Google Pixel phones' seamless updates are finally shedding their snail-like pace

Google Pixel 8 Pro in the porcelain colorway
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Seamless updates have been a long-standing feature of Google's smartphones, but they have been notoriously slow on Pixel phones.
  • Google seems to be working on improving the speed of seamless updates, and the latest Android 14 updates appear to have made significant progress.
  • Some users are reporting that seamless updates are now taking as little as 10 minutes to complete, even on older Pixel models.

Google's seamless updates for its Pixel phones, once notoriously slow, may have finally gotten a dose of caffeine with Android 14.

Google's been rocking seamless updates on its Pixel phones since the first model was introduced in 2016. However, if you've ever griped about the sluggish background install on these devices, you're not alone. The good news is that Google seems to be addressing that gripe in Android 14.

Android Police has spotted several reports from Pixel owners on Reddit about the Android 14 QPR2 beta blazing through the install process. Some users are even saying that the optimizing process, which used to take forever, now only takes a few minutes. 

The faster update speeds seem to be a widespread perk, as Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 users are both reporting improvements.

For the uninitiated, seamless updates use this A/B disk partition strategy, so you can continue using your phone while your update silently sneaks in. And you don't have to endure a lengthy downtime or watch a progress bar inching along at a snail's pace. Just a quick reboot, and your phone is back in action.

Plus, seamless updates remove the need to free up storage space before an update. This method also makes sure those pesky glitches and errors, if any, are limited to the idle areas of your device. This ensures that the update process is completed without disrupting your phone usage.

However, Google's seamless updates have always been a bit of a paradox—a great idea that somehow manages to be painfully slow. But with the latest improvement, there's finally a glimmer of hope that this snail-like pace might be a thing of the past.

The search giant has been toying with speeding up seamless updates for a while now, and it looks like it's finally starting to get the hang of it. Maybe some of your favorite Android phones, like Samsung, will finally adopt this method. But don't hold your breath.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • mustang7757
    Seamless updates sounds good but they need to download the update much faster , when there is one available it takes 1.5 to 2 hours to update where as a Samsung has an update available I know 10 minutes or under it's done .
  • zorak950
    That's the beauty of the A/B partition strategy, though: you keep using your device while it updates, then reboot when it's done. Your actual downtime is a minute or less.
    Making it faster is good and all, but the whole point is that the speed doesn't matter: even if the install takes over an hour, it's happening in the background so who cares? You're still offline for way less time than with a phone that makes you wait at a loading screen while it updates.