Category: Android Security Update

Samsung Galaxy S6 Variants on T-Mobile Seeing The July Android Security Update

Good news this morning for those of you who have a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge on T-Mobile.  The carrier is now rolling out the July Android Security Update to these devices and it should be hitting yours sometime this week.  The updates are small, just over 50MB for each of the devices, and mostly focus on brining the July 2017 update to the devices.  There are a few minor fixes and improvements too but the security patch is the big news.

For those with a Galaxy S6, you are looking for version G920TUVS5FQG1 while the S6 Edge will be getting version G925TUVS5FQG1.  Both of these devices received the Android Nougat 7.0 update from the carrier last month.

Huawei P10 Update Rolling Out with Improvements and May Security Update

There is a new update for the Huawei P10 that is rolling out now to device owners.  The update is for both the dual-SIM and single-SIM variants of the phone and it brings an updated security patch and other performance improvements.  The update is VTR-L09C432B150 or VTR-L19C432B150 depending on which variant you have in hand.  The builds are identical in updates and are about 270MB in size.

The update includes several improvements to the device including improvements to the camera app for more natural colors and adds a Moving picture feature which creates a small movie from your photo.  There are also battery performance improvements in this update, especially for times when you use your phone over a long period.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge on Sprint Getting June Security Update

Yesterday, T-Mobile started rolling out the June Android Security update to the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge on their network.  Today, Sprint has followed suit.  The update is build G930PVPU4BQF3 for the Galaxy S7 while the S7 Edge will be getting build G935PVPU4BQF3.  The update for either device comes in at just under 300MB in size and it is recommended that it be downloaded via Wi-Fi and that you have at 50% of battery left prior to trying to install it.

The release notes for the updates are somewhat generic in describing what is addressed.  The security is improved thank to the new Android Security patch level but there are also “device stability & improvements”.  There are also performance improvements but again, not specific is called out.  This is similar to the T-Mobile release yesterday which just indicated “various system improvements”.

Some Google Pixel Owners Reporting Issues Installing The July Security Update

There are reports from some Google Pixel owners that the July Android Security Update, which was released yesterday, is failing to install on their devices.  The issue appears to be rather discrete and not broadly impacting all Pixel owners.  The issue appears to be only on the 5″ model and only with build NKG47M.  That build is for T-Mobile and Project Fi.  The Pixel XL and other builds, at least for now, do not appear to be impacted.  I was able to install the same build on my Google Pixel XL, which is on Project Fi, without any issues.  That update was 70MB in size.

The issue is that the update simply will not install.  Users are prompted that the update is available and when they attempt to install it, they are given an error indicating that the update couldn’t be installed.  There is an option to try again but this appears to have no impact on the issue as it still will not install.

July Android Security Update Released

As expected with it being the first business day of the month, Google has released the July Android Security update for eligible Nexus and Pixel devices.  The update consists of two patches per the usual.  The first is broader Android fixes and patches for all devices.  It is dated July 1, 2017.  The second patch is more driver specific items for Nexus and Pixel devices which is dated July 5, 2017.  Nexus and Pixel devices will eventually see the July 5th update which is already rolling out and available as full images and OTA images on the Android Developer site.

In the July 1 update, there are 48 total items addressed in these updates, 10 of which are considered critical.  These issues mostly have to do remote code execution and permissions elevations in areas like framework, media framework and libraries.

AT&T Releases June Android Security Update for The Galaxy Note 4

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 continues to get incremental updates from both Samsung directly and carriers here in the United States.  AT&T has started rolling out updated firmware version N910AUCS2EQF1 which is fundamentally the June Android Security update that was released by Google earlier this month.  In fact, only security updates are listed in the release notes on the AT&T site for the device.

This update does not update the device to Android Nougat, an update that is likely never to happen officially given the age of the device and the expected release of the Note 8 this summer.  Indeed, it is because of the debacle of the Note 7 that the 4 is still getting regular updates more-or-less.

Android Security Update for June Released

As expected with it being the first Monday of the month, Google has released the Android Security Update patches for June today.  Like the past few updates, this month’s patch consists of two patches, one dated June 1st and the other June 5th.  The first patch deals with broader issues with Android in general while the second patch is more driver or component specific.

Perhaps the best news in this month’s update is the fix of a long standing Bluetooth vulnerability within Android.  There are three specific fixes that are in this update which squelch the ability of malicious apps to elevate permissions.  This issue has actually be in Android since the KitKat days.  Yeah, a long time coming.

Google Pixel Lineup Security Support Ends in October 2019

Following the process set for the last Nexus lineup, Google has updated their Android software update page with information on the Google Pixel lineup.  Major version support for the devices will end next year, October 2018 while Android security updates will end a year later in October 2019.  While Google phrases this as “not guaranteed”, it is pretty much a lock that the devices won’t see updates after these dates.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to Pixel owners.  Google has said they will support phones for 3 years after release or 18 months from when the device was last sold in the Google Store, whichever is longer.  This is the cadence they setup on such updates with the release of the Nexus 6P and 5X although it had been somewhat implied prior to those devices. As an owner of a Pixel XL, I’d love to see support longer but the reality is, for Google, developing an Android build for a 3+ year old device is expensive with little incentive for them to do it.  Remember that they, just like any other manufacture, want you to upgrade at some point.

Android Nougat 7.1.2 Released With April Android Security Update

Google has released the April Android Security Update today for Nexus and Pixel devices but, and likely more interesting to readers, the update comes in the Android Nougat 7.1.2 release.  Nougat 7.1.2 has been in beta for several weeks know and is purely a maintenance build for devices.  There are a few  new features in the build but a lot of refinements on features already in the platform.  Perhaps the biggest news is the enablement of Fingerprint scanner swiping on the Nexus 5X and 6P.  There are also some new battery usage warnings for both devices.

Google has already released the full images and the OTA images for devices.  The release notes, however, outlining everything that has been addressed, have not been released at the time of this writing.  Remember that unless you are comfortable manually flashing your devices, you should wait until the OTA update rolls out from Google to your device automatically.

Android Security Update for March Released – Already Hitting Devices

The March Android Security Update has been released for Nexus and Pixel devices and, the good news, the update is already rolling out to devices.  The update was officially released yesterday and has become the way of things, consists of two patches.  The first patch, dated March 1st, contains three critical patches and 8 high priority patches.  This patch is generally for all Android devices while the second patch, dated March 5th, has 8 critical patches and contains a whopping 21 high priority patches.  This update is mostly for Nexus and Pixel devices.

Like previous releases, this month’s security update has been released as a full factory image for those who want to flash their devices manually and so has the OTA patch to do an incremental update.  For those who want to wait until Google actually pushes it to your phone or tablet, you won’t have to wait long.

February Android Security Bulletin Released

As expected, Google has released the February Android Security Bulletin today, highlighting the security vulnerabilities and fixes addressed since last month.  The company has also released the OTA updates for the February builds which means that owners of compatible Nexus and Pixel devices will get the update shortly.

Like last month, the February update consists of two distinct patches.  The first patch, dated February 1, deals with general vulnerabilities in Android Nougat while the second patch, dated February 5, is more specific to Nexus and Pixel devices.  Both patches have security fixes but the second patch deals with security patches with specific device drivers.  In all there are 35 fixes, 8 of which are considered critical and 18 are considered high priority.  You can read about all of them in the Bulletin release notes.

January Android Security Update Released

As expected, Google released the January Android Security Update patches yesterday for the Google Pixel phones and Nexus devices.  The full system images and the OTA images have been released to the Android Developer site already so users who have these devices should start seeing the OTA update come to their phones or tablets over the course of the next few days.  For those who want to manually flash, you can do so with these factory images.

The new build versions are as follows:

  • Google Pixel XL – NMF26U or NMF26V (for Verizon owners)
  • Google Pixel – NMF26U or NMF26V (for Verizon owners)
  • Pixel C – N4F26I
  • Nexus 6P – N4F26I and N4F26J
  • Nexus 5X – N4F26I and N4F26J
  • Nexus Player – NMF26R
  • Nexus 9 (Wi-Fi) – NMF26R

Notably the Nexus 6 is not on this list nor is the Nexus 9 LTE version.  The Nexus 6 should be getting Nougat 7.1.1 next week but it is unclear why the Nexus 9 LTE did not get updates yet.