Be Warned Samsung Device Owners: Android Security Updates Will Arrive At Slower Pace

A woman holds different colored models of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 while people test new devices during the launch event of the Galaxy Note 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn
A woman holds different colored models of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 while people test new devices during the launch event of the Galaxy Note 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Samsung came a bit late in providing the details of security patches for supported Galaxy handset models. For users, it should serve as an advanced warning that more delays can be expected in the delivery of Android security updates.

For Google, the deployment of security fixes is on a monthly basis, but it's always different for device vendors, and Samsung is not an exception. In fact, the Korean tech giant was running behind with the release of the October security patches, and this was confirmed by Samsung-focused blog site SamMobile.

The reports said software updates for the month will only start arriving next week, and the coverage will be limited to 10 handsets led by the current flagship models - the Galaxy Note 10 series and the Galaxy S10 series - and last year's flagship releases - the Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy S9 series.

However, the same report did not mention that Samsung has decided to adjust how it delivers the regular OS updates to supported devices. With the adjustments that Samsung has immediately implemented, supported devices will be getting firmware updates less frequently, according to Lifehacker.

In the new patch program, Samsung will only push the monthly updates to select devices that include the flagship Galaxy S and Note series and the mid-range Galaxy A series. Users will need to take note that this only applies to devices that were issued in the last two to three years.

That would mean older devices, flagship or midrange, will not be supported or any longer.

As for the lower-midrange and entry-level Samsung phone and tablet models, the OS update delivery is now on a quarterly basis. Why the change, Samsung has elected not to explain. But this is better than the fate of the so-called aging Samsung devices.

Per the same report, these soon-to-exit Samsung devices will only get software updates as the need arises. Or they will not be getting any, which is the more realistic scenario.

It has been the general complaint by Android users - that the OEM Android update is quite fragmented, and it appears there is no solution in sight. As pointed out by Android Police, Google has mandated that vendors like Samsung and Huawei must provide firmware support for no less than two years and the delivery needs to be predictable, preferably every month.

Sadly, this is not the case, and partly, Google is responsible as the same report blamed the search giant's "lack of firmer enforcement."

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