I Os Vs. Android: Which Is More Secure?

iOS vs. Android: Which is More Secure?


Yancy Marry

While the iOS platform still dominates the mobile application industry, the Android platform is gradually gaining in popularity. The mobile market worldwide is thriving on the sales of apps and devices running both the Android and iOS operating systems. In the face of the rapidly rising usage of both OS platforms, mobile market researchers have come up with security issues that concern the users of both Google s Android and Apple s iOS platforms; these issues are reportedly the concern of not only the mobile customers but also the software developers. Below is a comprehensive discussion of which OS platform is more secure:

1. Application distribution channels The Android platform provides more methods and opportunities for loading mobile apps in the devices. For instance, all mobile devices running this platform support the storage of multiple apps while also allowing over the air large scale application distribution. iOS apps on the other hand can be distributed only through Apple s App Store. Hence, this makes the latter more secure than the former.


2. Security testing of apps The verification level of security of mobile apps is not the same in separate Android Marketplaces or even in the Apple App Store. Testing of apps is no longer a secure operation in either the Google or the Apple application stores. The privacy matters of apps are not tested thoroughly in both stores. Moreover, reports of unauthorized access to the sensitive information stored in iOS apps and Android mobile applications have surfaced in the recent past. Therefore, in terms of testing, neither the iOS nor the Android platform is secure.

3. Data encryption techniques The levels of data encryption on both OS platforms are different. The type of encryption depends largely on the mobile device in which apps are running. Though both the Android and iOS operating systems come armed with mechanisms which support the storage of secrets in the ciphertext mode on disks, the developers do not take advantage of this feature while designing the encryption techniques. For instance, all information that is encrypted on a device can also be stored in the form of plain texts and synced to your PC, but this feature is never accessed by the developers.

4. The access control to the apps In both the Android and iOS platforms, access control is permission based. But if reports of mobile market researchers are to be believed, the model followed by Google is comparatively better than that followed by Apple. The static list that comes up inside an Android manifest asks permission from Android app users each time an application request is made. The list is presented to the user at the time when he/she is about to install the app in the device. The reason why iOS apps fail to provide better access control is because of the fact that whenever an app makes a request for protected features during runtime, a dialog box pops up right at the middle of the device screen asking for permission from the user as whether he/she would like to provide access to the resource through app usage. Whenever the user clicks on no , the app fails to install.

It is difficult to speak in favor or against either the iOS or the Android platform in terms of which provides better security of apps to the user. The way of using the device plays a major role in determining the security level.

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