Feeds

All Android apps are not made equal

Google's are more equal than others

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

With Android developers finally let loose with real hardware, some of the limitations of the Android SDK are coming to light - though it seems that applications coming out of the Googleplex aren't limited in quite the same way.

The first evidence of a hierachical strata of developers comes with access to APIs for installing applications, a capability that Google likes to restrict to their own Android Marketplace app. The issue has highlighted the lack of equality amongst developers, upsetting some idealists though Android reckons the community will have to give up a little openness for the sake of security.

Marketplace comes pre-installed on Android phones; Google's application repository can't be accessed any other way, and as such it has access to capabilities that won't be available to third-party developers. Specifically, the Android Marketplace can install other applications onto an Android phone without warning, or alerting, the user.

Here's the official Android response.

"At this point, we think it is too dangerous to give a third party application blanket access to install applications without the user being involved. That may change in the future, but for now that is the way it is."

This isn't going to affect most developers, of course, but should Handango decide to port InHand - an on-device application for buying apps from Handango - then application installation could well be complicated by repeated dialog boxes warning users of potential risks: in contrast to the smooth process promised by Marketplace.

There are significant security risks with allowing a third-party application carte blanche to do what it likes, but that was supposed to be part of the Android experience - allowing punters to take responsibility for their own security. Still, Google clearly believes that users can only be trusted so far. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.