Google has launched Project Mainline to improve the way Android is being updated, and in Android 12, the operating system may be easier to update. XDA developer luca020400 has noticed that Google is transforming Android Runtime(also known as ART) into the Mainline module, making it possible to push updates to key system components via the Play Store.
ART compiles the bytecode of an Android application into native machine instructions. If Google wants to change the way Android 12 (and future versions) compile code, it can be tweaked at any time, rather than relying on traditional OS updates, and users don’t have to wait weeks or months for feature improvements or security fixes.
This could have a real, if not necessarily better, impact on the devices and applications you use. XDA points out that Google can provide more consistency to applications by making ART behave the same way on all Android devices. However, it also takes away some of the customization features that device manufacturers are used to, and you may lose those privileges if they tweak the ART for performance or flexibility.
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But Google may feel it is worth the sacrifice. Android 12 can partially address oems’ issues of lagging or skipping OS updates, as well as major compatibility issues. This still won’t fix some of the Android updates, but if there’s a zero-day bug that needs to be fixed before a traditional patch arrives, this new change could make a difference.