Android 8.0 introduces streaming O/S updates

For years, most observers believed that iOS was well ahead of Android. For many, iOS still retains a lead, but Android has caught up. One of the biggest issues with Android is how many phones still use an outdated version of the operating system. Until Google solves the issue, iOS will always have an advantage with its single maker model. With Android 8.0, Google is using two strategies to help keep phones as up-to-date as possible.

Streaming updates

The first of the two technologies are streaming updates. OS updates are something almost everyone has come across. There is an update notification, but when you try to download the update, you don’t have space. You then get a notification to free up space and try again. Most people forget and or cannot be bothered.

With streaming updates, Android will download the latest update to a second partition on the phone. The second partition is only available on phones that come with Android 8.0, so the system will only work if you already have the latest OS, not when installing it. When you have space, Android downloads the update and applies it to the second partition. When you don’t have space, Android will directly “stream” the new files to the offline partition.

At this point, the A/B update partition system is a best practice that Google recommends to the OEM’s. There is no guarantee that any other OEM will use the A/B method, which you will need to stream the updates. Currently, the only phone with the A/B system is the Google Pixel.