The power of Search, now across apps

A task as simple as choosing a movie to see can actually be complex — and the information you want can be in several different places, often in apps. You might get your trivia from IMDb, the box office stats from Wikipedia and ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. Starting today, Google can save you the digging for information in the dozens of apps you use every day, and get you right where you need to go in those apps with a single search. Google Search can make your life a little easier by fetching the answer you need for you — whether it’s on the web, or buried in an app.

Getting you there faster
Let’s say you’re getting ready for the holidays but can’t remember the name of that classic Christmas movie you want to show your children. Now, you can use Google search to find the movie and learn more about it in one of your favorite apps.

Helping you find just the right app
Sometimes, the best answer for a search can be an app. Say you want to explore downhill skiing — now, you can just ask Google for downhill skiing apps and get a collection of useful apps.

These new features are rolling out now on Android (through the Google Search app or directly in Chrome and Android browsers). App listings for from Google Play will appear in search when they’re relevant. You’ll be able to search within a select number of apps initially (learn more). We’re working with developers to add more over the coming months (if you’re a developer, learn more). 

This is just one step toward bringing apps and the web together, making it even easier to get the right information, regardless of where it’s located.

Posted by Scott Huffman, VP of Engineering

The value of openness in Android security

If you use an Android phone or tablet, there are a lot of benefits that come from Android’s open nature--customization and choice are the most obvious. But an often overlooked benefit of openness is security: by developing in the open, anyone can check Android’s code to verify that it’s trustworthy or discover areas where it can be improved. Furthermore, the security community can even write code to make Android stronger and protect it against unrealized attacks.

Google has always worked closely with the security industry to make the products you use safer and more secure, and we wanted to highlight a few recent examples of that cooperation on Android:

  • Android, now part of the Google Patch Reward Program: That’s right, Google actually pays developers when they contribute security-related patches to popular open source projects, and Android is now a part of this program. As a user, this means that you have the broader security community looking out for you and preventing possible threats, before they are acted upon. 
  • Security improvements in Android 4.4, from the community: In Android 4.4, we reinforced the Android sandbox (which prevents applications from extending outside of their own area and damaging other parts of a device) by putting SELinux into enforcing mode, providing one of the strongest security systems available. The core of SELinux, as well as many of the Android specific extensions have been contributed by third-parties through open source, an example of real security improvements from the community you can use today. 
  • Pwn2Own Mobile, with Android: Android was a contributor to the bounty in this year’s PacSec Security conference, where teams of security researchers tried to exploit popular mobile devices. And while no exploit was found in Android on the Nexus devices provided, we were ready and waiting to create a patch in the event of an exploit! 
The Android team works very closely with the security research community at large to foster public discussions and implement improvements such as the ones above. This openness has helped make the Android phone or tablet you carry with you everyday much more secure.

Posted by Adrian Ludwig, Android Security Engineer