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Motorola won’t promise monthly Android security updates

by Todd Haselton | July 27, 2016July 27, 2016 6:30 am PST

The original Moto X helped Motorola establish a good reputation for fast security updates. Since then, however, the company has lagged in getting some of its phones updated to the latest versions of Android in a timely manner. That will continue, it seems, particularly when it comes to monthly security patches for Android.

In a statement to Ars Technica, Motorola said that it’ll try to get the software patches out to its Android smartphones quickly, but that it might not be able to deliver every monthly patch Google delivers. This is a problem, not only because the threat of mobile security breaches increases by the day, but because Motorola’s competitors are able to make this promise.

“Motorola understands that keeping phones up to date with Android security patches is important to our customers,” the company said in a statement to Ars Technica. “We strive to push security patches as quickly as possible. However, because of the amount of testing and approvals that are necessary to deploy them, it’s difficult to do this on a monthly basis for all of our devices. It is often most efficient for us to bundle security updates in a scheduled Maintenance Release (MR) or OS upgrade.”

Given that operating system upgrades don’t happen often, this is far too slow for my tastes. Worse, Verizon is notoriously slow for issuing maintenance releases and OS upgrades, so there’s a chance these security patches will get held up on the carrier end, too, particularly with phones like the Moto Z Droid Edition and Moto Z Force Droid Edition. Motorola said it is committed to providing security bulletins to those devices, as well as the Moto G4, but it won’t commit to monthly releases.

Ars Technica

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...