Samsung Finally Adopts Android’s Seamless Updates Starting With Galaxy A55 5G: Here’s How It Works


Nearly eight years after the feature was announced, Samsung has finally adopted seamless updates, a feature that was announced by Google with Android Nougat in 2016. This feature makes the update process much faster and the user does not need to stare blankly at the update screen. It takes several minutes for the phone to update. Sadly, this is not a feature that has been made available for all Samsung devices, but from what we have learned, it is limited to just the newly launched Galaxy A55 5G smartphone.

Apart from adopting a slightly different design compared to other Samsung smartphones and using an Exynos processor, Samsung's Galaxy A55 5G is also the first Samsung smartphone to offer seamless updates. First reported by The Mobile Indian, the report claims that the feature was appearing on their Galaxy A55 5G units after the installation of the March 2024 security patch. The software update featured two stages of installation, the first stage was “Download and Install”, while the second was “Verification Stage”. After this, all that was needed was to restart the phone to complete the update process. Gadgets 360 was able to independently confirm this.

What are seamless updates?

Almost eight years have passed since Google introduced and adopted this feature. There are more advantages than disadvantages to seamless updates or A/B system updates compared to regular updates or A system updates, but overall it is more about convenience.

Continuous Updates basically lets the user use their device while the software update gets installed in the background. This reduces the usual downtime that users face when a phone updates without the feature, and means that calls, messaging and other apps are unavailable during the standard update process as the phone usually waits without a progress bar. An update screen will display. Although this is not a problem with small security patches, larger software updates take some time. Continuous updates, also known as A/B system updates, are not necessarily about speed but more about convenience. The update process is usually slow (as it happens in the background) and needs to be restarted whenever the user has time to take a break.

How does seamless update work?

This is all possible due to A/B partitioning which would mean that seamless updates require more space. However, it is also possible (since Android 8.0) to stream OTA updates to the B partition thereby reducing the need for a copy of the update before installation, but only with space for metadata (just 100 KB or 0.1 MB). .

During the update process, the new software update gets downloaded and installed on partition B, while partition A is busy running the software currently available to the user. Once the installation process is checked and completed on partition B, the system simply needs to reboot and then switch to partition B, leaving partition A inactive and open for another update. goes.

The beauty of the A/B process is that if at any point the freshly downloaded update fails, the system can reboot back to partition A (old/current updates) and the phone goes on with life as it reboots on the old software. Continues normally. The user does not have a broken phone. In case of unsuccessful installation on a regular A-only system update, the user also risks losing all personal data (if not backed up elsewhere).

Samsung is actually one of the last big smartphone makers to switch to seamless updates. Currently many brands like Google's Pixel, Motorola, Nokia (now HMD), OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, Sony and Xiaomi support it.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 along with the Galaxy Tab S9 series and Galaxy Watch 6 series at its first Galaxy Unpacked event in South Korea. We discuss the company's new devices and more on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and wherever you get your podcasts.
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