Android Marshmallow displays your device’s ‘security patch level’
Primarily concerned with hyping the new Nexus handheld pair, consisting of a high-end Huawei phablet and slightly humbler LG 5.2-incher, as well as a redesigned Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, plus teasing the Pixel C Surface rival, Google largely neglected its biggest software launch yesterday.
Granted, Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s ETA on older Nexus family members was disclosed, but other than that, Lollipop’s sequel merely came up in passing during the San Francisco press conference. Of course, we already knew everything there is to know about the latest mobile OS build, except a neat little feature which proves Google is more dedicated than ever to protecting your data privacy and device security.
Not only will you be guaranteed monthly updates taking care of vulnerabilities like Stagefright going forward for three years after a stock Android-running product’s initial release, but once on Marshmallow, you’ll be able to easily check exactly when was the last time security was catered to.
To do so, just head to the “about” menu, and look between the Android version and Baseband version sections. Is there an “Android security patch level” option? Great, then a straightforward date should come up, and supply the day Google last sent one of those periodic software fixes.
It remains to be seen if third-party device manufacturers and especially carriers will be as keen to openly tackle the thorny issue of update frequency. After all, the “patch level” function could be easily eliminated by proprietary Android 6.0 skins if the information makes OEMs or operators uncomfortable.