Android’s March 2021 security update is now official
Today is Monday, March 1, which means it’s time for another security patch update. Right on schedule, Google published the Android Security Bulletin for March 2021. They also published the latest Pixel Update Bulletin which details the latest functional updates coming to supported Pixel phones in the update rolling out today. Meanwhile, multiple Samsung Galaxy phones have already received the March 2021 security update.
March 2021 Security Update Bulletin
In the Android Security Bulletin for March 2021, Google disclosed several security vulnerabilities affecting components such as Android’s runtime, framework, system, and media framework. The disclosed vulnerabilities are patched if your device is running the 2021-03-01 security patch level. As usual, Google has also disclosed several vulnerabilities in closed-source vendor components and the underlying Linux kernel. These vulnerabilities are patched if your device is running the 2021-03-05 security patch level. Just because these vulnerabilities have been disclosed today doesn’t mean they were discovered today — in fact, patches for these vulnerabilities have been in the works for at least a few weeks or even months now. If you’re interested in learning more about the monthly Android security update process, then check out our guide here.
Pixel Update Bulletin/Functional Update
Google has also disclosed vulnerabilities specific to its Pixel devices. In the Pixel Update Bulletin for March 2021, Google disclosed several high and moderate-severity vulnerabilities affecting the framework, media framework, system, kernel components, and Qualcomm components. On the Pixel community forums, Google also shared a list of functional improvements coming alongside the March 2021 security update. The improvements include:
The March 2021 security update is rolling out now for Pixel devices with the following build numbers:
- Pixel 3 (XL): RQ2A.210305.006
- Pixel 3a (XL): RQ2A.210305.006
- Pixel 4 (XL): RQ2A.210305.006
- Pixel 4a: RQ2A.210305.006
- Pixel 4a (5G): RQ2A.210305.006
- Pixel 5: RQ2A.210305.006
- Virgin UK:
- Pixel 4a: RQ2A.210305.007
- Pixel 4a (5G): RQ2A.210305.007
- Pixel 5: RQ2A.210305.007
The latest update for Pixel phones also includes the latest Pixel Feature Drop, which adds a more shareable Recorder, underwater photo capture, new wallpapers, smart compose in Gboard, and a new bedtime schedule for the Pixel Stand. If you can’t wait for the update (or can’t update normally since your phone is rooted), you can download the factory image or full OTA image right now using the links below.
Several Samsung Galaxy devices have already received the update
Samsung has been on top of delivering updates lately, and that’s highlighted by the fact that they recently committed to delivering 4 years of security updates to a wide range of Galaxy devices. While those updates aren’t guaranteed to arrive every month for most devices, Samsung does quickly roll out the latest security patches to its most popular devices. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 series, the OG Galaxy Fold, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy Note 10 have received the update already.