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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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By Tony Swash on 2/8/2013 2:28:53 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
Ya, its kind of a trend here... Other than the the occational "idiot" decribed above, for the most part, our elderly users have iPhones and the younger ones have Androids.

LOL "This is NOT your fathers smartphone".


I guess you must be basing that on stuff like this

http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/26/forrester-iphone-...

Whatever the truth about the different profiles of average iOS user versus Android users we do know for a fact that Android user actually use their phones, other than to make calls, a lot less, really a lot less, than iOS users. The reason why Android is such a poorly used platform is not clear but the evidence showing the phenomena of low Android platform engagement is very strong.


By retrospooty on 2/8/2013 3:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
Signifying nothing...

More than 1/2 of those Android sales are super cheap low end phones that arent being sold to people like us here at AT/DT. If you are the type of person that needs corp. email and just occasional internet, why would you buy a high end phone like iPhone or GS3? Its a result of the platforms flexibility. If there were low end iPhones you would see the same thing. In fact if there were low end iPhones, they would probably hold the majority of marketshare... But there arent and they dont.


By KoolAidMan1 on 2/8/2013 5:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
Its because most Android phones are low end. Even among the high end the GS3 is in the minority. I don't know how else to reconcile how it has half the usage statistics of the much newer iPhone 5 or just a fraction of the 4S.

GS3 users use the internet and apps the same way an iPhone user would, there are just much fewer of them out there.


By nikon133 on 2/10/2013 3:21:40 PM , Rating: 1
Here's a possible scenario.

Android users know that computers still exist, and use them regularly - when PC is available and better device for the job, which is almost whenever PC is available.

iOS users were brainwashed with late SJ's "post-PC" mantra and, as such, try to use their iOS devices for everything, including stuff those devices cannot do, or do poorly. As a result, they spend much more time trying to achieve something.


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