Google will soon be releasing its Android 8.0 (Android O) mobile operating system, and Google Pixel owners will lots of data on their devices are probably worried that they won’t have enough free space to get the new OS version. But there’s a trick that Google uses to make sure that you’ll only need about 100KB of space when the update drops.
When Android 7.0 Nougat was launched last year, Google introduced a feature called “Seamless Updates.” What it does is to create a dual partition system within the phone’s memory that acts as a backup for itself. For example, if System A is you main operating system, System B can be updated while you keep using your device. Once the update is downloaded and installed, you simply restart your device to make System B your operating system.
Not only does such a system let you keep using your device almost through the entire update process, but it also allows you to not worry about having enough space. All you need is the 100KB of free space for the metadata about the update. The partition that’s offline (System B in our example) will automatically stream the update, and it gets written to your device block by block. When it’s done, it’s ready to boot, which is why you need to restart.
The best part is that you never have to worry about device memory when it comes to Android updates. Unfortunately, other than Google Pixel and Pixel XL, no other device has its memory partitioned this way. But for Pixel smartphone owners, it’s the end of worrying about free space when a major update comes.
There is, of course, a downside to this: Android 8.0 will occupy more storage space on your device so it can handle streaming updates in future. But that’s a minor trade-off when you consider what you’re getting in return. Besides, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are likely to come with higher storage options, anyway.