Google has started rolling out the April Android security update for compatible Pixel and Nexus devices. The list of devices that are compatible for the new update includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P smartphones as well as the Pixel C tablet. It has as many as 56 "functional updates" and some special improvements specifically designed for the Pixel family. The Android maker has released the new update in the form of factory images and OTA ZIP files in addition to rolling out its presence via an over-the-air (OTA) package.
You can check the availability of the April Android security update on your eligible Pixel or Nexus device by going to Settings > System updates. Alternatively, there are OTA ZIP files that you can install on your device via its unlocked bootloader. The available OTA ZIP files can also be sideloaded on top of the existing software version. This process helps to retain user data. Moreover, if you're a pro, you can pick up the updated factory images to experience the latest Android update. It is recommended to back up your data before installing the update via a factory image.
Similar to previous rollouts, Google has released the April Android security update in two security patch levels, dated 2018-04-01 and 2018-04-05. Both patch levels address various system-level vulnerabilities, ranging from high to critical. As per the Android Security Bulletin for the month of April, the most severe of the issues spotted by the Android team is a critical security vulnerability in media framework that could let a remote attacker silently execute arbitrary code using a "specially crafted file". Google claims that there are no reports of active customer exploitation or abuse of the newly reported issues.
In addition to the general fixes, the April Android security update brings a bunch of improvements exclusively for the Pixel range. There are improvements, for instance, on the part of the microvideo performance in Google Camera, lock screen performance, start time logging, modem stability, general connectivity for all Pixel smartphone models. Likewise, Google has added certain optimisations to tweak the battery performance of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
Last week, it was spotted that ahead of the formal rollout for Pixel and Nexus devices, the Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) received the April Android security update. The update was reportedly rolled out in a few European countries, including Luxembourg and the Netherlands.