Usually, Google rolls out monthly security updates to its devices beginning the first week of every month. In most cases, this happens on the first Monday of the month, something that has meant the updates often come out on the 5th or thereafter.
This time around, things are different and Google is already rolling out the January Android security patch to the Pixel and Nexus devices. This is the essence of owning a Google device – you’ll always be the first to receive any software update, major or minor. The update’s factory images and OTA files are already available, but the devices should start receiving the OTA notification in the coming days.
If you can’t wait for the OTA notification, you might want to be careful with what you grab from the official Google website. Apparently, it seems several devices have different builds, so make sure you get the correct one. OTA files are available for Google Pixel and Nexus devices without an unlocked bootloader while those with an unlocked bootloader can flash factory images on top of anything.
If interested, you can read more about the latest security bulletin here while the Pixel-specific bulletin can be found here. As for the OTA files, find them here while the factory images can be found here.
Following in Google’s footsteps is Samsung, which has also published the first Maintenance Release for 2018 and with it comes the January Android security patch for Galaxy phones. Unlike Google Pixel and Nexus users that can already download and install this month’s security patch, Samsung Galaxy users will have to wait for a little bit longer, perhaps a few more days or a week. Like Google, this update also carries fixes to bugs and errors in the software as well as seals any loopholes that could be exploited by malicious users.
Apparently, Samsung has fixed an issue that would have enabled a remote hacker to take advantage of a special file and execute malicious code that would have disguised as a privileged process. Lately, the Samsung Galaxy A series has been leading the way when it comes to receiving monthly security patches. Whether the story will be the same with respect to the January Android security patch is still unknown, but regardless of the case, it’s obvious that Samsung has really stepped up its software updates’ game.