Android device manufacturers are going to move to monthly patch cycles according to a report from Computerworld.
Yay? Yes, yay! Sure, it will be a pain to apply software updates with each new moon, especially with so many mobile devices (e.g. phones, tablets, etc.) running the OS, but it really is a good thing.
The reasoning is as follows …
- all software has bugs (try as we might, this remains true for anything other than simple programs)
- some percentage of those bugs are security-related (call it the law of averages)
- therefore, all software needs security patches (the punch line)
Mobile phones don’t get a pass from these inexorable truths just because they fit in your pocket. For what it’s worth, neither to cars which I’ve written about here before as well. In fact, some of the higher end models these days have more lines of code than the Windows operating system so take a guess at how many security holes that translates into…
Apple has done a better job in this area because as both the hardware maker and OS supplier, they had 2/3’s of the equation under their control with only the carrier side to coordinate. The Android ecosystem has had 3 players that needed to sync up since the people that made the handsets (e.g. Samsung, LG, etc.) were different from those that supplied the OS (Google) which were different from the carriers (e.g. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.).
This dragon isn’t slayed yet as the precise details of how the Android army is going to amass against this issue have yet to be fully worked out but it’s a step in the right direction and one that is long overdue.