Well, this sucks if you’ve spent good money on a Motorola smartphone.
The firm has confirmed to Ars Technica that it isn’t going to commit to monthly security updates, even though Google will have released patches for the Android operating system.
Motorola says it is “more efficient” to bundle security updates into fewer releases.
We passed this along in our review, where we called the policy “unacceptable” and “insecure.” Motorola later muddied the waters a bit by releasing a statement saying “Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be supported with patches from Android Security Bulletins. They will receive an update shortly after launch with additional patches.” Sure, the Android security patches will reach the devices eventually, but this statement didn’t assure that they would arrive on time as monthly security updates. We pressed Motorola for more information, and today the company clarified things with this statement:
Motorola understands that keeping phones up to date with Android security patches is important to our customers. We strive to push security patches as quickly as possible. However, because of the amount of testing and approvals that are necessary to deploy them, it’s difficult to do this on a monthly basis for all our devices. It is often most efficient for us to bundle security updates in a scheduled Maintenance Release (MR) or OS upgrade.
As we previously stated, Moto Z Droid Edition will receive Android Security Bulletins. Moto G4 will also receive them.
So to recap: there’s no promise of monthly security updates for the Moto Z or Moto G4.
For the future of security updates at the Lenovo-owned Motorola, we look to the 2015 Moto X, which has been receiving Android security updates about once a quarter instead of monthly. The Moto X spent the last few months on the “February” Android security patch and only this month was updated to “May.” The Moto Z is stuck on the “May” security update as well, meaning that Motorola’s brand new smartphone is missing two months of security patches.
I guess people who care about security will be buying an Android smartphone from a company that does care about keeping them up-to-date with security patches – like Google or Samsung.
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