When we tap the button “Search for updates” on Android, we always do so with the hope of receiving a new version for the system. It does not always happen, that is true, but that is the original function: to look for a new version and if it is available, to download it and install it. The reality is quite different, and thanks to a Google engineer we know that the system has a failure.
Elliott Hughes, the abovementioned engineer, explained in September that the update button was broken and what they did to fix it. Almost three months have passed since that was posted on Google+. During that time, the button has broken down again, and thanks to a new post from Elliott, we learned that the system is still not working well and that the update will arrive in 2018.
A big flaw that luckily didn’t last long
In this update, Elliott explains, there was a flaw in the android update system, this flaw was caused by a few changes made to the Google Play Services that made the auto download function for the OTA versions stop working, again. If this month you’ve had a notification that there’s a new software version and it hasn’t downloaded you don’t have to worry, here’s what happened.
With information given by a Google engineer, it’s hard to know how long this bug has been going on and even worse: we don’t know when it will be fixed. He says 2018 but a year is a lot of time and this means that it could either be ready for January or it may be ready for December.
It’s a big flaw but, luckily, a lot of manufacturers use their own OTA update system and do not have to rely on Google’s. If you have a Samsung Android, Huawei, Sony, HTC, OnePlus, Xiaomi… it’s very unlikely that this bug will affect you and you’ll receive updates regularly.
If you have a Google device (Nexus or Pixel that are still getting updates), you can be at peace as this bug has already been resolved for these models. Then, what devices are affected? The other devices that aren’t from Google and depend on their update system.
With no more information, everything points to the affected devices being those that use AOSP ROMs or modest manufacturers that do not have the resources or the need of having its own update system.
Does this only affect new updates like the Android 8.0 Oreo? No, it has a bigger impact because depending on Google Play Services also influences any update to Nougat or Marshmallow. Even though the solution may take a while to come it won’t affect that many devices.