Stagefright, the recently announced security vulnerability in every Android device since 2.2, is doing something remarkable within the Android community. In a recent post we covered how difficult it is for Google to get out security updates. The same day stagefright was announced Google already had a patch waiting for manufacturers to distribute to their customers to stop this type of attack but to date most of us are still vulnerable. Today the Android Community of manufacturers is coming together and announced they will push out monthly security updates to their devices to stop this and future attacks on Android. To date we have heard from just about all major companies, Google, LG, Samsung, HTC, Android One, and Sony who promise more updates.
For the Android world this is a big step in the right direction to fix a problem that has gotten little attention. Now the everyday user of Android probably doesn’t know much about Stagefright but it has serious consequences. There are 3 types of reactions to this issue, proactive, reactive, or just do nothing at all. I think we would have loved for Google to develop Android as open sourced but with a way to send out big updates such as this patch. It would not be truly open source if they did this but one could argue they needed to develop some type of system for this very important updates. That of course didn’t happen and still won’t happen as quickly as some would like. Now Google is being reactive which is much better then them looking at this problem and just not doing anything at all. They have identified the problem and are working with their partners to send out the update.
Now the next step to this process is the carriers. Will the carriers push these updates out as quickly as Google and the manufacturers are promising? The carriers are the final piece to this 3 pieced complex puzzle of updating Android. We see it when Google announces major updates to Android and most people don’t see those updates until they get a new phone. The carriers are the ones dragging their feet most of the time but will they in this situation? There is nothing for them to benefit with slow security updates and will most likely turn into a public relations nightmare for whichever carrier doesn’t push out this update and others.