Google Extends Support Period for Android Devices

Google this week announced an extended support period for Android 11 and later devices launching with Qualcomm System-on-Chip (SoC) models.

Currently, devices receive support for a period of three years, which includes security patches, but moving forth users will enjoy one additional year of operating system and security updates.

The move, the Internet search giant says, is meant to help vendors and users alike, and to ensure better continuity. It is also accompanied by a no-retroactivity principle being applied to both devices and SoCs (previously, SoC requirements were retroactive).

“With this change, the SoC provider would be able to support Android with the same vendor implementations on their SoCs for device launches as well as upgrades,” Google says.

In partnership with Qualcomm, Google now announces that all Qualcomm mobile platforms with SoCs leveraging the no-retroactivity principle will include support for four Android OS versions, along with four years of security updates.

“All Qualcomm customers will be able to take advantage of this stability to further lower both the costs of upgrades as well as launches and can now support their devices for longer periods of time,” Google says.

In effect for all SoCs launching with Android 11 and later, the change should result in improved overall security of devices. Given that tens of Android vulnerabilities are patched monthly, the longer devices receive security updates, the safer they are.

Related: December 2020 Android Updates Patch 46 Vulnerabilities

Related: Google Reveals Work Profile Privacy Features in Android 11

Related: Google Announces Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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