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Google prepares to unwrap more security treats for Android Lollipop

It's Trick or Treat time from the Android engineering team.
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Written by Rachel King, Staff Writer on

With Halloween at the end of the week, Google is already doling out some goodies to keep its users safe and happy.

The Internet giant highlighted a number of new security features coming to the fifth iteration of the Android mobile operating system, codenamed Lollipop.

"So, not only is Lollipop is the sweetest update of Android to date, we also built in a rigid (security) Lollipop stick for the core and and kevlar wrapping on the outside—to keep you safe from the bad guys, inside and out," quipped Android's lead security engineer Adrian Ludwig in a blog post on Tuesday.

On the outer core of Lollipop is a new function dubbed Smart Lock, which lets users unlock their mobile devices through three methods: Bluetooth pairing, NFC, "or simply your smile," as Ludwig described facial recognition. Users can also configure Smart Lock to allow notifications to be accessible from the lock screen while still keeping devices protected.

Closer to the core of Lollipop are some more nitty-gritty security layers.

These additions might garner more attention with business users as well. Google engineers built Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) further into the Android security model and core of the OS to improve attack monitoring and auditing.

SELinux Enforcing mode will now be required for for all applications on all devices running Android 5.0. Also becoming a default setting for all devices running Lollipop is full device encryption for digital information.

Ludwig promised that with this unique key that "never leaves the device," it is the safest possible way to keep a smartphone or tablet protected.

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