Major updates of Android don't matter as much as they used to. Many components of the operating system are updated through the Play Store, so even if you're on Android 8 or 9, you can still access most of the same apps and features as someone on the latest release of Android 10. However, the security updates that Google releases on a monthly basis are still critical to keeping your phone or tablet safe. Dozens of securityflaws are discovered in components of Android each month, which is why Google releases monthly security patches.
Google has gotten a bit stricter with requiring OEMs to add Android's security updates over the years, but that doesn't mean companies are actually on board. LG's Software Update Center may be running at full power, but everything from last-minute bugs to carrier certification can hold up Android updates. It's almost July, but LG's new dual-screen capable device is only now receiving the May security patch.
OnePlus is usually on the ball with system updates, but the last few months have been rough across the board — Android 10 for the OP6 and 6T was continuously delayed due to bugs, and several of the company's phones are months behind on security updates. Now the 7 Pro is finally getting a newer security patch, but only for owners willing to use beta software.
Essential is in a strange place right now as a company. Its latest phone is still its first model, the 2017 PH-1, with no direct replacement in sight. Still, Essential is keeping its remaining users happy, as it has once again rolled out monthly security patches at the same time as Google's Pixel phones receive the OTA.
Every once in a while, Google mistakenly rolls out software not meant for the public. These dogfood builds contain experimental features the company wants to test internally even before letting them loose on beta users. It seems that such a confidential OTA update rolled out to some Pixel 3 and 3 XL users over the last couple of hours, as we've received word that people already got the November security patch accompanied by a note saying "CONFIDENTIAL INTERNAL ONLY."
OnePlus is pushing out updates for its latest flagship basically every week, and today brings us yet another new version of OxygenOS for the 7 Pro. The update to v9.5.8 includes May's security patches, further touch sensitivity improvements, better call audio quality, better compatibility with third-party USB Type-C headphones, and other fixes.
It's the first Monday of a new month, and that means Google's Pixels are getting their regular security patches. Downloads for both full factory images and sideloadable OTAs are up and available while we wait for the update to roll out via the more traditional means — which usually takes at least an hour or two. Pixel functional patches for this month's update include a few fixes, as well as improved hotword detection for the "Ok Google" command. The Pixel 3a also joins its forebears in picking up its first ever monthly security updates.
It's the first Monday of the month, and Google's monthly security patches are rolling out, as expected. Downloads for all Pixel phones are up now. Functional patches this month include a fix for the Pixel 3 screen flashing on wake (finally), Bluetooth improvements for the OG, and improved "voice-unlocking performance for Google Assistant."