When we all use our smartphones for doing every small and large thing, we all need some security of our data against the latest vulnerabilities that keep getting discovered every single day. So Google releases monthly security patches for the Android devices, but most manufacturers don’t bother distributing them. Some manufacturers, however, distribute the security patches on a bi-monthly or a quarterly basis, if not monthly, which is better than getting nothing. But neither bi-monthly nor quarterly security patches guarantee optimum security as the vulnerabilities that get discovered meanwhile can affect our devices. But every cloud has a silver lining.
Just like every edition of Google I/O, the annual conference by Google, we will get a lot of improvements over the existing Google products, and this year, one of them is the enhancement of getting security updates aka. security patches to Android devices. This will be achieved through Project Mainline, which will basically roll out security patches, bypassing the manufacturer’s sluggish attitude towards delivering security patches. With the productivity of our smartphones getting enhanced day by day, security becomes the basic necessity as we all use our smartphones throughout the day, and thus, it knows every titbit of what we do, and it will be big trouble if the data gets leaked to wrong hands.
So let’s find out what is Project Mainline, and how exactly we, the Android users will be benefited from it.
What is Project Mainline?
First things first. With the implementation of Project Mainline, the Android devices will receive security patches directly from the Google Play Store, just the same way you download apps and update them directly from the Google Play Store. So, you will no longer have to wait for your manufacturer to deliver security updates, who are notorious for not delivering any kind of updates in the appropriate time, or not at all.
Why it will benefit us or Android users?
As I already said, the Android device manufacturers are notorious for not delivering timely updates, and the fragmentation on Android isn’t a new issue at all. Hundreds of Android devices are available in the market, each coming with different versions of Android. Besides that, the manufacturers too, customize the Android user interface, far cry from the original one, which eventually makes it difficult for the manufacturers to develop the latest operating systems for every single Android device they have manufactured.
To get over this limitation, Google announced the Project Treble, with the motive to revamp the way, Android updates will be delivered. Though it worked out quite a bit, as Project Treble adoption is mandatory on devices based on Android Q, it isn’t mandatory for devices, running Android versions older than that. What Project Treble did was simple. Google made it easier for manufacturers to roll out operating system updates, but it is still left to the manufacturers, whether they will deliver the latest operating system updates for their manufactured devices if they don’t want to deliver them at all.
With Project Mainline just around the corner, the tantrums of the manufacturers will not be responsible in any way to you for getting security updates. It means, you can get the latest security updates, practically as soon as Google makes them available, and if not that, with just a tap of a button, when you are ready to download the updates, whichever is convenient to you.
The changes in getting security updates
In the present day, it is necessary to restart an Android device to install the security updates, as security updates are delivered through the operating system update mechanism, which requires rebooting the device for installation of the updates. But with Project Mainline, it will no longer be necessary to reboot the Android devices to install the security updates. It is something that really matters a lot.
When can we enjoy Project Mainline advantages?
Now, that’s the most interesting question. Project Mainline is a part of Android Q, which means, you can only enjoy the goodness of Project Mainline if your device will get the latest Android Q update. Now, when your device will get Android Q is a million dollar question, and it takes us back the unsolved problem of delayed Android OS updates, which isn’t resolved yet. Nevertheless, it is a big leap by Google, one day, it can even be possible to download the operating system updates and get newer versions of Android altogether directly from the Google Play Store. Well, I am just getting more optimistic. But I am still in dark about whether we can get that level flexibility or not, and how it will be implemented if something of that sort happens.
So, if you use your smartphone a lot, and carry out every sensitive bit of task on it, it is a big victory for you, and all other users, as we no longer have to deal with compromised handsets, which make our devices the softest vulnerabilities for the hackers to exploit.
I am quite excited about Project Mainline, and I think, most users are. Do you have anything to say about Project Mainline? Feel free to comment your views down below.