Seamless updates is a new feature that will be coming up with Android Nougat. Reports says this feature has been inspired from a similar feature on Chrome OS. Dave Burke, VP engineer at Google even revealed that codes from Chrome OS have been used and transpose to mobile.
This feature is base on a dual partition system where updates will be made in the background while the phone is on until the phone reboots. The latter will directly be install on the latest version of the OS. With this, we won’t have to wait again several minutes to be able to use our phones again.
With Android Nougat, our phones will have 2 partitions. One active say “online” and the other deactivate say “offline”. When there is an update, it will be downloaded and installed on the offline partition whereas the user will continue using his phone on the online partition. When you reboot your phone, the partitions will switch place and the offline becomes the online and the online becomes the offline.
Although this seamless updates feature looks useful as updates are now done instantly, it has big desavantages. First is that it will pose internal storage problems. The phone’s storage space will be divided into 2 and we all know that most Android devices are mostly made up of 8/16GB of internal storage space all of which isn’t available to the end user. At this rate internal storage space becomes a serious problem and the least MB becomes valuable. Google Actually uses a compressed file systeme known as “squashFS” but will this really be enough?
On the other hand this seamless updates feature won’t be available on all actual devices. According to what the Android team told Android Police, the dual partition system is too complicated to be install on actual Android phones. This is because it will require a complete repartitioningof the phone, to connect it to a PC and install programs or do it at the command line all what will be too complicated for the end user.
This new feature is likely to be off by default on actual Android devices but will be available on upcomming phones running Android Nougat notably the upcomming Nexus devices.