Google manages to push out a new security update for its Android mobile operating system every month, while third-party manufacturers lag behind causing further disparity among smartphone users. A new contract from the firm has come to light, showing that a variety of companies are now committing to a harder push in keeping handsets up to date for the first two years of sale.
The Verge managed to get its hands on the aforementioned contract, divulging that device makers will now be required to issue at least four security updates within the first year of a smartphone’s life, a maximum of 90 days apart. Support is carried throughout the second year as well, however there are no parameters outlined within the document.
Android smartphones and tablets launched in the European Union after January 31st, 2018 with an audience of 100,000 people or more will be subject to the new changes, which are expected to come into full effect on January 31st, 2019. Google retains the right to withhold any future smartphone by a manufacturer should it fail to uphold the new ruleset, causing massive loss of profit.
Researchers outed Android vendors for hiding missed security patches back in April, with Google swiftly following up in May stating it would make an effort to ensure more regular security patches. Every 90 days is simply “a minimum security hygiene requirement,” which already sees a good portion of the Android market running the latest security updates.
KitGuru Says: Google should be commended for taking a step in the right direction, however 90 days is a long time for users to be burdened with known security issues. Hopefully some third-party manufacturers try to remain ahead of the curve and just as frequent as Google’s monthly security cycle.