Android Is On That Mainline
Ars Technica sat down with two Android engineers, Dave Burke, VP of engineering and Anwar Ghuloum, senior director of engineering and the lead of Project Mainline which is what the discussion focused on. Android Q is the 17th generation of operating system and like the previous generation it intends to compartmentalize the OS to allow developers to push out small updates to the core of the Android OS without requiring a major software update as has always been necessary.
They also expand on the difference between current APK files and the new APEX files which will accompany the new OS version. APK files are able to update system and user-level apps, while APEX files will be able to launch very early in the boot process and sport root-level permissions. This will of course require some serious security features to prevent them from being taken advantage of.
With Android Q, the big new modularization effort is "Project Mainline." Along the same lines as Google's early-days move to put apps in the Play Store, Mainline modularizes several core system components and moves those to the Play Store.