Even though Android Oreo has not been around for very long, a major bug has already been discovered. It appears there is an exploit which bypasses the user’s WiFi preference and begins using up their mobile data instead. This will incur additional costs, even if the user sets a specific allowance of data to be used. Google is doggedly working on a fix, which is good news.
The Android Oreo Bug is Worrisome
It is never good to see a major flaw being discovered in a new operating system within its first week on the market. Android Oreo has been in development for quite some time now and was finally introduced to the masses a few days ago. Unfortunately, it did not take long for security researchers to discover a major flaw in its source code. In the case of this particular exploit, the OS depletes users’ mobile data allowance even when the WiFI connection is enabled and active.
As most users are well aware, the Android operating system has always prioritized WiFi connectivity over mobile data – that is, assuming there is a wireless network to connect to in the first place. As a result, most users will not see their tablet or smartphone use mobile data when WiFi is available. Most users even turn off mobile data if they know WiFi connectivity will be available.
The bug affecting Oreo was discovered by a security researcher and has been reported to Google accordingly. It came to light after several users that had updated to Oreo complained about their mobile data being used without having selected it themselves. Despite being connected to a WiFi network at the time, these users noticed their remaining mobile data allowances going down. That is rather unusual and it should never have happened in the first place. Such spikes in data usage can be quite costly in the long run.
Some people who suffer from this issue have seen mobile data spikes of up to 6GB in 24 hours. Most users rely on WiFi connectivity to consume a lot of audio and video content on their mobile devices. However, if that data is transmitted over a data connection rather than WiFi, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. This is clearly an issue caused by Google and should never have made it into the final version of the OS.
Luckily, the company is reportedly working on a fix for this problem. At the time of writing, there was no official ETA as to when we could expect this software patch. It is possible this process may take a few days or even weeks. There is no hotfix to avoid this problem other than completely turning off mobile data when using the Android Oreo OS. With only a small amount of users having upgraded to the latest version, the issue is contained for the time being. Then again, it is still bad PR for the technology giant regardless.
We can only hope issues like these are fixed quickly and never occur again. It is impossible to comprehend how a company such as Google did not discover this flaw in any of its Oreo test builds over the past few months. After all, it is highly unlikely this bug has only become evident in the final version, as such an issue is usually present in earlier versions of updates. This is a very strange incident, but we can only hope it is one which gets fixed sooner rather than later.