MIT Technology Review reported on the security flaw Google built into Android.
When security problems are discovered in Microsoft’s Windows operating system, or Apple’s mobile or desktop equivalents, those companies can push out an update to affected computers. You get a message telling you to install the update, direct from the company who made the software. In the case of Microsoft’s Windows 10, being released Wednesday, such updates are automatic and mandatory for home users. (This model doesn’t always work perfectly—Apple, for example, has been accused of being too slow to roll out important security patches.)
Google can’t push you an update for Android. It hands out the operating system to device manufacturers for free. They get to tinker with it to add features or apps of their own and are the only ones—along with cellular carriers in some cases—that can push updates to the devices they sell. Google does bind companies that use Android with some restrictions (for example to do with using its app store) but doesn’t require them to push out security updates quickly.
What’s a possible solution?
Google’s desktop operating system, Chrome OS, has a much smarter design when it comes to security updates. They download in the background and install themselves. Many security engineers at Google surely wish they could do the same with Android. But the way Google has established Android’s business model makes that unlikely. Device makers and carriers appear to prioritize their own businesses and independence from Google above keeping their customers’ devices secure. Expect more news of worrying Android security holes that won’t be fixed.
Either you live with it, keep up with the newest Android phones that come with the latest OS software, or walk away.