partitions were not required of Android N and previous versions of Android, all of our current devices do not feature a partition. According to our tests, if we were to modify the partition layout via OTA there is a risk that devices will brick during the partitioning. We feel this poses too great a risk for our community of users, which is why we have decided not to implement Project Treble on current OnePlus devices.
While Project Treble can increase the rate of Android OS updates, it mainly accelerates the Android framework updates. We were one of the first manufacturers to release an update to Android O. Our software team is committed to delivering high-quality and stable major OS upgrades, and we will continue to look for ways to improve the quality and rate at which we deliver software updates in the future. That being said, we look forward to the future of Project Treble, and how it will evolve to better support devices ahead.