Your Ancient Android Security Is As Firm As A Marshmallow
As Secure As A Candy Store Minded By Kids
The results of recent research are not reassuring for the security conscious techie as it revealed that 42.1% of active Android users are on version 6.0 or earlier, the number of devices being well over a billion. The oldest version still receiving updates is Android 8, the current version is 10 and there is a new version coming in the very near future but unfortunately many phones are simply not compatible with those newer versions.
Nokia was ranked the best with 96% of their devices sold since Q3 2018 able to run newer OSes, Samsung is at 89% and Xiaomi at 84% with other manufacturers ranking noticeably lower. The reactions from the magazine which published the research suggest part of the reason there is so much insecure kit out there is a lack of communication from the manufacturers, who do not provide purchasers with information on the support lifetime of a phone. For those that read sites like The Register or PCPer this is not an issue as we know which versions of Android are outdated but the vast majority of consumers are unlikely to know the version of Android running on their phone, let alone if it is current.
Manufacturers can determine the life cycle of a phone, and how long it should receive updates. The fewer updates, the less they have to spend in terms of people hours.
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The update model for android is just poorly done. They should have gone with a method more like Windows, where google can release updates independently of the device maker, thus leaving the device maker to only do driver and firmware updates.