Attributes of Mobile Device Security: Android vs iOS

Recently the iPhone’s rigorous security protections has been underscored by the decision of UK Ministry of Defence where the ministry focused to opt for Apple’s iPhone7. It considered this to be a “device of choice” for delivering of the sensitive communications in order to justify the utmost security against vicious actors.

iPhone vs. Android or to be more precise iOS vs. Android are considered to be the biggest rivalry in the tech ecosystem even in the best part of the decade. It witnessed the dominance of desktop wars between Apple and Microsoft and even Apple and IBM long ago. Currently there are more than 850 million active iPhone users but still the decision lies on you to select the best clan judiciously.

When it comes to the level of enterprise app development, it must be focussed that security is postulated at the highest peak. Although both the operating systems looks for the some way or the other in segmentation of enterprise data and even storing it with precautious. Both the operating system has been come upon with the serious security vulnerabilities where both the operating systems are suspected to malware attacks, although this vulnerability is quite high in case of Android rather than iOS.

The landscape

According to Dionisio Zumerie, Gartner analyst, he proclaimed the fact that mobile security is perhaps in a better position. The main reason behind mobile platforms elevated with the existed knowledge of personal computing since the previous decades. Security mechanisms are getting stronger such as app store distribution, app sandboxing, as well as user permissions.

With the security vulnerabilities for instance xCodeGhost and Stagefright vulnerabilities, cyber -attacks are growing with more sophistications. But it must be prioritised to the fact that both Google and Apple are somewhat recognizing the security sincerity and hence they are trying to mitigate the additional risks involved. Both the giants are somewhat taking the concept with utmost importance and hence taking steps to enhance the concept of security more seriously.


iPhone is known to take the robust approach partly because Apple is known to control the ecosystem of the entire device from hardware to software. It relies on the robust encryption practices even throughout the platform. But how these encryption practices established itself?

iPhones are more private

The main reason behind this can be the privacy measures built, more specifically in the recent generation of iPhone and also the statement and actions by Apple in favour of user privacy.

  • Introduction of Touch ID, iPhone 5s was the first iPhone which was compatible to feature a security measure that was declare Secure Enclave by Apple. This is the sub-section within the processor chip that is efficient enough to store the security-critical data.
  • At the end of 2015, the Secure Enclave came into the picture which means that even Apple itself cannot break an iPhone and has been encrypted with the password.

iPhones are more secure

iOS is considered to be the closed platform whereas Android is easier to break the encryption. It can be given some weightage that approximately 44 percent were still stick to the “Gingerbread” version which was already introduced two years earlier which was contrasting comparing the iOS scenario. Different handset makers enhances the different flavours of Android which give rise to more fragmentation and hence it quite difficult to push adequate security patches on a regular interval.

Apple is known to take bold decisions as far as security measures are concerned. In September 2015, multiple apps even from the reputed companies were strictly eliminated from the App store due to the visibility of XCodeGhost malware.


After realizing the Security potentials, Google has also initiated with the plethora of changes in order to make the security conditions a bit robust. Google have also taken similar steps to iOS as far as elimination of harmful apps are concerned. The most robust strategy taken by Android is the enhanced hardware-backed security functionality.

Google has recently confirmed automatic security updates in order to make quicker as well as simplified version to patch the application.

  • Direct boot

When the phone is powered up, then Direct boot enables to split everything into two parts. The first group will be Device Encrypted storage where the apps as well as data are enabled to do everything before a user can even make the device unlocked. The concept is that everything would be tucked in a separate storage area and even credential Encrypted storage that cannot be accessed unless the device is unlocked.

  • Chrome-like updates

You might be accustomed with the little arrow that pops up occasionally that updates are ready to be installed. But in case of Android there are various issues associated with the updates installations.

It has been observed that the security updates are neglected a lot by the Android users. At the end, it comes under more vulnerability of security issues for couple of months. If the new updated system is installed, it ensures to optimise all the apps which ensures the seamless working of the operating system.

  • No more stagefright vulnerability

Stagefright has been the ongoing security issue for Android over quite a long time. It had even come up with the Stagefright Detector app. But the main reason behind the vulnerability is the underlay media framework which Google had completely taken apart. Android N has reduced the probability of vulnerability. 

At the beginning of the year 2016, Samsung even come up with the Knox security system to be used by Google specifically on the Android device but suffered host of security issues.

Although it is expected that Android will lag behind because of its limited capabilities, more specifically deficiency of potential integrations. Because of these issues of implementations, it can be further difficult for the users as well to install with the newest updates.

Which platform has conquered?

This would be wrong enough to think that only Android is vulnerable to security issues. Although both the operating systems have taken robust strategies but iOS is considered to be competent rather than the Android equivalents. Hence iOS is more secured indeed but cannot be relied upon completely.

So the ultimate winner in this intense competition would be users with the consistency of experience and leveraging the security measures taken by Apple and Google in order to stay ahead in this fierce competition. 

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