July 16, 2024

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Do my Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 support seamless updates?

Do my Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 support seamless updates?

Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 on July 10, and using Android Developer Tools, we discovered that the new foldable phones don’t support seamless updates.

It’s been almost a decade since Google introduced seamless updates to Android and Pixel phones. In 2024, Samsung finally brought the feature to one of its phones.

Surprisingly, that phone was the Galaxy A55, and the A-series has been the only phone on the market for months to benefit from seamless updates. It looks like that won’t change with the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6.

What are seamless updates and how do they work?

Phones that support seamless update have two system/boot partitions. While new updates are being installed on one partition, you can continue using your phone on the other partition without interruption.

For regular (non-seamless) updates, the installation process requires users to restart their phones and wait for the update to complete, preventing them from using the phone for anything, even emergency calls, for a few minutes.

Thanks to seamless updates, new firmware can be installed in the background without interrupting the user. Once the new firmware is applied in this way, users will only need to reboot their phones once, and will not be required to wait for long progress bars to appear.

The story continues after the video…

Depending on how often you install updates on your phones, seamless updates may or may not seem like a big deal. However, they are a quality-of-life improvement, especially for devices that get monthly security updates, which is the case with most new mid-range and high-end Galaxy smartphones.

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It seems that the Fold 6 and Flip 6 do not support seamless updates

Unfortunately, the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 don’t support seamless updates, at least based on our initial testing.However, the methods used to test whether seamless updates are supported seem a bit unreliable, so the only way we’ll know for sure is when the new foldables get their first software update.

The Galaxy A55, which supports seamless updates, shows a split progress bar when downloading and installing the update. On the other hand, devices that do not support this feature have a single progress bar. You can see the comparison between the two devices in the image below – the one on the left is seamless, and the one on the right is traditional.

If the Fold 6 and Flip 6 don’t support seamless updates right away, that won’t change later. This update installation system requires two system partitions, and adding support to a phone that doesn’t support seamless updates requires repartitioning the existing system partition, which could lead to a series of issues that Samsung won’t risk.

Fold 6 and Flip 6 updates will likely be installed over seven years the old-fashioned way

Samsung may have skipped seamless updates for its new flagship phones because the software running on its flagship Galaxy smartphones and tablets tends to take up a lot of space — almost twice as much — compared to mid-range and budget devices.

For example, the full firmware size of the Galaxy A55 is around 8GB, while the firmware size of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy S24 Ultra is around 14GB and 16GB respectively.

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However, with the Fold 6 and Flip 6 eligible for seven years of OS and security upgrades, it’s a bit disappointing that all of those upgrades are installed the old-fashioned way.

Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 to go on sale on July 24

The new foldable phones will come with Android 14 and One UI 6.1.1, along with new Galaxy AI features. They’ll go on sale July 24, but early pre-orders could get you bonuses.