Another year, another Samsung smartphone that doesn’t quite use Android to its full potential. The new Galaxy S23 lineup never again gives users access to seamless Android updates — a handy tool that limits how long your phone can downtime when upgrading its operating system.
At its latest Samsung Unpacked 2023 event, the company revealed its new lineup of smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. All three phones feature a new custom Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and 12MP selfie cameras — with the Ultra taking the main snapper to 200MP.
But as spotted by Android Police, despite these upgrades, smartphones don’t yet support one of Android’s most useful features: seamless updates.
Upgrading a device is usually a hassle. You have to sit staring at the progress bar screen – its other features rendered inaccessible and unusable – with only slow counter movements and text updates on download progress to keep you entertained.
The seamless updates feature aims to eliminate most of those tedious downtimes. When you want to update your phone, the Smooth Updates tool allows it to physically divide itself into two parts; One partition remains active and usable on the old OS allowing you to access your phone’s apps as normal, and the other gets updated to the new OS.
When the installation process is complete, your device can unpartition itself and load you into the new operating system—there’s still a slight delay in this step, but it’s much shorter and much less impactful than not using seamless updates.
Unfortunately, it seems (at least for now) that Samsung will continue to shun this great tool in favor of slower updates.
It’s time to update
In our Samsung Galaxy S23 hands-on review and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra hands-on review, we found plenty of reasons to impress with both smartphones.
The lack of seamless updates isn’t likely to be a deal-breaker for most people — it’s just a shame that Samsung discontinued its devices this way. Certainly, the tool has its downsides because you need to be able to effectively install two operating systems simultaneously, and it reduces your phone’s available storage space. But with the S23 Plus and Ultra dropping the base 128GB model in favor of a 256GB, they’ll likely have room to spare.
We’ll have to wait and see if Samsung releases an update to change support for the S23 line for seamless updates but that seems unlikely. Since this isn’t the first time the feature has been overlooked, we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s missing from next year’s Galaxy S24 phones as well.