Android O to Eliminate Insufficient Space Errors from OTA Updates

Android O to Eliminate Insufficient Space Errors from OTA Updates

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With the release of Android 7.0 Nougat, Google revealed a new A/B partition system that borrowed from how Chrome OS handles their updates. Instead of having to manually download and reboot to install an update, the new seamless update system does this in the background. So the next time you reboot your device the new update is automatically applied. With the upcoming Android O update, Google is upgrading this system to eliminate the insufficient space errors associated with accepting an OTA update.

Most of us have been there before. The manufacturer or carrier for your device has just pushed out a new OTA update and you want to start downloading it. Monthly security updates are generally not a big deal since they’re small and can be installed quickly. However, the big version updates can be 1GB+ in size and this can cause a conflict with the amount of storage space you have on your device. Many have even ignored these big updates entirely simply because they don’t have any storage space left and they don’t want to delete anything.

Google wants to help resolve this issue with Android O by upgrading their current A/B seamless update system with what they’re calling Streaming Updates. Before, we needed to download these OTA updates to the user’s data partition and then we needed to install it from here. With this new Streaming Updates feature though, you’ll be downloading this OTA update directly onto an offline system partition. So if you’re actively on partition A then the new OTA update will be downloaded onto partition B.

The data for this new OTA update will be written block-by-block onto the inactive partition slowly (partition B in this example) so that it’s ready to boot once the process is done. There will still be a small amount of data that needs to be downloaded to the user’s data partition for this update though. Google says this will be ~100KB that will be used for metadata information.

Via: Ars Technica Source: Google