New smartphones shipping with Android 13 or later will need to use the A/B update system in order to obtain a Google Mobile Services (GMS) license. In other words, Google has ordered all Android smartphone manufacturers to switch to a system of instant installation of software updates. Large vendors such as Samsung have been ignoring this technology for several years.
In 2017, Google started using a new approach for installing updates on Android. It’s called A/B and has two virtual drives on the phone that duplicate content. The user works with one drive, and updates are installed in the background on the other. Thanks to this, it is enough to restart the phone and get an updated gadget almost instantly.
However, smartphone makers, including Samsung and Oppo, are ignoring the new technology by installing the update the old way – on a single drive. Therefore, users are forced to wait a long time until the old files are replaced by new ones, says TechToday.
Google wants to do away with the slow installation of updates on Android, so it requires manufacturers to switch to an A/B update system. This goes for all new gadgets coming out of Android 13 on board. Otherwise, Google does not license its GMS applications (Google Play, Gmail, YouTube, etc.) – this is the main enforcement tool in the Android ecosystem.
NIX Solutions reminds that the search giant already tried to make the A/B system mandatory with Android 11. But the company subsequently removed such a requirement, making it a recommendation.