Pixel phones let you pause updates, reschedule reboots

Windows users have had it bad with updates. It’s bad enough that they’re welcomed by updates every time they start their PCs, they’re also forced to install sometimes broken updates and have to go through the cycle of reboots, hoping they’ll get a working system in the end. While not as atrocious, mobile updates still leave some room for improvement. Fortunately, it seems that Google is making some tweaks to how it does updates on Android, at least with its own Pixel phones.

Android updates, at least the regular ones with security patches, only come once a month and near the beginning of the month. That somewhat predictable schedule allows users to set aside some downtime for their Pixel phone. Nevertheless, it isn’t consistent and sometimes there’s really no getting around running the update in the middle of your work.

Well, now you can, sort of. If you have a Pixel phone, you might have noticed that download the February 2019 update offers an option to Pause the update. Actually, it will automatically pause when the system detects you’re currently using the phone. This avoids bogging the device down with updates while you’re in the middle of an important call or activity.

Once the update has been downloaded and installed, however, you still have to perform the unavoidable restart process. No problem if you’re confident nothing bad will happen but there’s always Murphy’s Law ready to pounce when you least expect it. If you prefer to have the phone restart when you’re peacefully asleep, there’s now an option to do it at 2:00 AM as well.

Together with the Seamless System Updates that install the update on a second partition in the background, these new features aim to reduce the downtime incurred by firmware updates. Whether those features arrive on non-Pixel phones, however, is something we hope will happen as well. Provided OEMs haven’t already done so themselves, that is.

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