Thanks to Project Treble, AOSP Android Oreo Boots on the Huawei Mate 10 & Mate 10 Pro

Project Treble has occupied the minds of many Android enthusiasts in the past few weeks. There was some outrage among members of the OnePlus community when it was revealed that no current OnePlus devices (including the recently released OnePlus 5T) would support Project Treble. OnePlus and Nokia have an understandable reason for not supporting Project Treble in an Android Oreo release as disappointing as that may be. The reason Treble support is so exciting for the XDA community goes beyond theoretically faster software updates, since the Vendor Test Suite to verify Treble compatibility requires that devices be able to boot a generic build of AOSP Android Oreo. Thanks to this, I was able to boot AOSP 8.0 Oreo onto the Huawei Mate 9 last month, and now users are reporting that they are able to boot this same ROM on the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro as well.

AOSP Android Oreo Running on the Huawei Mate 9

The Huawei Mate 10 duo launched in October with Android 8.0 Oreo on board, which means that Project Treble support is a requirement in order for the device to ship with Google apps and services. Thus, it should be of no surprise that a generic build of AOSP Android Oreo is able to boot on the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. However, since developing on Treble-compatible devices is uncharted territory for many, it was best to not make any assumptions. Thus, nobody was absolutely sure it would work until it was proven this week by users on our forums.


AOSP Android 8.0 Oreo on the Huawei Mate 10. Credits: XDA Junior Member MaxnSchnacksn

A user on our Huawei Mate 10 forum reported that XDA Senior Member phhusson‘s AOSP ROM booted up on their device. Another user in our Project Treble Development Forum reported that it boots on their Huawei Mate 10 Pro. No device specific modifications were made to phhusson’s ROM to get it working on the Mate 10 or Mate 10 Pro. That means that this single system image can boot on a device with the HiSilicon Kirin 960 (Huawei Mate 9, Honor 8 Pro, Honor 9), HiSilicon Kirin 970 (Huawei Mate 10 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro), and Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (Essential Phone and Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact).

Of course, just because it boots doesn’t mean the ROM is suitable as a daily driver. There are still various bugs and kinks to be sorted out, but the benefit of Treble support is that most of the hardware should already work thanks to the standardized vendor interface. Indeed, as is the case with the Kirin 960 devices, the Mate 10 series on AOSP Oreo has only a few bugs at the moment. There are some reports about the brightness slider not working properly, but everything critical such as graphics, camera, radio, etc. should be working.

We had written last month about the immense benefits that Project Treble would bring to AOSP ROM development. Given the current progression, some may be skeptical of this claim. The biggest challenge that’s holding back Treble device development is a lack of testers and developers. Currently only a handful of developers are working on this, which is natural since there is only a small number of Treble certified devices out on the market.

Furthermore, developing a ROM on a device that you don’t own can be annoying, which is why it isn’t often done. For those who are willing to do so, like phhusson, having only a few testers able to help debug can also slow down progress. If you want to help test or develop a Treble-device compatible ROM, then check out our Project Treble Development Forum below.

Join the Project Treble Development Forum

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