Andy Rubin, director of mobile platforms at Google and overseer of the Android mobile device operating system, used on smartphones and tablets, had a lot of phone calls to make this week. That's because the open source Android operating system is now reporting 500,000 activations per day. This is up from 400,000 just two months ago.
The company is even in talks to create a new device in the Samsung Nexus family of smartphones. But with Android rapidly expanding into the tablet market and allowing more and more applications, even encouraging user modifications to the OS, are Android users still able to browse in private and hide an IP address on public networks?
Tech researchers at security software firm Trend Micro Inc. have called the system's security into question. In a statement to Bloomberg News in January, Trend Micro chairman Steve Chang stated that "Android is open-source, which means the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code.” This knowledge, he said, could enable certain types of viruses that would be impossible to achieve on the iPhone.
The Apple App Store has very stringent restrictions that Google has argued reduces the potential for innovation and forces app creators to hand over most of their profits to Apple. Currently, Android leads Apple in the smartphone and tablet market by a wide margin.
As Android is an open platform, there are very few restrictions on the applications available. Google has said it does place some restrictions, trying to at once remain open to new innovation and protect its users.
“On all computing devices, users necessarily entrust at least some of their information to the developer of the application they’re using,” Mountain View, California-based Google said in an e-mailed statement. “Android has taken steps to inform users of this trust relationship and to limit the amount of trust a user must grant to any given application developer.”
The larger Android becomes, the more GoTrusted can help offer its users peace of mind. By using GoTrusted features like free proxy sites, VPN services and dummy e-mail addresses, you can browse the web at public locations and reduce the chances that your identity information can be hijacked by malicious applications or OS vulnerabilities.