One of the biggest memes in the Android community has been the "check for update" button. Until now, pressing that button never actually did anything; if you were in the update's rollout group, it would obviously reveal a pending OTA, but if you weren't, hitting it did absolutely nothing. However, Googler Elliott Hughes has informed us that that elusive button is actually useful now.
In his Google+ post, Hughes notes that as long as you're running the current version of Google Play Services, you'll no longer need to sideload any OTA or factory images. I'll let him explain:
When a device checks in because you've specifically asked it to, we flag that this is user-initiated and so you're not subject to the usual limitations. So even if we're at 1% rollout and 1% of users already have the update, if you manually check you'll still be offered it, even though a background check at the same time wouldn't.
Given how many of you we see in the comments of update posts complaining that repeatedly pressing the update button isn't doing anything, this is some pretty big news. As far as we can tell, it'll be limited to Google (Nexus, Pixel, Android One) devices since OEMs and carriers handle updates for other devices, making this another incentive to purchase a Google device.
Mash no more, folks.
- Elliott Hughes (Google+)