Android phones are getting security updates faster than ever, but still not fast enough

Android 11 review
Android 11 review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google highlights the speed and frequency of Android security updates.
  • The company states that 95% of Android 11 devices ran a security update that was released within 90 days.
  • Google also highlights how Google Play Protect helps prevent malicious apps from being published.

During Google I/O on Wednesday, the director of the Android Security Strategy, Eugene Liderman, took time to discuss the state of Android security. In the session, he declared that in the first quarter of 2021, 95% of Android devices were given a security update that was released within 90 days.

Android Security Updates Progress

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

While not all of the best Android phones received monthly security updates like the Google Pixel 5 and its predecessors, it does highlight the improvements that Android is making to ensure that devices are secure and users are protected, which can likely be attributed in some part to efforts like Project Mainline. That said, there is still room for improvement.

Meanwhile, Samsung, the largest Android manufacturer, has greatly improved the speed at which it updates its smartphones, often releasing a new security patch before Pixel devices. The company has also promised four years of security updates for many of its smartphones, a pledge that other OEMs have followed with similar promises of their own.

Liderman also highlighted the benefits of Google Play Protect, an Android security module within the Play Store. Play Protect checks apps installed on your smartphone for malware and security risks. In 2020, Google prevented more than 50,000 malicious apps from being published to the store. The company was also able to prevent nearly 1 million policy-violating app submissions from being published, thanks to machine learning detection.

Google Play Protect Stats

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

On the privacy side, Google soon plans to help you gain more transparency about the apps you install, thanks to a new policy for app developers. The new policy should help you better understand just how an app plans to use your data, helping you make a more informed decision about installing an app.

Google is also adding more privacy features within the Android 12 beta released yesterday, which will give you more control over when and how apps use your data. That said, not all experts are convinced of Google's efforts.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.