ESET couldn’t have picked a better time to make a debut in the Android Market. Currently under yet another malware onslaught, the Market needs more major players from the system security genre to step into the foray. ESET Mobile Security is a comprehensive security suite for Android that includes an on-demand (user-requested) and on-access (event-triggered) scanner for viruses or spyware, SMS and MMS spam blocker, SIM authorization, remote control via SMS commands from an authorized phone number (or from Business Edition of ESET Smart Security and ESET NOD32 Antivirus), security audit, built-in task manager, automatic and manual security database updates and password protection for mentioned features. As of this writing, the app is in beta and available for free on the Android Market. However, there is no indication as to whether the final release will be free as well.
The interface is smooth, easy on the eyes and quite user-friendly. Each feature has a Help text that describes what each of the feature’s options do.
The Antivirus feature allows you to do a complete on-demand scan of your device, scan individual system and SD card folders, view scan logs, view, restore or delete quarantined files, enable or disable on-access scanning and more. The Antispam feature lets you block SMS/MMS or calls from a phone number of your choice. You can enter a new phone number, choose an existing contact and block messages and calls from all unknown numbers.
Anti-Theft options include adding Trusted SIM cards and phone numbers that will be alerted with an SMS upon installation of an unauthorized SIM. From Anti-Theft Settings, you can Enable SIM matching, allow remote control via SMS commands and alter the message body of the theft alert SMS. The Security Audit feature evaluates the status of applications and system settings. It also includes a comprehensive Task Manager that allows you to view and kill active Processes, Services and Tasks.
From within the Update screen, you can manually update the app’s virus database, set an interval for automatic updates or disable them entirely. The Password screen allows you to set a master password for the entire app. You can then select the features that you want it to protect. The password can even be set to protect the app from unauthorized uninstallation.
The application asks for administrator privileges at first launch. Oddly enough, it does not include the option to disable said privileges. Therefore, to uninstall the app, you’ll have to revoke its admin rights from device settings (Settings > Location and Security > Select device administrators > EMS).
You can grab the beta for free from the Android Market via the provided link or QR code.
Update: Eset Mobile Security is now out of beta. The final build is available on the Google Play Store as a free 30-day trial, after which you can purchase a $9.99 license that lasts for one year.