July 2021 Android security update is now rolling out to Pixel phones
The monthly Android Security Bulletin is typically posted on the first Monday of each month, but the first Monday of July 2021 — ie. July 5th — was the day that many American workers observed the country’s Independence Day holiday. (If you’re wondering why then, it’s because when a U.S. federal holiday falls on a weekend, most M-F workplaces observe the holiday on the closest weekday instead). Thus, Google moved the release of the July 2021 ASB to today, and now the latest security update is rolling out to Pixel phones.
July 2021 Security Update Bulletin
The Android Security Bulletin for the month of July 2021, which can be viewed here, details multiple security vulnerabilities ranging in severity from high to critical. The 2021-07-01 security patch level addresses vulnerabilities discovered in Android components including the Framework, Media Framework, System, and three Project Mainline components. Meanwhile, the 2021-07-05 security patch level addresses vulnerabilities discovered in not only Android’s Framework and System but also in MediaTek and Qualcomm components and Widevine DRM.
As we’ve seen in the past, many of the disclosed vulnerabilities don’t offer additional documentation that explains what is affected and how the patch addresses the issue. You can read up on how monthly Android security updates work here.
Pixel Update Bulletin/Functional Update
In addition to providing information about vulnerabilities in the general Android Security Update Bulletin, Google has also patched additional vulnerabilities in the security update rolling out for Pixel devices. Unfortunately, this month doesn’t coincide with a new Pixel Feature Drop, so the latest monthly update is less exciting than last month’s update.
You should be getting the July 2021 security update starting today on your Pixel device, so long as you own one of the currently supported models. That includes the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. Here are the build numbers for each Pixel device:
- Pixel 3 (XL): RQ3A.210705.001
- Pixel 3a (XL): RQ3A.210705.001
- Pixel 4 (XL): RQ3A.210705.001
- Pixel 4a: RQ3A.210705.001
- Pixel 4a (5G): RQ3A.210705.001
- Pixel 5: RQ3A.210705.001
Samsung has already started rolling out the July 2021 security update to a couple of Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy Fold, Galaxy S20 series, and Galaxy Note 10 series. Expect other devices to follow.