Google trumpeted an impressive figure releasing its Google Music service today, announcing that its Android operating system has been activated on more than 200 million devices around the world.
The figure puts the search giant in striking distance of Apple’s iOS, which had been activated on 250 million devices as of October 4, according to CEO Tim Cook.
The growth is impressive given that iOS had a 15-month headstart, releasing in June 2007 compared with Android’s September 2008.
A lot of Android’s success is attributed to its open standards; however, the downside of this configuration is starting to be realised, with Juniper Research noting a 472% rise in Android malware in just the last four months.
A blog post from Juniper’s Global Threat Centre says malware is not only becoming more common, but also more sophisticated.
"In the early spring, we began seeing Android malware that was capable of leveraging one of several platform vulnerabilities that allowed malware to gain root access on the device, in the background, and then install additional packages to the device to extend the functionality of the malware,” the blogger writes.
"Today, just about every piece of malware that is released contains this capability, simply because the vulnerabilities remain prevalent in nearly 90% of Android devices being carried around.”
With an estimated 550,000 Android devices being activated every day, the appeal of the platform to malware writers is only going to grow.