Google may force OEMs to adopt Seamless Updates with Android 13: What is it


Google introduced the Seamless Update feature in Android 7.0 (Nougat). This feature allows Android smartphones to download and install new system updates in the background while allowing the users to access their devices, simultaneously. However, like the existing process, once the update is downloaded, users will have to restart the handset to install it. Now, a recent tweet by Esper’s Mishaal Rahman suggests that the tech giant might make this feature compulsory for devices that will ship with Android 13 OS out-of-the-box. This means that smartphone manufacturers will have to implement virtual A/B partition support in their upcoming devices.

How Samsung and other OEMs will be affected by this move
Initially, Google wanted OEMs to adopt the A/B partition support for the Seamless Updates feature with Android 11. This feature’s internal storage usage was a concern that forced the tech giant to loosen its requirements.
Samsung was one of the OEMs that ignored this feature even for their latest flagship Galaxy S22 smartphones and the newly launched foldable devices.

Now, Google might make Seamless Updates a mandatory requirement for devices that launches with the Android 13 OS. However, the smartphones that will launch with an older vendor software might be exempted from this mandate.
This means that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 series is expected to be the company’s first device to ship with the Seamless Updates feature as it is expected to run on Android 13 out of the box.
Google implemented this feature with the first Pixel smartphone and it is even present in current Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. But, this feature also comes with some drawbacks. The A/B partition system will take longer for a device to fully install a new update compared to the existing method.

This will happen as the smartphone will prioritise other processes over the new update that is being installed in the background. Although Google has demonstrated that a compressed virtual A/B system on a sampled Pixel device takes up 0.7GB of internal storage.


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