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Google will force Android phone makers to issue regular security updates

It'll be part of the contract that OEMs have to sign.


Android P is the latest version of the operating system.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

There's been an awful lot of hacks in the news recently, and it's always frustrating to see my oh-so-personal phone (in my case, a Motorola Moto Z2 Play) go months without a patch. Google is pretty quick to issue them, but it takes longer for OEMs like Motorola and Samsung to get with the program, and I've definitely noticed some major lapses.

But at Google I/O 2018 this past week, the company's head of Android security said that OEMs will now be contractually obligated to issue regular security patches.

"We've also worked on building security patching into our OEM agreements," said David Kleidermacher, head of Android platform security. "Now this will really lead to a massive increase in the number of devices and users receiving regular security patches," he continued. 

The news was first reported by XDA-Developers, but you can watch it right here yourself at around the 2:10 mark:

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for more info -- like which companies are on board.

In March, Kleidermacher told CNET that Android is now just as secure as its rivals -- and mentioned that the company would put pressure on OEMs to roll out patches faster -- but security researchers discovered that some Android phonemakers were lying about their security updates in April.

Here's an alleged snapshot of the state of security updates from February 2018: