Android Lollipop was rumoured to roll out on November 3, 2014. The new Nexus devices are now available and those who get their hands on one will be among the first to use the stable Lollipop OS. Android updates are not like iOS updates; they roll out over extended time periods that are months long, and they aren’t made universally available to all devices running Android. Many device owners will wait a considerably long time for an update to become available. This is a given when you decide to use Android but with Lollipop, there is more excitement and anticipation surrounding this release and you may be wondering why this update, of all the others, is such a big deal. The shortest answer we can give you is Security. Android Lollipop is big on it and we’re detailing just what the new security features are.
Malware, spam, information theft, backdoors to our information, and ads in our notification center are just some of the reasons that people avoid Android. The standard argument is that Android is not secure and you never know when an app might start stealing your information. iOS users like to bring up sandboxing to explain why iOS apps can steal information often unaware the Android does indeed sandbox apps. With Android Lollipop, security is now a top concern and they’ve borrowed a little something from iOS in this regard; security is much simpler and enabled by default.
Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a kernel module that limits what information an app can access thus limiting vulnerabilities in an app. This module existed in previous versions of Android but with Lollipop it has been implemented at a deeper core level making it significantly more effective. All apps will be required to enforce SELinux so the new security measures aren’t just on the OS side, developers will be made to comply with it.
Device encryption has been possible on Android for quite awhile but it was never enabled by default, nor were users ever actively made aware the option existed. You can chalk this up to users just choosing to be lazy or ignorant but in the end, it is about compromised data and no one should have to search too hard for a way to secure their device. With Android Lollipop, when users power devices on for the first time, they will be asked to enable encryption. Before. it had to be located and enabled from the Settings app
Smart Lock Screens that unlock in the presence of paired devices will let you skip entering a passcode. Many users don’t set a password of any kind because unlocking a device is a nuisance when you check your device very often. This feature is built to take the inconvenience out of it. Your phone will be able to identify that it’s you based on other known devices that you own being nearby. The feature will probably work best if you pair the device with an Android wearable.
The Kill Switch is both a great new addition and a legal requirement as of 2014. It has to be manually enabled on the device but once that’s done, you can use the Google Device Manager and remotely wipe your device clean.
Android Lollipop is Google being more proactive about protecting data loss and/or theft. It identified stolen devices to be the number one cause of data being stolen and you can see that apart from the new security module, the other three features are geared more towards preventing theft of this nature.