The Samsung Galaxy S23 will miss out on this unsung Android feature
Another year, another Samsung smartphone that doesn’t quite take advantage of Android. The new Galaxy S23 lineup again doesn’t give users access to seamless Android updates – a handy tool that limits how long your phone is out of action when you upgrade the operating system.
At the recent Samsung Unpacked 2023 event, the company unveiled its new smartphone range: the Samsung Galaxy S23, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and the top-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. All three phones feature a new custom Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and improved 12MP selfie cameras – with the Ultra taking its main snapper to a whopping 200MP.
But as noted by android police (opens in new tab)despite these upgrades, the smartphones don’t yet support one of Android’s most useful features: seamless updates.
Usually, upgrading a device is tedious. You’re left staring at a progress bar screen – the other functions are inaccessible and rendered useless – with only the slow movements of the meter and text updates on download progress to keep you entertained.
The seamless updates feature aims to take away most of this tedious downtime. If you want to update your phone, the seamless update tool lets you virtually split itself in half; one partition will remain active and usable on the old operating system so you can access your phone’s apps normally, and the other partition will be updated to the new operating system.
When the installation process is complete, your device can unpartition and load you into the new operating system. There is still a slight delay with this step, but it is much shorter and much less impactful than not using seamless updates.
Unfortunately, it seems (at least for now) that Samsung will continue to eschew this useful tool in favor of slower updates.
Time for an update
In our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 review and our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review, we found many reasons to be impressed by both smartphones.
The lack of seamless updates probably won’t be a deal breaker for most people – it’s just a shame that Samsung holds back its devices in this way. Of course, the tool has its drawbacks as you need to be able to effectively install two operating systems at the same time and it reduces the available storage space of your phone. But with the S23 Plus and Ultra dropping their base 128GB model in favor of 256GB, they’re likely to have room left.
We’ll have to wait and see if Samsung releases an update to change the S23 line’s support for seamless updates, but that seems unlikely. Since this isn’t the first time the feature has been deprecated, we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s also missing from next year’s Galaxy S24 phones.