Part of owning a smartphone is making sure that it remains up to date. Whether it is for the apps you have downloaded or the OS itself, it is important to stay on top of it all in order to get maximum performance and benefit from your device.
Whether it is for performance reasons, to get new features or just make sure the phone's security is as tight as it can be, failure to update can ultimately lead to some problems.
Fortunately many phones will automatically update, and if not, at least inform us when something new is ready to be downloaded. When it comes to Androids, there are so many updates to keep track of that it may be tough to remember if your device is actually running the newest software.
But it's important to stay updated
Odds are if your phone is not updated it's not because you are careless, you maybe just didn't realize that was the case. The confusion is understandable. Even if the phone does alert you it's easy to pass it off as something you will take care of later only to completely forget.
While Google cannot help us there it is, for the first time, letting us know which phones are good at automatically getting security updates quickly and reliably. It is all part of Google's plan to try and establish best practices and consistent requirements for devices and services, all of which are backed and supported by Google.
It is known as Android Enterprise, and there are some criteria a phone must meet in order to be included on the list. A main one is that the phone will deliver relevant security patches within 90 days of the patch's release.
Keep in mind this does nothing to tell you about the phone's features and is not technically Google's way of trying to steer anyone toward or away from certain phones. Just, it is another tool for people to use, a new way of informing us of which phones are better at receiving security updates.
If nothing else, the knowledge could help you decide between a couple of phones if you are not sure which to purchase. So if you are wondering, these are the phones that Google says do a good job of receiving security updates:
- BlackBerry KeyOne
- BlackBerry Motion
- Google Pixel/Pixel XL
- Google Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL
- Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro
- Huawei MediaPad M5
- Huawei P Smart
- Huawei P10/P10 Plus/P10 Lite
- Huawei P20/P20 Pro
- LG G6
- LG V30
- Moto X4
- Moto Z2 Force Edition
- Moto Z3 Play
- Moto G6/G6 Plus
- New Nokia 6
- Nokia 3.1
- Nokia 5.1
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Nokia 8/8 Sirocco
- Sharp Aquos Sense SH-01K
- Sonim XP8
- Sony Xperia XA2/XA2 Ultra
- Sony Xperia XZ Premium
- Sony Xperia XZ1/XZ1 Compact
- Sony Xperia XZ2/XZ2 Compact
Is your phone on the list? Are you wondering why yours isn't?
The criteria matter
Just because a phone did not make the cut does not necessarily mean it has lax security. In addition to regular and timely security updates, the phone must receive at least one major operating system update, work with zero-touch enrollment and be available unlocked.
In all, Google began with devices from seven different manufacturers, and have since expanded to include others. The total for now is 39 different gadgets from nine manufacturers, with the group ranging in multiple price points.
Why is security important? More nasty Android malware is threatening users
A new form of Android malware that's still evidently a work in progress was recently discovered by researchers at cybersecurity firm ThreatFabric. Click here to learn more about it.