Seamless Updates May be Required for Upcoming Phones With Android 13: Mishaal Rahman

Android 13 is now rolling out to Pixel smartphones and OEMs are already working to update their handsets with the latest Android software. However, it appears that these companies will have to use the “Seamless Updates” feature for new handsets that ship with Android 13 if they want to receive a Google Mobile Services (GMS) license. Samsung is one of the major OEMs that has yet to implement Seamless Updates on its smartphones. It should be noted that the feature has been available since the launch of the first Google Pixel smartphone in 2017.

According to a blog post by Esper Senior Technical Editor Mishaal Rahman, Android 13’s virtual A/B mandate would bring the Seamless Updates feature to more handsets running Google’s Android operating system. In the case of a non-A/B mechanism, Android will shut down and boot into a dedicated recovery environment to install the update. Meanwhile, in the A/B format, OTA updates are downloaded and applied in the background while Android is running. After a quick reboot, the OS update is complete.

Another benefit of Seamless Updates is that they can be paused or resumed by the user at their convenience. You also get a built-in “failsafe” feature that allows you to roll back to the previous OS version if the update fails. These are some of the things that Google has updated since the launch of Seamless Updates in the first generation Pixel smartphone, while reducing some of the drawbacks. It has become all the more important to keep your smartphones secure by installing security patches to correct known vulnerabilities targeted by sophisticated cyberattacks.

Rahman says A/B updates are better than non-A/B updates. However, the downside is the huge amount of storage space required to apply OTA updates. He adds that a “virtual” A/B system solves the storage problem. Although the storage required is still more than the non-A/B option when applying OTA updates, it is lower than that required for an A/B system.

Samsung has not yet adopted Seamless Updates for its smartphones. If the seamless update becomes mandatory, Samsung will have to implement it as soon as the rumored Galaxy S23 smartphone series. The South Korean company has improved its record in the software update department, releasing monthly updates to its handsets on a regular basis – especially the flagship models.

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