Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Android: Swimming In The Deep End Of Google Play

I'm a mobile fan.  I like that I can take my devices, Android or iPhone, Nexus or iPad, anywhere I want and do whatever it is that I wanted to do when I get there.  Watching movies or other videos, play games, or write in general.  There is one difference between the Android and iOS experience beyond fanboys on both sides thumping their chests and saying this or that is better than the other guys'.

It's the security factor.  I'll be honest here.  I'm more comfortable with apps that I get from iOS than apps from Android.  I generally buy and download apps from companies that either I've had a history with in terms of using their apps in the past or have heard good things about them.  I'm also more willing go give small developers a chance on iOS because I do generally feel safer because of Apple's insane review system.

Last week, I posted about how researchers managed slip into Apple's walled garden a potential malware.  So, it's not like Apple's review is 100% malware or steal-ware proof.  I get that.  The incident goes to show that nothing is 100% safe.

Still, even if Apple manages to stop only 99% of the malware, that's still damn good.  So far, there are zero incidents of malware for iOS while Android has the bulk of the malware.  I don't know if that's from just the Play store or more of the Wild Wild West environment of side-loading and in China.  Or maybe a combination of all Android app stores.

Still, as I played and experiment with my Nexus more, I'm finding myself trying more and more apps.  I do conduct an amount of research of any app before I download it.  Even them, I'm wary that somehow, something'll get by Google (and me) and compromise my tablet.

Yes, I get the "openness" of Android is something many folks like.  I also get that there is a strong need to make sure the mobile system is secured enough so that I don't have to worry too much.  Even if my Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, or other apps that I trust are fine, who's to say that one bad app that I download won't find a way to compromise my social mobile experiences or worse.

I'm hoping that Google will do more on the security front, move quicker to address the security and malware issues, and institute a more proactive plan to keep bad apps from getting to Google Play.  It's important not only to me and you but to the future of the platform.

So, yes, I'm swimming away from the safe area of the Play pool and closer to the deeper end but I'm only willing to go so far.  And it's sad to say, I'm not willing to go all in and I figure many folks aren't either.  Not unless we know Google is doing more and we feel safer about it.  Otherwise, there are tons of good apps with good mobile experiences that users are just missing out.

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