Google has been pushing out software and security updates like clockwork on the fifth of every month to its Pixel smartphones. These updates do not really offer any consumer-centric feature, and essentially fix all the backdoor vulnerabilities. The February update released yesterday though seems to be a bit different. There is a minor change to the About Phone menu in the settings, and Google has even revamped the way users update their Pixel phones. First change can be seen in the installation process where the update will pause while you use your phone.
The update setting shows a message that “Installation will automatically resume when the device is idle”. This is an useful change especially if you are doing some work on your phone and don’t want to lose it because of a background software update. During this process, Google’s Pixel users can either manually resume or pause the update process. The first signs of Google adding option to pause the update process appeared in the form of a string for update pausing since last summer but Google is making use of it for the first time.
Another change comes in the form of a small grey line of text below the progress bar that tells users what is currently happening on their device. Once the update is installed, you will still need to restart in order to ensure the changes are reflected on the device. This could not be termed as the most effective action on a smartphone. Google now also offers an option to schedule the restart for a time when you don’t use the device, say at 2:00AM so it won’t affect your primary work.
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It is not clear whether these changes were a part of January security update but it is a welcome change to the way Google releases updates since the updates are released once every month. The update also turns ‘About Phone’ into a top level setting on Pixel smartphones with the February security update. Earlier, the ‘About Phone’ option was placed inside System and is now being moved directly under Settings. This shows key changes coming to Android with a planned release of Android Q developer beta at I/O 2019 in May.