Android’s April 2021 security update bulletin is now live
It’s the first Monday of a new month, which means it’s time for another Android Security Update Bulletin. Today, Google has published the April 2021 Security Update Bulletin and has started rolling out new updates to supported Pixel phones.
April 2021 Security Update Bulletin
The Android Security Bulletin for the month of April 2021, which can be viewed here, details multiple security vulnerabilities ranging in severity from high to critical. These vulnerabilities affect open-source components such as the Android Framework, Android Media Framework, Android System, and Android’s Linux Kernel fork, but they also affect some closed-source components from vendors like Qualcomm and MediaTek. Patches for the open-source Android components (sans the Linux Kernel patches) are contained within the 2021-04-01 security patch level, while patches for the rest of the affected components are contained within builds carrying the 2021-04-05 security patch level. For more details on how the monthly security update process works, check out our explainer.
Many of the disclosed vulnerabilities don’t come with additional documentation explaining what is affected and how the patch addresses the issue, but we may see write-ups exploring these vulnerabilities in greater detail now that they’ve been addressed in the latest bulletin.
Pixel Update Bulletin/Functional Update
On top of the vulnerabilities outlined in the general Android Security Update Bulletin, there are also a couple of vulnerabilities specific to Google’s Pixel phones. These are outlined in the Pixel Update Bulletin for the month of April 2021, which can be viewed here. The vulnerabilities are classified as “moderate” and affect the Android Framework and Qualcomm location/GPS implementation specific to Pixel phones.
Lastly, Google has also fixed a couple of user-facing bugs in the latest update for Pixel phones. Some of the fixes improve the camera quality in third-party apps, bring back Pixel Launcher’s grid size customization for those who were missing it, and fix issues with freezing during boot.
The April 2021 security update is rolling out now for Pixel devices with the following build numbers:
- Pixel 3 (XL): RQ2A.210405.005
- Pixel 3a (XL): RQ2A.210405.005
- Pixel 4 (XL): RQ2A.210405.005
- Pixel 4a: RQ2A.210405.005
- Pixel 4a (5G): RQ2A.210405.005
- Pixel 5: RQ2A.210405.005
- Pixel 3 (XL): RQ2A.210405.006
As usual, many Samsung Galaxy devices already got the update
Samsung has, once again, already begun rolling out new updates carrying the April 2021 Security Patch Level to multiple Galaxy devices. Samsung’s Galaxy S21, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy A52, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy S20, Galaxy Tab S6, Galaxy Fold, and Galaxy S9 are the first to receive the update.