Richmond Mathewson wrote:
> So, I wonder why there is not a way of putting one's iPad app onot the
> web in a way (and I don't mean via Cydia)
> that will allow people to download it onto their tablets
> independently, as one can do on an Android device?
Because China. And maybe Singapore, and a few others.
Android has an inappropriate reputation for malware, mostly due to
unscrupulous activities of some vendors in those regions.
True, given is vastly larger market size, there are more malware
*attempts* on Android than iOS.
But in terms of actual exploits the numbers are very close: most
devices exploited have been altered from the default settings Google and
Apple ship with.
Some carriers in Asia aren't shipping true Android phones. What they're
shipping are "Android-compatible", but they are not using the OS images
provided by Google. Android is open source so that's allowable, but to
use the Android trademark they need to be a member of the Android
Alliance, which requires following Google's security guidelines. In
countries like China, where intellectual property enforcement is more or
less nonexistent, some even claim to be authentic "Android" devices.
Many of these have their own app stores, and they have the built-in
protection against side-loading turned off so allow those custom apps
stores to work easily.
While Google provides at least seven layers of security for apps
distributed through Google Play, most of those are beyond the reach of
side-loaded apps through these hastily tossed-together third-party app
So on the rarer day when you see a tech journalist talking about actual
exploits rather than number of mere attempts, if you read past the
headlines you'll find that most of those exploits are occurring in Asian
and other markets on non-authentic Android-compatible devices, where
Google's security mechanisms have been bypassed.
In an ideal world, we'd recognize that everything connected to the
Internet is vulnerable to one degree or another, and cybersecurity
basics would be a required course in public school. Beyond the reach of
any OS vendor lie a nearly infinite variety of ways people can endanger
their privacy, data security, or even physical safety through a mix of
ignorance and a nearly complete lack of guidance from gadget vendors
(ever see a smart car dealer discuss how to avoid having your car
hijacked while you're driving it?).
But we don't live in an ideal world, and the average person apparently
has little interest in investing the time needed to use
Internet-connected devices safely (observe the widespread use of
Facebook by people announcing their going on vacation, thus signaling to
burglars which houses to target).
So for now vendors at least try to compensate for the public's apparent
disinterest in their own safety.
Those who care deeply about using devices they have complete control
over have plenty to choose from. Linux has become the de facto standard
for most forms of computing, and its license explicitly allows use for
any purpose whatsoever without restriction of any kind, all the way down
to guaranteeing source code availability.
Fourth World Systems
Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
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