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You told us: This is your phone's latest patch and what OEMs should offer

It turns out that you're fairly up-to-date with security patches, but you definitely want more from manufacturers.
By
July 11, 2022
google pixel 4 xl security patch

Security patches are arguably the most important software updates on your smartphone, patching vulnerabilities and helping to keep your phone safe from cyber-criminals and other bad actors.

Different manufacturers can have different approaches to security patches though, so we asked readers which security patch they had on their phones. We also asked readers how many years of security patches manufacturers should offer for their phones. Here’s what they told us.

What security patch are you running on your phone?

How many years of security patches should OEMs provide?

Results

Our first poll was posted on July 1 and asked readers about the latest security patch on their phones, attracting over 1,200 votes. It turned out that June 2022 was the most popular pick, as 44.79% of polled readers said this was the latest patch on their phones. This was followed by May 2022 (19.38%) and March/April 2022 (10.67%).

July 2022 accounted for 7.57% of the vote, but it stands to reason that this figure would be higher now that we’re almost in the middle of the month. Otherwise, those who said a patch released in 2021 (7.17%), a patch released in 2020 (7.17%), and a patch released in January/February 2022 (3.26%) brought up the rear. Nevertheless, just over half of all respondents were running a patch released in the last six weeks or so.

Related: Here are the phone update policies from every major Android manufacturer

Moving on to the next poll, we posted this on July 6 and it drew in just over 5,000 votes. The most popular option? Well, ~38% of polled readers said Android OEMs should provide five years of security patches. Meanwhile, those who voted for “more than six years” accounted for 24.74% of the vote and came in second place. Rounding out the podium was “four years,” accruing 15.99% of the vote.

Otherwise, “six years” (12.37%), “three years” (7.07%), and “two years” (1.81%) fought for the scraps. In any event, this vote shows that three-quarters of polled Android Authority readers want at least five years of security patches. Furthermore, 91.12% of polled readers want at least four years of patches.

Comments

  • thesecondsight: Android Authority: “What security patch are you running on your phone?” My Motorola phone: “Not applicable.”
  • farawayplace: People not running updated security patches are probably not the ones who like to read this website.
  • Hellbeck: I have a Umidigi phone so my question would have to be “what’s a security patch update??????”
  • Rob Geeson: Currently downloading the July 2022 patch for Poco X4 Pro 5g.. whilst that’s nice n’all.. it’s still based on bloody Android 11, which is unacceptable :(
  • Martin Spierings: 5 years of updates and another 5 for security. These devices should last 10 years, not 3, not 5 but 10. They can do it…
  • Sad_Linus_Guy: 4-5 years of feature updates, another 5 of monthly security updates (some devices get security updates about quarterly at the very least) and an unlocked bootloader for the user to take control afterwards
  • cocogoat main: 3-4 is enough. Phones improve quite a bit over 3 generations, and by the time you’ve used a phone for 3 years the battery isn’t nearly as good as when it was brand new.
  • OldNetizen: 5 years for the unwashed, and release the full source code for the dedicated. I used a Nexus 5 for seven years with acceptable performance. One of my current phones is a OnePlus One running fully patched Android 11. It doesn’t run like a flagship, but it runs ok. That’s an eight year old phone running today’s software.
  • Mark McCoskey: Being that my OnePlus 6T is nearing 4 years of use (as was my Nexus 6), I voted for 5. At this point in time, I see NO reason to upgrade. That said, whatever happened to Project Treble? I thought that was going to “modularize” updates, so it should make it feasible to push out updates for as long as a device is on active on a network.
  • Mikko Rantalainen: I voted 5 years as the minimum but I’d accept any time period if OEM released full source code to last published firmware when they no longer want to support the device by themselves. That would allow volunteers to apply security patches.