No Seamless For You Older Nexus

frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support EngineerTexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭



At the Android team's event, it was learned that new seamless update feature in Android N, will not be presented on any current Nexus devices.

While seamless updates' usage of dual system partitions has benefits, allowing updates to the OS to be processed in the background, it may be a bit of a technical adaptation to put on current smartphones.  Seamless updates on the Nexus 5X or 6P, for instance, will entail re-partitioning ROM, and isn't possible for an end user to complete without utilizing USB to Computer.  In my opinion jumping through hoops as instructions are written assuming you know what you are doing.

Mention of seamless updates in the latest N developer preview,  have no bearing on current devices getting seamless updates.

It's very possible we will not see seamless updates on any current Android devices by any manufacturer implemented, and unfortunately or fortunately, it will only be seen on new hardware running N or above. More than likely will on new Nexus devices due out in later quarters.

Seamless updates is borrowed from Chrome OS, in which two system partitions live on the device at any one time. While one partition is in use, the other is free to be updated by the system, so an OS update can be downloaded and installed completely in the background, at which point the user reboots the device and the update will feel little slower than, say, a hard reboot.

It is disappointing that current devices won't get it, while the possibility of someone inadvertently bricking a $500+ phone fairly good, it's no wonder why Google wouldn't make it available.

Although it will not be on current devices it is still something to anticipate with an open expectation.

Let me know your thoughts.



  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see why it can't be done on current devices, they could just make it optional where when enabled, a user will be told that it will reduce the available internal storage by 1GB, and then it can use that to create an additional set of partitions, then through a special boot manager, the user can boot into the last changed partition.

    A similar function was implemented on the Linksys WRT1900ACS router, the internal storage of 128MB is split into 2 partitions, and when you flash a firmware update, the firmware is written to the the other partition, thus if an update fails, or has an error which prevents booting, then after 3 failed boot attempts, it will boot from the previously used partition, thus giving you another chance to flash firmware to the other partition.

    Nothing special was done in hardware to allow this, instead, they simply updated their bootloader to expect 2 system partitions, and since it is not locked down, the user has no need to write to the area of the bootloader, thus it is kept safe, and can monitor for issues. with one of the 2 partitions. The only downside is that you have less free internal space to play with.

    And with many smartphones over the past 10+ years, it is clearly possible for an OTA update to make changes to the bootloader (with most commonly a few malicious devs at HTC, and samsung, "updating" the bootloader to make rooting the device even harder)

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    That would be too easy.................

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