So far, the tremendous appeal of Nexus phones and tablets have been because they are usually the first devices to receive Android OS updates and also because they feature Android operating systems at their purest forms without bulky overlays. However, this may soon change with the launch of Android N.
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At its ongoing I/O conference in Mountain View, California, Google introduced the concept of seamless updates which will allow new OS updates to download as well as install themselves on Android phones in the background without any involvement on part of the end user. The feature was introduced to save Android phones users the effort of checking for updates, downloading them and rebooting their phones to ensure that the updates have taken effect. However, Android Police claims that the seamless updates feature will only be present in future Nexus devices running Android N or later versions of the operating system. This means that users of existing Nexus flagships- Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P won't be able to use the feature.
"While the benefits of seamless updates’ usage of dual system partitions to allow updates to the OS proceed in the background are substantial, they’re also a bit of a technical bear to put on existing smartphones. Implementing seamless updates on the Nexus 5X or 6P, for example, would require repartitioning the entire phone, and wouldn’t be possible for an end user to complete without hooking the phone up to a computer, allegedly – it would just be a pain, in short. While references to seamless updates have been found in the latest N developer preview, it was confirmed to us that these have no bearing on existing devices getting seamless updates," said Android Police.
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"It’s exceedingly unlikely we’ll see seamless updates implemented on any existing Android devices by any manufacturer, and instead that we’ll only see it on new hardware running N or above out of the box going forward. For example, on new Nexus devices later this year," the site added.
While this doesn't mean that Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P phones won't receive Android N updates, their users will have to download such updates manually and will be in a position of disadvantage compared to users of future Nexus devices who won't have to bother with installing them manually. On the flip side, owners of Android phones are used to downloading OS updates manually and there's a chance that they won't really miss the seamless updates feature much. How existing Nexus device owners will react to the news will depend on their preferences and if they feel that Google might be forcing them to purchase new Nexus phones in order to enjoy new features and functionalities.