Watch CBSN Live

​Why Google won't fix Android security flaw

Android users with older operating systems ar... 01:26

Google has admitted that there is a security issue that can leave phones and tablets running older versions of Android open to hacking. And the company says it's not planning to do anything about it.

Unlike Apple, which makes a big deal of releasing one new version of its iOS operating system each year and gets most of its users to upgrade quickly, Google may quietly put out a couple new versions of Android with new features in a year -- and many of its users don't bother to move up. It's estimated that 60 percent of Android users have an outdated operating system.

As a result, not only do you have "fragmentation," which means that people are not running the same versions of software, but some older versions will have security problems that require patches. Google argues it can't go back and fix every issue in every different version out there.

"So they say, listen this is the cutoff, if you're on the version from 2013 or earlier we just can't go fix everything anymore. You have to upgrade," CNET editor Dan Ackerman told CBS News.

"You have to draw the line somewhere," he added.

New phones bought within the last couple years are probably OK. But Google recommends that users upgrade to the latest operating system for the best security features. Those who are resistant to a full OS upgrade should at least use the current version of Google's Chrome as the default browser.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue