Rumor: Google shames partners into updating Android

— 7:00 AM on May 27, 2016

It's no secret that non-Nexus Android phones have a reputation for receiving OS updates late, if at all. Failing to address this issue has left a large portion of the Android user base using versions of the OS that are outdated and potentially insecure. According to Bloomberg, Google is adding a new tool to get manufacturers to update—shame. The company is apparently making a list of vendors' update record and using the threat of making it public to convince the companies to release Android patches.

In July of last year, the Stagefright bug shone the spotlight directly on the issue of Android OS fragmentation. The bug allowed remote code execution on the majority of Android devices through an exploit in the libstagefright component baked into the OS. Google quickly patched the affected software, but not all Android device makers were so quick to act. Since then, Google started releasing monthly security updates for the OS, but most OEMs have been slow to deploy them. Bloomberg reports that the cost of testing updates is the biggest reason for the delay and that Google is trying to persuade companies to do reduced testing on the monthly update packs to reduce cost.

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