Piracy is a major issue for Android, and even more so for Android developers, which is why Jelly Bean introduced App Encryption. But this may be a case of the cure being worse than the disease: hundreds of developers of paid apps have chimed in on a Google Code thread, claiming that the encryption (or more accurately, the location of installed and encrypted apps from the Google Play Store) makes their apps entirely unusable, as account information and other stored data is removed after a device reboot. As a result, Google has apparently disabled the security feature for the Play Store on Jelly Bean devices.
While tonight's event positively overloaded us with details about Ice Cream Sandwich, there were some features that didn't make the cut - Android engineer Dan Morrill has spilled the details on even more awesome features we can expect from the latest version of Android, posting a brief message about them on Google+. Unfortunately we don't have screen shots of these features, but we can discuss what information we do have, feature-by-feature.
One of the most impressive features that we didn't get to see tonight is the ability to completely disable apps. Essentially this spells an end to resource-hogging bloatware, since users can keep individual apps from ever running, opening tasks, or using resources.
Just another step in Google's efforts to make Android more appealing to businesses - an update to the Google Apps Device Policy application has added three new features to make your Android device more secure:
- Remote Location: Any Android 2.2+ device can be located remotely via GPS or by making it ring. The PIN or password can also be remotely reset.
- Data Encryption: Android 3.0 introduced data encryption, and now Google Apps users have the ability to encrypt this data remotely as long as the App Device Policy is already installed on the device.
- Google Apps Lookup: An entirely new app, Google Apps Lookup allows Apps users to find contact info for anybody in the Google Apps Global Address List.
Motorola Mobility has revealed to InfoWorld that it is working with the newly acquired start-up 3LM (Three Laws Mobility) to fill the security gaps in the Android platform and create a more secure smartphone OS.
The BlackBerry has been the traditional smartphone of choice for executives, with the iPhone making slow inroads. However, the Android platform has never found love in the corporate world due mainly to its open and insecure nature, perceived or otherwise. There has not really been any effective application or tool that allows the device to be fully secured.
According to InfoWorld, 3LM will create APIs for the Android platform that will "add missing security and management capabilities at the OS level, so that the entire device can be managed via policies by mobile device management tools".
Earlier yesterday, Google demoed some of Honeycomb's most impressive features, however one of its best features seems to have slipped under the radar. While playing around with the Motorola XOOM, Engadget noticed an "Encrypt Tablet" option in the settings page.
At this time little is known about the encryption standard that will be used or whether the encryption process will affect the tablet's other features in any way. All that is known is that your accounts, settings, downloaded applications, media, and other files will be encrypted, and you will require a numeric PIN or password to decrypt the data. Additionally, it will take an hour (or more) to encrypt all your data.