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Google launches Certified Android device program

Google's Certified Android devices program is a continuation of its security efforts. (Source: Google)
Google's Certified Android devices program is a continuation of its security efforts. (Source: Google)
Google has announced its new Certified Android devices program. Designed to give customers the guarantee of a malware-free device out of the box, it is the company's latest effort to clamp down on Android security.

As the world’s most popular operating system with installations on over 2 billion devices, Android has long been in the sights of hackers and vendors of malicious software. At various times Google has been accused of being lax on Android security, while its partners have also faced criticism for failing to provide frequent and timely updates to devices. The Certified Android device program should help to ensure that customers don’t purchase a device may have been in some way compromised before it has even reached their hands.

The new Certification program pulls together different existing elements of Google’s testing, security and compatibility strategies under the one public facing umbrella. According to Google, devices that receive official certification will have worked directly with Google’s software and hardware engineers to run hundreds of compatibility tests in to ensure that devices are fully compliant with Google’s Android security and permissions model. The testing process also includes verifying that pre-installed Google apps on devices are the real thing and that apps purchased through the Play Store are also legitimate and free from malware.

When a customer purchases a Certified Android device, it will also come pre-installed with Google Play Protect. Much like Microsoft’s in-built Windows Defender software, Play Protect includes a suite of baseline security features that includes automatic scanning for malware. Along with publishing a list of partners, Google is now recommending that customers request an Android devices has been formally certified.


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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-08-29 (Update: 2017-08-29)