Android Police

Articles Tagged:

updates

88

Google will require seamless updates on devices launching with Android 11

According to a change recently made to Google's Vendor Test Suite (VTS) spotted by our friends at XDA Developers, Google will require that all devices launching with Android 11 support seamless updates. More specifically, the VTS will check that devices running Android 11 and later support virtual A/B partition structures (which allow seamless updates), and fail if that support isn't present. Since devices must pass the VTS to ship with Google's apps, that effectively means that Android manufacturers will have to support seamless updates on devices that launch with Android 11.

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32

Android security update tracker, April 2020: Rankings for popular smartphones

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Major updates of Android don't matter as much as they used to. Many components of the operating system are updated through the Play Store, so even if you're on Android 8 or 9, you can still access most of the same apps and features as someone on the latest release of Android 10. However, the security updates that Google releases on a monthly basis are still critical to keeping your phone or tablet safe. Dozens of security flaws are discovered in components of Android each month, which is why Google releases monthly security patches.

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141

It's 2020, why don't Samsung phones support Android's seamless updates?

Keeping current with system updates is the single most important thing you can do to keep your phone safe, and long ago, installing those updates was an incredibly slow process. But back in 2016, Google tried to make things better with new "seamless updates" that made it an easy background process — you could even use your phone as they installed. Since then, most phone manufacturers have come around to the idea, with one very big exception: For whatever reason, Samsung refuses to give its phones the feature. Even its latest, $1,400 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra uses decidedly non-ultra, antiquated, super-slow updates that knock your phone out of commission for a solid 3-15 minutes as they install.

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14

Android 11 Developer Preview 2 rolls out today

The second Android 11 Developer Preview rolls out today, and though it still isn't meant for general consumption just yet, it introduces quite a few new technical tweaks that app-makers and Android enthusiasts will enjoy playing with. While we start digging for undocumented changes, we already have a small list of tweaks to peruse in this latest release.

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63

Google rolls out redesigned, reorganized Assistant updates tab (Updated)

Google's new, less intrusive Assistant is already available on the Pixel 4, but the redesign it received has mostly affected the voice command interface. The updates tab, Google Now's spiritual successor, kept the same look. Now, Google appears to be testing an overhauled dashboard with more gradients and chronological organization.

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108

Chromebooks will now get up to eight years of updates (Update: Two eligible so far)

The greatest long-term issue with Chromebooks is their fixed lifespan — unlike PCs, where operating system updates are not tied to specific devices, most Chromebooks only get between 5-6 years of updates. It started to look like Google was finally trying to change that last year, when the company gave most Chromebooks another year of software support, and now Google says at least some Chromebooks released this year will get eight years of updates.

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97

Unlocking the bootloader on the T-Mobile OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren breaks your ability to install updates (Update: Potential fix)

Owners of the T-Mobile-exclusive OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren interested in bootloader unlocking the device for root or ROM purposes should think twice before they do. Based on recent reports, that process can prevent the phone from being able to download future official updates, including one that was just released.

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85

Sonos kills support for legacy devices, potentially nerfing updates for your whole Sonos system (Update: CEO apology)

Sonos recently came under fire when news broke that it's permanently bricking perfectly fine devices as part of its trade-up program. This electronic waste issue might be amplified over the next months as Sonos has announced that it's deprecating software support for some of its older products starting in May. The catch is that if your home includes both legacy and modern devices, none will get updates anymore because Sonos products have to share the same software across a network. This forces you to purchase new speakers or amps if you wish to stay up to date with new features.

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151

December Pixel updates land: 2016 Pixels get last patches, Pixel 4 conspicuously absent (Update: Image and OTA downloads)

December's monthly security patches are here for Google's Pixel phones — or, at least, most of them. While the 2016 Pixels are getting what Google previously claimed would be their very last update after the two phones missed November's patches, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are curiously late to the party, with no images posted just yet. Most confusingly, though, Google is apparently breaking out its Pixel-specific functional patch notes this month, which often describe useful or noteworthy feature changes and tweaks.

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25

Buying a Chromebook on Black Friday could be a very bad idea if you don't do your research

This Black Friday, there will be a lot of deals on Chromebooks. In fact, there already are a few early discounts from Google, HP, and others. Before you pull the trigger on a new Chrome-powered laptop, there's one critically-important factor that most product listings will leave off: the end-of-life date.

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