Android 10 or higher modularizes some Android system components and enables them to be updated outside of the normal Android release cycle. End-user devices can receive updates to these modularized system components from the Google Play Store infrastructure or through a partner-provided over-the-air (OTA) mechanism.
About modular system components
Modular system components enable Google and Android partners to distribute updates broadly, quickly, and seamlessly to end-user devices in a nonintrusive manner. For example, the combination of media codec fragmentation and critical bugs can dramatically slow app adoption and user engagement. Frequent updates to media-related modules can reduce codec fragmentation to make media app behavior more consistent across different Android devices and fix critical bugs to build user trust.
Android 10 or higher converts selected system components into modules, some of which use the APEX container format (introduced in Android 10) and some of which use the APK format. The modular architecture enables system components to be updated with critical bug fixes and other improvements as needed, without affecting lower-level vendor implementations or higher-level apps and services.
Figure 1. Modularized system components
Module updates don't introduce new APIs. They use only the SDK and System APIs guaranteed by the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS), communicate only with each other, and use only stable C API or stable AIDL interfaces.
Updated modular system components can be packaged together and pushed to end-user devices, either by Google (using the Google Play Store infrastructure) or by the Android partner (using a partner-provided OTA mechanism). The module package installs (and rolls back) atomically, meaning all modules that need to be updated are updated or none are. For example, if a module that needs to be updated can't be updated for any reason, the device doesn't install any of the modules in the package.
Android includes the following modules.
|Module name||Package name||Type||Release introduced|
|Captive Portal Login||
||APK (Android 10)
APEX (Android 11)
||APEX||Android 10 (extractors, MediaSession API)
Android 11 (MediaParser API)
|Network Stack Permission Configuration||
|Telemetry Train Version Package||
|Time Zone Data||