GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that it will offer out of the box encryption in the next version of Android.
Android L, as it is presrently known, will join Apple's iOS 8, which also offers always on encryption, as explained by Apple CEO Tim Cook in an open letter this week.
Although Google claims that it had always intended to use encryption in Android L, it was only after Apple's announcement that Google revealed that its customers will also see the benefits.
"For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement," company spokeswoman Niki Christoff told the Washington Post, "As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won't even have to think about turning it on."
Both companies hope to reassure users dismayed by the revelations made by Edward Snowden relating to monitoring of mobile communications by British and American intelligence agencies.
Law enforcement agencies have warned that it could impede their ability to investigate criminal cases if they are not able to tap suspects' phones.
However, because of the breadth of the Android ecosystem it will be a long time before many devices are encrypted, if ever, as the decision whether to offer Android L build lies with each phone maker.
Google hasn't announced the release date of Android L, or even a final name, but most phone makers have committed that their high-end and new devices will run it. Nexus devices are slated for release in October or November, and HTC has committed to updating its HTC One range within 90 days of release. µ
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