For long, Google Android ecosystem has been struggling with two major problems – fragmentation and vulnerable apps. And, if you are wondering why the issue has been discussed over and over again for years, you must read an article we published just a few months before on why Google should blame no one but itself for letting Android users lag behind Apple.
In the last few years, however, Google has solved the problem to a greater extent by taking few necessary measures and has started winning users’ confidence and close the gap with iOS – known for its security and stability. In order to strengthen its app ecosystem further, Google removed 700,000 potentially vulnerable or deceiving apps from Google Play in 2017. It is the first time in the history of Google Play when so many numbers of apps are pulled down by Google in just one year. To put things in context, it’s 70% more than the number of apps Google had removed in 2016.
By pulling down that many harmful apps, Google has further reduced the possibility of having your Android phone damaged, data leaked or any other type of unauthorised access.
While talking to Frederic Lardinois, author of TechCrunch, Vice President and Head of Security – Google Play, Dave Kleidermacher, says that with added security and app filtration, the chances of installing any malicious app on Android phone from Google Play is just 0.00006%.
About 8 billion installs from Google Play take place every month across the world. 99% of malicious apps don’t even get listed on Google Play due to algorithm and security team that is capable of identifying any suspicious app.
If Google so concern about the Android security then what’s causing security threats to all Android device users?
Dave explains that it’s the third-party app stores which are the main culprits behind app vulnerability. He says that Android users are 10x more likely to fall prey to hackers when they install an app from third-party app stores.
Google is also trying to control the potential damages caused by the apps installed from the third-party app stores. Google launched Play Protect apps to scan malware on Android devices. This is also the most widely used malware scanning app with install base on 2 billion.
Besides all above moves, Google is also trying to capitalise on artificial intelligence to identify potentially harmful apps before they appear on Google Play.
Despite all the security measures, initiatives, app scanners and AI driven algorithm, some malicious apps always make to Google Play, and Google is also aware of it. Though 99.99% the existing measures are able to detect such apps, still there is always a possibility that your devices may get infected. Therefore, Google believes that to achieve 100% security cover, users need to be educated and stay aware of suspicious activities taking place on their devices.
Google is leaving no stone unturned to make the complete Android ecosystem more secure and safe for users. Be it apps or operating system, Google is trying to tighten every loose corner to get it to the level its arch-rival Apple is known for.