Stock Android Oreo booted on the Huawei Mate 9 thanks to Project Treble
Just a week before this year’s Google I/O, Google unveiled one of the most fundamental, low-level changes to the Android OS framework: Project Treble. Project Treble modularizes the Android OS framework to separate it from vendor code, allowing OEMs to work on new software updates without having to wait for vendors (like Qualcomm) to update their code. As part of the Vendor Test Suite (VTS), all Treble-enabled devices must be able to boot a raw, generic AOSP build. Project Treble support is required on any device shipping with Android Oreo, so even though there are several devices that meet this criteria, nobody has tested whether or not we really can just boot a ROM compiled straight from source.
What you’re seeing in the linked article below are screenshots of AOSP Android 8.0 Oreo running on the Huawei Mate 9. The Huawei Mate 9 was launched last year with Android 7.0 Nougat on board. In particular, it runs a custom skin called Emotion UI on top. Its software is incredibly different compared to what you might find on one of the Google Pixel phones.
Currently, there’s no publicly available Android 8.0 Oreo builds for the device. One of the leaked Android Oreo builds we obtained early last month revealed that Huawei was indeed working to meet Project Treble’s requirements even though it didn’t launch with Android 8.0. The Mate 9’s software being so far different from stock Android made it a perfect candidate for testing if Project Treble truly does allow us to boot stock Android Oreo onto any Treble-enabled device.