Google has started pushing out the latest Android security update to supported Pixel and Nexus devices. The update is being rolled out in a staged manner and should be available to all Pixel and Nexus device owners in coming weeks.
As usual, Google has also put out the factory images and full OTA zip files for download. Those not interested in waiting for the official OTA update can grab these files and manually update their devices with the latest security patch. However, those planning to manually update their devices must keep in mind that they will have to wipe data in order to proceed with flashing the factory image and it is advisable to take a back up of all your data.
In general, the security update is pushed out to most devices via over-the-air update within few hours and takes few days in the worst case scenario. The rollout is expected to commence later today or tomorrow and will bring the latest security fix to Pixel and Nexus devices.
The January security patch brings two patch levels – the patch dated January 1, 2018 contains 20 known bug fixes while the patch dated January 5, 2018 fixes 18 more known bugs. The vulnerabilities fixed with the monthly security patch are rated from high to critical. The January security update also brings fix to a media framework that could have allowed attackers to execute arbitrary code through a “crafted file” on compromised devices.
There have been no reports of Android smartphones being attacked through this known bug but it is reassuring that the bug fix is already available for Pixel and Nexus devices. According to 9to5Google, the Pixel and Nexus devices will also get additional 46 bug fixes including two functional updates – one of the update handles key upgrades in the keystore while the second one improves overall stability and performance after an update.
On the first-generation Pixel smartphones, Google offers guaranteed software updates for two years and security update for three years. With the launch of second-generation Pixel phones, Google confirmed that it will offer security and major software update for three years. Among carriers, Rogers in Canada and O2 in the UK have confirmed the rollout o the security update.