Timely software updates have always been a troublesome topic when talking about Android, especially considering the confusion added with some security updates coming as part of Google Play services rather than the Android OS. However, Google has a new plan with Android 6.0 Marshmallow to make security patches more visible to users.
Android Marshmallow will begin rolling out to Nexus devices next week and there is a small change that could have big repercussions: under the “About” settings menu, Google has added a new line for “Android security patch level”, which will show a date for the latest security update pushed to a user’s device. If all goes well, anyone checking this line will see a date within the past month because Google and some manufacturers promised to push monthly security updates following the recent Stagefright mess. Unfortunately, there will be no way for users to take action when their device is lagging behind other than calling the manufacturer to complain.