Android 9 Pie is already on many smartphones. So naturally, everyone’s focus is on the next Android version — Android Q. From what we are hearing, the Android Q version might be arriving sooner than expected.
At the Android Dev Summit 2018, Google announced that it is looking into a possibility of releasing future versions GSI (Generic System image) before the official release
(Via XDA-Developers) on the AOSP (Android Open Source Project).
To put it in simple words, Google will let Android users test the Android Q before the source code is available to AOSP. However, it won’t be like simply flashing a beta version as we saw with Android 9 Pie.
GSI is kind of like pure, unmodified version of the build that gets available on AOSP. And it’s a necessary part of Project Treble that we have discussed many times. As part of Project treble Project, all the supported devices have to go through specific tests like CTS-on-GSI (Compatibility Test Suite on Generic System Image) and VTS (Vendor Test Suite) to test the compatibility of the software before it gets out.
And to maintain Treble compatibility, all Treble devices need to boot a GSI on top of the existing vendor implementation. All in all, Google wants to make that GSI of Android version available for the public.
Google is merely putting thoughts to the whole “making GSI available early,” which means you will have ample amount of time to learn about the necessary prerequisites for flashing a GSI. For now, you can head to this XDA guide to know more.