Android phones are getting security updates faster than ever, but still not fast enough | #android | #security

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

During Google I/O on Wednesday, the director of the Android Security Strategy, Eugene Liderman, took time to discuss the state of Android security. In the session, he declared that in the first quarter of 2021, 95% of Android devices were given a security update that was released within 90 days.

While not all of the best Android phones received monthly security updates like the Google Pixel 5 and its predecessors, it does highlight the improvements that Android is making to ensure that devices are secure and users are protected, which can likely be attributed in some part to efforts like Project Mainline. That said, there is still room for improvement.

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Meanwhile, Samsung, the largest Android manufacturer, has greatly improved the speed at which it updates its smartphones, often releasing a new security patch before Pixel devices. The company has also promised four years of security updates for many of its smartphones, a pledge that other OEMs have followed with similar promises of their own.

Liderman also highlighted the benefits of Google Play Protect, an Android security module within the Play Store. Play Protect checks apps installed on your smartphone for malware and security risks. In 2020, Google prevented more than 50,000 malicious apps from being published to the store. The company was also able to prevent nearly 1 million policy-violating app submissions from being published, thanks to machine learning detection.

On the privacy side, Google soon plans to help you gain more transparency about the apps you install, thanks to a new policy for app developers. The new policy should help you better understand just how an app plans to use your data, helping you make a more informed decision about installing an app.

Google is also adding more privacy features within the Android 12 beta released yesterday, which will give you more control over when and how apps use your data. That said, not all experts are convinced of Google’s efforts.

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