Yesterday, at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Google's Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, made the unabashed statement that the Android platform is more secure than Apple's iPhone - to which it drew a roomful of laughter from the audience.
David Willis, a Gartner analyst who is Chief of Research for Mobility and Communications, said to Schimdt:
If you polled many people in this audience they would say Google Android is not their principal platform [...] When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure.
And without missing a beat, Schmidt stated: "Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone."
Always with a full dance card, Schmidt danced around a direct answer of why it was more secure, but instead sited the more than a billion Android users that put it through rigorous real-world testing.
Before anybody could ask, he also defended another well-known Android complaint that the platform is too fragmented, and with both barrels he said, "With Android we have an agreement for vendors that you keep the Android stores compatible and that is a great breakthrough for Android."
Android is the most widely used operating system in the world, with approximately 70-percent of the market. Google is constantly working on security issues and was especially security minded with the newest release of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean where they added five significant security features:
- Restricted Profiles
- KeyChain enhancements
- Android Keystore Provider
- Restricted Setuid from Android Apps
- Wi-Fi support for WPA2-Enterprise Networks
They also include two new security features that work with most versions of Android out there:
- Verify Apps - works with Android 2.3 and higher, and scans apps for malware as you install them.
- Lost Phone Finder - works for Android 2.2 and above.
Summarizing what he had heard during the 45-minute session, Willis said to Schimdt, "What I heard was Android is more secure than the iPhone," to which Schmidt replied, "Android is very secure."
The audience again gave a hearty chuckle. Schmidt paused and said, "You will be happier with Gmail, Chrome and Android more than you can possibly imagine."
The audience laughed again, but Schmidt was dead serious, and if Android 4.4 KitKat continues to add even more security, Eric Schmidt and Google's Android will have the last laugh.