As we saw at Google I/O 2018, Android P beta is now available for more than a few Android devices, not just limited to the Google Pixel series of smartphones. Now, as per a new report, Google will soon require mobile manufacturers to roll out regular security updates. Besides the Google Mobile Services (GMS) programme and Android Partner programme, the latest change will be a part of a new modified agreement. At the annual developers conference, head of Android Security, David Kleidermacher, reportedly revealed details about the changes that are coming to Android P, in terms of security.
As per an XDA Developers report, Kliedermacher started by talking about ways in which Google has made it easier for smartphone manufacturers to work on updates for their Android handsets, thanks to architectural changes implemented with Project Treble. But, a key piece of information shared by him was that Google is now modifying its OEM agreements to include revisions that require regular security patches, under the new provisions.
"We've also worked on building security patching into our OEM agreements. Now this will really lead to a massive increase in the number of devices and users receiving regular security patches," Kleidermacher was quoted as saying.
Google rolls out security patches every month to patch a list of known vulnerabilities. These monthly security patches are rolled out at the beginning of every month. But, OEMs usually receive these security patches much earlier, giving them time to patch vulnerabilities before the security bulletin is released.
Most smartphone manufacturers usually roll out the monthly Android security patches, at least to its flagship smartphones. However, a report had recently claimed that many OEMs have missed several monthly security patches, and Hope said it was looking into the reports. It appears Google is looking to regularise the whole process, finally. With Project Treble and new efforts to get manufacturers to roll out regular security updates, the company clearly wants to get updates (both software and security) to end users quicker. However, there is little information available on the details of the provisions of the updated agreement.