The Essential Phone has a new update rolling out that owners will want to install as soon as it is available for their device. The update is build NMJ88C and it brings fixes for both the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities as well as the January Android Security Update patch. The update is small so you can download it via your mobile data connection but WiFi is always recommended.
The update means that the Essential Phone will be one of the first phones outside of Google’s own devices to have the January security update.
For those that haven’t kept up, the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws were announced last week and are a fundamental issue with Intel, AMD and ARM processors. If exploited, these vulnerabilities would allow for sensitive data to be stolen from the phone via memory that is normally off limits to the kernel. It is a big deal and software developers like Google, Microsoft and Apple are having to address it quickly. Phone manufactures, like Essential, will need to build fixes into their particular Android builds too.
For their part, Google has said that the fixes fro both Spectre and Meltdown are in the January Android Security Update patches. Essential is doing what they should in getting the update out and getting it out quickly.
If you have an Essential Phone, be sure to check for an update in Settings if you have not received a notification of one being available. This is one update you won’t want to put off for your own security.