Android has always been seen as the least secure platform in general, though that’s likely due to it being targeted by malware makers far more than the other platforms as a result of it being a more open platform. The underlying framework has always been mostly rather well put together, though it could always use a few improvements. Slowly but surely Google is making Android nearly the poster child of security. Android N will have quite a few novel things, that while not terribly exciting, spell great thing for keeping your data, and privacy, secure.
Android N is getting four great new security features, like Direct Boot
The most important inclusion is that of Direct Boot. This novel feature is exactly what it sounds like, in that the device can directly boot-up after an update and still be usable. That is, it used to be that until you enter your PIN or password in after a reboot, you wouldn’t receive any notifications at all on your phone. You’d miss everything, essentially. This allows certain apps to run in the background, and when accessing data they’ll have to access an encrypted portion of your storage to keep everything safe.
Software updates are will also be handled significantly different with this new iteration of Android. In Android N updates will be much more direct. Google will push-out critical updates directly to devices that need them, bypassing the long certification times that going to carriers can cause. Sure, that certification is necessary, but sometimes actual security updates don’t get out in a timely manner, leaving vulnerabilities that could easily be patched.
Privacy is at the forefront of a lot of peoples minds, and rightfully so. In this day and age we want, and expect, a certain level of service from cloud providers, but we still want to own everything we make. That said, Google seems to be making big strides in how they handle the data you provide them. Obviously you have to provide some amount of data in order to get some level of service. If I want directions I have to give Google Maps my location and if I want suggestions to music in Google Music, then it helps to give them info about my tastes. But it’s how your data is handled thats important, and Google is actually transparent when it comes to what they do (if you decide to read the long terms of service).
That said, they don’t own your content and never will. Ever. And they stood behind that concept at Google I/O, even going so far as to emphasize that your photos in Google Photos are undeniably yours, they won’t sell or otherwise try to monetize them. Even further, no info will be shared regarding those photos or your information. No meta data will be shared, with advertisers or with their own search engine. Privacy, then, has been increase quite a bit with this upcoming Android OS.
The problem, then, is in getting users to understand their intentions and gaining trust in that. Their actions, then, will be very important going forward with the implementation of the upcoming Google Assistant with Android N.