We are all familiar with the dirty "F" word on Android: fragmentation. It turns out, in fact, we can't depend on phone makers to keep devices updated for the good of their own hearts, so Google is making changes like Project Treble to make this work as easy as possible for them. Based on some recently published indicators, Treble makes a big difference .
Treble debuted as part of Android 8.0 Oreo, only in 2017. Google realized that it would take a long time for a new feature to impact – only new devices would support it, and changing the annual updates would take, is, years to measure. Google believes OEM choice and device support for its Android beta program is an early indicator of success, but more recent indicators show even more significant and measurable differences.
The degree of perception of Android Oreo versus Pie measured on a given launch date.
Based on the graph above, the reception speed for Android Pie is above twice that of Android Oreo. Because OEMs' updates to Oreo did not take advantage of Treble's support (remember that it was only released with Oreo, so it was mostly limited to new devices) and since smartphone sales are generally on the decline, we can assume that the difference between the two versions over time comes down to updates and therefore Treble. Still, it would be nice if Google could come back to re-publish these platform numbers so we can check the math again.
Treble's re-submission of the original 2016 Pixel may even be part of why it updated to Android 10, though only two years of major Android updates were promised; Treble just makes the process a lot easier.
The Treble numbers obviously make a difference, but this is not the only reason for the speed of updates to increase. Google is also working with chipset manufacturers such as Qualcomm and MediaTek to accelerate how quickly OEMs can get their hands on the system-level software needed to deliver updates.
Google doesn't have any graphs or numbers to back up all its claims, but the company thinks updates to the latest Android 10 are going even smoother, despite the fact that we're only a few months away official, stable start. Early indicators such as the faster release of the One UI beta this year and new third-party hardware such as the OnePlus 7T, which already ships with Android 10, would be inclined to support this argument. Mix system-level updates that can now be delivered via Project Mainline separately from OS updates, and the problem of Android fragmentation – which can probably never be completely resolved – will matter even less in practice after as more devices support it.  Earlier this year, Google told us that there are over 2.5 billion Android devices. This huge number is the result of such a variety of hardware supported by so many OEMs, it's no surprise that not everyone is running the latest version of Android. But thanks to Project Treble, more of them are there every day.