Google’s decision to change the way it handles Android updates may prove more helpful than ever following a barrage of vulnerabilities that could seriously jeopardize those using devices that run the mobile OS.

Most recently, researchers at Trend Micro warned of a bug that, regardless of the latest Android updates, could make smartphones and tablets inoperable by causing an endless reboot. Though a fix is now available, according to SC Magazine, it could potentially affect nearly 90 percent of the operating system’s users.

While these sorts of vulnerabilities tend to prompt swift reaction from Google, the company is trying to avoid the unexpected by issuing monthly over-the-air Android updates to its Nexus devices, Threatpost reported. This means Google will be able to address any potential security problems more regularly and directly than carriers, who might not be as quick or proactive.

This new approach to Android updates probably can’t come soon enough for some consumers, given the recent spate of bugs. As a post on The Hacker News pointed out, the recently discovered Stagefright vulnerability had already put almost 950 million Google-powered smartphones at risk simply by using a text message that directed people to a specially crafted Web page.

On the other hand, Stagefright may have offered proof that Google’s Android updates aren’t the only way to combat a security crisis. The Verge said the bug was directly responsible for Samsung launching its own monthly patch program, with HTC, Sony and others working to make sure their own customers remain safe. As fragmented as the Android market sometimes seems to be, the vulnerabilities may be forcing the industry to form a more united front against cybercriminals.

Researchers at IDC and Forrester said much the same thing to Network World, suggesting that while experts have been calling out for more regular Android updates for some time, Stagefright and the endless reboot bug may end up being the catalyst for change these vendors needed. Of course, they may have little choice. If consumers and enterprises keep seeing these kinds of risks pop up week after week, you couldn’t blame them if they started looking at iOS as an alternative.

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