A new feature for Google Play Services that is currently being tested will allow Android device users to pause over-the-air updates, which will benefit users for certain situations.
The feature was spotted after the rollout of the second developer preview of Android O, which is the next major version of Google's mobile operating system.
Pausing Updates On Android O
The pause download feature, which is expected to become widely available upon the public release of Android O, is made possible through an update for GmsCore, which is an implementation for the Google Play Services Framework.
It was initially thought that the feature may be limited to huge system updates, as a pause feature may not prove to be helpful for small ones. Google engineer Elliott Hughes, however, refuted the claim, adding that the pause download feature will also be available for smaller OTA updates.
Hughes also noted that the feature was actually rolled out to a GmsCore build before the one released alongside the second Android O developer preview, though he did not specify which one.
Pausing downloads is not an entirely new feature, as Samsung introduced it to its own user interface a while back and Google itself incorporated the feature into the built-in downloader of Chrome 50. However, small tweaks such as this contribute to improve the overall user experience for the Android mobile operating system.
How Can Users Benefit From The Pause Download Feature?
In downloading OTA updates, users may find themselves not being able to wait for the download to finish. They might have to disconnect from a Wi-Fi network and revert to their mobile data connection to go to a different location.
If a user's mobile data connection continues to download the update, the user may find their allocated data being used up for a download that they could have done through a Wi-Fi network. The pause download feature will come in handy for such a situation, as users can temporarily stop the download and continue it upon reconnecting to a Wi-Fi network.
Users can also pause downloading an update when their Android device is running low on battery, to reduce the number of processes going on at a given time until the smartphone or tablet is connected to a power source.
Elliot, meanwhile, noted that interrupted downloads on an Android device should continue where they left off after it once again connects to the internet. In these cases, the pause download feature does provide assistance to users.
Android O: What Else To Expect
Google has released the first Android O public beta, which allows excited users to participate in the testing of the upcoming version of the mobile operating system.
Android O includes changes to Notifications, the introduction of additional battery-saving features, and the time-saving Copy Less feature, among many other new features. Android O will also have users finally saying goodbye to the weird Android emoji blobs, which will be replaced by overhauled emojis with a traditional circular shape.
Google will also be trying another solution for the serious fragmentation issue among Android devices with Project Treble, which will be first applied for Android O.