(Google) presented to developers at a recent vision for full unification between Android and Linux. In the current situation, although Android is Linux-based, Google itself, as well as manufacturers that market Android-based smartphones, are making many changes in the operating system. These changes actually produce many different versions that are distinct from the company’s main line, and so the community does not enjoy these innovations.
Thanks to the active developer community, Linux is considered a very stable and secure operating system, but it takes a long time before these updates are embedded in Android, so Google is losing out on its face. The solution engineers are working on is to completely separate the core of the operating system from various add-ons installed by the manufacturers. In this way, the kernel can be updated based on the latest versions of Linux, without the need for different manufacturers to adapt this version to their devices.
To demonstrate that this is a possible vision, Google people introduced Shaumi’s Pocophone (Xiaomi) during the conference, with a clean version of Linux unchanged. Many functions on the device did not work, but the operating system was generally functional and running applications.
Google itself acknowledges that this is a very complex engineering project and in fact there is no certainty that it will be completed even in the next few years. In the short term, Google intends to try to reduce the amount of differences between the main version of Linux and Android. Significant progress has already been made in this area: Google notes that several years ago, the amount of code changes between Linux and Android was more than 60,000, while in the latest version the amount is slightly more than 30,000 changes.