Google To ‘Shame’ Manufacturers Too Slow At Updating Android

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Android maker hopes that listing those who are slow to provide updates will help improve adoption ahead of Android N launch

Google is reportedly preparing to shame some of its biggest manufacturing partners amid concerns they are taking too long to issue the latest versions of Android to users, potentially leaving them at risk of attack.

Bloomberg says that the search giant plans  to go public with a list of offending vendors, in a bid to encourage them to pick up the pace.

And Google is also looking for carriers to cut down on the often overlong update testing cycles, as well as removing the need to carry out tests on security updates, as it looks to ensure its system is tight.

Name and shame

Mobile securityGoogle first began issuing regular monthly security and software updates to Android devices last August, although the company’s own-brand Nexus devices receive preferential treatment.

However the responsibility for actually making these updates available to users is that of the vendors themselves, who push out the software to customers via their own channels.

This has led to large-scale fragmentation among Android users, some of whom have devices running the latest software versions, with others sporting older editions which may contain damaging security flaws.

Earlier this month, security researchers warned of an unpatched vulnerability that could impact as many as 60 percent of Android devices, which could be easily stopped by a past update that was unavailable to many users.

Last year’s Stagefright issue also heightened fears over Android security, as it put a possible billion devices at risk of attack from damaged software.

Google has made several public efforts to show off its increased security awareness, reporting last month that it now checks over six billion installed apps on 400 million devices every day, with over one billion devices worldwide now protected by its security services.

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