As I’m sure you’re aware, every month Google publishes a new Security Maintenance Release (SMR) for the Android operating system. The SMRs are developed to keep as many smartphones as possible up-to-date with the latest security patches. Manufacturers, like Samsung, are provided with the firmware a couple of days before it’s revealed to the public; giving them a short turnaround time to adapt the code to work on their latest devices. However, this month the search engine giant strayed from tradition by issuing two different patches — one dated July 1, 2016, and the other July 5, 2016.
Samsung is already well underway with its rollout of the July SMR. It was only a couple of days ago that it started pushing out an OTA to all unlocked variants of the Galaxy S7 located in Europe. However, it has now been brought to our attention that the company is distributing the earlier version of the patch, and decided not to merge the contents with the most recent version (which is the case with most other manufacturers as well). Don’t be alarmed, though, as the contents of the July 5 release are likely to be a part of the security patch that starts rolling out in August.
It’s also worth noting that the decision to release two different patches does not necessarily mean that your phone is less secure if you’re running the July 1 firmware instead of July 5. Here’s what the development team based in Google’s Mountain View HQ had to say about the matter: “Devices that use the July 1, 2016 security patch level must include all issues associated with that security patch level, as well as fixes for all issues reported in previous security bulletins. Devices that use July 1, 2016 security patch level may also include a subset of fixes associated with the July 5, 2016 security patch level.”
Thanks for the tip, Harish!