O android 14, the next version of Google’s mobile operating system, may arrive with a tool to update the certification authority (CA, in English) of smartphones in a more practical way. According to Esper.io Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman, Google is working on a feature that sends an update directly through Google Play Services, creating a new certificate on the device.
The technique is an OTA (over-the-air) update, in which the user does not need to activate any option to receive the new certification. The novelty will be very useful for those who have an entry-level or “shelved” Android, as it extends the device’s ability to connect to the internet and, consequently, increases the “useful life” of the smartphone. Rahman found the feature in Android open source.
Certificate authority are linked to devices
On Android, the certificate authority is tied to the system root. Still, some apps may use their own certificates to make internet connections. The CA is responsible for confirm the “identity” between two points, for example, when you access a website. These CA validate that you will be taken to the Technoblog original when you enter our URL.
Some applications use their own certifications to connect to the internet. So an app update also renews the CA — and in theory these apps will outlast the certificate’s validity.
However, Android updates the CA only when the operating system is updated. If your smartphone uses this OS and the manufacturer has announced support for only three versions, at some point you will be unable to “surf the internet”, as the servers have not validated your identity.
“Oh, but is it possible to change this manually in android”. Yes, however, not everyone knows how to do this, much less what the “behind the scenes” of the process of entering a website are like. Even so, it is not the certificates connected to the device that are updated, but the one from the Play Store.
To make it difficult, several apps require CA validation by the root of the system. There is no way here: the certificate has expired, you will be limited in the use of your smartphone. And it doesn’t matter if your Android version supports Netflix or browsers, without CA there’s nothing to do — you have a cell phone to call again.
By performing OTA updates of these certificates, entry-level or older Androids (the one that is not worth selling and you forgot in the bottom of the drawer) will gain an extension of their useful life.
As Android 14 will only be released in the last quarter of 2023, it is too early to say that this new format of updating the CA will be introduced next year. It will be curious to see how smartphone makers react to the feature, as it could increase the time in which a customer buys a new device.
With information: wait and Android Authority