Android Jelly Bean App Encryption Bug Frustrates Developers

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One of the many new Android features Google announced when it revealed Jelly Bean to the world was a new encryption system, aimed at helping reduce the prevalence of Android app piracy. The new DRM would encrypt purchased apps as they were delivered from the Play Store, rendering them only usable on that particular device. While that sounded like great news for developers, it turns out that the system has been riddled by bugs, causing some apps to stop functioning altogether.

The crux of the issue seems to be that the Android AccountManager runs on phone boot-up before secure storage is properly mounted. When AccountManager can’t find the apps it’s looking for, it deletes the associated account info, rendering them unusable.

Google’s aware of the problem, but some developers aren’t happy with the response it’s taken. The company’s been less than forthcoming in discussing the bug, which is marked to be fixed in a future Android release. For the moment, Google seems to be sidestepping the unwanted behavior by having the Play store now deliver traditional unencrypted apps, which can be installed to the standard apps directory instead of secure storage. That might stop apps from breaking, but it appears to entirely defeat the point of the new Jelly Bean protections.

Source: Google
Via: The Droid Guy

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!