With the popularity of the Google Play Store, it is quite easy for Android users to update apps. Since updating apps via the Play Store is technically routine for some users, updating via the Play Store seems even easier than updating from OTA. Google wants to offer users an easier option for Android updates. Google released “Project Mainline” to improve the way Android updates. In Android 12, updating the operating system can be easier.
XDA’s luca020400 noted that Google was turning Android Runtime (aka ART) into a mainline module so that updates could be pushed to key system components via the Play Store. ART compiles the bytecode of Android applications into native machine instructions. If Google wants to change the way Android 12 (and future versions) compiles code, it can always be tweaked instead of relying on traditional OS updates. Users don’t have to wait weeks or months to improve functionality or fix security.
This can have a significant impact on the devices and applications you use, but it is not necessarily better. XDA believes that Google can provide more consistency to applications. To do this, ART has to work so that it behaves the same on all Android devices. However, this also eliminates some of the customization features used by device manufacturers. If you adjust ART for performance or flexibility, you may lose these permissions. Furthermore, the control of phone manufacturers over updates is significantly reduced. Whether that is a good thing or not is a matter of another day.
ART AS THE MAIN MODULE HANDLES SLOW UPDATES
Still, Google might think it’s worth the sacrifice. Android 12 can partially fix the problem of OEMs lagging behind or ignoring OS updates. Of course, there is also a big problem to improve compatibility. Some issues with Android updates have yet to be fixed. However, if there is a zero-day vulnerability that needs to be patched before the legacy patch is available, this new change will make a difference.
About Project Mainline, this is what XDA has to say
Project Mainline extends Project Treble’s efforts. While Treble reduced OEM’s reliance on SoC vendors for each OS update, Mainline reduced Google’s reliance on OEMs to deliver security updates. to the main components of the operating system. Project Mainline extends the Treble philosophy to more critical parts of the Android framework, eliminating OEMs as intermediaries who depend on this equation. The goal of Project Mainline is for Google to take control of the framework components and system applications that are critical to the security and consistency of OEM development. Project Mainline is rightly considered the biggest change to Android since Project Treble.