Google Finally Gets Serious About Android Security Updates

Posted on October 24, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Android, Google with 16 Comments

It’s no secret Android phone makers are really bad at keeping their users updated. Not only do they fail to deliver major feature updates, they even miss out on security updates, partly because of carriers and a bunch of other weird things.

Well, Google is finally trying to fix some of the issues. The company is now making it mandatory for Android phone makers to deliver security updates for “popular devices” for at least 2 years.

A contract obtained by The Verge has revealed that Google is now requiring Android phone makers to deliver at least four security updates within the first year of a device’s launch, followed by more in the second year — although it’s not clear whether the amount of security updates required in the second year is the same or less than the initial year.

The contract apparently claims any device with more than 100,00 users will be required to follow the contract, delivering the security updates regularly. Moreover, new devices must launch with the latest bug fixes and security patches, according to the new contract, which covers any device launched after January 31st, 2018. Failing to oblige will probably prevent a phone maker to get Google’s approval for its upcoming phones.

Although it’s not clear whether the contract applies to Android devices globally, what we do know is that its part of the new tactics Google is employing in the European Union after the company was slapped with a $5 billion antitrust fine. 

The new contract will definitely make sure Android users are more secure than before. Since there really wasn’t any specific requirement for Android phone makers to keep their devices updated with all the latest security patches, they often neglect some of their products, especially the low-end devices. The new contract will hopefully tackle all of that, at least that’s the plan.

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