When it comes time to instal a new version of Android on your Nexus device how do you get your software? If you’ve just got to have that update ASAP, Google always makes available factory images users are free to download and flash, but if you haven’t already unlocked the bootloader on your hardware, installing one of those can involve data loss. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re patient you can always just wait for your OTA notification to arrive and install your update that way. But between those two extremes there was another option, and while taking advantage of it was always a little tricky, it now looks like Google could be warming to the process.
We’re talking about sideloading OTA updates. See, when that OTA update comes down, it has to be stored somewhere, and it’s only a matter of time before someone tapped to receive their OTA update manages to intercept the URL pointing to the update package living on Google’s servers. Once that link is known, it can be shared with other users who are free to download the same update and install it themselves. Basically, it combines the ease-of-install of an OTA update with the on-demand nature of a factory image.
For most Nexus updates, though, Google doesn’t publicize these OTA links, and it’s up to the user community to find and share them.
Now it’s come to our attention that Google is finally embracing the idea of publicly listed OTA update links, and is sharing this info for devices enrolled in its Android Beta Program, testing the new Android N release.
If you haven’t received yesterday’s update, for instance, you can download the appropriate OTA package to your computer and manually install it on your phone or tablet.
How much longer before Google brings the same OTA-download option to regular Nexus Android updates?