Android 12 is Going to be Google’s Most Secure Operating System Ever – Here’s Why

Android 12

Android has been a very open style of operating system for a while now. This gives users deep device access, which has led to somewhat weaker security than what you would find on Apple devices. However, Android 12 aims to change that.

With Android 12, Google plans to change this by providing something called Private Compute Core. This is a unified, secure environment that acts as a sandbox for features that process sensitive data. With the help of Private Compute Core, Android isolates ML-enabled sensitive data from the rest of the OS and other apps you may have installed on your device. Thanks to this approach, features inside Private Compute Core do not have direct access to the Internet.

This is not a completely new feature. We have seen Apple develop its T2 chip, back in 2017, which is essentially used by Apple devices for encryption and storing sensitive data such as your encrypted keys, including keys for Face ID and Touch ID, FileVault, and macOS Keychain.

Apple T2 APL1027
Apple T2 Chip

Android 12’s Private Compute Core will be a software-based solution effectively doing the same thing, separating the processing of sensitive data by using the Private Compute Core to protect user privacy, something Microsoft is also pushing with its upcoming Windows 11 by making TPM chips mandatory, to be eligible to get the update.

With that said, let’s take a look at the features that will be using Google’s new Private Compute Core:

  • Now Playing: Now playing is a Pixel-exclusive feature that automatically identifies music playing near you without having to use a separate app to identify songs. It accesses the microphone, and Private Compute Core will help isolate the data processing involved here.
  • Live Caption: Live Caption automatically generates captions to media you play on your phone. The feature uses Google’s on-device speech recognition to generate captions. Considering the fact that it requires access to the media for the feature to work as intended, Google has made the right call to integrate it to Private Compute Core.
  • Smart Reply: is another crucial area where Private Compute Core is beneficial. Since the feature relies on suggesting relevant replies to your texts in messaging apps, privacy is a core aspect here. According to Google, Android will keep your reply hidden from the keyboard and the messaging app until you choose to tap the suggestion

Android 12’s Private Compute Core Services are open-source, just like Android’s source code. Thanks to its open-source nature, security researchers can easily audit the Private Compute Core to ensure the features safety, while ironing out the security bugs initially, that can cause issues down the lane.

Apart from Private Compute Core Android 12 will also ship with a feature called privacy dashboard. This allows users to have more control over their privacy. Making Android 12 one of the most secure and privacy-centred operating systems released by Google to date.

Android 12 privacy dashboard beta
Android 12’s Privacy Dashboard

As of now, many features are under development or only Pixel-exclusive. We’ll have to wait and watch, on how this will be implemented on other non-pixel devices.

What do you think about this feature and what other features would you like to see in Private Compute Core? Share your thoughts in the comments. Until then, stay tuned to Oyprice and subscribe to our YouTube channel for regular news and updates.

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