Google vs Samsung Software Update

Survey shows a split on support for Seamless Updates

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

What are Seamless Updates? When your phone receives an update, such as a new security patch or even a brand new version of Android, it can happen in two ways. The first is the “normal” method, where your phone downloads the update, shuts down, installs the update, and then restarts. It may take up to 10 minutes and your phone is unusable during this time. The more modern method is known as transparent updates. In this scenario, your phone downloads and installs the update in the background. It takes longer, but you can still use your phone during the whole process, with only a quick restart needed at the end.

Do you prefer conventional updates or seamless updates?


These results surprised us a lot. Naturally, we assumed that our readers would strongly prefer seamless updates. This is a newer method that allows you to continue using your phone uninterrupted, at least until a necessary restart. However, it seems that our readers are split in two on this topic.

The biggest difference between the two methods is the time it takes. For example, a Pixel device can take up to 30 minutes to download and install an update in the background. Yes, you can use your phone during this process, but this same update may only take five minutes on a Samsung phone. It seems that some people prefer to get it over with quickly.

However, people who like to root their phones also like seamless updates for the benefits they bring, so it might be more complicated than that. Likewise, seamless updates require something called A/B partitioning, which takes up more space on your internal storage. This could also be a reason to prefer conventional updates.

Either way, don’t take our word for it. We have collected some of your comments on the situation below.

Your comments

Jay Snowden: Seamless is better for rooting…because you can root, update…and patch other partitions. Not that it would work with Samsung anyway…because rooting disables OTA.

MacJackson: Oh no, what am I going to do if I have to give up using the phone for a few minutes a month for a second update or 15 minutes for a UI update… the world has just ended .

SyCorEAPER: A/B is a waste of space and works perfectly fine. 5 minutes maximum to make an update and if it is a major version bug, 7 minutes. I will keep the traditional partitioning. More A/B would probably kill ODIN compatibility. Pass.

disqus_d1b9jeAcZN: This is a fairly minor future for me. Definitely not a must have. Waiting for my phone to update isn’t usually a big deal because I can still choose when I want to restart. I’ll just pick a time when I’m not busy. The food option is nice.

chris722: I am for transparent updates. Samsung phones already require a ton of memory as is. Also, it seems more efficient to me. The extra storage is not a deal breaker for me. Like I really want to wait 10 minutes to access my phone when I could cut it down to 2.

Alfredo Lehar: What is not discussed enough is that this update mode requires you to devote double the storage space to system files. if Samsung adopted this update mode, the media would be everywhere reporting how much storage space is “wasted” on system files

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