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Fragmentation may need users wondering who should be patching their Android devices

Android fragmentation has been a significant problem for Android smartphone users, smartphone makers, and developers for a long time. Hardware capabilities of Android devices vary widely and not all smartphone manufacturers are willing to give older smartphones upgrades to the latest versions of Android OS (hoping instead that customers will simply buy a new smartphone).

Security researchers are now saying that the rampant fragmentation in the Android market could leave users vulnerable to attacks. According to the researchers, one of the major problems is that it remains unclear who is responsible for patching the Android operating system on smartphones on the market.
The question is should Google, the smartphone maker, or the wireless carrier be offering fixes for security issues. Google often moves quickly to patch security problems, but carriers and smartphone makers that use a customized operating system may drag their feet or simply not offer the fix at all.

This fact, according to security experts, means that the Android operating system leaves users more vulnerable to hackers, scam artists, and malware than competing operating systems.

“You have potentially millions of Androids making their way into the work space, accessing confidential documents,” said Christopher Soghoian, a former Federal Trade Commission technology expert who now works for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s like a really dry forest, and it’s just waiting for a match.”

The researchers say that if a major malware outbreak for Android devices surfaces, the system for updating smartphones using Android could dramatically slow efforts to protect information carried on the devices.

Source: Washington Post

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That is always the case... and the choice
By retrospooty on 2/8/2013 9:33:59 AM , Rating: 3
The "Walled garden" approach like Apple gives them more control and better security, but very much limits options.

The "open" approach gives flexibility, but is more difficult for developers and more open to attacks. It just depends on what you want.

Funny thing here. Even Wozniak thinks Apple has lost its lead with regards to tech and OS

RE: That is always the case... and the choice
By quiksilvr on 2/8/2013 9:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
Blame the cellphone makers, not Android. They can easily upgrade to the latest and most secure OS. Hell, if the Nexus S, a single core 1GHz phone with 256MB of RAM can have Jellybean, why cant the millions of other entry level phones HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Huwaei, etc. that have the same specs? Hell, even mulitple dual-core CPU phones with more ram are left with ICS.

RE: That is always the case... and the choice
By retrospooty on 2/8/2013 10:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
I know, carriers too. But they arent interested in upgrading old devices, they need to sell new ones. Apple has one phone per year to make a ROM for and other makers have dozens if not several dozen each. Thus the walled gardens benefit.

Dont get me wrong, I use Android and love it. Apple's current offering is not up to par with its competition. I agree with Woz... In fact, I have been saying that since Jelly Bean was released last summer. Android has alot of strengths, but the best security isnt one of them. Fortunately for me, I dont care about security, I care about having the best mobile experience, and that is currently Android, by a long shot.

By KoolAidMan1 on 2/9/2013 4:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
The article reads like less about praise for Android and more about praise for Samsung.

He also still uses an iPhone and says that Windows Phone has a UI that "beat Android's by a wide margin". Can't say I disagree.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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