Better times for Android updates

By | 08/05/2019

Android LogoAndroid from Google is the most used mobile operating system. Unlike Apple’s iOS, which is only licensed for its Apple devices, many vendors use Android as operating system for their smartphones. Almost every company makes its own modifications and it leads into situation when only few smartphones on the market got the newest version. Cheap smartphones often got one, pre-installed version, and no update will arrive, including security updates. Google wants to change it, and launched project called “Project Mainline”.

Google releases security updates every month and new major version of Android every year. With Project Trebble, Google is trying to simplify upgrading to new major versions by separating Android code depended on hardware, so vendors can create update images much easier by getting new version of Android independed on hardware. This architecture is used on devices, which originate Android version was at least Oreo 8.0.

Project Mainline is focused on security updates. Google will provide these updates by Play Store. It won’t update whole operating system, but, currently, only 14 components. Server The Verge lists “ANGLE”, “APK”, “Captive portal login”, “Conscrypt”, “DNS resolver”, “Documents UI”, “ExtServices”, “Media codecs”, “Media framework components”, “Network permission configuration”, “Networking components”, “Permission controller”, “Time zone data” and “Module metadata”.

Unfortunately, this security updating mechanism will only be available for new upcoming smartphones originating with upcoming Android Q, so smartphones with older version of Android, which will upgrade to Android Q from older versions, are out of luck.

Source: The Verge

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