The average phone or tablet buyer has no way to upgrade their operating system unless the carrier provides an OTA update, and two-year upgrade cycles means that plenty of people are going to be stuck on broken devices with known exploits that Google isn’t going to fix.Granted, the fact that Google fixes an exploit doesn’t mean that carriers will deploy it, and fragmentation has been a major problem in Android’s ecosystem over the years — but there’s a difference between acknowledging the difficulty of maintaining security updates for the entirety of one’s user base and flatly refusing to do them.Bringing it to mobile could Messenger a serious competitor to i OS-only Face Time, clunky Skype, and less-ubiquitous Google Hangouts.
Specifically, the company states that: If the affected version [of Web View] is before 4.4, we generally do not develop the patches ourselves, but welcome patches with the report for consideration.
Other than notifying OEMs, we will not be able to take action on any report that is affecting versions before 4.4 that are not accompanied with a patch. If they do, Google will “consider” the patch to see if it resolves the problem.
If they don’t, Google now says the only thing it can do is inform various OEMs of the problem.
What Google is doing, in essence, is telling its user community “Sorry, you have to tell Samsung, LG, and Motorola to provide you with an updated version of our operating system.” This is hilariously impossible.
When Security firm Rapid7 discovered a new exploit in the Android Browser version of Web View, it contacted Google to inform the company that Android 4.3 and below were vulnerable.
Google’s response and policy change are raising major eyebrows.
With Messenger, someone on a new i Phone with strong LTE in San Francisco could video chat with someone on a low-end Android with a few bars of 3G in Nigeria.
Here’s a quick video from Facebook showing Messenger video calls in action: Facebook first introduced desktop video calling in partnership with Skype in 2011, but eventually built its own video call infrastructure.
Android — it’s just ensuring that the only parts of the program that get feature updates, capability improvements, and performance enhancements are the parts that require licensing agreements and promises not to develop competing products.