Android Fragmentation and Security

Carl Weinschenk

The big news of the week is the Heartbleed bug. It’s unfortunate that the industry and, more importantly, end users still have to worry about such things. But bugs seem to be a constant in the technology world.

Here are some of the other interesting bits of news and commentary for this week:  

Fragmentation Chilling to Kingsley-Hughes

Fragmentation is a big issue for Android. Put simply, so many versions of Android are floating around that proper management and security is increasingly difficult. ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes points to a companion problem: These updates and new releases are propagated through the network in a multistep process involving original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and carriers. Neither party is particularly motivated to rush the new software to end users.


Kingsley-Hughes cites two recent bugs, Pileup and Heartbleed, that show the problematic nature of such fragmentation:

This should send chills down the spines of IT admins who have embraced Android for BYOD. It would chill me to the bone, and it would make me think twice about allowing old Android devices inside my digital fortress. Same would go for old iOS devices, but there some 87 percent of users are running iOS 7, with a further 11 percent running iOS 6. Fragmentation is far less of a problem here because Apple pushes updates direct to the users.

Take-Your-Google-Glasses-to-Work Days Coming

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Top 10 Mobile Technologies and Capabilities for 2015 and 2016

Wearable computing is a hot topic among consumers. One form of wearables, eyewear (in particular, Google Glass), is ideally suited to the enterprise. Google is so far the highest profile company vying for the eyeballs of the world.

The company understands the business applications of its technology and has inaugurated the Glass at Work program. The idea seems to be a solid one, with possible applications as diverse as helping workers in real time on difficult remote assignment and aiding doctors during surgery.

It is interesting, then, that the main example the company offered is really a retail implementation: Letting fans of the Washington Capitals hockey team use Google Glass to see replays, statistics and different camera angles.

Verizon to Link Private Clouds

ZDNet’s Larry Dignan reports that Verizon has launched a “secure cloud interconnect service” that will link Microsoft Azure and Equinix’ private clouds. The fabric will be based on Internet Protocol (IP). The most interesting element of the creation of the Verizon Secure Cloud Interconnect service, according to Dignan, is Verizon’s positioning:

Verizon's approach is notable as it aims to use its core strengths as a telecom provider to carve out a cloud computing niche. Verizon also owns Terremark, a major cloud computing player.

The secure cloud will include an allocation of bandwidth, app performance and quality of service (QoS) monitoring, usage billing and central management.

Smart App Process Market to Hit $30 Billion in 2018

The forecast is good for the growth of smartphone app processors, according to Strategy Analytics. The firm says that revenues will reach the $30 billion mark by 2018. The drivers, according to Senior Analyst Sravan Kundojjala, will be LTE-Advanced, 64-bit, multi-core and semiconductor process technologies.

The dynamics of the sector are changing, however: Vendors who specialize in integrated approaches, which the release says include Qualcomm, MediaTek, Spreadtrum, Broadcom and Marvell, will cause the standalone processor market share to fall from 38 percent in 2012 to 28 percent in 2018.

Work on Fast Device Charging Accelerates

And, finally, comes a story about radically reducing the time that it takes to do a chore. NewsFactor reports that an Israeli company has a prototype of a smartphone charger that can do its job in 30 seconds. The company, StoreDot, is a commercial spinoff from Tel Aviv University’s nanotechnology department. Currently, the prototype is designed for the Samsung Galaxy S4. The new charger is expected to be ready for release in 2016.

This is not the first news of an initiative aimed at fast phone charging. Last May, Eesha Khare, a then 18-year-old high school student from California, won the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a supercapacitor capable of charging phones in the same timeframe. The Telegraph reports that Khare and StoreDot may work together.



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