Google’s mobile platform is open source, of course, but the newest version of Android places a significant amount of focus on closing the OS when it comes to blocking hackers and thwarting data thieves. New security features in Android 5.0 might not be buzzing as much as the look of Google’s gorgeous new Material Design, but all the hacks and private photo leaks we keep seeing are constant reminders of just how important security is on mobile devices.
Now, in a new blog post on the Android Blog, Google has detailed three key ways the company has enhanced security with Lollipop.
Android’s lead security engineer Adrian Ludwig on Tuesday took to Google’s official Android Blog to remind users how important security is, and to call attention to three key areas where security has been enhanced in Android 5.0.
The first is one of the simplest and most important security features on any smartphone: The screen lock.
“What’s the simplest way to keep the data safe and secure on your mobile device? Use a screen lock! Lost and stolen devices are the number-one security issue affecting smartphone users,” Ludwig wrote. “Still, a lot of people using mobile devices don’t use a pin or password because it takes too long to unlock, dozens of times per day.”
He continued, “We’re making it easier than ever with Lollipop, with features like Smart Lock, which lets you tell your phone to unlock using Bluetooth pairing, NFC, or simply your smile–faster than before. Plus, you can allow certain notifications to be accessible from the lock screen, helping you quickly get at the information you need while still keeping your device protected.”
Ludwig went on to explain two other areas where Lollipop offers enhanced security. First, Android 5.0 supports full device encryption by default, and it takes effect on first boot. The unique encryption key tied to a smartphone or tablet’s data never leaves the device.
Additionally, Google now requires Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) Enforcing mode for all applications in Android 5.0. SELinux is a means of better enforcing security policies on a computer or mobile device.
More details can be found in Ludwig’s post on the Android Blog, which is linked below in the source section.
Android 5.0 Lollipop will debut alongside the new Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet in November, and it will then begin rolling out to various vendors’ most recent smartphones and tablets in the coming months.