Upcoming Samsung devices – especially the Samsung Galaxy S23 and other devices launching with Android 13 – could finally be compelled to support seamless system updates. So the users will no longer have to wait for minutes (sometimes hours) when the phone installs the latest system update.
Android’s Seamless Updates feature lets installing significant operating system version updates in the background. Simultaneously, you can use your phone as you would normally.
This feature wasn’t mandated, so OMEs like Samsung usually preferred to opt for the old way – doing updates that don’t consume storage space for a provisional partition where the background installations occurred.
Esper’s Android expert Mishaal Rahman conveys the reason behind this is that Android 13 could make virtual A/B partitions mandatory for all handsets.:
“While virtual A/B requires significantly less storage than A/B, it still requires more storage than non-A/B devices, at least when applying OTA updates. Snapshotting each dynamic partition effectively means cloning the entire “super” partition, meaning multiple gigabytes of free space must be available in the “user data” partition to hold those snapshots. This is likely why some of the OEMs that held off on adopting A/B also held off on adopting virtual A/B, and why Google decided not to go forward with requiring that devices launching with Android 11 or later use virtual A/B.”
It would be interesting to see if Google’s mandate can be switched out as soon as Samsung’s phones get the official Android 13 builds.