Google Research

A Taste of Android Oreo (v8.0) Device Manufacturer

ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP) - Tutorial (2017)


In 2017, over two billion Android devices developed by more than a thousand device manufacturers (DMs) around the world are actively in use. Historically, silicon vendors (SVs), DMs, and telecom carriers extended the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) platform source code and used the customized code in final production devices. Forking, on the other hand, makes it hard to accept upstream patches (e.g., security fixes). In order to reduce such software update costs, starting from Android v8.0, the new Vendor Test Suite (VTS) splits hardware-independent framework and hardware-dependent vendor implementation by using versioned, stable APIs (namely, vendor interface). Android v8.0 thus opens the possibility of a fast upgrade of the Android framework as long as the underlying vendor implementation passes VTS. This tutorial teaches how to develop, test, and certify a compatible Android vendor interface implementation running below the framework. We use an Android Virtual Device (AVD) emulating an Android smartphone device to implement a user-space device driver which uses formalized interfaces and RPCs, develop VTS tests for that component, execute the extended tests, and certify the extended vendor implementation.

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