The last eighteen months have been really interesting for mobile users when it comes to security. We have seen a number of high profile issues and problems in and around the mobile sphere such as an Apple iCloud leak, where passwords were stolen or hacked, plus SnapChat issues too. We also witnessed the Stagefright security vulnerability, which was discovered early last year and explained to the public once Google had resolved the issue. Google rolled out security patches for the Android platform and also announced it would be rolling out regular, monthly updates to the platform, which manufacturers could (should) implement into their devices.
To date, not all manufacturers have implemented these security patches. Some manufacturers – such as BlackBerry – have applied them as quickly as Google has for its Nexus device family. Other manufacturers such as LG and Samsung have stated that they will support the patches for a selection of devices, typically high end models. Unfortunately a number of manufacturers have made no comment and as far as we can tell no effort to keep their devices up to date, or worse have claimed that the practice of issuing regular monthly updates is “unrealistic” to follow. There is another argument here: Google is encouraging manufacturers not to skin Android so heavily. One of the side effects of relatively deep changes to the Android platform is that it will require more work in order to keep the operating system up to date. It’s one of the reasons why Motorola was able to relatively quickly keep the Moto G and Moto X models up to date with new versions of Android, as these devices used a near-stock interface. However, with many customers still buying devices from their carriers, this adds another layer of testing and approval before software is released to customers.
We’ve word today that T-Mobile USA has released the May security patch for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which brings both models up to the latest version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The update is approximately 43 MB in size and should take ten minutes to run. Devices should have at least 50% battery before performing the update, which can either be done over the air or via the Samsung Smart Switch application on your desktop or laptop computer. The update brings the software version to G930TUVS3APD8 for the Galaxy S7 and G935TUVU3APD8 for the Galaxy S7 Edge.