Ask the Griots

What’s the difference between a system update and a security update ? 📱

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Google announced last week that its Pixel 8 and 8 Pro would receive 7 years of system and security updates. So what’s the difference between the 2? We talk about it in this week’s  #AskTheGriots.

System update

A system update generally aims to improve the overall functionality of an operating system. These include updates for iOS, Android, Windows and macOS.

These updates can include user interface improvements, new features, general bug fixes, performance optimizations and more. They can be minor, for example from iOS 17.0 to iOS 17.1, or major, for example from iOS 17 to iOS 18.

Security update

A security update is specifically designed to remedy security vulnerabilities present in the system. Their purpose is to prevent these vulnerabilities from being used to hack a device and steal personal information.

Android and iOS do not approach security updates in the same way. With a few exceptions, security updates on iOS are integrated into system updates. On Android, on the other hand, they are separate. This is why Android manufacturers make a distinction between these types of updates in their communications.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us in comments. Your favorite griots will answer them 😁

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