The Evolution of Android OTA: A/B Updates

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Over-the-air (OTA) or Firmware Over-the-air (FOTA) are remote updates to the Android operating system (OS) running on a mobile device. Android devices connected to a network can receive and install OTA updates to the OS, application software, and time zone rules.

All components are involved in building an OTA system for Android 7.0 or newer devices via an approach known as seamless updates or A/B updates. It requires a frontend and backend component, and of course, the stack that runs on the devices. 

Let’s briefly discuss Android device partitions before we dive into the technical implementation. 

A Note on Android Device Partitions 

Android OTA can range from a full OS upgrade to a much smaller change, such as a minor fix to a single device component. However, Android devices ALL have a partition-based structure which is necessary to support the open-source OS. 

Android devices are composed of a flash storage that’s partitioned and formatted for different…


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