Google releases February Android security patch for Pixel smartphones

Google releases February Android security patch for Pixel smartphones

Every month, Google releases security bulletins for Pixel devices and the Android ecosystem. This is followed by Google releasing updates for its own device portfolio. While many Android devices do not receive monthly security updates, the Essential Phone is one of the few non-Google smartphones to keep up-to-date with the Pixel lineup.

February's security patch doesn't include any security patches, but contains various functional updates and improvements to various parts of the Android platform and supported Pixel devices. The most severe of these issues is a “critical security vulnerability in Framework that could allow a remote attacker using a specially crafted PNG file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process.”

Some of the functional changes to Android were detailed in a post by 9to5Google - "About phone" lists Device name, primary Google Account, Phone number, and Emergency information, in addition to other hardware details like IMEI, IP, Wi-Fi MAC, and Bluetooth address.

This page was previously the first entry in the System menu but is now its own item in Settings just above Tips & support. This listing happens to also note your device model inline for quicker access.

Meanwhile, About phone has a section for Legal information and Regulatory labels. The February security patch adds a “Safety & regulatory manual” section that is essentially a copy of the printed Safety & Warranty booklet that’s included with devices. This web view includes safety warnings, regulatory information by country, and details related to accessibility.

The update also includes some visual tweaks, including new icons, layout, and organization.

You also will find improvements with the update installation process, where it will take into account whether your phone is in use, including when you visit the System updates page. If so, the process — including the download — will be paused. Of course, users can manually “Resume” the download. Once your device is finished installing and optimizing apps, a reboot is required to complete the process. Users now have the option to restart the phone when they are sleeping, to complete the update.

The OTA files and factory images for the Pixel devices can be found at the links below. Find the Android security files for your device and click "Link" to start the download. XDA Developers has a guide on how to install this patch on your Pixel.

Pixel 3 XL Download Download
Pixel 3 Download Download
Pixel 2 XL Download Download
Pixel 2 Download Download
Pixel XL Download Download
Pixel Download Download
Pixel C Download Download

Essential Phone receives February Android security patch

The Essential Phone has been known for its quick software updates and has managed to keep up with the latest Android releases and patches. As such, the company has also released the February Android Security Patch as an OTA update for the Essential Phone.

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