Samsung Galaxy S23 series — comprising the company’s flagship Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23 Ultra — was launched by the company last week. While the firm announced changes and improvements to the hardware and software, it is reportedly still using an outdated method of updating its newest handsets instead of Google’s seamless updates mechanism. As a result, updates could take longer to install on the Galaxy S23 lineup compared to other recently launched flagship phones, such as the Pixel 7 series.
Google introduced a new feature for Android smartphones in 2016 called seamless updates. Instead of rendering a user’s phone useless during an update and forcing a user to wait for the process to complete, these updates are installed in the background, during day-to-day use. As a result, when the process is completed, users only have to perform a quick reboot to begin using the updated system.
A 9to5Google report states that the Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S33 Ultra do not have support for seamless updates. The publication says it tested the flagship smartphones with Inware and the Treble Check apps for Android, and both reported that the phones don’t support the functionality. Gadgets 360 used the Treble Check application on the Galaxy S23 Ultra and was able to confirm that the app reported seamless updates were unsupported on the handset.
Last September, Esper’s Mishal Rahman stated that Android 13’s virtual A/B mandate would bring seamless updates to even more phones that run on Google’s mobile operating system. Samsung is one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers that are yet to support seamless updates on its devices.
When updates are installed on a smartphone that doesn’t support seamless updates, the system reboots the device to start the update process. This can take up to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the update and the smartphone’s inbuilt storage.
On phones with seamless updates, the handset has two system partitions (A/B partitions) and updates are installed on one partition while the system is running on the other. If the update process fails, the phone simply reboots into the original partition and tries to install the update again. Once the process is complete, the system boots from the updated partition, which should take around a minute.
Last October, Hyesoon (Sally) Jeong, Vice President at Samsung Electronics stated in an interview that the company was working on offering seamless updates and that it would roll out to devices with One UI 6 this year. This means that users may have to wait for an update to Android 14 to gain access to seamless updates, but Samsung is yet to officially make an announcement on this front.