Google Details Android 4.2's Security System

Google has detailed Android 4.2 Jelly Bean's security system, with the new update due to go live on the soon-to-be-released Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet.

The search engine giant's expanded malware scanner will be built on top of the existing Google Play app scanner by checking third-party apps. The updated malware scanner also applies to software downloaded from the Amazon Appstore.

"We view security as a universal thing," Android VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer told Computerworld. "Assuming the user wants this additional insurance policy, we felt like we shouldn't exclude one source over another."

Google stressed that malware scanning on an Android-powered device running the latest Jelly Bean version will occur instantly and will always take place in the background.

"The server does all the hard work," Lockheimer explained. "The device sends only a signature of the APK so that the server can identify it rapidly."

Essentially, safe programs will be installed without interruption. However, when an app matches malicious software, an alert will be displayed to users.

Lockheimer added that Google is always scanning APK software on the web beyond its 700,000 applications found in the Play store. "We have a pretty good understanding of the app ecosystem now, whether something's in the Play Store or not."

Android's new security system will be joined by several other features including the likes of new Photo Sphere functionality, multiple user accounts for tablets and a double notification bar. Android 4.2 will initially launch on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 on November 13.


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