Qualcomm and Google extend Project Treble to four Android OS versions and four years of security updates starting with the Snapdragon 888
Project Treble ambitiously launched back in 2017 with Android 8 Oreo. It aimed to re-architect Android in a way that the Android OS framework is separated from the low-level code created by silicon vendors such as Qualcomm or MediaTek. This essentially allowed OEMs to roll out faster OS updates as they needn't depend on silicon vendors to release chipset code for every major Android release.
So far, Qualcomm has supported only up to three major Android OS releases and three years of security updates per SoC. Now, starting with devices powered by the Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm and Google are pledging to extend that support period to four major Android OS releases and four years of security updates. Qualcomm says this allows for a much more predictable software lifecycle for Snapdragon-based devices resulting in more customers being on the most up to date Android version available.
The success of Project Treble is still up for debate as many manufacturers still don't seem to be motivated enough to offer timely OS updates post-sales. That being said, Project Treble plays a crucial role in at least providing OEMs a framework to lessen rollout times. For instance, Google offers Generic System Images (GSIs) of Android that are compatible with vendor implementations or chipset code made for at least three previous generations of the OS.
Although Qualcomm and Google are now working together to ensure more Snapdragon-based phones stay updated, the ball is still pretty much in the OEMs' court as they would still need to invest quite a lot in testing and distribution of new OS versions. Qualcomm's four-year support window can potentially somewhat narrow the gap between Android and Apple's iOS when it comes to supporting older devices.
Here's hoping that MediaTek and other SoC vendors also implement a similar support timeline.