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The importance of Android updates for our security

25 mayo, 2021

The issue of Android updates is something that brings more than one head, in some cases because they wait for them to reach their terminal and in other cases because that happy update has turned their mobile into a very expensive paperweight. Regardless of whether it goes wrong, right, or just not, updates are important.

And they are not only important because that way we feel that we are more up to date or they give us a feature that we have been waiting for months, but it is the security of our data that often benefits. It is not a novelty that Android, in each version, seeks to be more secure, although for this a certain part of the users is somewhat harmed (the root lovers).

System updates, how important are they?

Every time a new version of Android is coming, we go into ‘hype’ mode and we are looking forward to knowing all the new details that this new version will bring and, above all, its new name, the new sweet that Google has chosen (many of us hope that this time it touches Oreo) so that we can identify that new version of Android that so eagerly We have been waiting.

But beyond that sweet name that we may like or not, there are a lot of things that we want to try as soon as possible. Some versions bring important aesthetic changes, while others bet on improving performance the system or add features that will make it more mature and interesting for people.

But there is something that Android always brings in each new version: more security. And is that Google now not only has to focus on providing the operating system to mobile manufacturers, but also to convince other companies to make use of its services, and one of their biggest concerns is security.

One of the first things that attracts us the most about future versions of Android is the name it will receive followed closely by the new features it will have.

You are probably thinking about the same thing as me: about Android Pay. In this case, Google must demonstrate to banks that Android is secure enough to deserve their trust. But the North American company also makes rooting the terminals more difficult, although it will remain a mystery if any version will become impossible to root or there will always be a developer who finds a weak point.

Until now they have managed to prevent applications such as Android Pay or Samsung Pay from working if the terminal is rooted, which allows it to have some confidence from the banks. Developers have always tried to bypass SafetyNet, Google’s detection method, but the Mountain View company always managed to update it and thwart developers’ efforts.

Updates are not important only for security reasons, but for the arrival of new features like Daydream, which many of us will want to enjoy.

But we are going to put aside, at least for some lines, the issue of security, because, some more than others, all the new versions bring some new feature, as in the case of Android Nougat, which brings us a series of functions such as Daydream for terminals that support it, Vulkan or a improved Doze mode.

While some of the new features are more of a “whim”, others, such as the aforementioned improved Doze, will make us have to worry less about the autonomy of our terminals. Definitely, Android is maturing and becoming more complete. In just a few years we have gone from making calls and sending SMS to being able to manage almost our entire life through a screen.

Security patches, that essential element

Moto Z Usb

For well over a year now, there has been something that has been shaking not only users, but Google itself, as the owner of Android, and that is malware. Obviously, the Mountain Viewers were not going to sit idly by, and decided to launch a measure that consisted of launching monthly updates containing patches against different types of malware.

Google has promised to update the Nexus and Pixel terminals every month with these patches and pass them on to manufacturers to do the same. The problem, predictable as well as (strangely) surprising, is that not everyone would be willing to comply with such monthly updates.

Google has promised to release monthly security updates for the Nexus and Pixel, but not all manufacturers are willing to follow suit.

This I do consider something that It should be mandatory for absolutely all Android mobile manufacturers, because it is not an update where the manufacturer has to adapt their chorraditas and bloatware to be able to release it, but something as simple as applying those patches, without having to touch anything else, and launch them via OTA.

We are not talking about something that will contain a series of “pijadas”, but about protect a little more the data we store on our smartphones, which in many cases can be very sensitive, such as account numbers or passwords for our social networks and other similar apps. This would have to think very well all manufacturers and put the batteries.

This is especially important as a result of the latest malware that have come out in these months, which are capable of stealing our data, rooting our device or deleting files from our mobile, such as GhostCtrl. It is no longer a matter of whim, as we have said, it is a matter of security and privacy, that there is even some malware that sneaks over and over again on Google Play, see Ztorg.

Android fragmentation, that problem that does not seem to be able to be solved

Mobile

Android fragmentation has been talked about for years, and it is a problem that, for quite some time, It has gotten worse the more manufacturers were appearing. Each one follows a different update policy, that is, those who have an update policy, because there are several manufacturers that remain in the factory version.

This is no longer a problem that many are left without trying new features, the problem is that this fragmentation is becoming a security breach of titanic proportions. It is true that today some manufacturers are striving to provide support, but fragmentation does not go away with the effort of some, but that of all.

Android users take for granted that the fragmentation is there, and it will continue until Google fixes it

Those of us who are ‘fans’ of Android we assume almost from the beginning that the fragmentation is there and we accept it as we accept the defects of other people, but things start to get ugly at the moment in which a high percentage of Android users, due to the neglect of various manufacturers, are exposed to attacks on their personal data.

Let’s face it Until Google really gets tough on manufacturers, fragmentation will be the order of the day. Until then, the best we can do is discuss the importance of updates. Do you think they are really important for an advanced average user (more frequent each time) or are they something secondary that we should not worry about?

In Engadget Android | Android Nougat will not reach terminals with Snapdragon 800/801, is the hardware always to blame for the lack of updates?