To Android or Not?

We’ve gotten a few requests from potential users of Q-Scribe to develop an Android platform. When we started developing Q-Scribe, the only viable platform for tablets was iOS. From a usability standpoint based on our testing of Android tablets, we didn’t feel Android was ready for mainstream use until the JellyBean release. So we have been considering whether to develop Q-Scribe for the Android platform. However, after reading this report (Mobile Threat Report Q4 2012) from F-Secure, a leading computing security firm, we are really hesitant to move to the Android platform.

Android malware has been strengthening its position in the mobile threat scene. Every quarter, malware authors bring forth new threat families and variants to lure more victims and to update the existing ones. In the fourth quarter alone, 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered, which almost doubles the number recorded in the previous quarter.

Looking at the chart below (from the report), there are a huge number of threats showing up on Androids “open” platform every quarter.

Android Threats

Android has 79% of the security threats.

Android threats

Many technology writers have chided Apple’s “walled garden” approach. However, Apple’s approach certainly seems to be paying off. Why would business and enterprise want to subject themselves and their employees’ security to these threats? Apple’s iOS certainly seems like the clear winner to me in regards to security.

Malicious actions carried out by these programs include (but are not limited to) installing hidden objects as well as hiding the objects from the user, creating new malicious objects, damaging or altering any data without authorization, and stealing any data or access credentials

I’m not saying Q-Scribe will never be on Android, but someone is going to have to convince me that the security risks are worth it. iOS is the clear winner in the security category..

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