Look out carriers, ROM developers can now push Android updates!

ota-custom-rom

If you’ve ever installed and then updated custom software that runs an Android phone, you’ll know that while the process is relatively simple, it’s not the most efficient. In order to add new updates to the software, you typically have to re-install the entire operating system on the phone, which is time-consuming. Imagine if there was a better way? Turns out there is and it’s called the OTA Update Center.

This site, found by The Verge, acts as a library for custom ROM developers to store their software as the files are all hosted on the OTA Update Center servers. In turn, this allows developers to push changes and updates to users directly over the air through the OTA Update Center software. Think of it as a similar process to how Google pushes Android updates directly to Nexus phones and tablets: The concept is the same and simplifies the experience for both developers and Android users.

The free service supports multiple software actions for developers to take:

  • Add and remove OTA Updates in a centralised database.
  • Check for updates on boot of devices.
  • Check for updates manually when the person wants to.
  • Download the rom and flash it directly.
  • Download the rom without flashing.
  • Wipe data and or cache/dalvik before flashing the update.

Essentially, developers using OTA Update Center gain the same type of infrastructure that Google, network operators and handset makers have at their disposal: A seamless, simple way to update phones running their Android software.

From a user perspective, I find this to be a welcome addition to the Android universe. I’ve flashed dozens of custom ROMs on my phones and tablets and while it’s not a difficult activity, checking for updates and then applying them can be a pain. With OTA Update Center — assuming developers get on board — the entire process becomes a time saver and better way to check for updates.

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