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Android Security Bulletin Patches 78 Vulnerabilities

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Busy month for Google as it patches multiple vulnerabilities with the Android operating system

Google has patched a massive 78 Android vulnerabilities in its latest security bulletin for the mobile operating system.

The search engine giant began rolling out monthly updates to fix Android flaws back in August 2015, as part of its efforts to improve Android’s patchy security reputation.

It also said there was two patch levels associated with the latest update, designed to help OEMs select the most appropriate patches for them.

Android Patches

google-pixel-7“Alongside the bulletin, we have released a security update to Nexus devices through an over-the-air (OTA) update,” said Google.

“This bulletin has two security patch level strings to provide Android partners with the flexibility to more quickly fix a subset of vulnerabilities that are similar across all Android devices.”

The first patch level (2016-10-01) seems to fix flaws with core Android services and drivers to do with things such as APIs, Wi-Fi, GPS and other components.

The second patch level (2016-10-05) addresses issues in a number of drivers and components in Android versions used by only a few OEMs.

“We encourage all users to update to the latest version of Android where possible,” said Google. “Android partners are encouraged to fix all issues in this bulletin and use the latest security patch level string.”

Google Pixel

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Google Pixel (1)

Mobile Differences

Google is taking a much different line to mobile devices compared to Microsoft, which this year exited the mobile handset market, and instead wants to encourage third parties to design Windows10-based mobile devices.

Google meanwhile previously partnered with third party manufacturers for its flagship ‘Nexus’ smartphones.

But earlier this week it revealed a brand new smartphone, which it said was the first time it took control of an entire mobile project.

Google’s new Pixel smartphone is the first ever handset to be designed by the company “inside out” as it seeks to combine its software innovations with optimised hardware.

Android fans of course tend to default to Samsung hardware, but Google feels that there is now a real need for an intersection of hardware and software as communications become more complex.

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