Nothing pleases Android fans more than a notice that they have an update. Millions of words have been spent on countless blogs and forums discussing OTAs (or the lack of them) and we get a little giddy when we see the notice that one is available. The folks at the OTA Update Center have worked out the supporting infrastructure and methods to offer a free OTA service to any ROM developer, so that hackers and modders can enjoy that fuzzy feeling an update brings as well.
It' not really anything new -- hackers and ROM devs have been doing custom ROM OTAs since the days of the HTC Hero, and we see similar services offered from ROM Manager and Goo.im Manager. The OTA Update Center will work in a similar fashion, where an app will be installed into the system that communicates with the servers to pass out OTA updates to anyone using the ROM. For the end-user, it's a simple and impressive way to keep the OS on your phone up-to-date.
The real difference here is to the developers. They no longer need to host files or insert framework for an FOTA system into their ROM, and instead can use the supplied tool with a few edits. This will get everything up and running with minimum of extra code, and provide a sort of standard that all developers can follow. We like standards. Developers like standards. Users like things that "just work", and standards allow that to happen easier.
If you're an end user, you'll have to wait and see if your ROM development team decides to use the OTA Update Center. If you're a developer, you should check out the source links and think about giving it a try. Be sure to give us a shout if you incorporate this into your ROM, we'd love to give it a look!
- Filed under: