Here’s another example of unintended consequence when it comes to the way Google has deployed Android. The Android user is the victim because of how Google generates revenue in its strategy using the Android mobile operating system.
Google positions android as ‘free’ and ‘open’. Because of this, Google has to wait until the back-end of the deal because they don’t make any money at the beginning of the transaction. Their way of managing this is to flood the market with cheap or free android-based handsets. Then they capture private user data, store it and finally when they have enough of it they rack and stack it and sell it to advertisers. Because they don’t have a solution for supporting fragmented devices, millions of android users can get left in the cold when security issues pop up.
Such was the issue in the Web-view debacle. And once again in STAGE-FRIGHT. Stagefright is probably the worst vulnerability ever discovered in Android. It can infect your device through an MMS message and allow a third-party to monitor your activity without your knowledge.
A Google official gave the following public advisory to Android Police:
“This vulnerability was identified in a laboratory setting on older Android devices, and as far as we know, no one has been affected. As soon as we were made aware of the vulnerability we took immediate action and sent a fix to our partners to protect users.
As part of a regularly scheduled security update, we plan to push further safeguards to Nexus devices starting next week. And, we’ll be releasing it in open source when the details are made public by the researcher at BlackHat.”
Google is capable of managing its data siphoning engagement platform software. That is one area where Google pays attention. They are less concerned with customer satisfaction because their philosophy focuses on user engagement analytics.
The majority of Androids malware, privacy and security challenges…and there are many…could be mitigated with a commitment to a standardized life-cycle requirement for every hardware platform that wants to deploy Android. User Experience would be elevated. Android wouldn’t be a gamble. Users would feel comfortable buying replacement hardware in a tech-refresh because they understand or at least have an idea of what the expectations are, if Google would just document their expectations from OEM’s, and then enforced those guidelines.
Until Google adopts a mechanism to encourage OEM’s to support older devices and a way to force a migration to newer versions of Android, events like these will become more commonplace in the Android ecosystem.