Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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OEMs may be required to adopt ‘Seamless Updates’ on devices launching with Android 13

Starting with devices launching with Android 13, the “Seamless Updates” feature will be a requirement on all devices that want to receive a GMS (Google Mobile Services) license. Since launching the feature with the OG Google Pixel since 2016, the feature has been tweaked and some of the downsides to using this feature have been addressed by Google.

Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra

This feature is implemented in the system partition of a device where the firmware is installed. Using A and B partitions make it possible for many Android devices to install OTA updates in the background, with the only downtime experienced by the user being the time it takes to reboot the phone.

One other benefit to this approach is in the event of a botched update to one of the partitions, the device can revert to the previous update easily. The original Google Pixel launched with Seamless updates and many Android OEMs have adopted the feature.

Although A/B updates aren’t explicitly required by OEMs, virtual A/B support is now mandatory if an OEM wants its device to receive GMS licensing.

As one of top Android smartphone brands in the world, Samsung is one OEM that has yet to implement Seamless Updates to its smartphones – flagships included. We’re sure that the brand has its reasons for not using A/B updates, but it comes at the inconvenience of the user who will have to schedule their updates to a time when they won’t be awake – or face several minutes of downtime during a critical moment when the device is needed.

If you’re interested in a deep dive of Seamless Updates, how the feature works and how it has improved over the years, head to the Source link where Esper.io has an excellent write up about it.


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