Android ROMs are not going through their most popular moment. They still have a very healthy community of developers and users, but for a while now they have not been the basic prescription that once was for some terminals. I remember having some smartphones that the first thing I did was flash them. Times have changed and with the manufacturers putting the batteries, it seems that getting back to more users is impossible, or maybe not.
Of the many new features, we have seen in Android 8.0 Oreo, one of the ones we liked the most was Project Treble. We have already talked about it and how, on paper, it will be able to bring some order to the next Android devices that come with this version of the operating system pre-installed. For a long time, one of the priorities of Google is to bring order to the fragmentation and perhaps with this movement, it gets it in a definitive way and, without wanting it, it will rekindle the interest of the ROMs made by users.
From indispensable to almost experimental
There was a time where having a ROM on Android was almost a mandatory issue in some terminals. The developers of software of several manufacturers did not finish giving in the key and imposed versions of Android very showy but little effect. Interestingly, many computer scientists who in their spare time were doing homemade versions managed to create ROMs that worked better were agiler and also consumed fewer batteries.
At that time it was almost a prodigy because yes, they were not exempt from failures: some applications did not go directly, some functions required a restart of the terminal from time to time … Fortunately, the OEMs were sparking and with each version that came from Android, everything worked better as standard and the need to root, unlock the bootloader and other procedures were happening in the background.
The transition was slow and it has not been until a few years ago when many people have told the ROMs so far. Now we can buy an Android quietly knowing that the experience we are going to have the minute is good. There will be specific cases where someone requires a homemade version of Android but community chefs such as XDA Developers or HTC Mania in the case of Spain have lost many customers and now there are only a few and very faithful.
The OEM engineers put their batteries in and decided to upgrade their default ROMs and add a lot of useful features.
This has been the natural evolution of Android and, if you allow me, it has had to be this way because it was not sustainable or realistic that the development of an operating system used by millions of people and with so many private companies investing large amounts of money it depended on people with a very high level of knowledge but who did not dedicate themselves professionally to it.
It is not a disdain for your work; On the contrary, I admire everything they have done. They have converted several of my first Android smartphones into a really useful phone. What could not be is that with so many commercial interests involved, the device manufacturers themselves did not put the batteries and did their part of the work? Fortunately, their work continues to survive but today encouraging someone without great technical knowledge to install a ROM is more out of curiosity than out of necessity.
Project Treble to rekindle the love for ROMs
Android 8.0 comes with Project Treble as one of the main novelties of this version. Its main contribution will be restructuring the base of Android at the lowest level to create a common foundation for all and from there developers and manufacturers can create their software layer without relying on the updates of the drivers that use the chipsets.
This means that the updates should, in conditional, go faster and therefore facilitate access to new versions of Android to more people. As of this moment, a dichotomy is produced: all current smartphones that intend to upgrade to Oreo are not required to support Project Treble. They may have to upgrade to Oreo without further ado, as has already happened with the OnePlus 5T for example.
For the cooks of ROMs, Project Treble will mean being able to take a single development to several devices more easily.
The most interesting case will be with the Android that is coming: everything that comes with Oreo as a series will be required to support Project Treble and return to that Google assumption where updates would come sooner and life would be easier for engineers of software. I still speak in conditional because from the saying to the fact, many things can happen and until 2018 does not advance a little it will be impossible to see if this materializes or not.
What does this have to do with homemade ROMs? Very simple: it will facilitate the work to create them, add more stability and there will be many options to choose from again. For me, the most important thing will be to be able to bring these cooked versions to all kinds of devices. Some developers are already doing tests and the process to make the jump to Oreo is 24 hours.
When the homemade ROMs for Android lived their moment of boiling back in 2010 and 2011 there was a problem: a good part of the development went to the most popular devices and those less known terminals were left behind and only the big teams like Cyanogen gave it support. This was not a whim, adopting a version to all kinds of hardware configurations with justito resources was very complicated.
With Project Treble this should be solved and a cook of a ROM will be able to export his work to all kinds of devices. Looking for perspective, this could be a brilliant scenario and a unique opportunity for many Android devices that either be little known or because it has been a while since its launch, continue to receive updates.