Google’s Dan Morrill shares OTA update details, warns against forcing it

It sure took long enough, but the over-the-air Android 4.4 update for last year’s Nexus 4 is finally on its way. As users anxiously check for their update’s availability, the temptation to lose patience and try to speed things up can be a hard one to ignore. You still have some options, but Google’s Dan Morrill took to Reddit yesterday to both offer some insight on how the update process works, and to advise against one way of getting your update early.

As Morrill describes, when Google releases an update for a device like the Nexus 4, it starts by setting a threshold for what percentage of handsets should get the update in each wave. That starts out small, at just 1%, but moves up to 25%, 50%, and so on. When your phone checks with Google’s servers, that’s the chance it has to retrieve the update. Most importantly, you only get one shot at each wave, so if you check right away and don’t get your update, checking again an hour later won’t make any difference.

There are ways to get an update early: you can go the nuclear route and just flash the 4.4 factory image, or you could manually flash a ripped copy of the update yourself through the phone’s recovery. What Morrill says NOT to do is clear your Google Service Framework data. While that may work, it also changes how Google’s servers see your phone, and it has the potential to break apps and their push messages in a number of unexpected ways.

Source: Dan Morrill 1,2 (Reddit)
Via: Engadget

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!