Google has offered seamless updates for several years in Android, letting phones receive and install updates in the background and restart to apply the update. While this method is more convenient than the traditional long waiting time to let the latest update settle in, many OEMs refuse to adopt it. For instance, Samsung has completely shunned the idea of bringing seamless updates to its handsets, including the flagship S-series and foldable.
According to a report from Esper, this could soon change. Google might mandate viral A/B partition support in Android 13. In the Android CDD(Compatibility Definition Document) for Android 13, Google says that “device implementations SHOULD support A/B system updates.”
To recall, Google did the same with Android 11, but that didn’t happen. And now, it seems like Google will finally force OEMs to adopt virtual A/B support. While A/B updates aren’t a must for brands, virtual A/B support is now mandatory to get GMS licensing for a device, as witnessed via new tests that make “virtual A/B mandatory for T launch devices.”
This will be confirmed when new phones launching with Android 13 OS reach the market. Samsung Galaxy S23 series handsets will surely be the most anticipated ones.
What Are Seamless Android Updates?
Wondering what a seamless update is? It’s a way that allows your phone to update to a new firmware on an inactive partition in the background. Meanwhile, your phone continues to run the current firmware on a separate partition. Once the update is ready-to-install, your phone will reboot and seamlessly switch to the update partition.
While this method omits the long installation process, it comes with a cost: seamless updates require more storage space than the standard update process. This seems to be why Samsung and other brands deny adopting seamless updates to this day.
If you’re still curious about how this update method works, head to the source story for a more detailed explanation.