Google steals Maintenance Mode from Samsung smartphones

The stable version of Android 14 was expected to be released this month, but Google postponed the release to line it up with the Pixel launch event in October. However, Google released the first Android 14 QPR1 Beta 1 update to compatible Pixel smartphones, and it appears the company has copied Samsung’s Maintenance Mode feature.

Google’s Repair Mode in Android 14 is inspired by Samsung’s Maintenance Mode

The first beta version of Android 14 QPR1 includes Repair Mode. It can be used when handing your smartphone over at a service center for repair and maintenance. However, it appears to work differently than Samsung’s Maintenance Mode. Android Authority notes (via Mishaal Rahman) that Google could be using the DSU (Dynamic System Updates) feature, which was introduced with Android 10. DSU can boot a GSI (Generic System Image), which is a new and empty copy of the operating system, so your personal data remains safe.

It wasn’t possible to use the DSU feature in this way. However, Google may have been inspired by Samsung’s Maintenance Mode and used DSU to create Repair Mode. Once activated, it presents a clean version of the operating system to whoever uses the phone for repair. A device owner can lock the phone in Repair Mode, which means their personal data is safe from unwanted people.

Repair Mode may be added to all Android smartphones in the future. On Samsung phones, the Maintenance Mode is available on phones that are running Android 13 or newer. In the past, Google copied several software features from Samsung’s smartphones and tablets, which shows that Samsung stays ahead of the game most of the time.