Xiaomi Mi A2 receiving January 2019 security update but it may be a good idea to avoid it

The beauty of Android One devices, like the ones you can buy from Nokia or Infinix or Xiaomi, in Kenya, is that there’s the guarantee that they’ll always be up to date. For the most part, at least as far as my usage of such said devices is concerned, that word has been kept.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 I have had for a year now has received the security patches that Google sends every month since I bought it (exactly a year ago). Sure, there’s the bit where those updates tend to arrive a few days into a new month but that’s faster than almost everyone else does bar HMD Global and BlackBerry.

That kind of treatment is exactly what I expect from my latest catch, the Mi A1’s successor: the Xiaomi Mi A2. And, so far, it hasn’t disappointed. Last month, I received Android 9 Pie just a few days after purchasing the device. And, predictably, it arrived rocking the December security update from Google.

Naturally, I have been expecting this month’s update since the year started. True to form, that update arrived today, a whole 5 days before kiss January goodbye.

The update, which clocks in at just 110MB arrives with nothing but the January security patch.

So, you should go ahead and install it, right?

No.

There are widespread reports of the Mi A2 being unable to boot into Android. The device, it is being reported, boots up and gets stuck on the Android One logo for long before giving up, restarting and doing the same thing all over again, after users restart to finalize the installation of the tiny update. The end result is a recurrence of the start up, freeze, start up again. In short, what we call a bootloop. Have a look at what some Mi A2 users are sharing on Xiaomi’s own forums.

As far as we know, Xiaomi is yet to acknowledge the issue and frustrated users are being left to figure it out all by themselves.

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While in the full knowledge that a similar fate could befall my 1.5-month old unit, I went ahead and installed the update. Luckily for me, things went well and I still have my device to continue my trolling on Twitter. A similar fate (the Android gods forbid) may not befall you and your Mi A2 could become a statistic of the many devices out there that have been broken by updates so it is not advisable to go ahead and install this update.

For that to happen, though, you will need to activate the Developer options (go to Settings > About phone and tap 7 times on the Build number at the bottom of that page) then from there, toggle off Automatic system updates. Even then, this approach doesn’t guarantee that you are totally safe from the device automatically downloading the update behind the scenes and applying it the next time it boots up. You may want to avoid restarting your device if you suspect that has happened.

Now you see why others either out of sheer laziness, lack of commitment or genuine concern for user experiences that may be grossly affected, refuse to rush out with updates?

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at] androidkenya.com