Android is one the most used operating systems in the world because it provides a high level of customizability to its users, and the other reason, there are tons of cheap Android devices in the market. But the lives of Android users is filled with the pain of not getting updates on time.
Forget the feature updates, even security patches are a no-show on many devices. The height of inconsistency is that Android P is about to arrive in a few months and Android O runs only on 5.7% devices.
Google doesn’t seem to be at fault here. Android security patches are released almost every month, and Pixel devices get them on time. It’s mostly the OEMs who are careless, or sometimes they blame compatibility issues when it comes to delivering updates to their customers.
Hopefully, that might change in the coming future. During his talk at Google I/O 2018, the head of Android security David Kleidermacher explained how Project Treble is making it easier for OEMs to push security updates to Android devices.
He didn’t fail to mention an essential piece of information. Google is making changes to their Android partner program agreement, so the security updates reach devices on a regular basis. At least, in the case of the OEMs who are a part of the program.
“We’ve also worked on building security patching into our OEM agreements. Now this will lead to a massive increase in the number of devices and users receiving regular security patches,” he said.
This may sound assuring to our ears. But, while the company is still busy finalizing the Partner agreements, it’s still unclear how frequent “regular” would mean. Also, this calls for some strict monitoring on Google’s part. Especially, when there are smartphone makers who lie about pushing security updates.