I don’t have a problem with Android (I don’t! I swear!), even though my friends might disagree with that statement. On the contrary, I love what Android represents to the mobile computing industry: prime-time competition. Some would call me an Apple fanboy, and that’s not exactly accurate either. I just happen to think the feature set of the iPhone works better for my lifestyle than any Android device thus far. Are we all clear now? Good, cause I’m about to off on Android... again...
On on the 1st of March, Google pulled 21 applications from the Android Market because they were malware infected versions of legitimate software. Apparently the developer would copy an app, inject malware code and slightly rebrand the software in the Market so they would catch people who thought they were installing the other one. And this was the nasty type of root-your-shit kind of malware too.
Android prides itself on openness and that obviously comes with a price. What was the price this time? According to sources: 200,000 infected phones, use of the controversial remote app deletion tool (something that Apple has and got harshly criticized for) and a patch for the infected phones. Everyone else has to wait for their carrier to push a fix.
**That means, other than these 200,000, just about every other phone Android phone running 2.x is still vulnerable**
I’m not going to blame the technical chops of Google or even Android over this issue. No software is perfectly secure and Google responded fast and decisively. I absolutely commend them for that. I am going to blame the political chops of Google over this. A commenter to this story at Android Police had this insight:
Windows is known for its security shortcomings, but can you imagine how much worse the situation would be if Best Buy and Compaq were in charge of Windows Update?
But that’s what we have with Android. The carriers and the cell phone manufacturers are in charge of pushing security updates when that’s clearly not in their interest. Why would it be? There’s no financial incentive and if anything happens to the phone, I would bet most (non-technical) customers would just blame Google!
I know you’re indexing me Google, well index this: Go back to the Nexus model of managing your OS. Stop letting your “partners” drag your openness through the mud. It’s been 3 months since the release of Gingerbread and you haven’t hit 1% adoption rate yet! Even more striking is that more than 40% of your user base is at least 2 versions behind!
I'm a little sad, this article was supposed to be about the Fragmentation Library Google just published to handed the transition to the tablet form factor, but I went all ranty. Maybe tomorrow.