Google Fleshes Out Details of Android Nougat Security Enhancements
A new direct boot mode and a hardened media stack are just two of the enhancements in latest version of mobile operating system.With Google starting the rollout of its Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices, the company this week reviewed some of the security enhancements it has incorporated in the mobile operating system. Key among them are a new direct boot mode, a hardened media stack, improvements to the way Android handles Trusted Certificate Authorities, stricter enforcement of an existing verified boot feature and updates to the Linux kernel. Also new with the operating system is an improved software update process that allows for security patches to be delivered over the air and installed on a user's device without any user action or interruption. Google started shipping Android 7.0 Nougat about two weeks ago. The company's range of Nexus devices and its Pixel C tablet and General Mobile 4G smartphones will receive the new operating system first. Over the next few months, other handset makers are expected to incorporate the operating system on their devices as well. LG, one of the biggest manufacturers of Android smartphones in the world, is expected to be the first among them. The company has said that its new LG V20 smartphone, slated to ship this quarter, will come preinstalled with Nougat.
One of the most significant differences that users will see with the new Android version is their access to the phone app, alarm and messaging apps even before they type their PIN, password or pattern. The new direct boot capability in Android 7.0 ensures that the operating system is fully functional at boot time even as private application data remains encrypted and access to it limited until a password, PIN or pattern is entered.