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Google working to speed up OTA updates for Pixel lines


To reduce the time it takes for Pixel users to install OTA (over-the-air) updates, Google has submitted a new patch to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) gerrit. According to Esper’s Mishaal Rahman and Android Police, the time required to install a 2.2GB OTA update on the Pixel 6 Pro has been reduced by 10 minutes or 43% to the patch. The patch also reduced the time it took him to install a 376MB incremental update from 22 to 16 minutes (27% reduction). Released in the summer of 2016. The first phones to receive the update were the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. However, Google has never required Android smartphone makers to build seamless updates into their devices. To keep things simple, the Pixel model installs his OTA updates in the background on inactive parts of the phone. While this is happening, the active partition will continue to run and you can continue using your Pixel as if nothing else is happening. Once installed, Pixel users will be asked to reboot their phone into the inactive partition with the update installed and switch to the active partition. No one gets bored with this process because you don’t have to monitor a slow-moving installation progress bar.

Google is working to speed up OTA updates. A new patchset has been submitted to his AOSP that speeds up OTA on devices that use virtual A/B with a compressed update mechanism. With these improvements, the full OTA install time went from ~23 minutes to ~13 minutes.

Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) Nov 30, 2022 This year, Google started using virtual A/B partitions in Android 13 to reduce the additional storage required for seamless updates. The demand for additional storage is reportedly the reason Samsung has been unable to use this feature on its phones. New phones running Android 13 are mandated by Google to have virtual A/B partitions.

To simplify this, let’s say Google was able to reduce the size of the device mapping snapshots used in the virtual A/B update process by 25% to 40%. All changes made to snapshots by the update engine are stored on what is called a “copy on write” (COW) device. Ultimately, these changes are merged into the dynamic partitions that need to be updated. Google reduced merge time by 40%. Once the process is complete, the COW and snapshot devices will be removed and the additional storage will be available to the user.

Sure, most Android users (except for Greek-speaking ones) all sound Greek, but what you need to know is that once the changes are implemented, a full OTA update for the Pixel will be released. It’s just that it appears faster than ever. And once other Android manufacturers are obliged to comply, his other Android smartphones will be able to complete his OTA updates faster than ever before.




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