Android 14 can make sure your device can access the web even as it ages

Google is working on new features for Android 14 that will help your Android device stay connected to the internet as it ages. According to Esper’s Mishaal Rahman, this will allow devices to update their root certificates on the fly. Currently, root certificates on Android devices can only be updated through system updates. This new feature will allow users to update their device’s root certificate through Google Play Services.

This feature ensures that your Android device remains connected to the Internet even if it ages and no longer receives system updates from the device manufacturer.

What is a root certificate and why is it important when it expires?

Simply put, when you visit a website using your Android device, the web page uses a root certificate to establish a secure connection with your device. These root certificates have an expiration date, and when they expire, your website will not be able to establish a secure connection with your Android smartphone or tablet. This means that the website will no longer open on your device.

As mentioned earlier, Android device root certificates can currently only be updated by system updates from the device manufacturer. So if your device is very old, it may not receive system updates. If so, the root certificate on that device may have expired, preventing websites from loading.

This does not apply to devices running Android 14. Users can update their device’s root certificate via Google Play Services independently of system updates. So, even if your device gets older and no longer receives Android updates, you can still get the latest root certificates and stay connected to the internet. Google intends to make this a mainline module, so all device makers will be forced to implement the functionality.

This is a great feature for low-end Galaxy devices.

Samsung’s entry-level smartphones, such as the Galaxy A01 and Galaxy M01, only get two years of Android updates. So if Samsung stops updating these devices and one of the root certificates for these devices expires, you may not be able to load websites. But that’s no longer the case when Samsung updates these phones to Android 14.

Last year, devices running Android 7 and earlier versions of the OS were unable to load certain websites due to an expired root certificate. Android 14 may prevent this issue from reoccurring. Also, the next big root certificate is scheduled to expire in 2035. So don’t worry about it for the time being.

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