Google Touts Promising Improvements to Android Security

Android DeviceWith more than two billion devices running countless different versions of Android, Google’s open source mobile operating system has been no stranger to troubling security issues in the past. Version fragmentation has made it hard for Google’s engineers to deploy patches in a timely fashion, and even stock third-party software can leave some devices vulnerable to exploits right out of the box.

Recently, however, Google has made a concerted effort to alleviate concerns about Android security by improving its app ecosystem and speeding up its update schedule.

Now, for the fifth year in a row, Google has published its “Android Security & Privacy Year in Review,” offering valuable insights into the current state of the most widely-adopted mobile operating system in the world. While version fragmentation is still as prevalent and problematic as ever, Google does have some promising security metrics to report from 2018.

First and foremost, Google increased the adoption rate of its Android security patches by an impressive 84 percent last year. Furthermore, as of December 2018, more than 95 percent of all its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL devices were running a security update that had been released within the last 90 days.

Google Play Store users also saw steep decline in the number of potentially harmful applications (PHAs) they encountered last year. In 2017, Google reported that 0.45 percent of Android devices had PHAs installed despite using the Play Store exclusively for app downloads. In 2018, just 0.08 percent of devices that only use the Play Store were affected by PHAs. This constitutes a 20 percent year-over-year decline in PHA installations.

There’s still plenty of work to be done for Google to instill renewed faith in Android security, but 2018 was by all accounts a pretty good year for its 10-year-old operating system. To learn more, you can view the complete annual security report for 2018 here.

Written by Beta Breakers

Beta BreakersWith Experience in Quality Assurance & Testing Desktop Software, Mobile Apps, Websites & Web Applications for Nearly 30 Years, Beta Breakers has become the Premier Software Quality Assurance Labs and Application-Testing Provider - Learn More Here

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