Finally, Samsung Galaxy S23 and other devices running Android 13 may have to support seamless system updates. This means that you will no longer have to wait for minutes while your phone installs the latest system update – instead, your phone will install a system update in the background and will only ask you to restart your device to apply it, like Google did. Things with the first Pixel and onwards to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.
As per Esper’s Android expert Mishaal Rahman, the reason behind this is that Android 13 can make default A/B partitions mandatory for all phones. Basically, these sections allow you to install Android on your phone twice – once as the version you’re using, and again as the version that gets updated to the latest version. Once you have finished updating the other unused version, your phone just needs to boot into the partition with the new update, which doesn’t take much longer than a simple restart.
The option to choose this installation method has existed since Android 7, but Google is only making it mandatory now. That’s because the partition system also has drawbacks. A phone with two versions of Android needs a lot more space dedicated to the system than a phone with one version that gets updated instantly. This was one of the big issues Google wanted to work around before forcing the update method on everyone, and the company seems to have mostly succeeded over the years, using tricks like dynamic partition sizes, compression, and incorrect file cleanup. longer need.
This table shows how much space the different partitioning schemes take up on Pixel phones, with compact virtual A/B being the latest taking up only about 0.7GB more than a system that doesn’t support A/B at all.
If you are someone who likes to install Android updates as soon as they are available, the update partition system has another drawback that is about time. While you have to wait for a few minutes for your phone to update when it only has one system partition, the whole process finishes completely in that time frame. On Pixel phones, which use the A/B refresh system, the process can take longer because it happens in the background, and other processes take priority. A system update that takes 20 minutes from downloading to a full installation on a Samsung phone can take over an hour on a Pixel phone.
Since most people prefer their phones to be in usable condition for as long as possible and don’t care about faster update speeds, a forced a/b refresh system is a change for the better for most people, though.
Google initially tried to make A/B partitions mandatory with Android 11, but the company scrapped that requirement due to storage concerns from manufacturers. This time around, the company appears to be sticking with the requirements, overhauling the partitioning system drastically and making it take up even less space than before, with a sample Google Pixel consuming only 0.7GB more with a virtual compressed A/System B than if it didn’t have it. A / B at all.
For an in-depth look at how Google got there, what kinds of partition options are available, and what this new requirement for available storage means for you on your phone, be sure to check out Mishaal Rahman’s deep dive into the subject of Esper.
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