At Republic Wireless, we’re always excited when a new Android update is on the horizon. We realize that many of our members share this excitement with us so we thought it would be helpful to provide some insight into how these updates are rolled out to your phone.
What are the different types of updates?
There are two main types of Android updates; Maintenance Releases (MR) and Security Maintenance Releases (SMR).
Maintenance Releases (MR) are typically larger updates with things like bug fixes and added features, and generally include the latest security patch as well. Updates such as a new Android OS version are usually released through an MR. However, not every MR includes a new Android version.
Security Maintenance Releases (SMR) are generally much smaller updates and only contain the latest security patch.
When will I get the next update?
Both of these types of updates, and their release schedules, are determined by the phone’s manufacturer. Manufacturers receive updates from Google and then customize them for each phone’s hardware and software. Before an update can be approved for release, it must go through rigorous testing by the manufacturer, and the major carriers, to ensure that everything is working as designed. Once a manufacturer considers an update to be ready for release, they begin rolling it out to the intended phones. This rollout process can often take a few weeks in order to reach everyone with that particular phone.
When an update is delivered, it will affect all carriers using that particular phone, not just Republic. Many unlocked phones also have a carrier variant, or carrier-branded version, which has different software. These different carrier versions have separate software lifecycles with separate updates and separate rollout schedules. This is why updates may appear at different times for different versions of the same phone.
I heard about a new vulnerability in the news, is my phone at risk?
It’s not uncommon to hear about a new “security risk” or “vulnerability” in the news which leads you to worry about whether your phone and/or information is at risk. Whenever a new issue is identified, Google and the phone manufacturers assess the need to address these issues as quickly as possible through a new update. Questions about a specific vulnerability should be directed to the manufacturer of your phone as they will be able to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding potential updates.
While Republic doesn’t have any control over when a new MR or SMR is released, we do our best to provide information about each update once it’s available through our release notes.
Hopefully this has shed some light on the crazy world related to Android updates!