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Google uses “public display of protection” as Android 6.0 Marshmallow security measure in Nexus devices for faster, better updates

October 2
10:34 PM 2015

Google introduced a new security feature in Android 6.0 Marshmallow as it launched its new Nexus devices. The company resorts to a "public display of protection" in order to get carriers and manufacturers to push out faster and better updates on users' devices.

Forbes reported that Google's new security plan releases a monthly security patch following the Stagefright scare. Under the heading 'Android security patch level' in Android 6.0 Marshmallow Settings menu, there is a date showing when the phone received the latest monthly patch. The date helps users know if their devices are updated and should not be more than a month old.

This security measure was pushed by Google's Android Security head, Adrian Ludwig. Not only will it inform users of their devices' update status, it will also encourage carriers and manufacturers to roll out timely updates to devices.

According to Android Central, Google will begin to push out monthly updates to Nexus phones. The security information transparency is expected to arrive on all Nexus devices in the future.

However, not all mobile phone manufacturers and carriers are committed to rolling out updates quickly to their devices, reported The Verge. Unlike Apple which updates its iPhones any time it wants, Google has to rely on its partner carriers and manufacturers to update user's phones.

A recent survey showed that 79 percent of Android users have not received the Android Lollipop yet even after nearly a year of its release. Late rollouts have been the main problems among manufacturers and carriers, resulting to users missing out on security updates and exposing them to vulnerabilities.

If this "public display of protection" measure works, it will lead to faster and better updates on Android devices. But if it does not, it will merely inform users if their devices are lagging behind or on track.

Ludwig hopes that the new security plan will drive users, manufacturers, and carriers to keep their devices up to date. "We see them changing the way they do business in order to satisfy that," he said. "I think in the next few months, we'll see many, many devices being updated on a monthly basis." He expects that carriers and device makers will move towards faster updates for better protection.

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