With Android 7.0 Nougat, Google introduced a partition scheme designed to speed up software updates. In Nougat, Google added support for duplicating certain partitions so that inactive partitions can get updated in the background and then swapped to active with a quick reboot. This “A/B partition” setup allows for “seamless updates” to take place on supported Android devices, much like Google’s Chrome OS. However, Google has never mandated the use of A/B partitions, so many devices out there that don’t support seamless updates. That could change with Android 11, however, as Google is making it mandatory for newly launched devices to support virtual A/B partitions.
Anything to make the update situation on Android smoother is welcome.
Now please let me pay a subscription for the OS. They keep saying it is just too expensive to update devices past 18 months. I doubt it. If I could buy an S20 and buy a subscription to OxygenOS I would.
I agree with Thom that improving the Android update situation is important.
But this doesn’t do anything to address the actual problems – it simply makes deploying an update less disruptive, which is kind of meaningless. I can find a time to reboot the phone to apply an update, and it doesn’t really matter whether I do that on day 1 or day 10.
The real problem are the number of devices that are completely abandoned for updates. And the only way to address that is for Google to treat Android in the same way that Microsoft treats Windows Google needs to “own” the base operating system, Manufacturers can choose what software to bundle, including replacing the launcher. But users need to be freed from the tyranny of manufacturers simply not updating the OS.
And I would much rather Google focuses on solving the practical issue of abandoned hardware than needlessly consuming additional storage space.