Technology Google Promises a Rescue Patch For Android 14's 'Ransomware'...


Google Promises a Rescue Patch For Android 14’s ‘Ransomware’ Bug

Google Promises a Rescue Patch For Android 14’s ‘Ransomware’ Bug
Google says it’ll issue a system update to fix a major storage bug in Android 14 that has caused some users to be locked out of their devices. Ars Technica reports: Apparently one more round of news reports was enough to get the gears moving at Google. Over the weekend the Issue tracker bug has been kicked up from a mid-level “P2” priority to “P0,” the highest priority on the issue tracker. The bug has been assigned to someone now, and Googlers have jumped into the thread to make official statements that Google is looking into the matter. Here’s the big post from Google on the bug tracker […]. The highlights here are that Google says the bug affects devices with multiple Android users, not multiple Google accounts or (something we thought originally) users with work profiles. Setting up multiple users means going to the system settings, then “Multiple users,” then “Allow multiple users,” and you can add a user other than the default one. If you do this, you’ll have a user switcher at the bottom of the quick settings. Multiple users all have separate data, separate apps, and separate Google accounts. Child users are probably the most popular reason to use this feature since you can lock kids out of things, like purchasing apps.

Shipping a Google Play system update as a quick Band-Aid is an interesting solution, but as Google’s post suggests, this doesn’t mean the problem is fixed. Play system updates (these are alternatively called Project Mainline or APEX modules) allow Google to update core system components via the Play Store, but they are really not meant for critical fixes. The big problem is that the Play system updates don’t aggressively apply themselves or even let you know they have been downloaded. They just passively, silently wait for a reboot to happen so they can apply. For Pixel users, it feels like the horse has already left the barn anyway — like most Pixel phones have automatically applied the nearly 13-day-old update by now. Users can force Play system updates to happen themselves by going to the system settings, then “Security & Privacy,” then “System & updates,” then “Google Play system update.” If you have an update, you’ll be prompted to reboot the phone. Also note that this differs from the usual OS update checker location, which is in system settings, then “System,” then “System update.” The system update screen will happily tell you “Your system is up to date” even if you have a pending Google Play system update. It would be great to have a single location for OS updates, Google Play System/Mainline updates, and app updates, but they are scattered everywhere and give conflicting “up to date” messages.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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