Google will require Android manufacturers to push out regular security patches

Google will require Android manufacturers to push out regular security patches
Google will be requiring Android smartphone manufacturers to roll out frequent security updates. In recent times the search giant has pushed towards increased security within the Android ecosystem, with it currently pushing out security patches on a monthly basis. However, many smartphone manufacturers choose to skip these entirely. In a bid to change this, Google has confirmed that it will now begin requiring “regular” security patches from Android manufacturers.

Speaking at the annual Google I/O event, the Silicon Valley-based company confirmed that it has updated its agreements with a number of OEMs, forcing them to push out security patches on a much more frequent basis. David Kleidermacher, Google’s head of Android security, said “when you have billions of users, it’s a large target. And so, it deserves the strongest possible defense.” In addition, he went on to say that the new agreements should “lead to a massive increase in the number of devices and users receiving regular security patches.”

The head of security did, however, fail to specify which brands the new agreements involve. Nevertheless, the recent Android P Beta release likely hints at a few of them. After all, those who use the latest flagships from Essential, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Vivo, and Xiaomi all have access to the Android P Beta, suggesting Google’s latest agreements with these manufacturers may also include a security patch clause, but it’s unclear how often these updates will be pushed out. The likes of Samsung, which is the number one smartphone manufacturer, often bundle updates into a single quarterly release when it comes to its budget and mid-range offerings such as the Galaxy A6 and A6 Plus. Nevertheless, it has been confirmed that Project Treble will be used in the hope of making things run smoother, which also suggests the agreements only apply to smartphones running Android 8.0 Oreo or up.



1. NateDiaz

Posts: 1094; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Nah! not gonna happen. Googles been saying this since Nougat launch.

8. Fred3

Posts: 612; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Two words... Project treble

2. USuck

Posts: 76; Member since: Apr 07, 2018

They will be making even less money then. Or better, they will be reporting even more losses. The sad state of Android.

3. Subie

Posts: 2447; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Wouldn't Google need to get the carriers on board too? To my understanding some carriers are better than others at releasing the monthly security updates...

4. KingSam

Posts: 1525; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Why not make it a universal file users can download monthly and install manually. They kinda have a start with treble.

10. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

They can't because: - Most users didn't even know what version of android they're currently using (it's more complicated than sometthing like "8.1.0" there's update number following that android version), they'll need to make lot's of update version each month - Most manufacturer's UI goes system deep now, Google just can't make one update that'll work with all UI - I doubt Android have permission for APK to change operating system's security, that will be a huge security hole if an APK can do that (except rooted phone)

5. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

I am no tech savvy and I don't know why Windows can updated on many PCs but Android can't. Also I think regular security updates means once or twice a year and not a software version update (like from Android 9.0 to 10.0) but more as the phone stays at Android P with some security updates.

7. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3192; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The vast majority of PCs don't have cellular connection and the few that do aren't locked to a carrier.

9. Subie

Posts: 2447; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

To a degree you're right. But I might add that iPhone's can be locked to a carrier but don't suffer the same update fragmentation. On the Android side of things it's the OEM's fault for allowing carriers to control software updates (excluding factory unlocked devices) IMO.

11. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Because all Windows are the same, PC manufacturers didn't modify the windows like Android manufacturers did. And PC got huge storage, windows can dump whatever update they want, even if the update were useless because your hardware didn't need it, without users complaining about windows size, my PC isn't even 1YO and windows folder already bloated past 18GB (And windows aren't free)

13. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Thanks, that makes a lot of sense

6. lallolu

Posts: 734; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Project treble and the content of this article are music to my ears. I have always wondered though why android phones cannot get updates like windows PC. We should be able to install new android versions without issues since google can actually test the software with the different phone hardwares to make the update compatible with them. Hope treble will make this possible.

12. cocoy

Posts: 464; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

This is a good news if materialized. However, this will increase the cost of overhead which will be charged to the price of the product. Budget phones will no longer be called by it name but an an equivalent on higher midrange phones price.

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