Android Development: It can be a messy process.

Enlarge / Android Development: It can be a messy process. (credit: Google)

As has become tradition for Ars at Google I/O, we recently sat down with some of the people who make Android to learn about the OS directly. For 2019, the talk was all about Android Q and this year’s big engineering effort, Project Mainline. Mainline’s goal is to enable Google (and sometimes OEMs!) to directly update core parts of the OS without pushing out a whole system update. If that sounds technical and challenging, well, it is.

This year running the Ars Android Interview Gauntlet we have veteran interviewee Dave Burke, VP of engineering for Android. As the head of Team Android, Burke is an encyclopedia of Android knowledge and always manages to come up with insightful answers to my grab bag of esoteric questions. And returning for the second year in a row is Iliyan Malchev, principal engineer at Android, the lead of Project Treble, and all-around Linux integration guru.

But to help up the ante for this latest deep dive, Ars was also joined by Anwar Ghuloum, Android’s senior director of engineering and the lead of Project Mainline. Ghuloum’s insight was especially welcomed given this year’s I/O headliner: as “The Next Great Android Update Project,” Mainline was easily the biggest news to come out of the conference.

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