Google‘s latest Android version yesterday made a surprise entry yesterday when updates were pushed to Google Pixel, Pixel 2 and the Essential Phone. Android 9.0 Pie, as it is called, harnesses the power of machine learning to make your phone smarter, simpler and more user-friendly. The new OS does this in several ways, bringing features like Adaptive Battery which learns how you use your phone so that apps and services that are not being used regularly don’t drain your battery so much.
XDA Developers reports that they detected google has changed their wording on the rollback protection feature which was introduced first in Android Oreo. The feature is propelled by Android Verified Boot 2.0 (also known simply as Verified Boot) but it wasn’t mandatory for OEMs to implement AVB 2.0 in the Oreo release. Some OEMs have already implemented that like the Pixel 2, Razer Phone, and OnePlus 6. Some OEMs like Xiaomi are rolling it out with their latest updates while there are others who are yet to implement or may never do. However, Google has now made it compulsory that all devices launching with Android Pie support Verified Boot, and by extension, rollback protection.
The rolback protection feature prevents the smartphone from booting if it is detected that the device was downgraded to an earlier version that is deemed insecure because of a security vulnerability. A slightly more technical explanation is that the VBMeta data structure, which holds the hash for the boot partition and hashtree metadatas for system and vendor partitions, uses a rollback index to reject images that have an older rollback index. The feature brings system stability and offers some form of security.