Samsung was the first to announce it, saying that from now on, it will start rolling out security patches every month for all of its mobile devices that run on the Android mobile operating system. After Samsung’s announcement, Google also made one of its own, introducing a similar monthly update program for its Nexus line of devices. Both companies are planning to deploy their monthly security patches via over the air (OTA) updates.
Google routinely alerts makers of Android devices of security issues via its monthly bulletin. But what usually happens is that the fixes for these updates only come through point updates. But with the new monthly update program being implemented by the tech giant, mobile users can get fixes faster and more regularly. And with Google rolling out the fixes via the Android open source project, the security patches are made more accessible than ever before.
The first security patch that Google will be deploying is one that will fix the recently discovered StageFright bug. This new mobile bug, which hit headlines back in July of this year, makes any smartphone that runs on the Android OS to become vulnerable to hacking via a simple text message. Right now, the update that carriers the fix for this issue is now being rolled out to Google’s Nexus mobile devices.
Speaking of Nexus devices, Google’s monthly update program will cover the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5, the Nexus 6, and the Nexus 7, the Nexus 9, the Nexus 10, and the Nexus Player. According to Google, it plans to deploy major updates to its Nexus mobile devices for a period of two years, with security patches made available for a period of three years from initial availability, or 18 months from last sale of the mobile devices through the Google Store.
As for Samsung’s announcement, it is not as detailed as Google’s as of the moment. But the South Korean phone maker has stated that it has already begun having talks with various wireless carriers and partners. The company said in effect that it should be able to provide further details, especially with regards to security patches for specific Samsung devices, as well as the schedules of deployment of said updates.
According to Dong Jin Koh, Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile Research and Development Office, IT & Mobile Communications at Samsung, the company saw that it was high time it review its approach for rolling out security patches for its devices. Samsung believes that the new monthly update program it implemented should help immensely in making sure its customers’ devices are proactively protected.
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