How long does GOOGLE say they'll update the two dozen core modules in project mainline?

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Andy Burnelli

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Jan 26, 2022, 1:37:41 PMJan 26
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Android's core modules are a huge portion of the Android operating system.

We all know these two dozen Android core modules are updated _independently_
of the carrier, manufacturer, and operating system - but for how long?

I don't know.
Do you?

The fact is Android updates are nuanced, where this thread asks only this:
*How long does GOOGLE update Android core modules in project mainline?*

We know that each module, by design, is donated to the AOSP, so we know
they're already essentially updated forever, but the AOSP isn't Google.

We also know that there are _different_ components of Android, each of which
has a _different_ update schedule (and often a different update mechanism).

Offhand, I can name instantly at least 8 different Android update schedules.
1. User apps (such as your personal APK archive) are often updated forever
2. Key apps (such as the default web browser) are often updated forever
4. Firmware (such as the Qualcomm modem firmware) are updated by Qualcomm
5. Security updates (these are likely team efforts of google, mfr & carrier)
6. Android updates (likely also a team effort of google, mfr & carrier)
7. Core modules (such as the two dozen core modules) are updated by Google
8. Those core modules are always donated to the AOSP for them to maintain.
(any others?)

Given that description above, _this_ thread is only about number 7 above.
*Now you can learn what's new in each Google Play system update for Android*
<https://9to5google.com/2022/01/10/whats-new-android-google-play-system-updates/>
"One of Google's biggest efforts for Android in recent years is to make
updating parts of the operating system easier, cutting out the middlemen
wherever possible to deliver updates directly to customers.
Originally referred to as Project Mainline, the system is now called
"Google Play system updates" or sometimes "Google System updates."

These updates are downloaded and installed automatically by the
Play Store, with the installation finalizing whenever you decide to
reboot your phone. Generally speaking, the system is designed to
go unnoticed, a goal that Google has achieved with relative success.

Google has begun peeling back the curtain on these new Android updates,
with a new support page that spells out what's new in patches related
to Google Play. This includes the formal Google System updates,
in addition to changes to the Play Store and Play Services."
<https://support.google.com/product-documentation/answer/11412553>

Notice the core modules are a huge portion of the Android operating system.

Since Usenet is a team sport, if someone can figure out how long Google
updates asynchronously the 25 core modules in project mainline, let us know.

Please note Android updates are nuanced in that there is no one length of
time for any given type of update so this thread is limited only to the core
modules, by definition, defined in Google's project mainline & treble.
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=project+mainline+treble+core+modules>

Andy Burns

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Jan 26, 2022, 1:56:10 PMJan 26
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Andy Burnelli wrote:

> Given that description above,_this_ thread is only about number 7 above.
> *Now you can learn what's new in each Google Play system update for Android*
> <https://9to5google.com/2022/01/10/whats-new-android-google-play-system-updates/>
> "One of Google's biggest efforts for Android in recent years is to make
> updating parts of the operating system easier, cutting out the middlemen
> wherever possible to deliver updates directly to customers.
> Originally referred to as Project Mainline, the system is now called
> "Google Play system updates" or sometimes "Google System updates."

Still not convinced this applies to all (specifically pixels) forever e.g.

My Android security update is 5th Oct 2021, fair enough P3 is too old to receive
guaranteed updates, but as mentioned earlier it appears that google have agreed
to give it two "bonus" updates this year.

But my Play system update is from 1 Sep 2021.

Andy Burns

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Jan 26, 2022, 2:03:43 PMJan 26
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Andy Burns wrote:

> Still not convinced this applies to all (specifically pixels) forever e.g.
>
> My Android security update is 5th Oct 2021, fair enough P3 is too old to receive
> guaranteed updates, but as mentioned earlier it appears that google have agreed
> to give it two "bonus" updates this year.
>
> But my Play system update is from 1 Sep 2021.

When I pressed on the "play system" line, it *did* say it needed a reboot to
install, so I allowed it and it was a type of upgrade different from any I've
seen on a nexus or pixel before. I guess this is one of the APEX rather than
APK upgrades?

Anyway it now says 1st Dec 2021


Andy Burns

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Jan 26, 2022, 2:24:33 PMJan 26
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Andy Burns wrote:

> When I pressed on the "play system" line, it *did* say it needed a reboot to
> install, so I allowed it and it was a type of upgrade different from any I've
> seen on a nexus or pixel before.  I guess this is one of the APEX rather than
> APK upgrades?

We have discussed these "pony express" files before, my theory is that while the
pixel devices are within normal support lifetime, they don't use APEX since they
have no need to, they receive monthly OTA updates straight from the horse's
mouth, which can update or upgrade anything within the ROM that google choose.

But, now that the pixel 3 is off of support, the APEX mechanism kicks in, it
can't do full *upgrades* like an OTA can, but it can *update* more components
than a straight APK can.

<https://source.android.com/devices/tech/ota/apex>

Andy Burnelli

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Jan 26, 2022, 3:01:35 PMJan 26
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2022 18:56:08 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> My Android security update is 5th Oct 2021
> But my Play system update is from 1 Sep 2021

Hi Andy,

Usenet is a team sport.

We all work together as a team to advance the ball toward the goal line.
(keeping in mind there are hecklers on the sidelines who don't care)

I don't have a pixel (I have a Samsung Galaxy A32-5G and a Moto G7) but even
so, I'd make a huge distinction between the two things you mentioned above.
1. Security updates
2. "Google Play System Updates" (aka "Google System Updates" or "Mainline")

Are they the same?

I don't think so.
Do you?

I think they're _completely_ different beasts, aren't they?
If they're the same, then let me know as I think they're different things.

Together, and with others on the Usenet team, we can figure this out.
And we'll all know more as a result.

Andy Burnelli

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Jan 26, 2022, 3:16:33 PMJan 26
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2022 19:03:41 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> When I pressed on the "play system" line, it *did* say it needed a reboot to
> install, so I allowed it and it was a type of upgrade different from any I've
> seen on a nexus or pixel before. I guess this is one of the APEX rather than
> APK upgrades?
>
> Anyway it now says 1st Dec 2021

Andy,
We can learn from each other, particularly about APEX versus APK upgrades.
Usenet is a team sport, where, together, we learn more than being alone.

Like it or not, Android (and Windows/Linux) updates are not monolithic.
They're nuanced.

Very few people seem to comprehend the full extent of these update nuances.
(Certainly the iKooks don't comprehend how nuanced the Android updates are.)

Specifically, unless someone shows otherwise, I think these are different:
1. Periodic security updates
2. Asynchronous "Google Play System Updates" (previously Project Mainline)

For #2 above (aka "Google System Updates"), it seems the _container_ file of
the two dozen core modules can be either APK or APEX format as shown here.
*Modular System Components*
<https://source.android.com/devices/architecture/modular-system>
"Android 10 or higher converts selected system components into modules,
some of which use the APEX container format (introduced in Android 10)
and some of which use the APK format. The modular architecture enables
system components to be updated with critical bug fixes and
other improvements as needed, without affecting lower-level
vendor implementations or higher-level apps and services."

Given that APEX is just a different container format, I'm not sure yet why
Andy says it matters, but I first must concede that I know next to nothing
about Pixels and even less about the APEX container format.

So, maybe it matters if the container is APEX or APK.

Andy - can you explain why it matters what the update's container format is?
--
My ignorance on APEX vs APK is curable (it's stupidiy that can't be cured).

Andy Burnelli

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Jan 26, 2022, 3:35:00 PMJan 26
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2022 19:24:31 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> We have discussed these "pony express" files before

For those new to APEX, Andy is referring to their name:
"Android Pony Express" (aka, APEX)

"This format facilitates the updates of system components that don't fit
into the standard Android application model. Some example components are
native services and libraries, hardware abstraction layers (HALs),
runtime (ART), and class libraries."
<https://source.android.com/devices/tech/ota/apex>

> my theory is that while the
> pixel devices are within normal support lifetime, they don't use APEX since they
> have no need to, they receive monthly OTA updates straight from the horse's
> mouth, which can update or upgrade anything within the ROM that google choose.

Hi Andy,
I know next to nothing about APEX versus APK, so I'm just learning what you
know already, so bear with me as we can solve the questions as a team.

Some core modules are in APK containers, others are in APEX containers, and
still others, as I recall, are supplied in both APEX & in APK containers.

Why it matters, I guess, is this statement from your reference below:
<https://source.android.com/devices/tech/ota/apex>
"APK-based modules can't be used early in the boot sequence."

Apparently the key difference is that packages in APEX containers can be
used _earlier_ in the boot sequence than APK containers, is that right?

> But, now that the pixel 3 is off of support, the APEX mechanism kicks in, it
> can't do full *upgrades* like an OTA can, but it can *update* more components
> than a straight APK can.

Andy,

In addition to the _type_ of container (APEX versus APK) for the two dozen
core modules, you bring up another good point in that the core module
_delivery_ isn't always from Google.

The two dozen core modules can come from one of _two_ places:
1. Google, or
2. Android Partner (see below)

All of this is new as of Android 10, so we can learn from each other given
you're looking far more deeply at _how_ updates occur than I have to date.

With respect to _how_ Google Play System Updates can occur, this reference
says that the _delivery_ can also be nuanced in that it isn't only Google
doing it. <https://source.android.com/devices/architecture/modular-system>
"Updated modular system components can be packaged together
and pushed to end-user devices, *either by Google* (using the
Google Play Store infrastructure) *or by the Android partner*
(using a partner-provided OTA mechanism)."

I'm not quite sure "who" the Android Partner is in your Pixel situation.
Is that Android Partner Samsung in my case though (or T-Mobile)?

Andy Burns

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Jan 26, 2022, 4:11:11 PMJan 26
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Andy Burnelli wrote:

> Andy - can you explain why it matters what the update's container format is?

from what I remember reading previously, an apex update can "prepare the ground"
ready to take effect early during the next reboot, and that's pretty much what I
saw after accepting the December Play update, during the boot animation a
progress% counter was displayed before it actually started up ...

I know more about Pixels than Samsungs, but the normal way an OTA is handled is
that the phone has *two* system partitions, A and B if you like, it can be
running on A, while preparing an updated version into B in the background, then
when it's prepared, it's able to do the switcheroo next time it boots, giving a
"not quite instant" reboot into the other system partition.

So this method was nowhere near as fast as the pixel OTA A/B method, but given
that OTAs are just about finished for pixel3 now, it's better than nothing.

Andy Burnelli

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Jan 26, 2022, 4:57:12 PMJan 26
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2022 21:11:09 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> So this method was nowhere near as fast as the pixel OTA A/B method, but given
> that OTAs are just about finished for pixel3 now, it's better than nothing.

Thanks for hazarding an answer as to why it matters if it's APEX or APK,
where I don't know the pixel but I do know only these very basic things:
a. APEX or APK is "just" a different container format
b. However, APEX can be applied _earlier_ in the boot sequence
c. Yet, AFAICT, _both_ can be applied _during_ the boot sequence

Why does it matter if one type of the two dozen core components can be
applied "earlier" in the boot sequence if both types can be applied "during"
the sequence?

I don't know.
Do you?

I suspect the actual difference will be in the future, but I'm just guessing
that some things _need_ to be applied earlier in the boot sequence.

I don't know if that is the case, but if that's the case, then if they can
_only_ be applied earlier, then _that_ would be an advantage of APEX over
APK.

Otherwise, if _both_ can be applied in the boot sequence, I don't know what
the advantage is (yet) of APEX being able to be applied _earlier_ than APK.

A second confusion I have is that you seem to have a feeling of why it
matters on your pixel whether the Android core module is updated over Google
Play System Update (which is done by Google) or if the core module is
updated OTA (which is done by the "Android Partner").

If I assume the "Android Partner" is Samsung, then it might matter in my
case, but if we assume Google is their own Android Partner, why does it
matter to you?

In summary, I am confused about two aspects that you don't seem to be
confused about in terms of the mechanics of the core module update
mechanism.

1. You seem to believe it matters if it's APEX or APK (while the only
difference I can see is APEX happens earlier than APK but both happen).

2. You seem to care _who_ does the core module update (whether that's
Google over GPS or the so-called Android Partner over OTA) whereas
I don't see how the "who" matters (for me, it would be, I think,
either Google over GPS or Samsung over OTA).

Any clarifications from anyone else so we can make headway on understanding?

Andy Burnelli

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Jan 29, 2022, 11:03:08 PMJan 29
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2022 18:56:08 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> But my Play system update is from 1 Sep 2021.

Hi Andy,

I'm trying to learn from what you wrote but I don't know how to check what
version I'm running so I would like to ask you _how_ you got that date?

Please see the composite screenshots I made for you below for this question.
<https://i.postimg.cc/g0jQBKrs/updateallapps09.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/qqVFqVwD/updateallapps10.jpg>
Which shows the following version numbers:
Google Play Services <com.google.android.gms>
Version 21.15.15.(150406-371058782), Date Updated Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:00AM
Google Play Store <com.android.vending>
Version 26.4.21-21 [0][PR]387147473, Date Updated Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:00AM

I'm still confused as to what you learned about your pixel with respect to
how it updates the two dozen core modules that I claim are updated OTA by
the "Android Partner" or over the net by Google (both named "Google Play
System Updates" aka "Google System Updates" aka "Project Mainline").

Bearing in mind of all people I'm likely one of the _least_ familiar with
pixels and with Google Play Services <com.google.android.gms> & Google Play
Store <com.android.vending> because I generally delete (to original) and
then if possible I disable all Google apps. Furthermore, even when Google
apps are not expressly backdated & disabled, I don't even have a Google
Account on my phone set up for them to use, were they to need an account.

QUESTION: (Since the Google Play Store app won't run...)
How would I _check_ what my "Play System Update" version is at right now?

Or, more to the point that you can answer:
How did _you_ check what your "Play System Update" version was when you did?

Andy Burns

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Jan 30, 2022, 5:14:41 AMJan 30
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> I'm trying to learn from what you wrote but I don't know how to check what
> version I'm running so I would like to ask you_how_ you got that date?


The date of the "play system" never used to be be show, but since the most
recent update, it now appears on the settings/about phone/android version screen

<https://9to5google.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2022/01/google-play-system-updates-1.png>

it wasn't obvious that pressing the "play system" panel on that screen would
offer to reboot to install already downloaded updates, or check for available
updates.

Andy Burnelli

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Jan 30, 2022, 11:17:00 AMJan 30
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On Sun, 30 Jan 2022 10:14:37 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> The date of the "play system" never used to be be show, but since the most
> recent update, it now appears on the settings/about phone/android version screen
>
> <https://9to5google.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2022/01/google-play-system-updates-1.png>
>
> it wasn't obvious that pressing the "play system" panel on that screen would
> offer to reboot to install already downloaded updates, or check for available
> updates.

Ah. Thank you for kindly explaining _where_ to find that information as I
was reading (and re-reading) your prior post about APKs versus APEX updates
over the net versus OTA and I just couldn't understand fully what you were
telling us. (I apologize in advance if I didn't comprehend all you said.)

Please see this composite screenshot I just made for you proving what I have
<https://i.postimg.cc/4ymqRF7n/updateallapps11.jpg>
Notice there are a _dozen_ different sub components of Android listed there.

Checking on my Samsung Galaxy A32-5G which is on Android 11 at the moment:
Settings > About phone > Software information >
*Google Play system update* = June 1, 2021
*Android security patch level* = November 1, 2021

As for what you said about the "play system panel" offering a reboot, I
don't see that (but I'm in Android 11); when I tapped on each item, only the
very last item "did anything" (which was ask to go to a web browser).
One UI version
Android version
Google Play system update
Baseband version
Kernel version
Build number
SE for Android status
Knox version
Service provider software version
Carrier configuration version
Security software version
Android security patch level

Tapping on each item did nothing save for the last item which went to:
<https://source.android.com/security/bulletin>

Like you originally stated earlier in this thread, it's not obvious how to
figure out _when_ (or even _if_) Google is updating _my_ phone over the
"Google Play system update" mechanism (whether OTN or OTA); but I have to
admit my phone is _not_ set up in the typical way with respect to Google
services.

Can you tell if (and how) _your_ phone is updating the Android Core Modules?

You know a lot more than I do as I basically disable this stuff while yours
is more mainstream where I get the "idea" (but I'm not sure) that your pixel
_switched_ from over-the-net (let's call that OTN) Android Core Module
updates (via APK, perhaps?) to OTA Android Core Module updates (via APEX?).

Maybe it's just me, but that's confusing as all hell for me to try to
understand and then for me to extrapolate it to what _my_ phone is doing.

Can you tell whether (and how?) your two-dozen core modules are updating?

Bob Martin

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Jan 31, 2022, 2:40:28 AMJan 31
to
On my Pixel 3 running Android 12 the date of Google Play system update is
under Settings/Security.
Currently showing January 1, 2022

Andy Burns

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Jan 31, 2022, 2:54:28 AMJan 31
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Andy Burnelli wrote:

> when I tapped on each item, only the
> very last item "did anything" (which was ask to go to a web browser).

Is your device likely to get android 12?

> Can you tell if (and how) _your_ phone is updating the Android Core Modules?

Up till recently, it was obvious that play services did occasional updates of
"something" in the background, because when that happened some apps (e.g.
youtube or play store) would get ungraciously killed for the duration.

I'd never had a play services update that needed a reboot until pressing that
panel when it said it had downloaded an update and was pending a reboot, but it
hadn't notified me. During the reboot I think it was the ART that was being
upgraded ... probably that has to get updated while no java/kotlin apps are
running, hence needing a reboot ... up until october the phone had monthly
reboots for OTA upgrades.

> You know a lot more than I do as I basically disable this stuff while yours
> is more mainstream where I get the "idea" (but I'm not sure) that your pixel
> _switched_ from over-the-net (let's call that OTN) Android Core Module
> updates (via APK, perhaps?) to OTA Android Core Module updates (via APEX?).

Yes, once google turned off the monthly security patches as it was 3 years old,
it seemed to start getting "component" updates via the play system mechanism.

> Maybe it's just me, but that's confusing as all hell for me to try to
> understand and then for me to extrapolate it to what _my_ phone is doing.
>
> Can you tell whether (and how?) your two-dozen core modules are updating?

can't see dates/versions for the individual modules, but as mentioned I think
ART (equivalent of JRE for a desktop) got updated in the last reboot, maybe
other stuff too, but I can't see the versions of those components

Andy Burnelli

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Jan 31, 2022, 5:25:59 PMJan 31
to
On Mon, 31 Jan 2022 07:54:24 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> Is your device likely to get android 12?

I didn't choose my device (T-Mobile gave it to me for free) so let me look.
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=when+update+android+12+samsung+galaxy+a32+5G>

That gave initial hits written in "Banglish" mostly, which claim the A32-5G
will get Android 12 later this year.

*Samsung Android 12 Galaxy A72, A52, A42, A32, A22, A12 and A02 Update*
<https://www.sammyfans.com/2022/01/29/samsung-android-12-galaxy-a72-a52-a42-a32-a22-a12-and-a02-one-ui-4-0-update/>

*Will Samsung Galaxy A52 5G or A32 5G Get Android 12 Update?*
<https://www.getdroidtips.com/samsung-galaxy-52-a32-5g-android-12/>

Searching for reliable articles this says it's already on the Europe A32-5G
<https://9to5google.com/2022/01/31/samsung-android-12-update-rollout/>

With the Samsung _official_ rollout of the A32-5G scheduled for May 2022.
*December 2021*
Samsung Galaxy S21 (Complete)
Samsung Galaxy S21+ (Complete)
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Complete)
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 (Complete)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (Complete)
*January 2022*
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy S20+/S20 Ultra/S20 FE (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy Note 20/Ultra (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10/10+/10+ 5G (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy Fold (Started in December)
*February 2022*
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G (Started in January)
Samsung Galaxy S20 (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy S10 (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy S10e (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite (Started in January)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ (Started in December)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G
*March 2022*
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
*April 2022*
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G
Samsung Galaxy A51
Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
*May 2022*
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (2020)
Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G <====== this is the phone I have
*June 2022*
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
*July 2022*
Samsung Galaxy A21
Samsung Galaxy A12
*August 2022*
Samsung Galaxy A02s
Samsung Galaxy A01
Samsung Galaxy A11

>> Can you tell if (and how) _your_ phone is updating the Android Core Modules?
>
> Up till recently, it was obvious that play services did occasional updates of
> "something" in the background, because when that happened some apps (e.g.
> youtube or play store) would get ungraciously killed for the duration.

I think _this_ is the most important question to find the correct answer to.
*How do we know when/if Google Play System Updates are happening*?

Thank you for explaining that some apps "responded" to Google Play System
Upates (I think I'll call it that unless you have a better name for it).

As you likely know, I have most Google apps disabled, so I might not be
getting my two-dozen core modules updated (as it depends on whether Google
_needs_ a login, for example, which I don't have on my phone).

Maybe Google Play System Updates do not need a login though, as the Google
Play Store app can update apps it knows about _without_ having a login even
as it can't download any app I want that is on Google Play repository
without that login.

What's important though isn't me, per se, but for everyone the question is:
*How do we know when/if Google Play System Updates are happening*?

> I'd never had a play services update that needed a reboot until pressing that
> panel when it said it had downloaded an update and was pending a reboot, but it
> hadn't notified me. During the reboot I think it was the ART that was being
> upgraded ... probably that has to get updated while no java/kotlin apps are
> running, hence needing a reboot ... up until october the phone had monthly
> reboots for OTA upgrades.

Now I think I know _why_ you asked me about Android 12, because you're well
aware the runtime is _newly_ added to the two dozen Google Play System
Update core modules as of Android 12 only (as I recall).

Given Google designed the two dozen core modules to update almost invisibly,
it behooves us to understand how to tell if/when core modules are updated.

If we knew how to tell when/if the two dozen core modules are updated, it
would go a long way toward answering the question in the thread SUBJECT.
*How long does GOOGLE say they'll update the two dozen core modules*?

>> You know a lot more than I do as I basically disable this stuff while yours
>> is more mainstream where I get the "idea" (but I'm not sure) that your pixel
>> _switched_ from over-the-net (let's call that OTN) Android Core Module
>> updates (via APK, perhaps?) to OTA Android Core Module updates (via APEX?).
>
> Yes, once google turned off the monthly security patches as it was 3 years old,
> it seemed to start getting "component" updates via the play system mechanism.

If that's the case, it's ingenious, in that it's the best of all worlds.
a. When you're under support, you get OTA updates of the core modules
b. After that, you get OTN updates of the same two dozen core modules

That fits with the knowledge that the core modules _can_ be updated either
by Google or by the "Android Partner" and they can be updated OTN or OTA.

The key question to answer is _how_ do we know when/if an update happened?

>> Maybe it's just me, but that's confusing as all hell for me to try to
>> understand and then for me to extrapolate it to what _my_ phone is doing.
>>
>> Can you tell whether (and how?) your two-dozen core modules are updating?
>
> can't see dates/versions for the individual modules, but as mentioned I think
> ART (equivalent of JRE for a desktop) got updated in the last reboot, maybe
> other stuff too, but I can't see the versions of those components

Well, we both know that they added the runtime core module to the Google
Play System Updates as of Android 12, so, in your case, since I think you're
on Android 12 (right?) then if ART is updated, then that's one way to tell.

In summary, what would benefit all of us is a way to figure out in Android
10 and above if and when the Google Play System Update updated any of the
two dozen core modules which can be updated by Google or the partner OTA or
OTN.

Andy Burns

unread,
Feb 1, 2022, 3:49:47 AMFeb 1
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> That fits with the knowledge that the core modules_can_ be updated either
> by Google or by the "Android Partner" and they can be updated OTN or OTA.
>
> The key question to answer is_how_ do we know when/if an update happened?

configure the phone to use a proxy serve under your control, and log all the
URLs it visits?

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 1, 2022, 5:38:31 PMFeb 1
to
On Tue, 1 Feb 2022 08:49:44 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

>> The key question to answer is_how_ do we know when/if an update happened?
>
> configure the phone to use a proxy serve under your control, and log all the
> URLs it visits?

It won't tell us if an update happened, but of course it will tell us which
domains are visited by the phone, and perhaps which process, and which IP.

I wonder aloud if NetGuard already logs such things?

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 1, 2022, 11:19:20 PMFeb 1
to
On 31 Jan 2022 07:40:27 GMT, Bob Martin wrote:

> On my Pixel 3 running Android 12 the date of Google Play system update is
> under Settings/Security.
> Currently showing January 1, 2022

The unanswered question is _when_ does the "Google Play System Update" end?

Thanks for that information because Usenet is a team sport, where, at this
point, none of us on the team know how long Google updates the two dozen
core modules which we're assuming will show up in the date fields.

Overall, I assess Android has at least a half dozen core update layers
1. User apps are often updated forever (and very many are open source);
2. Key apps like Chrome are updated forever (some of those are open source);
3. Firmware (such as the Qualcomm modem firmware) are updated by Qualcomm;
4. Security updates (these are sometimes monthly or quarterly for years);
5. Android versions (these are what changes Android 11, say, to Android 12);
6. Core modules (updated either over GPS on the net or OTA by partners);
7. In addition, all core modules are donated to AOSP to maintain forever.

On my Android 11 Samsung Galaxy A32-5G there are additional update layers:
Settings > About phone > Software information >
<https://i.postimg.cc/4ymqRF7n/updateallapps11.jpg>

Notice there are additional Android sub components listed there.
1. Android version
2. Google Play system update
3. Baseband version
4. Kernel version
5. Build number
6. SE for Android status
7. Knox version
8. Service provider software version
9. Carrier configuration version
10. Security software version
11. Android security patch level

I think, perhaps, the three most important might be these though:
*Android version*
*Google Play system update*
*Android security patch level*

Looking for the Pixel 3 update schedule, I found this from November:
*Google will be releasing one last Pixel 3 and 3 XL update in Q1 of 2022*
<https://9to5google.com/2021/11/02/last-google-pixel-3-xl-update/>

BTW, notice this "surprise update" for your Pixel 3.
*Pixel 3 Gets Surprise Update to Fix Emergency Call Bug*
<https://www.droid-life.com/2022/01/05/pixel-3-gets-surprise-update-to-fix-emergency-call-bug/>

Even after all these searches, it's hard to answer Andy's question of _when_
the two dozen Android core modules (Google Play System Update) are no longer
updated becuase even in those article, nothing is said about them (they only
talks about the Android version & the patch versions).

But these appear to be the three most important Android versions to know:
*Android version* = (e.g., Android 11 or Android 12)
*Google Play system update* = (these are two-dozen core Android modules)
*Android security patch level* = (these are the periodic security patches)

The unanswered question is _when_ does the "Google Play System Update" end?
--
Usenet is a team sport where we each pitch in to help each other learn more.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 1, 2022, 11:20:17 PMFeb 1
to

Andy Burns

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Feb 2, 2022, 3:00:03 AMFeb 2
to
Bob Martin wrote:

> On my Pixel 3 running Android 12 the date of Google Play system update is
> under Settings/Security.
> Currently showing January 1, 2022

I just checked, mine was still on 1 Dec 2021, but there is a 1 Jan 2022 version
that I have now allowed it to install ... it wanted a reboot.

These "google play system updates" aren't as pro-active as the "android security
updates", neither of the two I have received made their availability known.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 2, 2022, 12:15:00 PMFeb 2
to
On Wed, 2 Feb 2022 08:00:01 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

>> On my Pixel 3 running Android 12 the date of Google Play system update is
>> under Settings/Security.
>> Currently showing January 1, 2022
>
> I just checked, mine was still on 1 Dec 2021, but there is a 1 Jan 2022 version
> that I have now allowed it to install ... it wanted a reboot.

Hi Andy,

The "system update" may be what we need focus on to answer the question.

Thank you & Bob Martin for this information because Usenet is a team sport
where we all pitch in to get the ball across the goal line, in this case of
*How long does Google update the two dozen "Mainline" core modules?*

You & Bob helped us hone that question to something more specific, like:
*How long does Google update the "Google Play system update" version?*

Bearing in mind there are something like a dozen _other_ versions or so:
<https://i.postimg.cc/4ymqRF7n/updateallapps11.jpg>

I think, of all Android versions, these three may be the most important:
Android "version"
Android security "patch level"
*Google Play "system update"*

When I look for EOL dates from Google, they don't always use the full words
above, but I think the colloquial search terms might be something like:
"version"
"patch level"
*"system update"*

Where in the case of your Pixel 3 (and that of Bob), these appear to be:
"version" === Android 12
"patch level" === 1 Jan 2022
*"system update"* === 1 Jan 2022

Interestingly, my far newer Samsung A32-5G is well behind your Pixel 3 at
"version" === Android 11 (Android 12 is scheduled for May 2022)
"patch level" === 1 Nov 2021 (due to be a low-end Samsung A series)
*"system update"* === 1 Jun 2021 (perhaps due to GP being disabled?)

Moving forward, what would be very helpful to the team's resolution of this
question is for you and Bob and anyone else with a Pixel (or other phone) to
keep us all informed of what your "google play system update" versions are.

> These "google play system updates" aren't as pro-active as the "android security
> updates", neither of the two I have received made their availability known.

Hi Andy,
I would modify that statement only slightly, I think, in that fundamentally
the "system update" is perhaps _very_ proactive, so much so that the
downloads for the "system update" happen completely invisibly to you in the
background (don't they?).

What's _visible_ to you is that they _require_ a reboot before they take
hold, I think, but I could be wrong on this as my phone isn't doing them.

In summary, _thank you_ for helping to answer the question posed in the
SUBJECT, where I ask you (and everyone) post the "system updates" moving
forward so that we can tell when (or even if) they stop updating us.
--
CAVEAT: I must be quick to note that my phone has almost everything Google
disabled so we can use me as a corner case only, since most people will have
the Google apps enabled but what my situation shows perhaps is _which_
Google apps are related to that invisible "system update" version.
<https://i.postimg.cc/qqVFqVwD/updateallapps10.jpg>

Andy Burns

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Feb 2, 2022, 12:33:03 PMFeb 2
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> The "system update" may be what we need focus on to answer the question.

Not for Pixel3 devices, they've reached the end of the road, except for the
promised "one more for the road" update.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 2, 2022, 1:17:08 PMFeb 2
to
Hi Andy,

I'm trying to make an important point so let's be careful because there is a
bit of confusion that is in my head with respect to explicit terminology.

Hence, I don't think "we" (both you & me!) have enough data to conclude that
the "system update" isn't forever (or some value of forever) AFAICT given we
haven't found an _explicit_ reference which distinguishes between the three.
Android version
Security update
System update

All the Google references for the Pixel 3 that I looked at only mentioned:
Android version
Security update

But I couldn't find an explicit reference to the Pixel 3 schedule for the GP
System update

Can you?
Let me first try to answer the question again, today, with a search:
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=google+pixel+3+system+update+schedule>

First hit:
*Learn when you'll get software updates on Google Pixel phones*
<https://support.google.com/pixelphone/answer/4457705>
"The following Pixel phones no longer receive _Android version_ updates
and _security updates_" (the Pixel 3 is in that list).

Look closely please.
What's missing?

Again, I ask, look closely at the explicit words that Google used.
Android version
Security update
Where is the missing third component which is the topic of this very thread?
System update

My point is we don't have _any_ evidence yet that Google has ever stated an
explicit EOL date for the two dozen core modules comprising what they call
the "System Update" (aka the "Google Play system update").

Do we?
--
Usenet is a team sport where, together, we answer questions helpfully.

Andy Burns

unread,
Feb 2, 2022, 1:34:54 PMFeb 2
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> I don't think "we" (both you & me!) have enough data to conclude that
> the "system update" isn't forever

well, for the past 3 years, it has got an android version upgrade once a year,
and a security update every month, until last october when they all stopped (as
promised).

> (or some value of forever) AFAICT given we
> haven't found an_explicit_ reference which distinguishes between the three.
> Android version
> Security update
> System update
>
> All the Google references for the Pixel 3 that I looked at only mentioned:
> Android version
> Security update
>
> But I couldn't find an explicit reference to the Pixel 3 schedule for the GP
> System update
>
> Can you?

All the hints I see from XDA or 9to5google etc say it's monthly, and google seem
to be more open now about what's in them, though it's still fairly vague.

Andy Burnelli

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Feb 2, 2022, 2:08:11 PMFeb 2
to
On Wed, 2 Feb 2022 18:34:51 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

>> I don't think "we" (both you & me!) have enough data to conclude that
>> the "system update" isn't forever
>
> well, for the past 3 years, it has got an android version upgrade once a year,
> and a security update every month, until last october when they all stopped (as
> promised).

Hmmm.... I'm not sure you understood what I was asking.
(Or maybe I don't understand what you're claiming).

The whole point of this quest is written in the SUBJECT line.

I'm claiming that what's missing from Google's EOL schedules is _not_ these!
Android version
Security update

But this!
System update

If I understand your response above, you apparently repeated what I already
said was in the Google Pixel 3 update schedules that I referenced, which was
Android version
Security update

But if I understood your response above, what is _still missing_ from your
response is you apparently omitted what I said was _missing_, which is:
System update (aka Google Play system update)

Do we have _any_ reference from Google for the Pixel 3 on that last item?

>> But I couldn't find an explicit reference to the Pixel 3 schedule for the GP
>> System update
>>
>> Can you?
>
> All the hints I see from XDA or 9to5google etc say it's monthly, and google seem
> to be more open now about what's in them, though it's still fairly vague.

What we're looking for to answer the question in the SUBJECT line isn't how
frequently Google releases the "System update" for the Pixel3, but how long.
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=how+long+google+%22google+play+system+update>

That gives a lot of hits, but they're _all_ about these two things:
Android version
Security update

Not this one thing:
System update (aka Google Play system update)

I can't find a single reference yet that says any EOL date for the two dozen
core modules which I am assuming comprise that "System update" package.

Can you?

Andy Burns

unread,
Feb 8, 2022, 3:03:20 PMFeb 8
to
Bob Martin wrote:

> On my Pixel 3 running Android 12 the date of Google Play system update is
> under Settings/Security.
> Currently showing January 1, 2022

In terms of security updates, the Pixel3 got its final, no really, final update
today (didn't move the month up from oct 21 to feb 22) yesterday it got another
play update (likewise that didn't move the month up from jan 22 to feb 22)

So they're still not making it easy to tell which versions we've got.

Bob Martin

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Feb 9, 2022, 3:04:46 AMFeb 9
to
Nope! I'm thinking of side-loading the latest OTA file from the factory image site.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 9, 2022, 10:07:27 AMFeb 9
to
On 9 Feb 2022 08:04:43 GMT, Bob Martin wrote:

>> In terms of security updates, the Pixel3 got its final, no really, final update
>> today (didn't move the month up from oct 21 to feb 22) yesterday it got another
>> play update (likewise that didn't move the month up from jan 22 to feb 22)
>>
>> So they're still not making it easy to tell which versions we've got.
>>
> Nope! I'm thinking of side-loading the latest OTA file from the factory image site.

I've never sideloaded the "update", which, I presume, is the "Security
Update" (given there are a dozen major updates, but three main ones:
a. Android Version
b. Security Update
c. Google Play Version

I have two questions about what Bob Martin informed us about:
1. How does one manually sideload a Pixel "Security Update"?
2. Can a Samsung Galaxy A32-5G perform a similar task?

Andy Burns

unread,
Feb 10, 2022, 3:13:06 PMFeb 10
to
Bob Martin wrote:

> I'm thinking of side-loading the latest OTA file from the factory image site.

I still think it'll say 5th oct 21, rather than 1st feb 22

Andy Burns

unread,
Feb 10, 2022, 3:18:20 PMFeb 10
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> 1. How does one manually sideload a Pixel "Security Update"?

in short ... download the appropriate ota .zip file onto the phone, boot into
recovery mode by holding vol- while powering on, choose sideload from the menu,
select the zip file

> 2. Can a Samsung Galaxy A32-5G perform a similar task?

Don't think samsungs have the equivalent of unlocked bootloader, one of the
beauties of nexus/pixel devices

Bob Martin

unread,
Feb 11, 2022, 3:14:40 AMFeb 11
to
Yes, it does, and Jan 1 for Google Play Services, but I wasn't feeling comfortable
about the update as it didn't complete at the first attempt.

The sideload of the OTA file went OK so now I'm happy :-)

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 11, 2022, 1:33:47 PMFeb 11
to
On Thu, 10 Feb 2022 20:18:16 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

>> 1. How does one manually sideload a Pixel "Security Update"?
>
> in short ... download the appropriate ota .zip file onto the phone, boot into
> recovery mode by holding vol- while powering on, choose sideload from the menu,
> select the zip file

Given every Usenet thread should add value as a team sport, I thank Andy for
explaining that there are URIs out there that contain the OTA zip file,
presumably only for the Nexus and Pixel devices based on what you say below.

I need to admit I never really understood what a "bootloader" really is, as
I always assumed it was just the "kernel" or something basic out of the way.

Of course, ignorance, after being admitted, should then begin to be cured:
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=what+is+unlocked+android+bootloader>

How's this for the high-level (everyone should know this) type of summary?
a. The bootloader is stored in "special stable memory"
b. It's the very first software that runs upon booting
c. Then it starts up the second software, which is the Android OS
d. Sometimes the bootloader checks in between if the OS is "approved"
e. If the check fails, then the OS is not loaded.
<https://www.technorms.com/25689/android-bootloader-locked-unlocked-guide>
<https://www.unlockphone.codes/what-unlocked-bootloader-does/>
<https://source.android.com/devices/bootloader/locking_unlocking>



>> 2. Can a Samsung Galaxy A32-5G perform a similar task?
>
> Don't think samsungs have the equivalent of unlocked bootloader, one of the
> beauties of nexus/pixel devices

I presume you're saying the bootloader is already unlocked, by default, for
Samsung and Nexus devices, but not for the Samsungs, is that right?

If so, then the obvious next step to explore is unlocking the bootloader.

The last phone I rooted was a Samsung Galaxy S3 whose USB port was destroyed
so I rooted it with a single-step program widely available, and hence, I
really didn't learn anything about unlocking (none of my others are rooted).

I don't remember unlocking the bootloader then, but I did unlock the
bootloader on an iPhone 4 to make it work on T-Mobile back in the day.

Even though it was a single click to root the Samsung Galaxy S3, apparently,
nowadays, perhaps?, you need more steps now than we did on the olden days.

It seems each device needs its own bootloader unlock sequence, apparently.
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bootloader+unlock+samsung+galaxay+a32-5g>
First hit shows, at least one reliable bootloader unlock for a Samsung.
*Samsung Galaxy S 4 Bootloader Unlocked*
<https://www.xda-developers.com/samsung-galaxy-s-4-bootloader-unlocked/>
<https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/bootloader-hacking-details.2259933/>

But I'm interested in the phone that I have, but this says it can't be done.
<https://forum.xda-developers.com/f/samsung-galaxy-a32-5g.12145/>

And yet, the Internet being what it is, these imply that it can be done.
*How to unlock bootloader on Samsung Galaxy A32 5G*
<https://www.naldotech.com/unlock-samsung-galaxy-a32-bootloader/>
<https://thetechtalkies.com/how-to-unlock-bootloader-on-samsung-galaxy-a32-5g/>
<https://www.rootingsteps.com/unlock-bootloader-samsung-galaxy-a32/>
<https://www.hardreset.info/devices/samsung/samsung-galaxy-a32-5g/faq/bootloader-unlock/samsung-bootloader/>

For now, I'll have to live vicariously off you pixel owners because you have
the _perfect_ phone at the right timeframe, to tell us when Google stops
updating the GOogle Play System Update.

Let's always keep in mind that these are _different_ things:
a. Android version update
b. Android security patch version update
c. Google Play System Update <=== this is what this thread is all about

When does Google stop updating the Google Play System Update for the Pixel?
(Do we know _that_ answer yet?)

Andy Burnelli

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Feb 11, 2022, 1:40:34 PMFeb 11
to
On 11 Feb 2022 08:14:37 GMT, Bob Martin wrote:

>>> I'm thinking of side-loading the latest OTA file from the factory image site.
>>
>> I still think it'll say 5th oct 21, rather than 1st feb 22
>
> Yes, it does, and Jan 1 for Google Play Services, but I wasn't feeling comfortable
> about the update as it didn't complete at the first attempt.
>
> The sideload of the OTA file went OK so now I'm happy :-)

I'm desperately trying to understand (and learn from) everything said here.
That's how Usenet works (it's a team sport where everyone adds their value).

Given this thread is about the two dozen core modules in project Mainline,
may I ask Andy and/or Bob Martin which specific OTA are you talking about?

The reason I ask is there are three key update versions.
a. Android version update
b. Android security patch update
c. Google Play system update <=== this thread is about this date!

If Andy or Bob can provide the URI to the OTA file I could probably figure
it out for myself but since it's just described as an OTA, which one is it?
A. Is it an OTA for the Android version update?
B. Is it an OTA for the Android security patch update?
C. Is it an OTA for the Google Play system update? <=== this is what we want

Which OTA zip file is Bob and Andy talking about?

Andy Burns

unread,
Feb 11, 2022, 5:41:57 PMFeb 11
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> Given this thread is about the two dozen core modules in project Mainline,
> may I ask Andy and/or Bob Martin which specific OTA are you talking about?

In general they're all stored here, one per nexus/pixel model, per month, these
are the "full" OTA ROM images.

<https://developers.google.com/android/ota>

In particular we're talking about the blueline=pixel3 SP1A.210812.016.C1 file
from this month, which is the final OTA for this phone, which actually
identifies as october since it's just a set of bugfixes to the android 12
upgrade they received then.

Normally the phones receive a "delta" OTA update with just the differences from
the previous month rather than using the full OTA. For 11 months a year the OTA
(whether delta or full) is just security patches, but once a year it's the major
version upgrade.

But OTAs aren't play updates, those only seem to have come into effect for
pixel3 since october, when the normal delta OTA updates reached end of the road
for that device.

Hopefully the play updates will keep the core components updated, but we
certainly won't get android 13 that way, and it remains to be seen what else we
do get ...

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 11, 2022, 11:50:59 PMFeb 11
to
On Fri, 11 Feb 2022 22:41:55 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> In general they're all stored here, one per nexus/pixel model, per month,
> these are the "full" OTA ROM images.
> <https://developers.google.com/android/ota>

Thanks for that URL to the so-called "full" over-the-air ROM zip images.
*Full OTA Images for Nexus and Pixel Devices*
Which, in effect, sideloads that "full factory image" using adb over USB:
c:\> adb sideload ota_file.zip

Full, in this sense means some value of "full" which is as yet unknown.
a. Android version update <== It seems that the "full" OTA includes this
b. Android security patch update <== The "full" OTA seems to include this
c. Google Play system update <== But does the "full" OTA also include this?

> In particular we're talking about the blueline=pixel3 SP1A.210812.016.C1 file
> from this month, which is the final OTA for this phone, which actually
> identifies as october since it's just a set of bugfixes to the android 12
> upgrade they received then.

Thanks for being detailed as I'm desperately trying to figure out answers.

Looking, that 1.5GB file is named "12.0.0 (SP1A.210812.016.C1, Feb 2022)"
<https://dl.google.com/dl/android/aosp/crosshatch-ota-sp1a.210812.016.c1-d3a532dd.zip>

Where I see what you mean they also update the Android OS version between:
"11.0.0 (RQ3A.211001.001, Oct 2021)" & "12.0.0 (SP1A.210812.015, Oct 2021)"

> Normally the phones receive a "delta" OTA update with just the differences from
> the previous month rather than using the full OTA. For 11 months a year the OTA
> (whether delta or full) is just security patches, but once a year it's the major
> version upgrade.

Thank you for explaining that they update both the patch level (each time)
and the OS version (roughly about yearly) where both seem to be commingled.
a. Android version update <== This is updated about once a year
b. Android security patch update <== This is updated about once every month
c. Google Play system update <== But when/how/where is this updated?

> But OTAs aren't play updates, those only seem to have come into effect for
> pixel3 since october, when the normal delta OTA updates reached end of the road
> for that device.

Thanks for reiterating that fact, since it was _you_ who figured that out.
I just knew Project Mainline (aka Google Play System Updates) existed.

I only know "Google Play System Updates" can be done either
a. Unilaterally by Google over some internal mechanism over the net
b. Or, by an "Android Partner" over the air by some other internal mechanism

That's confusing.

Even more confusing, it seems, based on what you said prior, that
1. You used to get Google Play Services Updates over the air
2. But now you get those Google Play Services Updates over the net

Is that right?

BTW, I'm not even sure what those two things are, where I assume one of the
two components of Android listed below _does_ that update, at some directive
A. Google Play services <com.google.android.gms>
B. Google Play Store <com.android.vending>

This is all so confusing.
I'm just trying to nail down the question asked in the SUBJECT line.

Do you have more details on how _any_ of the above programs update the
Google Play Version?

> Hopefully the play updates will keep the core components updated, but we
> certainly won't get android 13 that way, and it remains to be seen what else we
> do get ...

Please do keep an eye on what happens to these three specific versions:
a. Android version
b. Android security patch version
c. Google Play system update version

I suspect you won't get the first two much longer, but the question in this
thread is all about that third item which contains two dozen core modules.

As far as I know, Google hasn't published an EOL date for the "Google Play
System Updates" (have they?), so it's important to us that you keep us
informed since you are on the exact right hardware to help us figure that
out (which is, after all, the answer we seek).

Andy Burns

unread,
Feb 12, 2022, 12:39:10 PMFeb 12
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> Thanks for that URL to the so-called "full" over-the-air ROM zip images.
> *Full OTA Images for Nexus and Pixel Devices*
> Which, in effect, sideloads that "full factory image" using adb over USB:
> c:\> adb sideload ota_file.zip

If you download the image to a PC, you have to use ADB to sideload it to the
phone over USB, but if you download the image to the phone itself, you don't
need to use usb, the bootloader can flash itself.

> Full, in this sense means some value of "full" which is as yet unknown.

The difference between a full OTA and a factory image, is that the latter can
only be installed by wiping the phone, the former leaves user data intact.

The difference between a full OTA and a delta OTA, is that a full one can be
installed by the user, but it only makes sense to install the correct delta
between the current installed version and the newly available version.

> a. Android version update <== It seems that the "full" OTA includes this
> b. Android security patch update <== The "full" OTA seems to include this
> c. Google Play system update <== But does the "full" OTA also include this?

I would suspect so, e.g. the ART and associated libraries, but we were never told.

>> In particular we're talking about the blueline=pixel3 SP1A.210812.016.C1 file
>> from this month, which is the final OTA for this phone, which actually
>> identifies as october since it's just a set of bugfixes to the android 12
>> upgrade they received then.
>
> Thanks for being detailed as I'm desperately trying to figure out answers.
>
> Looking, that 1.5GB file is named "12.0.0 (SP1A.210812.016.C1, Feb 2022)"
> <https://dl.google.com/dl/android/aosp/crosshatch-ota-sp1a.210812.016.c1-d3a532dd.zip>

crosshatch=pixel3XL blueline=pixel3, but yes

> Where I see what you mean they also update the Android OS version between:
> "11.0.0 (RQ3A.211001.001, Oct 2021)" & "12.0.0 (SP1A.210812.015, Oct 2021)"
>
>> Normally the phones receive a "delta" OTA update with just the differences from
>> the previous month rather than using the full OTA. For 11 months a year the OTA
>> (whether delta or full) is just security patches, but once a year it's the major
>> version upgrade.
>
> Thank you for explaining that they update both the patch level (each time)
> and the OS version (roughly about yearly) where both seem to be commingled.

Yes, pixel owners are used to a single, monthly update, sometimes it's a few 10s
of MB, other times it's over 1 GB.

When my previous phone (Nexus5X) reached end of life, that was that, brick wall,
no such thing as "one final update" a few months later, no core updates to
firmware via play, so I bought a new phone and gave the old one to my Dad,
despite being 3 years old it had newer firmware than his.

> a. Android version update <== This is updated about once a year
> b. Android security patch update <== This is updated about once every month
> c. Google Play system update <== But when/how/where is this updated?

The play update mechanism appears to have changed in the past three months,
either in practice, or in terms of visibility, it sounds encouraging, for those
of us with phones > 3 years old, if it keeps them "somewhat" up to date within
the same major version, rather than left to rot.

>> But OTAs aren't play updates, those only seem to have come into effect for
>> pixel3 since october, when the normal delta OTA updates reached end of the road
>> for that device.
>
> Thanks for reiterating that fact, since it was _you_ who figured that out.
> I just knew Project Mainline (aka Google Play System Updates) existed.

I'm not convinced that google will actually be providing any fixes outside the
core components, e.g. no qualcomm driver fixes (SoC, GPS, audio, camera, GPU
DRM, codecs, sensors) that have also been updated monthly by the OTA.

After all why would they set a 3 year life, and then at the end of that life,
still go on providing device specific fixes? The core components, yes I can see
they have to produce them anyway, so slipping them out to all phones is a
benefit that doesn't cost them much.

> I only know "Google Play System Updates" can be done either
> a. Unilaterally by Google over some internal mechanism over the net
> b. Or, by an "Android Partner" over the air by some other internal mechanism
>
> That's confusing.
>
> Even more confusing, it seems, based on what you said prior, that
> 1. You used to get Google Play Services Updates over the air
> 2. But now you get those Google Play Services Updates over the net
>
> Is that right?

With pixels, I think they have always come over the net

> BTW, I'm not even sure what those two things are, where I assume one of the
> two components of Android listed below _does_ that update, at some directive
> A. Google Play services <com.google.android.gms>
> B. Google Play Store <com.android.vending>
>
> This is all so confusing.
> I'm just trying to nail down the question asked in the SUBJECT line.
>
> Do you have more details on how _any_ of the above programs update the
> Google Play Version?
>
>> Hopefully the play updates will keep the core components updated, but we
>> certainly won't get android 13 that way, and it remains to be seen what else we
>> do get ...
>
> Please do keep an eye on what happens to these three specific versions:
> a. Android version
> b. Android security patch version
> c. Google Play system update version

yes, I've taken screenshots of the version numbers that are exposed, I wish
there was more specific version info was available, I tried inware but it's not
much more detail.

<http://andyburns.uk/misc/pixel3_20220212.jpg>

> I suspect you won't get the first two much longer, but the question in this
> thread is all about that third item which contains two dozen core modules.

Pretty sure of that, barring some bug that's reputation-damaging to google
affecting most android devices.

> As far as I know, Google hasn't published an EOL date for the "Google Play
> System Updates" (have they?), so it's important to us that you keep us
> informed since you are on the exact right hardware to help us figure that
> out (which is, after all, the answer we seek).

I expect it'll roll on and on, at least until they jump to a new runtime like
they did for dalvik->art

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Feb 12, 2022, 3:46:24 PMFeb 12
to
On Sat, 12 Feb 2022 17:39:08 +0000, Andy Burns wrote:

> If you download the image to a PC, you have to use ADB to sideload it to the
> phone over USB, but if you download the image to the phone itself, you don't
> need to use usb, the bootloader can flash itself.

Ah. Thanks.

I love to learn, and therefore, whenever I read anything, a million
questions come to the fore (which I have to stifle), where, in this case of
adb, I was wondering why a PC might be needed, so I'm glad that it isn't.

I wouldn't be asking for clarification if I wasn't trying to figure it out.

>> Full, in this sense means some value of "full" which is as yet unknown.
>
> The difference between a full OTA and a factory image, is that the latter can
> only be installed by wiping the phone, the former leaves user data intact.

Ah, again, thanks. That makes too much sense. I'm ignorant of this stuff.
Hence I do appreciate your clarifications as I have never owned a Pixel.
(I have a T-Mobile Nexus 5 somewhere, but I can't find it.)

The fact you have the Pixel 3 is perfect because you're in the best position
to answer the question of the SUBJECT of this thread, which is the focus.

a. Android version ==> this has likely ended already for the Pixel 3
b. Android security patch version ==> this likely just ended for the Pixel 3
c. Google Play system update version ==> but _when_ does this end?

> The difference between a full OTA and a delta OTA, is that a full one can be
> installed by the user, but it only makes sense to install the correct delta
> between the current installed version and the newly available version.

Yes. Agreed.

What is most important to flesh out the SUBJECT of this thread is for you to
let us know if you can keep installing the project Mainline modules over the
"Google Play System Update" Mechanism.

I'm not even sure if the Google Play System Update mechanism can be
controlled manually or not. Can it?

When there are no longer those OTA zip files on that URL waiting for you:
<https://developers.google.com/android/ota>

My question to you, moving forward, is:
*How do you plan on updating the Google Play System Update version?*

>> a. Android version update <== It seems that the "full" OTA includes this
>> b. Android security patch update <== The "full" OTA seems to include this
>> c. Google Play system update <== But does the "full" OTA also include this?
>
> I would suspect so, e.g. the ART and associated libraries, but we were never told.

Ah. Yes. I forgot. You said prior that the ART updated, and we _know_
they're part of Android 12's Mainline (and not in Android 11's Mainline).

The question for us to figure out, for the future, now that your OTA zip
files ended, is how to update the Google Play System Update version moving
forward.
a. Do you manually update the Google Play System Update moving forward?
b. Or will Google push it to you somehow over the net?

I do not know the answer but your Pixel 3 is in the perfect position to find
out (it may take a few months though as a Pixel3 only reached EOL recently).

> crosshatch=pixel3XL blueline=pixel3, but yes

BTW, what confused me a lot is you kept using "OTA" but, in reality, nothing
was being done "over the air". It was all done over the net.

That confused me.

> Yes, pixel owners are used to a single, monthly update, sometimes it's a few 10s
> of MB, other times it's over 1 GB.

Thank you for making me aware of that. It's a nice Pixel feature, for sure
that you can download an "OTA" file over the net and install it at will.

> When my previous phone (Nexus5X) reached end of life, that was that, brick wall,
> no such thing as "one final update" a few months later, no core updates to
> firmware via play, so I bought a new phone and gave the old one to my Dad,
> despite being 3 years old it had newer firmware than his.

This is an important point _if_ Google updates the Project Mainline stuff
forever (or some version of forever, meaning there is no stated EOL date).

For example, on my iPad, Safari is updated with the iOS version, so when
they no longer update the iOS version, that's the end of Safari updates.

But, poignantly so, Chrome is _not_ updated with the Android OS version, so,
on my Android phone, no matter which Android version I have (about
4.something I think it is), Chrome can be updated by the user unilaterally.

My point is that Nexus5X wasn't as doomed as it would have been had it been
an iPad in so much as it still can update most of Android.

Just not the version & security patches.

But maybe...
Maybe...

Maybe that Nexus5X can _still_ get the project mainline files.
That is the question in the SUBJECT line after all.

> The play update mechanism appears to have changed in the past three months,
> either in practice, or in terms of visibility, it sounds encouraging, for those
> of us with phones > 3 years old, if it keeps them "somewhat" up to date within
> the same major version, rather than left to rot.

Absolutely.
That's my whole point.

As far as I know, Google has not stated any EOL date for the Project
Mainline two dozen core modules. And Google donates them to the AOSP.

Depending on what portion of Android those two dozen core modules comprise,
that would mean that _much_ of Android is still updated, even when the
Android version and security patches are no longer available for that phone.

Your Pixel 3 is beautifully positioned to figure this out for the team.

> I'm not convinced that google will actually be providing any fixes outside the
> core components, e.g. no qualcomm driver fixes (SoC, GPS, audio, camera, GPU
> DRM, codecs, sensors) that have also been updated monthly by the OTA.

I'm not sure.
That's really the SUBJECT after all.

Bear in mind I equate Project Treble with Project Mainline which "assumes"
Qualcomm does their part (treble) as does Google (mainline) to update us.

Again, you're perfectly positioned to figure that out for the team.

> After all why would they set a 3 year life, and then at the end of that life,
> still go on providing device specific fixes? The core components, yes I can see
> they have to produce them anyway, so slipping them out to all phones is a
> benefit that doesn't cost them much.

That statement confuses me a bit because I agree that it's likely something
like this for your Pixel 3... where this is my current guess
1. Android version ==> Your pixel 3 is forever stuck on Android 12
2. Android security patches ==> Your pixel 3 is forever done with the latest
3. Google Play System Updates ==> As far as I know, this has no EOL date

Assuming #3 is correct, the only question is _how_ we get those updates.

>> Is that right?
>
> With pixels, I think they have always come over the net

I see now, embarrassingly belatedly, whenever you and Bob Martin were
discussing "OTA", you always meant that you get those zip file over the net.

It's my fault for assuming you meant "over the air" so that's why you see me
confused when you think you've explained it clearly.

To me OTA had meant over the air; not over the net.
I apologize for my mistake.

>> Please do keep an eye on what happens to these three specific versions:
>> a. Android version
>> b. Android security patch version
>> c. Google Play system update version
>
> yes, I've taken screenshots of the version numbers that are exposed, I wish
> there was more specific version info was available, I tried inware but it's not
> much more detail.

inware?
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=what+is+android+inware>

Ah. I see.
*Inware* by evowizz (rated 4.4)
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evo.inware>

I never saw Inware in my searches as my filters filter out anything that
requires GSF (which Inware does). No big deal though. I'll download it.

I already use a few like this but I will try the "inware" app and compare.
*Device Info HW* by Andrey Efremov (rated 4.6)
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ru.andr7e.deviceinfohw>

> <http://andyburns.uk/misc/pixel3_20220212.jpg>

Very few people post screenshots so I'm ecstatic that you did so.

Thank you for that screenshot which says:
a. Android version = 12
b. Security patch version = 5 October 2021 (you explained why it's oct)
c. Google Play System Update version = 2022-01-01 S+ (311323004)

InWare for me says the following version information on the Galaxy A32-5G.
a. Android version = 11
b. Security patch version = November 1, 2021
c. Google Play System Update version = 2021-06-01 (302001200)

However, Device Info HW for me uses different languages & values:
a. Android version = 11
b. Security = 01.11.21
c. Google Play Services = 21.48.15 (150400-414534850)
d. JavaVM = ART 2.1.0 (this is the Android runtime environment, I think)

Note that I'm unusually set up in that I have most Google modules disabled.
Hence I'll always be farther behind than others in these patch levels.

>> As far as I know, Google hasn't published an EOL date for the "Google Play
>> System Updates" (have they?), so it's important to us that you keep us
>> informed since you are on the exact right hardware to help us figure that
>> out (which is, after all, the answer we seek).
>
> I expect it'll roll on and on, at least until they jump to a new runtime like
> they did for dalvik->art

This is my suspicion too, which is that Google hasn't publicized any EOL
date for the project mainline core modules, just like they don't usually
publish an EOL date for the Chrome browser.

That means, as far as we know, it's "forever" for some value of forever.
It's up to you pixel 3 owners to tell us how long "forever" turns out to be!

One question I'm still confused about because all this time when you said
OTA I thought you meant over the air (not over the net) is this one.

Q: In the future, how do you plan on _manually_ updating the
"Google Play System Update version" ???

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Mar 3, 2022, 4:02:09 PMMar 3
to
Very important _new_ information arose this week over here:
*Big March Android System Update Through Google Play & Google Play Services*
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android/c/fIAd_j1gC0w/m/oV1wA2V8BAAJ>

As a result of that information, I suspect I was wrong about (c) below.
a. Android version
b. Security version
c. Play version

It looks like the last item above is actually a complex triad, perhaps?
[1] Google Play System
[2] Google Play Services
[3] Google Play Store

Which I can collapse perhaps into "Google Play {System,Services,Store}"
given it's three (frustratingly confusing) versions which are related.

If that's correct, then I'll start to summarize that what matters is:
a. *Android version*
b. *Security version*
c. *Google Play {System,Services,Store} versions*

At the highest level, does _that_ triad above summarize what matters most?
If so, what we need is _others_ to report their recent update results.
c(y). Google Play System version (Settings > About > Software)
c(e). Google Play Services version (Settings > Apps > Google Play Services)
c(t). Google Play Store version (Settings > Apps > Google Play Store)

Locations for that "YET" triad are:
A. Google Play S(Y)stem version (Settings > About > Software)
B. Google Play S(E)rvices version (Settings > Apps > Google Play Services)
C. Google Play S(T)ore version (Settings > Apps > Google Play Store)

Each of us should report what these five versions are to help everyone.

My T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy A32-5G is currently at:
1. Android version 11
2. Security patch update version February 1, 2022
3. Google Play System version June 1 2021
4. Google Play Services version 22.02.21 (150400-428111784)
5. Google Play Store version 29.4.13-21 [0] [PR] 429618493

*How long does GOOGLE say they'll update the two dozen core modules in project mainline?*
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android/c/_ZUiLVtLbsg/m/q7-iaUiwBgAJ>
--
Usenet is a team sport where, together, we pitch in to learn about Android.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Mar 3, 2022, 4:03:12 PMMar 3
to
Bob Martin wrote:

> On my Pixel 3 running Android 12 the date of Google Play system update is
> under Settings/Security.
> Currently showing January 1, 2022

Bob Martin... can you help us by reading this thread posted recently.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Mar 3, 2022, 4:41:55 PMMar 3
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> 4. Google Play Services version 22.02.21 (150400-428111784)

Given this confusingly named triad (Google Play {System,Services,Store}),
I "think" I just proved that the Google Play _Services_ version can be
updated manually (or automatically) via the Google Play Store app.

Even though I do not set Android to a Google account, I can't delete the
Google Play Store client app, which I think is key to the updates.

The Google Play Store client _can_ update apps even without an account.
But I have my Google Play Store client settings set to not autoupdate.
Hence, all Google Play Store run updates would be fully manual for me.

Knowing from this thread that there are updates, I'll see what happens now.
*Big March Android System Update Through Google Play & Google Play Services*
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android/c/fIAd_j1gC0w/m/oV1wA2V8BAAJ>
a. I opened up the default (unused) Google Play Store client app.
b. I pressed the Google Play Store Settings three-dots menu & then update.
c. Then I pressed the "Google Play Services" update (24MB) button.

Before:
1. Android version 11
2. Security patch update version February 1, 2022
3. Google Play System update June 1 2021
4. *Google Play Services version* 22.02.21 (150400-428111784)
5. Google Play Store version 29.4.13-21 [0] [PR] 429618493

After:
1. Android version 11
2. Security patch update version February 1, 2022
3. Google Play System version June 1 2021
4. *Google Play Services version* 22.06.15 (150400-428792003)
5. Google Play Store version 29.4.13-21 [0] [PR] 429618493

Given this confusingly named triad (Google Play {System,Services,Store}),
I "think" I just proved that the Google Play _Services_ version can be
updated manually (or automatically) via the Google Play Store app.
--
Usenet is for purposefully helpful kind-hearted people to teach each other.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Mar 3, 2022, 8:29:29 PMMar 3
to
Apparently... (as far as anyone can tell, at least so far, it seems...)
*Almost all of Android is updated forever* (i.e., there is no EOL date!)

As with all _modern_ operating systems, Android is composed of multiple
layers, most of which appear to be updated independently, such as:
a. *Android version*
b. *Security version*
c. *Google Play {System,Services,Store} versions*
Note there are over two dozen core modules updated in just (c) above.
As far as anyone knows, these are updated forever (there is no EOL).

On the Android newsgroup for the past month, a few of us have been testing
how long "forever" happens to be, where some people with the Pixel 3's are
apparently still getting updates despite any previously published EOL dates.
*How long does GOOGLE say they'll update the two dozen core modules in project mainline?*
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android/c/_ZUiLVtLbsg/m/q7-iaUiwBgAJ>

Backing up those tests, Google released updates to essentially _all Android
phones_ this week, which a few of us tested to be the case.
*Big March Android System Update Through Google Play & Google Play Services*
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android/c/fIAd_j1gC0w/m/oV1wA2V8BAAJ>

What was updated this week for all Android phones was a combination of the
above Google based layers that are updated over the Internet independently.

But other layers are also updated completely independently & often forever.
1. User apps are often updated forever (and very many are open source);
2. Key apps like Chrome are updated forever (some of those are open source);
3. Firmware (such as the Qualcomm modem firmware) are updated over the net;
4. Security updates (these are rolled out monthly)
5. Android versions (these are what changes Android 11, say, to Android 12);
6. Core modules (updated either over GPS on the net or OTA by partners);
[In addition, all core modules are donated to AOSP to maintain forever.]

In the "core modules" area alone, Google updated almost all phones today.
*Big March Android System Update Through Google Play & Google Play Services*
<https://www.droid-life.com/2022/03/01/google-system-update-march-improvements/>
"This isn't just a Google Pixel update that comes out each month
and is instead a platform-level set of updates for all or most
Android phones. Google has issued this type of stuff for some time."

*The March 2022 Google System Update is chock-full of changes*
<https://www.androidcentral.com/phones/the-march-2022-google-system-update-is-chock-full-of-changes>
"Google has released the March 2022 System Updates.
These updates are available for all Android devices, not just Pixels"

*Android March 2022 update unveiled*
<https://www.tomsguide.com/news/android-march-2022-update-unveiled-all-the-new-features-for-your-phone>
"The Google System Update for March 2022 includes a host of tweaks
and new features coming to most Android phones."

*What is Google Play System Update?*
<https://www.insidetechno.com/get-latest-google-play-system-update/>
"From now on, an update will be shared with the public every month
on new features and fixes to issues. Google has a new support page
that keeps detailed records of all system updates made to Google Play.
The first roundup was posted in December 2021."

This is the page which explains what's in these Android-forever updates.
*What's new in Google System Updates*
<https://support.google.com/product-documentation/answer/11412553>
--
Usenet is an assemblage of purposefully helpful people teaching each other.

Andy Burnelli

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Mar 10, 2022, 7:07:18 PMMar 10
to
As a related aside, and as we've determined "most" of Android is updated
forever (i.e., there is no stated EOL date), the two things that _do_ have
stated EOL dates are the
a. Android version
b. Security patch level

This article shows that Samsung has the longest dates for those two things.
*Google just surrendered its update authority to Samsung*
<https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-vs-google-updates-3104089/>
"With a promise of four years worth of OS updates
and five years of security patches, Samsung's guarantee
is the best in the Android business.
Even more astounding is that Samsung is backdating its pledge
to include older devices as well."

"Samsung's latest policy is even better than Google's
three OS and five years of security pledge that came
with the Pixel 6 series."

Bearing in mind that most of Android is outside those two things,
the article went into the history, saying
"Google and its partners put a lot of work into initiatives
like 2017's Project Treble, 2019's Project Mainline,
and working with chipset vendors like Qualcomm to support
four Android OS versions since the end of 2020."

*Understanding Project Treble and Android updates*
<https://www.androidauthority.com/project-treble-818225/>
"To solve the hardware abstraction layer issue,
Android 8.0 Oreo and later version like Android 9.0 Pie
formalize the division between hardware subsystems like audio or camera,
and their clients on the software side. These new formal divisions
specify the interface between a HAL and its users.
There are now around 60 formal interfaces for various
hardware components, known as HIDLs."

*Google reveals Project Mainline:*
*Get Android component updates via Google Play*
<https://www.androidauthority.com/google-project-mainline-984001/>
"Google has announced Project Mainline, allowing core Android components
to be updated via Google Play.
Core Android components previously had to be updated via a full
OTA update from a manufacturer.
Google says another benefit is that major security fixes
can be deployed via this method."

*Google, Qualcomm make it easier to update Android phones*
*with Snapdragon chips*
<https://www.androidauthority.com/google-qualcomm-extend-android-updates-for-snapdragon-1186099/>
"Google and Qualcomm are teaming up to extend Android updates
for Snapdragon phones.
It should be easier to give phones up to four Android OS versions,
and four years of security updates.
You¢ll need a phone using the Snapdragon 888 or newer."
--
Every thread on Usenet serves as a permanent reference for future users.

Andy Burns

unread,
Mar 11, 2022, 3:08:05 AMMar 11
to
Andy Burnelli wrote:

> as we've determined "most" of Android is updated forever
I think we've determined that there *are* mechanisms where large parts of
android could be updated, be we seem to be seeing a lack of appetite (at least
for pixel devices) for the manufacturers to use them ...

Were any of your samsung devices affected by the weak cryptostorage issue, have
they received the fix?

Also a lack of willingness to give clear version indicators letting us see what
versions we may have received updates for.

I keep meaning to copy some of the APEX files over to a linux box where I can
mount them as loopback filesystems and see inside, but sorry I'm busy with
life/work at moment.

Andy Burnelli

unread,
Mar 11, 2022, 6:42:14 AMMar 11
to
Andy Burns wrote:

>> as we've determined "most" of Android is updated forever

> I think we've determined that there *are* mechanisms where large parts of
> android could be updated, be we seem to be seeing a lack of appetite (at least
> for pixel devices) for the manufacturers to use them ...

Hi Andy,

It behooves us to nail this down as I'm confused what is updated when & how.

While there are at least a half dozen important layers of Android which are
updated on a variety of schedules, I think the fundamental layers may be:
a. The Android key app version levels
b. The Android version & security patch levels
c. The Google Play {System,Services,Store} update levels

While (a) is clearly forever (meaning frequent updates with no stated EOL),
and while (b) is clearly an advertised number of years and OS versions, it's
(c) that has changed greatly since Android 10 when Projects {Treble &
Mainline} were devised way back in 2017.

Like you said, we've established that they _can_ update; but do they?
I don't know.

> Were any of your samsung devices affected by the weak cryptostorage issue, have
> they received the fix?

I'm not one who keeps up with the latest versions of anything, and, given I
disable a lot of Google services on my phone (as I do Microsoft services on
Windows), I may not be the best person to ask this question of.

The recent articles "claimed" that "almost all" Android devices will be
updated with the recent update, but we don't know for sure _what_ they
updated (at least I don't know that for sure).

I wish they'd put all the settings in the same location, but they don't:
1. Settings > Software update
2. Settings > About phone > Software information
3. Settings > Apps > Your apps > Google Play {Services,Store}
4. Google Play Store > ... > Settings > About > Play Store version > Update Play Store
5. Google Play Store > ... > Updates

I just looked at my Samsung Galaxy A32-5G which has the following:
a. I never update the key apps (most of which I disable on sight)
b. Android 11 (update scheduled for May) & Feb 2022 security patch level
c. Google Play {System,Services,Store}
System === June 1, 2021
Services === 22.06.15
Store === 29.5.14-21
d. Google Services Framework === 11-6684105

Note that is a different version than the Google Play Store APK stored here:
<https://www.apkmirror.com/apk/google-inc/google-play-store/>
Google Play Store 29.6.17
<https://www.apkmirror.com/apk/google-inc/google-play-store/google-play-store-29-6-17-release/>

But then I noticed that the Google Play Store has an 11MB update available.
... Pending
... Downloading
... Installing
That updated Google Play Services (which I had already recently updated!) to
Services === 22.06.18

Now that my Aurora Store is working again, I turned off the filter to not
show Google apps, and then checked for updates to my google play store app.
I couldn't find the "Google Play Store" on Aurora so I resorted to a search.
<https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/113412>
Google Play Store > ... > Settings > About > Play Store version > Update Play Store
But it says my Google Play Store app is "up to date".

I also cleared the cache and data for the Google Play Store app and I
rebooted because, as you're aware, Google slips some things in so
surreptitiously that even we don't know it's there until we do that.

> Also a lack of willingness to give clear version indicators letting us see what
> versions we may have received updates for.

Yup. It's frustrating. Google needs to hire people like you and me who know
how to design a spec for how the versions should be provided to users.

It's a disorganized mess that everything is both updated in a different
place, and the update versions are each displayed in a different place.

Andy Burns

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Mar 11, 2022, 6:55:50 AMMar 11
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Andy Burnelli wrote:

> Andy Burns wrote:
>
>> Were any of your samsung devices affected by the weak cryptostorage issue,
>> have they received the fix?
>
> I may not be the best person to ask this question of.

CVE-2021-25444, but presumably you don't store crypto data on a phone?

Even if you don't use it, interesting to see if the fix has made its way to you

Andy Burnelli

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Mar 11, 2022, 8:14:13 AMMar 11
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Andy Burns wrote:

> CVE-2021-25444, but presumably you don't store crypto data on a phone?

The only "crypto" I personally store on my Android 11 Samsung phone are
a. Keepass password databases
b. TrueCrypt/VeraCrypt encrypted containers

I don't even use a PIN or fingerprint or face id, as I don't live in a slum.

However, I don't even know _how_ to tell if that fix made it to my phone.
Where would I look and what would I be looking for on the phone?

> Even if you don't use it, interesting to see if the fix has made its way to you

This implies it's not for Android 11 but only for Android 10, 8, & 9 only.
<https://www.cvedetails.com/cve/CVE-2021-25444>

This says directly it only affects those versions of Android.
<https://security.samsungmobile.com/securityUpdate.smsb>
SVE-2021-21948 (CVE-2021-25444): IV reuse in Keymaster TA
Reported on: May 25, 2021
Affected versions: O(8.1), P(9.0), Q(10.0)

Hence my response to you is twofold:
1. How would I know if a given CVE is patched onto my phone?
2. Even if I did know, it doesn't seem like my phone needs that patch.
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