We've all heard the debates (or been involved in them) about Android malware. Some say it doesn't really exist and is only used as a "scare tactic." Others insist that it's a threat and is becoming more prominent.
Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, Lookout Labs would have us believe that it finds thousands of threats everyday. In order to help visualize this claim, Lookout released a new app to the Market called Mobile Threat Tracker that shows, in almost real-time, detected infections on Lookout-protected devices across the globe.
Antivirus apps are big business on Android. Just run a search on our site and you can see there are tons of big-name apps for our beloved OS that help protect users from malware, track lost devices, and manage privacy (among other things). Millions have downloaded such apps, and sometimes paid fairly large sums (in relation to other apps, anyway) for the protection they offer.
There's no shortage of antivirus, antimalware, or other forms of anti-bad stuff apps in the Market. In fact, we've look taken at a ton of them. If none of those could handle your list of wants from a mobile security app, have a look a Comodo Mobile Security - it brings a few useful features all together into a single app.
Like you would expect from Comodo, it's first and foremost an antivirus/antimalware.
We've seen our fair share of Android malware hit the scene, but the guys over at Kaspersky Labs have stumbled upon something rather alarming: the first IRC bot for Android. For those unaware, an IRC bot is a tool that provides automated function inside of an IRC channel. While very useful in many scenarios, IRC bots are also often used for malicious intent, such as the case at hand. It's worth noting here that, with the way this attack works, remote commands could be sent via any medium - SMS, webserver, etc.
We know that searching through thousands of applications can be frustrating, so we've compiled the best 35 from 2011 just for you. It's called a Smartphone for a reason, so make sure you get the best out of your device by checking out the list below. Your phone or tablet can probably do much more than you ever imagined, you just have to find the right app for the job.
DSLR Controller (BETA)
If you're an aspiring photographer who owns a Canon EOS DSLR and an Android device, you'll be overjoyed to hear about a nifty little app named DSLR Controller.
We know, we told you our holiday giveaway series would feature some of our largest contests to date. And it did - we gave away over a dozen tablets and nearly as many phones to our readers. But we thought we'd start the new year off with our biggest giveaway yet (an international one, to boot) - 10 Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones, courtesy of our amazingly generous friends at AVAST Software.
After getting a glimpse of Avast's new mobile security solution a few weeks ago, I just had to dive in and give the app a full review. Avast, the long-awaited marriage of Avast and IT Agents' Theft Aware (see our review), certainly doesn't disappoint. It has an insane number of features, all of which appear to work perfectly, and it sounds like things will only be improving with time.
And did I mention the full-featured, root-enhanced app is completely free with no paid version in sight?
Carrier IQ is bad news. We have spent much ink covering and debating the maliciousness of this pre-installed service which hides itself in the background of some Android devices, collects user information, and then sends it back to carriers. However according to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Carrier IQ is just the tip of the iceberg as most smartphones can be hacked remotely "with ease." At a recent speech, Assange stated point blank that anyone with an iPhone, BlackBerry or Gmail account was "screwed." While Assange didn't mention Android by name in his introductory speech, our favorite operating system is indeed referenced in some Wikileaks' reports.
In the past couple of months, I've covered more than a dozen mobile security apps, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each, and determining their relative values. I've spent time with 17 apps in all, and it's about time to wrap up the series, and tell you, the end user, which apps are your best bet for protecting your Android device(s).
Before I get to the nitty-gritty of which app is best, I think it'd be helpful to review what we've covered so far, to get a clear grasp on each of the solutions we've covered.