So here’s a concept: A button that actually does something. For years, the “Check for update” button in Android pretty much did nothing. Sure you could hit it but the odds of you getting an update were pretty slim. Why? Because manufactures like Google, Samsung and others as well as carriers phase updates out to their customers. The result? The “Check for update” button was, by-and-large, useless.
That’s changing under Android Oreo, specifically for the Google Nexus and Pixel devices. Now when you tap that button in Settings>System>System Updates, it actually, really goes out to Google’s servers and download the latest OTA update. No waiting on phasing.
The news came from Googler Elliot Hughes on his Google+ account and he calls out that as long as you are using the latest Google Play Services on your phone, tapping the update button will flag your device as a user initiated request and push the latest OTA to you immediately.
How does this interact with the gradual rollouts of new releases, you ask? When a device checks in because you’ve specifically asked it to, we flag that this is user-initiated and so you’re not subject to the usual limitations. So even if we’re at 1% rollout and 1% of users already have the update, if you manually check you’ll still be offered it, even though a background check at the same time wouldn’t.
As you can imagine, this news has been widely applauded in Androidville. While it doesn’t mean that carrier locked devices or other manufacture phones will have this benefit, for those who have Google Pixel devices (or are considering one), chalk this up as another reason to consider one.