Google is Still Working to Increase the Speed in Which OEMs Roll Out Security Updates

Google is Still Working to Increase the Speed in Which OEMs Roll Out Security Updates

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Many Android owners within the enthusiast community have simply given up on big OEMs rolling out monthly security updates. Granted, Samsung has promised in the past that they will be rolling out monthly security updates. LG promised the same when they launched their monthly security update bulletin as well. Sadly, smartphone OEMs aren’t in control of the updates for most people in the United States.

Since the wireless carriers handle the updates here, these monthly updates have in some cases turned into quarterly or bimonthly updates. I don’t want to just highlight LG and Samsung here either, other OEMs such as Huawei, ZTE, HTC and more have also not delivered on monthly security updates for their devices… especially when it isn’t the latest flagship smartphone from the company. Google’s tried to improve this by naming and shaming companies who were being slow, but that didn’t do much in the end.

Google isn’t giving up, though, and they were able to work with over 200 OEMs last year to get security updates pushed out to more than 730 million devices. Google was able to work with OEMs and carriers to get security update wait times cut down from 6-9 weeks to just a few days. By the end of 2016, Android security leads Adrian Ludwig and Melinda Miller said over 79% of current flagship devices sold in North America had the latest security update.

Carriers are said to be viewing security updates differently from larger feature updates and this has enabled them to test less and push out the updates faster than before. OEMs are said to be restructuring their software update process in order to fit these critical security updates into their workflow faster. Google has even been working on ways to reduce the size of the monthly security updates so they download quicker as this results in fewer people skipping the update process in fear that it will take a long time.

Source: Google Security Blog