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Android L “Lollipop” will take Smartphones to Defense Level Security

Android_Lion_800The Android L is an upcoming release of the mobile operating system created by Google. Officially called Lollipop.  The key features of Android L will include faster app performance, improved power efficiency, better camera controls, and a new look for notifications and Fort Knox level security.

Every animation on screen will be allowed to connect to one another – so there’s no ‘teleportation between apps’. Check out the Google video below.

The home, back and multi-tasking window buttons on Android have been refined too, and overall, this is a massive step forward for a cleaner, more intuitive-looking version of Google’s mobile platform.

The lock screen is getting smarter too – if you’ve got a specific location set up, or are wearing a Bluetooth device, the phone will recognize you and unlock without a PIN. Move away or take your watch off and you’ll need to tap or swipe in a code when you unlock – or you can even use your voice

 

Android L builds on Samsung’s Knox fortifications

Knox is Samsung’s set of mobile security tools for businesses and governments. Not all of it is getting ported to the Android operating system, but enough, Google hopes, to reassure IT managers that Android-powered devices — whether employees’ own, or company-issued — will meet their tougher standards for what’s allowed on corporate networks.

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Among other things, Android L will keep personal and corporate data and apps separate by building on the existing multiuser profile support in Android in a setup similar to the Knox Workspace.
“Personal and corporate applications will run as two separate Android users,” Android product manager director Srikanth Rajagopalan wrote  “Data is kept safe by using block-level disk encryption as well as verified boot technology.”

Also derived from Knox, new Android development kit APIs will let administrators create policies that include system setting configuration and authentication certificate management to restrict app usage. New back-end APIs will help with corporate app management and deployment.

However, Samsung detailed in a blog post of its own that it’s not giving Google access to all of its Knox gold. Many hardware-based Knox features will remain exclusive to Samsung.

These include TrustZone-based Integrity Measurement Architecture, trusted boot, biometric authentication, and Knox Smart Card Support. Knox components approved for governmental use such as Common Criteria, and the FIPS-certified cryptographic library and virtual private network that are part of Security Technical Implementation Guide standards, will remain under Samsung’s purview.

Lollipop arrives as Google tries to take more control of Android, the most widely used operating system in the world for smartphones and tablets, with 80 percent market share, according to IDC. By comparison, Apple’s iOS, which powers iPhones and iPads, has around 17 percent of the market.

 
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