Google has officially released the May 2017 Android security patch, which is the first one since the release of Android 7.1.2 Nougat.
The update, which is now available for supported Pixel and Nexus devices, includes fixes to minor bugs and several security issues.
May 2017 Android Security Patch Details
Google has provided both the over-the-air form and factory image form of the latest Android security patch. The update contains two security patch level strings, namely 2017-05-01, which is a partial update for current and known security issues, and 2017-05-05, which is the complete security patch for May.
Google discussed the various bugs and issues that the security patch fixed in the Android Security Bulletin that accompanied the update.
According to Google, the most severe security issue that the patch fixes is a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to execute remote code on a target Android device. The code can be initiated through various means, including web browsing, email, and MMS, when processing media files on vulnerable Android smartphones and tablets.
Google, however, was quick to note that there have been no reports on a user exploiting the vulnerability, or any of the other newly reported issues included in the security update.
There are 20 issues fixed for the 2017-05-01 string and 98 issues fixed for the 2017-05-05 string.
How To Install May 2017 Android Security Patch
Google encouraged all users of Pixel and Nexus devices to install the latest security patch to protect themselves from possible security breaches.
Users can simply wait for the update to arrive to their device for easy installation. Users who would like to receive the update right away can manually download and install the over-the-air or factory image versions of the security update. However, installing the security update through a factory image will wipe a device clean with the installation of a fresh version of the smartphone or tablet's system.
The supported devices for the update are the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 LTE, and Nexus 9 Wi-Fi. The first six devices are required to be on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, while the last three devices are required to be on the lower Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
Future Android Updates
Users should take advantage and appreciate these security updates while they can, especially for owners of the older Nexus models.
It was previously reported that Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 owners will stop receiving security updates starting October 2017. The devices have already stopped receiving Android updates in October 2016.
Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X owners should only expect Android updates until September 2017 and security updates until September 2018. Owners of the Pixel and Pixel XL, the latest devices released by Google, will only receive Android updates until October 2018 and security updates until October 2019.
Last month, Google released the developer preview of Android 8.0 O, revealing several features that will be included in the upcoming major version. Among these features are adaptive icons for apps, autofill support, battery life improvements, more lock screen customization options, multi-display support, and many more.