Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

Twitter seeks deeper Android integration with latest buy

by Kristen Nicole

It’s been made abundantly clear that Android isn’t the safest platform. Malware attacks have been on the rise, especially in the past year as Android devices become the most populous on the planet. A few companies have taken measures to improve Android security through encryption and backup services, and one’s even caught the eye of Twitter. Whisper Systems, an enterprise-grade security provider for Android devices, has been acquired by Twitter for an undisclosed amount, joining a handful of startups to be taken in by the company. It’s a surprising buy, as many are wondering what Twitter plans on doing with encryption tools.

Whisper Systems is currently in its beta phase with a number of products including WhisperCore 0.5, which protects Android device content. There’s also Flashback 0.1, which encrypts backups of device cloud content in the cloud, and RedPhone 0.4’s ability to secure and encrypt calls. What started as a product geared towards helping Android users hide from Google and carriers, Whisper Systems places the responsibility of security into the systems themselves.

It’s a good move for Twitter, according to TheNextWeb. Added security is something every social app should have, and Twitter in particular is in need of beefing up its security capabilities. Whisper System’s ability to integrate with the underlying Android OS for protecting device content could enable Twitter to more tightly incorporate its app on Android handsets. Twitter’s acquisition of the popular Tweetie iPhone app boosted the network’s iOS integration, and this latest buy may help Twitter burrow deeper into Android’s OS.

RIM supports rival OS’s with new service

Security remains a growing concern for Android users, and even RIM wants to help. The BlackBerry maker is extending its enterprise mobile management suite to support Android and iOS platforms in an effort to regain relevance in the rapidly shifting mobile industry. Called Mobile Fusion, the new service will sit alongside a BlackBerry Enterprise Server to manage devices running Android and iOS, as well as BlackBerry’s own PlayBook tablet (after their software upgrade next year). Fusion won’t be available until sometime in 2012, and no details have been released on pricing or the full functions for its Android support. However, RIM is already taking applications from companies interested in the closed beta.

RIM is known for its enterprise-grade services, giving a significant amount of control to a company’s IT department. IT administrators today have quite a time keeping networks and devices safe in a world where it’s commonplace to bring your own smartphone or tablet to the office. With an existing product line addressing the needs of the enterprise, RIM’s hoping to give clients what they need, even if that means helping them to manage rival operating systems.