Android Oreo Mobile OS Preview Reaches Developers

Daily Tech Briefing - March 24, 2017

DAILY VIDEO: Google releases early developers preview of Android O; Google continues to make strides in improving Android security; HashiCorp Vault Enterprise update manages distributed secrets; and there's more.

DAILY VIDEO: Google releases early developers preview of Android O; Google continues to make strides in improving Android security; HashiCorp Vault Enterprise update manages distributed secrets; and there's more.

Today’s topics include Google’s developer preview of Android O, Google’s efforts to improve Android security, HashiCorp’s latest Vault Enterprise 0.7 update and Epson’s move into the business printer market.

Google released this week a developer preview of Android O, the next version of its mobile operating system.

Android O, also called Oreo, in keeping with Google’s use of nicknames for its operating systems taken from candies and confections, consists mostly of incremental feature upgrades over the currently available version Android N, or Nougat.

Upgrades include improved battery life of Android devices, stored data capabilities for auto filling login and application notifications.

The developer preview is available through an updated software development kit that developers can use for testing the OS on devices like the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Google Pixel devices.

Google also released its Android Security 2016 Year in Review report this week. In it the company highlighted solid improvement for Android security last year.

The 71-page report provides extensive details on Google's progress on improving update rates, detecting potential risks and reducing the number of potentially harmful applications on Android devices.

Adrian Ludwig, director of Android security at Google, explained that a lot of the improvements in Android security are the result of “grinding work.” He noted his team is thinking about how they “protect an ecosystem that is a big and complicating thing.”

HashiCorp released its Vault Enterprise 0.7 update on March 21, providing organizations with new capabilities to help securely manage application secrets across a distributed platform.

Secrets in an enterprise security context refers to application tokens, passwords and user access, as well as privileged account management. Embedding access passwords in applications is generally considered unsafe.

An emerging best practice is to use a secret management technology like HashiCorp’s Vault to safely secure and inject passwords into applications as needed. Vault Enterprise is a superset of features that are contained in the open-source Vault project.

Epson is known for its consumer and photo printers. But with two new color inkjet printer models aimed at corporate workgroups and small to medium-size businesses, it’s moving into the business printer market.

Epson announced the WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 and the WorkForce Pro WF-C869R on March 20. The former is a multifunction printer that prints across an entire page using a series of side-by-side, direct-spraying ink heads rather than a single moveable ink head.

The latter is also multifunction printer that integrates a replaceable ink pack system to reduce printing costs for businesses.