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Android’s ‘check for update’ button will now finally do something

If you’re an Android user, you likely know the pain of waiting for a new version of Android to hit your phone. That “check for update” button becomes the most-used feature on your device but you might not be aware that to date that button really hasn’t done much.

That, however, is now changing. According to Google’s Elliot Hughes, as long as the latest version of Google Play Services is on your phone, hitting the “check for update” button will now reveal an update if one is available. In other words, whether you are in the current rollout group or not, you will get the update.

The reason for that is that Google is now flagging you pressing the button as “user-initiated,” which essentially allows you to bypass the rollout groups, which were generally between one and 25 percent.

“One thing I haven’t seen the tech press notice is that the button in Settings to check for an update actually works now,” Hughes said in a post. “If you’re running a current Google Play Services, you shouldn’t need to sideload an OTA or flash a system image just because you’re impatient…”

Of course, as mentioned there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, you’ll need the latest version of Google Play Services to ensure you get the update, and the rollout of a new version of Google Play Services may still happen in stages. Not only that, but it’s highly likely that this really only applies to Google-built devices like Pixel and Pixel XL, and Nexus devices. It may also apply to Android One devices, which are serviced by Google and run stock Android. Why? Well, manufacturers like Samsung run their own tweaked versions of Android, and as such, they handle updates themselves.

We tested the “check for update” button ourselves on the old Google Nexus Player and found that pressing it quickly revealed an Android 8.0 Oreo update, allowing us to check out the latest and greatest version of Android TV. It’s possible that our testing was just a coincidence and that an update was already on its way but that does not seem to be the case.

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