Google Pixel Phones Now Automatically Pause Updates When in Use, Allow Scheduled Restarts

Google Pixel phones will now let you pause Android updates and schedule reboots so you can get your work done without interruptions. Downloads can also be broken manually, which might help users when they need their full Internet bandwidth for other tasks. A message saying “Installation will automatically resume when the device is idle” lets users know that an update has been paused automatically, and this can also be overridden if the user chooses to do so. The ability to reschedule the phone rebooting needed to complete the update process could be the most convenient aspect of these changes. It would help users work around a potentially significant disruption.

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The change to the update mechanism on Google’s premium smartphones was spotted by Android Police. Gadgets 360 verified this by downloading the February 2019 update on a Google Pixel 3 (Review). The process can be paused at any stage, starting from downloading the update and including the “optimizing apps” phase.

When ready, Pixel phones will ask whether you want to restart immediately or schedule a restart after 2 a.m. If you choose the latter option, the device will tell you it is designed for a restart between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. You will still have the opportunity to reboot your phone whenever you want, just by tapping the ‘Restart Now’ button.

The two-hour window is likely a further attempt to determine the most convenient time for a user, but there is no way to choose any other time slot with the current process. It isn’t immediately clear whether users will defer the scheduled restart if they are still busy between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Although this new behavior was first seen with the February 2019 security patch for Android 9, Android Police also points out that it has been expected since late last year, when the text strings appearing as status messages first popped up in a GitHub post.

Google’s Pixel phones receive regular Android updates, including timely security patches. The February 2019 update, just released for all three generations of Pixel models, fixes 42 known issues, with some rated ‘High’ or ‘Critical’ in importance. There are no significant new features in the update. Still, the About section within the Settings app has now moved out of the System menu to become a top-level section, and a new Safety & Regulatory Manual section has been added.


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