How long are mobile phone brands required to update Android?

Android updates

There are many brands that make mobile phones, that is not a mystery. But ... Can they make mobiles like this without more? Or do they have to abide by some kind of rules? Obviously it has to adapt to the standards set by Google, the company behind Android. But the most important thing for the user is: How long are they required to update their phones? Now we will find out.

About a year ago, the European Union fined Google for monopoly, due to certain policies with its mobile phones, especially in regard to software. Therefore, Google's policy changed completely. Here's how this affected your phone updates.

Android updates: Two years minimum

Two years. Two years is the time that Google forces manufacturers that use its operating system to update their mobile phones. Yes indeed. This is not the same for all phones, only for the "popular" ones, that is, phones that have more than 100.000 units sold, which for the big brands in the sector, is not a lot of effort. They also have to be mobiles launched after January 31, 2018, which was when this regulation came into force by Google.

That is why there has been an increase in the number of updates that each manufacturer contributes to their phones. Anyway, they are of calendar years of updates, so you can play with this ambiguity to sneak fewer updates, although now many manufacturers are struggling to have better update policies.

These updates of course include both large updates, as well as the smallest updates that you receive on your mobile during your life with that version of Android.

One of the biggest problems that Android has historically had has been fragmentation. Now since Android 8 Oreo, with Project Treble and these new policies, it seems they want to completely change the way Android updates.

android updates


What about security patch updates?

But not only are there big (or not so big) Android updates, we also have security patches, which go differently and independently. This can already be seen on Android One devices, which guarantee two years of updates and three years of security patch updates.

Well, Google places a lot of emphasis on the security of its devices, therefore It is mandatory to update security patches at least every 90 days. Quite good figures and that give us, the users of the operating system, more peace of mind. In any case, it is not known exactly how many years the patches have to be updated, but everything points out, that it is also two years.

android security patch updates

What do you think of these rules? Do you think they are okay or are they too loose?

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