Android vs iOS: Which Platform is More Secure in 2018
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Android vs iOS: Which Platform is More Secure in 2018

Nitin Agarwal
By Nitin Agarwal| Thursday, February 1, 2018 08:58 AM |6 min read
Android vs iOS: Which Platform is More Secure in 2018

While iOS vs Android war is the one that continues to break the internet, the ultimate deal breaking element for both the app users and the brands boils down to Mobile App Security.

Ultimately, the future of your app on a device will depend on how secure and protected it keeps your users.

Now, irrespective of how much time and effort you put into making your app secure straight from its development stage, the ultimate result is dependent on elements that work at much deeper level, like the Operating System.

Meanwhile, if you want a more comprehensive comparison between iOS and Android, Read: iOS vs. Android App Development: A 2018 Lookout

When we talk about Mobile App Security, the unprecedented winner has always been iOS, with its stringent security guidelines. But with Android O, Google gave out an array of hope in 2017, that hinted towards it being on the verge of becoming a brand one can trust with their devices and personal information.

Will 2018 be the year when Google becomes the secure one out of both iOS and Android ecosystems?

Before we get into the Mobile App Security 2018 lookout and let us first look at the prevalent  security difference between iOS and Android.Android vs iOS Security Infographics

Here are the comparative elements that cover both the Operating System Ecosystems, comprehensively.

1. Boot up process

Android platform offers Linux Kernel and Inter-Process Communication facility, security level. Coded with Application Sandbox, the platform gives verified boot guarantee in which every stage cryptographically verifies the integrity of the next stage before their verification.

Android verifies the boots with the help of dm-verity kernel feature that makes it impossible for the compromised device to boot.

While, this was about Android, iOS offers the security level with Low Level Bootlader(LLB), iOS kernel, and iBoot. LLB is primarily verified by Apple Root CS Public Key using the Boot ROM program to make sure that the iBoot Bootloader has been signed by Apple. Next, iBoot then verifies and executes iOS kernel.

2. Security Software Update

Android offers monthly updates in their Android Security Bulletin. Even though Android gives out updates once in a month, they don’t force the users to update the devices. With the option to ignore the update and operate the device in the same way, gives an escape plan to the users.

Apple rolls out several version of security updates every once in a while in a month. Apple makes it a mandate for every user to download the most recent security update. By giving out continuous notifications, the OS makes it difficult for its users to ignore the security upgradations.

{Read Also: Mobile Application Development Guide: Everything Worth Knowing}

3. Touch Id

While Android has recently started partnering with manufacturers who are offering Fingerprint Scan option, the number is still very limited.

This is not the case with Apple. Apple has always been very particular when it comes to biometric verification on their devices. It is not just for Touch ID, Technologies like Iris Scan and Face ID have also been coined by Apple first. The OS giant, keep investing millions in the security focused technologies.

4. Hardware

Unlike Apple, security issues related to Android hardware depends entirely on the manufacturers. While some are good at keeping a handle on the fact that all the Android’s built-in features related to security work well on their device, others might give it lesser priority.  

On the other hand, Apple has full control over its hardware security.

5. Device Fragmentation

The greater the fragmentation, the greater the chances of introducing loopholes that are a comfortable space for heightened hacking and data breach incidents. By keeping both its device and operating system version on a lower side, Apple reduces this probability by manifold.  

But the case is not same with Android. Both – number of device variants and OS versions is on a very high side in the platform, giving an open ecosystem to hacks and breaches to breed in.

6. App Stores Story

Apple undoubtedly has greater control on the apps that come for approval and their updates. The brand takes its right to vet, reject, and remove every app that doesn’t meet its criteria, very seriously, the fact that has brought in a demand for such iPhone app development companies, which can develop apps that don’t get rejected.

While even Android has a vetting process in place, Malware still gets in every now and then.

One of the most attractive features of Play Store, open ecosystem, while is a bliss for the users, is an equally bigger bliss for the hackers frequenting the apps. By allowing apps to be downloaded from stores other than the Play Store, Android increases the probability of security breach incidents.

While this is the picture that has always remained, what does 2018 looks like for the two OSs on the security front?

Let’s find out.

Android vs iOS Security

Android vs. iOS: Which OS is Safer in 2018

In an article concentrated on comparing two tech giants on the basis of something as crucial as Security, it is very important to look at the matter with all specificity.

Let us compared both the OS on the basis of four important factors –

Marketplace Security

The fact that Pthe lay Store is so much wider than App Store comes as both a blessing and an issue. While on one hand, the wideness gives Android users a wide option to select from, it also gives the hackers a great opportunity to leave malware apps in the crowd of millions.

Apple, on the other side, keeps a close look at the App Store. The level of inspection that every app needs to go through while reduces the available option for the users, lowers the chances of malware attacks to minimal.

Platform’s Popularity

Android, undoubtedly holds a massive share of the world smartphone market, a number that is practically impossible for Apple to ever cover.

Now greater the platform popularity, greater is the number of users attached and thus greater are the chances of a security breach.

However, it is not sound to give Android lesser points in terms of security just on the basis of its high popularity. Because with the growing number of users, the Android developer community has started giving greater focus to the development of security apps which would protect users from such malicious incidents.

Device Manufacturers’ Count

If there is one point on which Android is 100% lying behind Apple in terms of security, it is the hacks caused because of high device manufacturer count.

Because different devices come with a different focus on Security protection features, it is impossible for Google with thousands of devices under its umbrella to lay out a common set of protocols for every single one its partnered OEMs. A problem which Apple never has to face because of its concentrated control on the device manufactured.  

Source Code Security

Both the operating systems make use of very similar security feature for keeping their users safe but while Apple keeps a close watch on the source code, the open source nature of Android makes it difficult for the OS to do so.

To solve this gap, Google has not just employed hackers to identify the source of attack but is also increasing its bounty that the brand is willing to pay for those who report new vulnerabilities, year on year.

While on the Apps front, hoping to get a clearer sense of security in the Android, Google has introduced ‘Google Play Protect’ in Play Store. The Android O element behaves as virus scanner for the Android apps, ensuring that harmful content does not get downloaded on your device, a move that has come as a major relief for Android App Development Companies that have been crumbling under the growing malware attack prevention pressure.

Even though Google is getting online with its Play Store Security, the story of its device update is rather on the down side.

The brand will continue to push out its Android Security patches month-by-month. But while Pixel and Nexus users might get the updates on the spot, other phone manufacturers might continue to delay or even skip the updates completely.With thousands of Android devices running years old software, they will continue to be vulnerable to major hacks such as Stagefright and Heartbleed.

2018 will see speedy updates taking a prime position, with the past year witnessing some of the major security breaches,(remember what happened with Uber Data Breach?) placing security breaches on the forefront. If you don’t have a stock device, Android is already behind in the update world.

Apple, on the other hand, has been working on continuously taking security to the next level in 2017, especially with its Touch ID and the FaceID. The stringent oversight that the brand has on its apps added to their ability to send out updates to their devices quickly has given the brand a sure-shot edge over its competitor. The brand even take measures to encrypt all the data in the iMessage and Apple’s other apps.

While Android also encrypts some data, but users’ privacy will continue to be protected to a very little extent. To make its marketing efforts better and to offer superior AI experience, Google will continue to mine data for information in 2018.

In spite of the fact that Android will be introducing new features on its Security front in 2018, the choice between Android and iOS, when it comes to which is more secure, will continue to be won over by iOS this year too.

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Continue exploring the landscape of product design with these helpful resources: Android vs iOSmobile app developmentMobile OS
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Nitin Agarwal
About The Author

Passionate about helping clients in giving & adding value to their mobile strategies. At Appinventiv, We assure the success of our clients by giving wow experience from their end-customers. We have worked for more than 200 entrepreneurs & clients across the globe in adding a new innovative experience along with measurable outcomes.

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