Google makes it obligatory for Android smartphone makers to roll out month-to-month safety updates

Lots of nice announcement got here out of this yr’s Google I/O. An replace to maps that can lastly make the strolling a part of navigation helpful, a number of voices for the Assistant and even an replace to Google Lens. We even obtained an early have a look at the various options coming to Android P, together with the primary public beta of the following Android OS (which we’ve been testing since). Nevertheless, as thrilling as all these new options might sound, one key drawback that Android customers are conscious about is the severely fragmented replace cycle. It isn’t simply OS updates that get severely delayed, however important safety patches are additionally put pushed out in a well timed method by many OEMs. Google has lastly taken a stand in opposition to this.

At Google I/O 2018, the corporate additionally stated that they’ve revisited the OEM contracts with their companions and included obligatory safety patching into the language. What that primarily means is that OEMs will now be required to roll out the month-to-month safety patches to their respective gadgets as and when Google makes them out there. It isn’t the well timed OS replace we’d all have liked however being compelled to push out safety updates as they’re out there is a really second shut. Based on XDA Builders, Google has stated that “We’ve additionally labored on constructing safety patching into our OEM agreements. Now this can actually lead to an enormous improve within the variety of gadgets and customers receiving common safety patches.”

Month-to-month safety patches are extraordinarily important in a time and age the place malware, hijacks and ransomware are rampant. Final yr when HMD International revived the Nokia model, one in all their key promoting factors was the promise of delivering safety patch updates the minute Google made them out there. Now, it appears Google goes to drive everybody to fall in line. Google had final yr launched Challenge Treble as a method of dashing up the OS replace course of, by separating the core Android OS from the OEM layer. This was supposed to permit OEMs to replace the core Android layer with out impacting their very own software program implementation. Nevertheless, as newer telephones have been launched, we realized that lots of them didn’t assist Challenge Treble. It’s because Challenge Treble requires a separate system partition, which was by no means baked into any smartphone previous to Android Oreo. OnePlus even got here out and stated that they might not repartition the storage by way of an OTA on account of the potential of bricked gadgets.

Whereas Challenge Treble nonetheless stays an non-compulsory path for OEMs (one they’ve little motive to not take), month-to-month safety updates positive do present some peace of thoughts. What’s at present not recognized is whether or not there will probably be an OS-based limitation, for instance, if there’s a minimal OS model that’s required to get these updates. Now provided that Google can be certain that OEMs do not skip out on issuing patches after which mislead customers about it.

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