Android (operating system)
Android 10 home screen
|developer||Open Handset Alliance|
|License (s)||Apache 2.0, GPLv 2|
|First publ.||September 23, 2008|
|Current version||10 (September 3, 2019)|
|Kernel||monolithic ( Linux )|
|Architecture (s)||ARM , MIPS , PPC , x86|
|timeline||See version history|
|Languages)||multilingual (over 75 languages)|
Android [ ændɹɔɪd ] (of English android Android , from ancient Greek ἀνήρ man and εἶδος shape) is both an operating system and a software platform for mobile devices such as smart phones , mobile phones , televisions , media players , netbooks and tablet computers , which from that of Google , founded Open Handset Alliance to be developed.
Android is free software , based on the Linux kernel . Android also shares numerous features with embedded Linux distributions. It differs significantly from the GNU / Linux distributions known for desktop and server, because crucial parts are implemented with alternative concepts such as Java and the C standard library Bionic . Whether the term Linux distribution can be applied to Android in spite of these conceptual differences is controversial, since this term usually stands for distributions that not only include the Linux kernel but also GNU software such as the GNU Core Utilities . These are only incompletely part of Android, but can be retrofitted. Nevertheless, the Linux Foundation refers to Android as a Linux distribution, since it is a distribution with a Linux kernel. In addition, several components from NetBSD are also included in Android.
In contrast to conventional desktop computers , Android devices do not have full administration rights. Applications that users do not want can not be removed in every case; the manufacturer of the mobile device defines such rights.
As a smartphone operating system, Android had a global market share of 87.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016 (based on sales figures). Since the market launch in 2008, Google has generated sales of USD 31 billion with Android (as of January 2016).
In the summer of 2005, Google bought Android, a company founded by Andy Rubin in the fall of 2003 , of which little more was known than that it developed software for mobile phones and primarily handled location-based services . Originally, Android was only intended to control digital cameras. For the most part, Android was not designed from scratch. Most of the time, several components that already existed as open source were rearranged. The most important of these are the Linux kernel, Java and the C standard library Bionic as well as some libraries and daemons of the GNU project . On November 5, 2007, Google announced that it would work with 33 other members of the Open Handset Alliance to further develop a mobile phone operating system called Android. Android has been officially available since October 21, 2008.
The first device with Android as the operating system was the HTC Dream on October 22, 2008 under the name T-Mobile G1 in the USA. The fact that this first device could already access the Global Positioning System (GPS) and was equipped with acceleration sensors was part of the Android concept.
On August 5, 2015, Google announced that it would now provide monthly security updates for Android. However, these are only delivered directly to in-house devices. As a support period, Google specifies three years for its own devices from the start of sales. For other devices, the respective manufacturer decides for himself whether, how long and by when these security updates will be delivered. In the course of this, Samsung announced that it would in future deliver monthly security updates for its own devices. This was a response to the increasingly louder criticism due to the serious Stagefright security gap that emerged in July 2015 , which endangered millions of Android devices worldwide.
From 2010 to 2016, Google launched its own Android tablets and smartphones with the Nexus product range in cooperation with hardware partners. The partners took over the development of the devices with Google, while the software came from Google, without manufacturer attachments for the surface. This made it possible to offer devices with the latest Android updates. In October 2016, the Nexus product line was replaced by the successor Pixel line. These are developed by Google alone and a hardware partner takes over the production.
In addition to Android, which is optimized for phones, Google is also releasing adapted Android versions for televisions - in the form of Android TV , for watches and smartwatches (Android Wear - since March 16, 2018: Wear OS ), cars ( Android Auto ) and small networked devices (Android Things).
On August 22, 2019, Google announced that it would introduce a slightly modified logo with Android 10. Furthermore, name additions should be dispensed with in the future.
Interface and operation
Recently (since Android 10 ) users control Android by means of gesture control, i.e. by swiping from the bottom or side of the screen to go back or to the start screen.
Another type of control is with various navigation buttons. With newer devices (status: 2015) these consist of "back" (goes to the previous activity), "home" (opens the start screen) and "last applications" (allows you to close or switch back and forth between apps running at the same time ). On older devices the function of is multitasking - buttons by holding down the Home button to get to. The multitasking button is an option button there, which is also displayed on newer devices if required. Before Android 4.0 and with individual manufacturers, there was also a “menu” or “search”. For a long time, Samsung relied on the menu button instead of the multitasking button in its devices and exchanged this position for the back button. The button recommended by Google is only used in newer models. Since Android 7, the screen is shared by long pressing the "Recent Applications" button and two apps can be used at the same time.
A distinction is made between software and hardware keys. The former are on the display, the latter as physical buttons on the device itself. The advantage of virtual buttons is that they can be rotated or hidden if necessary. The full screen mode only works from version 4.4. Before this, it is only possible to hide the navigation bar when viewing photos and videos.
The home screen is primarily used to start apps. This is where the English term “launcher” comes from. It consists of at least one page, but depending on the device, additional pages with any elements can be added. In contrast to Apple's iOS , not all app shortcuts are necessarily on one of the pages of the start screen. The overview of all installed apps can be opened with a tab up to Android 1.6. Starting with Android 2.2, an alphabetically sorted list of all apps opens through the app drawer. In the standard setting, this is located directly in the four main applications in the app dock, which is usually visible on all pages and was also introduced with version 2.2. A Google search bar is displayed at the top, which is also started by Google simply by saying the words "Ok Google" and the voice input is activated. Links (to apps, bookmarks, contacts) or widgets can be stored in a grid between the dock and the search bar (a separate line for the search input field) . These are usually somewhat larger displays of general data, e.g. B. Weather, date and time, appointments or even a calculator. Certain app information is clearly presented via widgets. For example, the standard music app shows information about the media file currently running with a reduced playback menu.
The adaptability is a great advantage of Android and plays a particularly important role on the start screen as a start and overview view. Alternative apps with more settings or a different operating concept can be installed. When you press the home button, you can select which of the apps should be used as the standard application for the start screen. Other parts of the system can also be replaced, the keyboard or the standard browser.
Another feature of the operating system is the notification bar at the top of the screen, which can be opened with a gesture from the very top to the bottom. Each app can create a notification for certain events, e.g. B. for a new e-mail , an appointment, a download process, an SMS or a newly installed app. If the bar is closed, users will see a suitable icon for each notification in the top left. The right side also provides information mainly with symbols about Bluetooth connection, ringing mode, WLAN connection, field strength and data connection or flight mode , battery level and time (from left to right). Notifications can be permanent; then they cannot be removed with a gesture as usual, but disappear on their own if a certain condition is no longer met or a process is completed (e.g. the notification " USB - Debugging " when connected to a PC or a download information). There are also expandable notifications that can be dragged down to display additional buttons, such as “Reply”, “Forward” or “Delete” an email, or a larger cover, the album name and a rewind button in the audio playback.
There are three ways to open the "Quick Settings": With the bar closed, simply by a gesture with two fingers from top to bottom and in open mode (from version 5.0) either by swiping down again or by tapping on the top status bar (except for the date). The settings menu includes a brightness control and on / off switch for WiFi, Bluetooth, color inversion of the screen, field strength, flight mode, automatic screen rotation , flashlight (using the LED flash), location, screen transfer and mobile WiFi hotspot . A long press takes you to the relevant section of the system settings. Some options still show a small menu when typing, so users can still find out the current mobile data consumption and its limit by pressing the field strength and can also deactivate the mobile data immediately. With WLAN and Bluetooth (from version 5.1) the connected network or device can still be selected.
In the early days of Android, the system still lacked functions that the smartphone manufacturers added with their own additions (so-called manufacturer attachments). Today the trend is towards pure Android, also known as “ Vanilla Android” or “Stock Android”. The most popular devices are the Pixel devices , which were created by Google in close cooperation with another Android smartphone manufacturer. A big advantage is security, as the devices are provided with security updates every month for at least three years. Google Play editions of existing devices that are delivered with stock Android instead of the manufacturer's interface have a similar status. With these, updates come from the manufacturers themselves, but usually appear quite quickly.
Own essays from smartphone manufacturers such as HTC with HTC Sense , Sony's Xperia UI , Samsung with the One UI , LG UX from LG , MIUI from Xiaomi and the EMUI from Huawei mainly change the design of the surface (sometimes drastically), whereby the fundamental one Structure mostly remains the same.
The architecture of Android built initially on the Linux - kernel to 2.6, with Android 4.x a kernel of the 3.x series is used. It is responsible for memory management and process management and represents the interface for playing multimedia and network communication. It also forms the hardware abstraction layer for the rest of the software and provides the device drivers for the system.
Java runtime environment
Up to version 4.4, applications were executed in the Dalvik virtual machine . The class libraries used originally came from the Apache Harmony project, which has since been discontinued, and were based heavily on the Java Standard Edition.
Applications for the Android platform are usually written in Java , but in speed-critical areas they fall back on numerous native libraries written in C or C ++ . In addition to codecs for media playback, this also includes a web browser based on WebKit and, since Android 4.4 Chromium , the SQLite database and a 3D graphics library based on OpenGL .
To develop your own programs for Android, Android software development , you need a current Java development tool and the Android SDK. First the source code written in Java is translated with a normal Java compiler and then adapted by a cross assembler for the Dalvik VM. For this reason, programs can in principle be created with any Java development environment.
The finished application must be packed in an .apk package ( English Android Package ), then it can be made available via Google Play, app stores of the device manufacturers, other commercial providers ( e.g. Amazon ) or alternative package sources such as F-Droid . They can also be installed directly on the device using the package manager .
The framework relies on strong modularity. All components of the system are therefore generally equal (with the exception of the virtual machine and the underlying core system) and can be replaced at any time. It is therefore possible, for example, to create your own application for creating short messages or for dialing phone numbers and thus replace the previous application.
The SDL library for SDL and native C code offers another way of developing and porting applications beyond Java . Using a small Java-based wrapper code portion, the JNI enables the use of native code. This means that existing SDL applications can be ported to Android relatively easily, such as porting Jagged Alliance 2 .
Since Android does not include the full scope of the GNU libraries by default and does not implement them in accordance with the standards and has its own window system , porting software for classic Linux distributions to Android is difficult.
The SafetyNet Api should check the compatibility and security. Checks include whether the bootloader is unlocked, whether the device is rooted and whether Google services are installed; this leads to apps such as B. Pokemon GO , Snapchat and also many banking apps on rooted and on devices with custom ROMs without Google Apps do not work or only partially work.
Availability of sources
Android is free software . The largest part of the platform is under the Apache license - exceptions are the Linux kernel, which is sold under GPL 2 , and the Google Play services together with Google applications preinstalled by most manufacturers whose source code is not available . The source text of version 3, which was written exclusively for tablets and initially only available for selected device manufacturers, was only released by Google when the sources for version 4 were published, which combined the smartphone and tablet surfaces.
From version 1.5 to 9, all versions had the version number and the English name of a dessert, the first letters of which were in ascending alphabetical order. Since Android 10, the name suffix has been dispensed with again.
|version||Code name||Publication date||API|
|1.0||"Base"||September 23, 2008||1|
|1.1||"Base_1.1"||February 9, 2009||2|
|1.5||" Cupcake "||April 27, 2009||3|
|1.6||" Donut "||September 15, 2009||4th|
|2.0.x / 2.1||" Éclair "||October 26, 2009||5, 6, 7|
|2.2.x||" Froyo " ( frozen yogurt )||May 20, 2010||8th|
|2.3.x||" Gingerbread "||December 6, 2010||9, 10|
|3.xx||" Honeycomb "||February 22, 2011||11, 12, 13|
|4.0.x||" Ice Cream Sandwich "||October 18, 2011||14, 15|
|4.1.x / 4.2.x / 4.3.x||" Jelly Bean "||July 9, 2012||16, 17, 18|
|4.4.x||" Kitkat "||October 31, 2013||19, 20|
|5.0.x / 5.1.x||" Lollipop "||November 12, 2014||21, 22|
|6.0.x||" Marshmallow "||5th October 2015||23|
|7.0.x / 7.1.x||" Nougat "||22nd August 2016||24, 25|
|8.0 / 8.1||" Oreo "||August 21, 2017||26, 27|
|9||" Pie "||August 6, 2018||28|
|10||- / ("Q")||3rd September 2019||29|
For each Android version, the Open Handset Alliance or Google designs an Android mascot with the dessert that goes with the version. From version 2.3 this can be displayed by repeatedly touching the Android version in the system settings.
All versions up to and including version 2.3.x “Gingerbread” were only intended for smartphones, but were also used in navigation and other devices. With version 3, nicknamed "Honeycomb", Google came up with an operating system intended purely for tablets. The separation between the two device classes was abolished with "Ice Cream Sandwich", which is intended from the ground up for both systems.
Since the tablet market grew more and more and Google was releasing “Honeycomb” quite late, some manufacturers brought tablets onto the market that, contrary to Google's recommendations, ran under “Gingerbread”. Conversely, Google wanted to prevent the "Honeycomb" version from being used on smartphones, which is why the source code was published late.
For the first time in history, a preliminary version of Android 5.0 “Lollipop” with the name “L Preview” was announced at Google I / O 2014 . Which dessert "L" stood for was only revealed when the release was finished. This procedure has been applied to all new versions since then. With Android Lollipop 5.0, among other things, an energy-saving mode has been integrated that, among other things, stops background processes, reduces the clock rate of the processor and thus reduces power consumption. ( See also: Green IT ) A possibility was also introduced to treat notifications of certain apps as confidential so that they are only shown censored on the lock screen.
On August 17, 2015, at the same time as the final preview version, "Marshmallow" was announced as the official name for Android 6.0. The final version was released on October 5, 2015. Android Marshmallow 6.0 for the first time gave the option of withdrawing permissions from individual apps without previously having to intervene in the operating system. Under previous versions this was only possible with technical manipulation and a loss of warranty. The battery management introduced in Android 5.0 has been supplemented by a "sleep mode" for applications that is activated as soon as the device's screen is switched off. In the version, both Google's payment service “ Android Pay ” and the acquisition and processing of biometric data have been integrated into the operating system.
In addition to Google Play, developers and end users also have access to a number of other markets and platforms for Android software, such as the Amazon Appstore , Yandex.Store or F-Droid ; however, some of the supposedly independent ones refer to Google Play.
Google retains some control over Android software. Only licensed Android distributions are allowed to use Google's own applications ( closed source ) such as Gmail or Google Maps and to access Google Play for other applications. Various tablets use an unlicensed Android 4; "Rooted" devices often use a custom ROM . After flashing the corresponding GApps, they also have authorization to access Google Play and the other GApps of Google Mobile Services (GMS). It is not officially supported to download applications from Google Play on a non-Android system (e.g. a normal PC) in order to then install them on an Android device via USB. However, this is still possible with third-party software such as the Java Raccoon program or the APK Downloader browser add-on , available for Firefox and Chrome . You can download it on an Android device itself, using apps like YalpStore , is possible. However, as with the download with the official app, a Google account is required. Some software manufacturers also offer their applications in alternative app stores or directly as installation files; this can then be downloaded in any way and installed on the Android device.
Starting with version 6 “Marshmallow”, a rudimentary file manager is pre-installed on pure Android, which can be called up via Settings, Storage, Explore . Since Android 4.4 "KitKat" there has also been a media system that can be used to indirectly access the file system, for example if B. a background image is selected or an e-mail attachment is sent; it is still not possible to start this interface directly or to delete, move, copy or rename files.
From version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) the operating system has a high degree of accessibility . The required software is already installed and can theoretically be activated by a blind person. Android offers the advantage that voice output ( screen reader ) and screen magnification can be used in parallel. Support for braille displays is provided by Android from version 4.1 and the BrailleBack extension.
Root / administrator rights
In contrast to conventional desktop computers , on which users also acquire full administration rights with the purchase, Android devices do not have full administration rights. He cannot remove applications that users do not want, even if these applications are not required for the correct operation of the device. The determination of whether a certain application may be removed is determined by the manufacturer of the mobile device himself or in consultation with the developer of the application (see also section on criticism / control by Google, transfer of private data ). To gain root rights, an extension such as Magisk must be installed.
Spread and Success
|Global market shares of smartphone operating systems by number of units according to Gartner (2nd quarter 2017)|
|Distribution of the respective supported Android versions (April 2020)|
|4.x ( Jelly Bean )||1.7%|
|4.4 ( KitKat )||4.0%|
|5.x ( lollipop )||9.2%|
|6.0 ( marshmallow )||11.2%|
|7.x ( nougat )||12.9%|
|8.x ( Oreo )||21.3%|
|9 ( Pie )||31.3%|
In the first quarter of 2010, the United States sold more Android cell phones than iPhones for the first time . The market share for new devices in the period under review was 28 percent for Google as opposed to 21 percent for Apple. Android has been the leading smartphone operating system for Internet access since July 2014. In September 2013, Sundar Pichai announced that one billion devices had been activated to date. Approximately 1 billion Android devices were sold in 2014. As a smartphone operating system, Android had a global market share of 87.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016, after 84.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014, 79.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013, 68.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012, 52.5 percent Percent in the third quarter of 2011 and 25.5 percent in the third quarter of 2010.
Google's decision to make its operating system available free of charge has made it popular with manufacturers of end devices. However, this decision also resulted in severe fragmentation. According to a study of Android smartphone users carried out by the company Staircase in May 2012, which was carried out over a period of six months, 3997 different devices from a total of 599 manufacturers could be counted. However, the result is somewhat falsified by custom ROMs , i.e. not original operating programs provided by the manufacturer.
Many manufacturers, especially in China, use an unlicensed version of Android that does not include Google services such as Google Maps, the Google Play Store and Gmail. According to estimates by analysts, this affects between 23% and 41% of all Android devices sold.
Since the sources of Android are freely available and there are no legal reasons against it, it can be relatively easily ported to almost any sufficiently powerful computer . If a platform is supported by the Linux kernel , there is a good chance that Android porting will succeed. There are ports for smartphones that were originally shipped with a different operating system. Other projects port Android to a standard desktop computer. Many of these porting projects are driven by a global developer community. The Open Handset Alliance supports these projects with its own porting instructions.
Porting for other smartphones
- Porting for smartphones with Windows Mobile 6.1 or 6.5, especially for older HTC devices. XDAndroid can replace Windows Mobile, alternatively you can install a dual boot configuration. The new operating system is loaded onto the device using a memory card or booted from there .
- Android port for Samsung Omnia devices with insufficient hardware support. Android starts from an SD card and does not change anything on the Omnia. .
- There have been reports of porting from Android to the Apple iPhone . Some source codes were published. All of these developments remained in a very early experimental stage of development.
- Porting for Samsung Jet (S8000)
- Porting from Android to the Samsung Jet ("Jetdroid").
- Open moko
- Porting for the free smartphone Openmoko from the manufacturer of the same name. The aim is to develop free and open smartphones (hardware and software).
- Porting for Nokia Internet Tablets and the Nokia N900 smartphone, which natively uses Maemo 5. The Nokia N9 has been supported since March 2012. The N9 runs natively with MeeGo . It is dual-bootable.
- Porting for the Samsung Wave S8500 and Wave S8530 smartphone, which is actually operated with bada . Current project status: Pre-Alpha.
- Android Player
- Porting from RIM to the in-house Playbook OS 2 and the new version of the Blackberry BB10. The Dalvik VM Runtime has been ported to the POSIX -compatible QNX operating system . APIs of Android version 2.3.3 are available. From OS 2.1, access to the camera and “Android In-app Billing ” are possible. Each Android application is displayed in a separate window.
Ports for the x86 / AMD64 platform
- Android-x86: Porting the Android operating system to PC, notebook and netbook; originally the focus of development was on the Asus Eee PC ; the stable version (Android-x86-6.0-R3) from April 24, 2017 is available as a USB and CD-ROM image; the project operates a Git server on which all forks of the (ported) operating system code are stored
- BlueStacks App Player: enables Android applications to run on Windows and OS X;
- Andy: enables running and developing Android applications on Windows and OS X;
- AndroVM: Virtual machine for Android 4.1.1
- LiveAndroid: Porting the mobile phone operating system to x86-compatible PCs or netbooks ; as live CD (version 0.3) available since August 21, 2009; not further developed since September 2009;
- Jar of Beans: JellyBean emulator of the Nexus ROMs (Android 4.1.1);
- WindowsAndroid: Porting Android 4.0.3 to Windows PCs.
- AMIDuOS: Virtual machine based on Android Jelly Bean or Lollipop from the hardware and software manufacturer American Megatrends ; runs under Windows 7, 8 and 10.
- NoxPlayer: Android emulator with which you can run Android applications on PC and MAC.
- MemuPlay: Android emulator, currently up to Android 7.1 (64 bit)
- Android Studio: allows you to run and develop Android applications on Windows, OS X, Linux and Chrome OS.
|Aliyun OS||Developed by AliCloud, a subsidiary of the Chinese Alibaba Group .|
|Android Open Kang Project ( AOKP )||Based on Android 4|
|Ark OS / Hongmeng OS||Huawei porting for smartphones, smart TVs, desktop computers and cars due to the trade war with the US government.|
|CyanogenMod / LineageOS||Was developed by employees of Cyanogen Inc. and a developer community . Since 2017 it has been continued as LineageOS by the developer community.|
|Fire OS||Android derivative from Amazon for Kindle Fire devices, Fire Phones and Fire TV .|
|Nokia X platform||Nokia X was an Android porting Nokia for the Nokia Asha series. Since Microsoft took over Nokia, HMD Global acquired the mobile phone division, but uses KaiOS . Jolla , founded by former Nokia employees, launched SailfishOS as the successor to Nokia's MeeGo with mobile phones in India.|
|ColorOS||Oppo Electronics porting.|
|CopperheadOS||Android version based on AOSP with a focus on security for Nexus and Pixel cell phones.|
|HongMeng OS / Ark OS||Huawei porting for smartphones, smart TVs, desktop computers and cars due to the trade war with the US government.|
|MIUI||Porting of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi|
|OmniROM||Community-oriented CyanogenMod successor.|
|OxygenOS||Android port from the manufacturer OnePlus .|
|Paranoid Android||The hybrid mode is special.|
|Replicant||This variant only uses free software .|
|SlimRom||Porting with detailed setting options of the GUI.|
|Shift OS||Variant of Shift GmbH for Shiftphones based on Android 8.0|
Remote access to devices
If the Google Apps are installed, Google has the option of deleting and installing software without asking users beforehand. Any permanent connections to Google servers could allow remote access to delete and install applications without any influence, but with the knowledge of the user (status message). If Google deletes paid software, the customer receives the purchase price back. In June 2010, Google deleted applications on users' end devices by remote access for the first time after security experts smuggled malware into what was then the Android Market to draw attention to missing controls. In addition, Google can also use the Google Play services to remotely change device settings without the consent of the user, which was shown by inadvertently activating the energy-saving mode on some phones by Google.
Control by Google
Because of Google's control over the Android brand and the operating system, device manufacturers are dependent on cooperation with Google. Google is said to have used this control in the past to prevent device manufacturers from using Skyhook Wireless' localization services instead of Google's own and to prevent Acer from presenting devices with the competing Aliyun operating system .
Transmission of private data
Many applications require access to private data such as contacts, location and telephone number and can also transmit this. Since 2015 (Android 6.0) you can refuse or grant access rights in various categories. This decision can also be changed individually later. For this, Android shows a list of all rights that an app requests, or alternatively an overview of all apps that request a specific right. Apps have to be prepared for the fact that the user does not grant them all rights and still have to provide the rest of the functionality. Custom ROMs such as B. LineageOS (formerly CyanogenMod ) have offered more extensive data protection management for a long time.
In addition, there are also auxiliary programs (“tools”) against the numerous apps that request significantly more authorizations and transmit data than would be necessary for their function. These provide the apps with false data and thus make them believe that they have received the access rights. To do this, however, they need root rights .
When purchasing, pre-installed apps can be deactivated so that they are no longer active in the system. Pre-installed apps that have no immediate use (and were usually installed by the smartphone manufacturer) are known as bloatware .
Applications with internet access authorization can upload files from the SD card to the internet. A large number of games request the “Find accounts on the device” right. With this right z. B. read the email address of the Google account and can request personal information via Google+ . Saved e-mail addresses, Facebook and Twitter accounts can also be determined. The “Retrieve WLAN connections” right has the same effect as access to the location via GPS, as Google, among other things, stores the SSIDs in freely queryable geodatabases.
All installed apps can theoretically access the clipboard and transfer the data stored there to the Internet.
In August 2018, the publishing organization “Digital Content Next” published a study according to which a stationary Android smartphone with a Chrome browser running in the background sent location information to Google around 340 times within 24 hours. In addition, Google should be able to link anonymously collected information with personal user data, according to the lead professor Douglas Schmidt from Vanderbilt University .
With its ever increasing prevalence, Android is becoming more and more interesting for malware authors. In particular, the possibility of installing unchecked third-party apps (this requires the consent of the user) increases the risk. Google has been checking all apps in the Play Store automatically since the beginning of 2012. Therefore, if you only install apps from there, you are relatively safe; however, there are also known cases of malware spread via the Play Store. Sandboxing , which is standard in Android, offers additional security : All apps run separately in a virtual machine . Requested permissions for the apps are displayed and require the consent of the user.
Various security software providers provide security apps with more or less good results. It is also these manufacturers who often loudly and effectively draw attention to a “threat” in order to market their products. Another type of threat posed by the short-range radio NFC present in the latest devices was demonstrated by a security specialist at the Black Hat 2012 hacker conference .
Availability of current versions for existing devices
Android smartphones are often sold with an older version of the operating system. Manufacturers usually have no contractual obligation to deliver the latest versions to customers. The seller, not the manufacturer, must ensure that the devices operate correctly in the delivery state. It is therefore up to the manufacturer whether or not to put the effort into delivering updates. The fact that many mobile phones receive the latest Android versions late or not at all is sharply criticized by customers and consumer advocates, as apps for bank and health insurance applications require secure device technology.
At the Google I / O developer conference in May 2011, Google emphasized that many manufacturers would provide the latest Android version for at least 18 months for every new device. However, shortly afterwards there were reports that manufacturers were breaking this voluntary commitment. At the Google I / O conference in June 2012, Google published a platform development kit that enables manufacturers to port new Android versions to their hardware at an early stage.
Since the source texts of Android and the Linux kernel are published, manufacturer-independent developer groups can and may also provide “unofficial” Android ports as custom ROMs. The developers' motivation and the availability of hardware-related software components and documentation, especially drivers , determine which devices benefit from this .
Google's Nexus and Pixel series devices receive Android updates promptly over 18 months. In the course of the Stagefright security gap , Google announced in August 2015 that Nexus devices will in future receive monthly security updates for three years after the device has been released, regardless of updates to the Android platform, which are to be distributed for around two years.
For Android smartphones with Qualcomm - chip set can be extracted with the help of information and the force method brute crack the password used, and thus cut short the full device encryption. The reason is that the key generation process is determined by software. From Android 7 or mandatory from Android 10, however, the so-called FBE (file-based encryption) must be used, which eliminates this security gap.
Google is accused of infringing a large number of other companies' patents with Android. As a result, there have been a number of legal disputes with device manufacturers around the world since 2009. Microsoft has signed license agreements with the three contract manufacturers Quanta , Wistron and Compal as well as the manufacturers Samsung , HTC , Acer , ViewSonic , Onkyo , General Dynamics , Itronix and Velocity Micro, and is estimated to earn between 3 and 12.50 US dollars per Android sold Device, totaling approximately $ 500 million in fiscal 2012.
In addition, Google was sued by Oracle in August 2010 because Android infringed the patent and trademark rights of Java . Google won the legal dispute in the first instance. However, the appeals court ruled Oracle and found that copyrights to Java APIs had been violated. A pending retrial will decide on the further progress .
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- Mark L. Murphy: Beginning Android 2. Beginning the journey toward your own successful Android 2 applications. APress, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4302-2629-1 .
- Reto Meier: Professional Android 4 Application Development. John Wiley & Sons, 2012, ISBN 978-1-118-10227-5 .
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Unofficial apk downloader for the Google Play Store
.NET compiler for Android
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