This needs to get better. A lot better.
In a blog post detailing how much it has paid for Android security vulnerabilities, the Android team at Google has released information on just how many devices are getting monthly security patches. In fighting a serious uphill battle, Google says there are now 100 distinct devices where a "majority" of the models sold have been updated to a monthly patch from the last 90 days. There are just over 40 devices with a majority of models sold that have been updated in the last 60 days.
Google uses the metric of "a majority" because, despite a phone like the Galaxy S8 ostensibly being one phone, it has dozens of different SKUs and variations in the wild for different countries and carriers. It's worthy of some level of praise for Samsung to get the security patch out to most models, even if it hasn't kept up on all models.
Here are the models Google has identified as having kept up-to-date with a security patch within the trailing 60 days:
- BlackBerry Priv
- Fujitsu F-O1J
- General Mobile GM5 Plus d, GM5 Plus, 4G Dual, Mobile 4G
- Gionee A1
- Google Pixel XL, Pixel, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 9
- LG G6, V20, Stylo 2 V, GPad 7.0 LTE
- Motorola Moto Z, Moto Z Droid
- Oppo CPH1613, CPH1605
- Samsung Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S7 Active, Galaxy S6 Active, Galaxy S5 Dual SIM, Galaxy C9 Pro, Galaxy C7, Galaxy J7, Galaxy On7 Pro, Galaxy J2, Galaxy A8, Galaxy Tab S2 9.7
- Sharp Android One S1, 507SH
- Sony Xperia XA1, Xperia X
- Vivo 1609, 1601, Y55
Seeing such a diverse set of devices updated to one of the last two security patches is great, but it's the seemingly haphazard inconsistency that is frustrating to users who are keen on security. Aside from Google's own devices, it's tough to find a manufacturer that can get the updates out each and every month. Google has made big strides in implementing monthly security updates, but there's a substantial amount of room to grow.
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