Power Android smartphone users often find themselves having to delete content on their device to make space for new updates, but this will soon be a thing of the past.
A new Android O feature will allow Pixel smartphone owners to install updates to their devices even if their storage is full, making the process more convenient for users.
Android O To Introduce Streaming Updates Feature
According to the new documentation from the Android Open Source Project website, Android O, or Android 8.0, will introduce a new streaming updates feature.
Through Android 7.0 Nougat, Google introduced Seamless Updates to the Pixel and Pixel XL. The feature incorporated a dual partition scheme to the two smartphones so that users can stay on the online System A partition while updates are being applied to the offline System B partition. Once the update is complete, the device may be rebooted to switch to the System B partition, which has now been updated.
Starting with Android O, the setup is being upgraded with a new streaming updates feature that will direct update data into the offline partition of the Pixel, block by block, in a ready-to-boot state. What this does is that it allows updates to bypass the need for user storage almost completely — instead of requiring free space of about 1 GB, updates will only need about 100 KB for metadata.
With the streaming updates feature of Android 8.0, users who fill their Pixel devices up with photos, videos, apps, and other content will not have to delete them to make way for an incoming update.
Streaming Updates To Android 7.0 Nougat Devices?
Ars Technica noted that the AOSP documentation mentions a port of the updates for Android 7.0 Nougat and later versions through a Google Play update. However, because only the Pixel and Pixel XL have dual partition set-ups, these devices will be the only Android smartphones that will benefit from this move.
What will it do? From what it appears, the Pixel and Pixel XL will already be able to use the streaming updates feature to upgrade to Android O without needing to free up storage space, in advance of the launch of the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2.
Android O Release Date
Google has not yet revealed a specific date for the launch of Android O, though the final developer preview of the operating system has already been released.
The Android O launch, however, is still on track to happen this summer.