Mobile Security: Apple vs. Android

When Tim Cook spoke at the Worldwide Developers Conference, he talked about various issues, including how running the latest mobile operating system is a breeze to Apple users. The Apple CEO, together with his senior executives, discussed the new mobile security features found in both iOS 6 and Mountain Lion.

According to the senior VP of iOS software, Scott Forstall, more than 80 percent of iPad and iPhone users run iOS 5. On the other hand, only seven percent of Android users run the latest Android 4.0 operating system, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Forstall presented statistics showing that most Android devices still run version 2.3 or Gingerbread. This means Apple users benefit from the latest security better than their Android counterparts.

One of the things that put people off Android is the difficulty in updating the operating system and get better mobile security. Google, device manufacturers and cell phone providers must agree before any new OS update is released.

This is because it may be necessary to tweak the operating system for it to work well with particular devices. The concerned hardware manufacturers must be involved in the process and the updates will only reach the consumers when the cell phone providers agree to roll them out.

For iPad or iPhone users, however, all it takes is for Apple to publish a mobile security update. Since the company totally controls the hardware, it can deliver  security updates directly to the consumers over the Internet.

Consumers are more comfortable with their mobile security if any discovered vulnerability can be patched almost immediately. Many of the users are wary of waiting for several third parties or resorting to rooting their devices to install other people’s mobile security updates.

This does not mean that Apple is always right when it comes to mobile security or that they do not need to make any improvements in their response and openness. However, the fact still remains that the way the company handles mobile security is better.

According to the stats from Apple, most iPads and iPhones run the latest operating system versions. Apart from the new features users will get the opportunity to enjoy, this also ensures they get the latest security fixes. This is especially important considering the current mobile security concerns.