OEMs may be required to adopt “seamless updates” on devices launched with Android 13

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Starting with devices launched with Android 13, the “Seamless Updates” feature will be a requirement on all devices that wish to receive a GMS (Google Mobile Services) license. Since the launch of the feature with OG Google Pixel since 2016, the feature has been changed and some of the drawbacks of using this feature have been resolved 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 partitions A and B allows many Android devices to install OTA updates in the background, with the only downtime the user experiences being the time it takes to reboot the phone.

Another advantage of this approach is that in case of a botched update of one of the partitions, the device can easily revert to the previous update. The original Google Pixel launched with seamless updates and many Android OEMs have adopted this feature.

Although A/B updates are not explicitly required by OEMs, virtual A/B support is now mandatory if an OEM wants their device to receive a GMS license.

As one of the world’s leading Android smartphone brands, Samsung is one OEM that has yet to roll out seamless updates to its smartphones, including flagships. We’re sure the brand has its reasons for not using A/B updates, but that comes at the expense of the user who will have to schedule their updates for a time when they won’t be awake – or do facing several minutes of downtime during a critical moment when the device is needed.

If you’re interested in a deep dive into Seamless Updates, how the feature works, and how it’s improved over the years, head to the Source link where Esper.io has a great write up on this.

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