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Google Android Chief: Apple Announced Things at WWDC We Did 5 Years Ago

iOS 8 will bring great new things for Apple users, but some of them have been part of Android for four or five years now, like third-party keyboards, widgets, richer notifications, etc., Google’s Sundar Pichai tells Businessweek.

WWDC 2014 pie chart

During this year’s WWDC, we heard Tim Cook comparing iOS to Android plenty of times. But the two players — Apple and Google — are very different, like two types of governments, Pichai says.

I think of it almost … like two types of government. Some [forms of] governments will be able to do things faster because they are opinionated and get things done. Than you can have a noisy, cacophonous, cantankerous democracy, which is often better in the long run. So you have two different worldviews being presented. To me, I look at it and say it’s remarkable that we live in a time when you have such different choices.

When asked about vulnerabilities, Pichai was careful to emphasize that Android “from the ground up is designed to be very, very secure,” but since it is the most popular operating system, it is also the most targeted by malware.

Do we take security seriously? Yes. [In the Google Play app store,] we detect malware. If you are installing an app, we ask user’s permission. If they say “yes,” we scan it. Even if you are scanning anything outside of the Play store, we still detect and warn you if its malware. Every time I look at the data—across millions and millions of users’ phones—the data is encouraging.

Google doesn’t have an official app store in China, so Chinese Android users are the most exposed to malware. And the data used by Apple and other companies includes data from China, Pichai says, defending Android.

Sundar Pichai will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center this week as the keynote speaker at Google’s I/O developer conference.

Image credit: TechCrunch

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Al

    “History shows typically that malware is also targeted at the more popular operating system.” (from original article)…

    The guy is deluded if he thinks “popularity” is the driving force behind android malware. He’s obviously referring to Windows, which, although the most common, was/is also the most vulnerable. So, it’s not popularity, but vulnerability that is the reason Android is attacked so much. It’s easy.

  • iFone

    The funny thing is that Apple is realizing that they need to let go that Google (Android) and Samsung ripped them off, and now are playing the same ball game as them, by bringing iOS and their phones on par to Android. This way, Android OEMs have no differentiation around screen size, notifications, widgets, etc. leaving Apple with the upper-hand with their incredible ecosystem and features like Handoff.

  • cynical1nsk

    Sorry but you don’t know what you are talking about. Android is every bit as secure as iOS. Users are no more likely to get maleware downloading from Google play than they are downloading from the Apple app store. Where android does differ is that it also gives its users more freedom. Android users have the ability to side load apps from third party app stores and that’s where maleware becomes a problem. Not even the most secure operating system can protect a user if they carelessly download infected apps from disreputable sites. It should also be noted that the ability to download apps from anywhere but Google Play is disabled by default. Users must deliberately turn that setting off to use third party app stores. There is also a built in app verifier to block and warn you of any app installs that may cause harm. So as you can see Android is very secure. The only reason malware is an issue on Android is because, unlike Apple, Google gives its users the freedom to do with their devices as they please. They don’t try to lock them into their ecosystem and control every aspect of their users lives. If you really want to download apps from somewhere other than Google Play then they won’t stop you. But you also can’t blame them if you get maleware.

  • AITrainYourBrainFirst

    This kind of iBoy makes me want to quit using Apple devices. I. DON’T. WANT. TO. BE. ONE. OF. THEM.

  • Al

    My comment still stands as absolutely correct. The facts that malware is a HUGE problem can’t be disputed. The problem exists by the nature of Android. How it comes to pass is irrelevant. The fact is, it happens. Your comment about Apple opening up like Android is the same as saying, “If Apple decides to be as stupid as Android and make it easy for malware to be introduced…”. You just can’t defend Android. Also, you statements reflect the newer methods of Android. When they first started they had no monitoring of ANYTHING. So, yes, I sure as hell do know what I’m talking about.

  • Guest

    Don’t be a tool. I was just stating the obvious. If another company’s product comes put that I like better than the home, I would jump ship in a heartbeat. I’m not loyal to any company. THEY have to be loyal to ME, if they want to keep me as a customer.

  • Al

    Don’t be a tool. If another company’s phone came out that was better than the iPhone, I would jump ship in a heartbeat. I’m not loyal to any brand. THEY need to be loyal to ME, if they want to keep me as a customer.

  • cynical1nsk

    No sorry, your comment is not correct, you don’t know what you are talking about and the more you talk the more you prove it. It is NOT a FACT that maleware is a HUGE problem on Android and it can be disputed. I’m speaking from experience…are you? My daughters and I have had Androids for two years. All my family and friends have Androids. Not once have we or anyone we know even heard of anyone even finding an app that was infected with maleware, never mind actually had a device that became infected. If maleware is the HUGE problem you claim it is then how do you explain that? You can’t sit there and say Android isn’t secure by it’s very nature when I’ve just shown you that it is. I also can’t believe that you would cut down a person’s right to do whatever they like with their own device. Its OK…Apple will never do it because they don’t want to risk losing any of their precious app store profits that they keep such a tight stranglehold over. They’ll never have to either as long as they’ve got blindly loyal little fan boys like you that are content to be led around by the nose. I for one like that I can do whatever the heck I want with my phone without having to “jailbreak” it. As for your comment about how Android used to be…well I don’t know and I don’t care. What does it matter what it USED to be like anyway? That’s just some desperate straw grasping on your part. The real fact is that there is more maleware for Android because malware creaters will almost always target the most popular platform. The fact that there is so much malware for Android and yet so few devices actually become infected is just more proof of how secure it really is.

  • Al

    The answer to your initial question… “published reports”. Individual experience may vary.

    “Android isn’t secure by it’s very nature”… is referring to the entire Android system… the phone, the apps, the means of getting the apps… everything. It’s like going out on ruff seas in a skimpy boat, without a life vest. Good luck.

    For the rest… Your highly defensive nature and worshiping of Android shows that there is only one “fan boy” on this page.

  • cynical1nsk

    Yeah…I am an Android fan boy. You wanna know when I became one? The day I got rid of my iPhone 4 and got a Galaxy S3 and realised all the things Android could do that iOS can’t. A lot of it is just because Android is better, but there also a lot of things that Apple doesn’t let you do because they are too busy trying to make money off every little aspect of their user experience. Every little thing about Apple and its ecosystem is designed for the express purpose of leading you to give more money to Apple. I was sick and tired of it and Android freed me. As for the rest…I hate when ignorant people talk like experts about things they obviously know nothing about. You sir, are one of those people and I’m done with you. You just make crap up and there is obviously no reasoning with you.

  • cynical1nsk

    Now you don’t have to take my word for it.

    http://www.androidauthority.com/ios-vs-android-security-396228/

  • Al

    First – That is based on a press release by a company who’s motive is to sell their services to as many people as possible, so they are, in effect, trying to create demand for their services across more devices. Second – the report supports what I was saying… that the issues hinge on the app distribution channels. Once the crap gets in, Android can’t defend itself.

    So… What’s your point? Oh yes… You read, “blah, blah, blah” about Android and all your hear is, “Android is God – Everything else is evil”. I’m more in line with thinking, “I’ll use what’s right for me now… until something better comes along” (which hasn’t happened yet).

    By the way, I thought you said you were done with me? Do you have an affliction of some sort? Are you damaged?

  • cynical1nsk

    No…not at all. I came across that article that pretty much supports everything I said and thought I would post it. More to see your reaction than anything else…and you didn’t disappoint. Your ability to dismiss, ignore and completely twist around facts to suit your own narrow, limited, ignorant view is truly astounding. You homed in on the one thing in the article that you could use…app distribution channels. I’ve already admitted, and the article reinforces it, that app distribution is a weakness…but it’s an external one that only affects how much malware a device is exposed to…not how secure it is. Haven’t you been paying attention? Course you haven’t, because you only see what you want to see. What people choose to do with their devices doesn’t change how secure the OS is. Even if I were to concede that app distribution makes the OS less secure, which I wouldn’t cause it’s just stupid, but if I did then that still doesn’t make iOS any more secure than Android due to the large number of people who jailbreak their iPhones. I mentioned both jailbreaking and exposing iOS third party app stores earlier but failed to connect the two. Everyone who jailbreaks their device breaks Apples strict control over app distribution. So there you go…even following your twisted line of thinking does not result in iOS being more secure than Android. And I’m not a blindly loyal Android fan boy either. I am an Android fan boy because it is the best. Maybe someday something better will come along…but iOS is certainly not it.

  • Al

    LOL… It’s as if you are deliberately missing the point.

    Android users – always living in fear. Take a read on how even the Android protected store can’t help you, as malware on the Android is also distributed through e-mails and non-app-related websites…

    http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/02/24/android-malware-facebook

    http://www.welivesecurity.com/2014/04/30/android-sms-malware-catches-unwary-users/

    http://www.cnet.com/news/android-malware-now-spreading-through-hacked-web-sites/

    Anyway, chew on that, take two aspirin, and DO NOT call me in the morning to attempt to spin this into something benign.

  • cynical1nsk

    Sorry…but all those articles prove is that there is maleware and there are different vectors of attack for that malware. None of them prove that Android is inherently less secure than iOS. In fact the last two articles even point out that in it’s default configuration Android is not even susceptible to those attacks because it would not run the malicious apk files even if the android user was stupid enough to try to. Also jail broken IPhones would be every bit as susceptible to those attacks as Android. Maybe even more so. The CNET article even links to another CNET article on iOS’s vulnerabilities…supporting my statements and offering even more proof that you are wrong.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/malware-loves-android-but-ios-users-could-be-at-risk-too/

    Sorry…but as I said almost everyone I know uses Android and not one of us even knows a person who gas had trouble with malware and none of us live in fear.

  • Al

    That’s a two year speculative article that, by it’s date alone, shows that the concern is not all that warranted.

    You
    stated… “you have offered no proof that Android is more susceptible
    to them than iOS”, Here’s the thing… I NEVER SAID THAT! G-E-T T-H-A-T T-H-R-O-U-G-H Y-O-U-R H-E-A-D !!! I’ve been talking about the Android environment in general that, as the articles clearly show, IS a considerable cause for concern, even if you use the Google store.

    There are plenty of qualified reports out there of how malware is beyond being a monumental problem for Android. INCREASING THOUSANDS OF PERCENT. Seriously. Deal with it.

    We’re done. You’re turning into a troll.

  • cynical1nsk

    Seriously? You’ve done nothing through out this entire discussion but say Android isn’t as secure as iOS. And there are just as many qualified reports that say that malware isn’t nearly the problem for Android that Apple would like you to believe. It’s just BS scare tactics to try to get people to buy Apple instead of Android.

    I’m turning into a troll huh? Someone’s a sore loser. Don’t go away mad…just go away. Have a nice day.