Android security engineer Adrian Ludwig:
Nexus devices have always been among the first Android devices to receive platform and security updates. From this week on, Nexus devices will receive regular OTA updates each month focused on security, in addition to the usual platform updates. The first security update of this kind began rolling out today, Wednesday August 5th, to Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10, and Nexus Player. This security update contains fixes for issues in bulletins provided to partners through July 2015, including fixes for the libStageFright issues. At the same time, the fixes will be released to the public via the Android Open Source Project.
Regular security patches are a very good thing, and it’s great to see Google taking a more proactive approach. However, the final sentence of that quote illustrates the ongoing flaw of having the operating system so disconnected from the end user. These security updates still require Android partners to commit to releasing them in a timely way. To their credit, Samsung has committed to implementing these security fixes as soon as they’re available, but there’s a further caveat:
Samsung is currently in conversation with carriers around the world to implement the new approach. In collaboration with carriers and partners, more details about the specific models and timelines will be released soon.
That remains an awfully circuitous route to travel when a critical bug needs to be fixed.