Tim Cook says Android has 47 times more malware than iOS because of sideloading

midian182

Posts: 6,912   +62
Staff member
A hot potato: Tim Cook has poured more fuel into the Apple vs. Android debate by claiming Google's OS has 47 times more malware than Cueprtino's, primarily because of how difficult iOS makes sideloading apps. He added that if Apple was forced to allow the practice, it would destroy the security of the iPhone.

Speaking to Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of media company Brut, Cook reiterated Apple's focus on user privacy. "We've been focused on privacy for over a decade. We see it as a basic human right. A fundamental human right," the Apple boss said.

Cook also spoke about the Digital Markets Act (DMA) being proposed by the European Commission, including parts he claimed are "not in the best interests of the user."

"The current DMA language that is being discussed would force sideloading on the iPhone," he said. "That would destroy the security of the iPhone and a lot of the privacy initiatives that we've built into the App Store, where we have privacy nutrition labels and App Tracking Transparency where it forces people to get permission to track across apps."

"These things would not exist anymore except in people that stuck in our ecosystem, and so I worry deeply about privacy and security."

Cook added that Android devices are responsible for 47 times more malware infections than iOS. He's likely referring to this 2019 report from Nokia, but an updated 2020 version shows malware detection on Android fell to 26.6% while the iPhone rose from 1% to 1.6%.

"It's because we've designed iOS in such a way that there's one App Store and all the apps are reviewed prior to going on the store," Cook elaborated.

While it's true that we've seen many malware-infected apps sneak onto the Play Store, Apple's store isn't perfect. A recent report showed that almost 2% of the 1,000 top-grossing iPhone apps are scams, and there was the case of an iPhone user losing $600,000 after downloading a scam Bitcoin app from the App Store.

All phone users are warned of the dangers of downloading apps outside of their official stores. Google does make it easy by using the install "unknown apps" option, and while the same thing is possible on iPhones, it requires a lot more work, such as jailbreaking or using developer tools.

Elsewhere in the interview, Cook hinted that the Apple Car was still in development. "In terms of a car," the CEO said, "I've gotta keep secrets, and there always has to be something up our sleeve." He also suggested that reports of a future Apple Watch with a constant, non-invasive blood glucose monitoring feature are accurate.

h/t: Android Authority

Permalink to story.

 

Hexic

Posts: 986   +1,430
TechSpot Elite
Side loading is not in Apple's best interest of their userbase. Big difference.

Those who don't need training wheels, or bumpers in bowling realize that it is significantly more difficult today to catch a virus from an Android app if you utilize common sense then it has ever been.

Apple will continue to over blow this issue because their user base believe that limiting your rights and access "just keeps you safe".
 

Xex360

Posts: 88   +108
I've had experience with iPhone and experience with Android. I choose iPhone.

Cook is right: locking down the platform makes it easier to develop for and easier to update/patch.

That's just facts.
The opposite for me, iOS is inferior to Android it's even inferior to Symbian because if the stupid limitations.
Load of rubbish, Android is open source you can develop for it by yourself if you want and test it on your own device.
To be fair to Apple they are doing a good job updated their phones, and hardware wise they still have the fastest phones out there unfortunately let down by the software, but at least better than Samsung and their pathetic overpriced junk.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,099   +3,257
I actually prefer iOS because of the limitations.... this means the average user can operate hassle-free... and the intelligent one can jailbreak and/or sideload in order to get the experience they desire... win/win in my book :)
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 713   +1,268
I think the big issue here is very clear all the way back to Tim's language: It doesn't matter what Apple thinks would make the device more or less secure: Once the sale is done, IT IS NO LONGER THEIR DEVICE OR THEIR DECISION.

Apple can still make aaaall the claims about security in the world they want by selling every single iPhone without sideloading apps by default and then provide a disclaimer about "47 times more malware if you do this" when the users try to deactivate the protection to sideload apps. This wouldn't be unreasonable at all.

What's unreasonable is that Apple thinks *they* should be the ones deciding what a user does with their device after they've sold it. They simply do not have a right to tell a consumer what to do with their product once the transaction is complete and Apple gets their 1k USD. I can smash it with a hammer, I can set it on fire and I also should be able not only to sideload but completely replace the OS on the phone and risk bricking it if I want to, since I PAID FOR IT ALREADY.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 282   +407
I actually prefer iOS because of the limitations.... this means the average user can operate hassle-free... and the intelligent one can jailbreak and/or sideload in order to get the experience they desire... win/win in my book :)

Well if you want to jailbreak you nearly always need to run years old versions of iOS... There is not keeping up to date with a jailbreak.

Thing about sideloading is that it is an option than 90% of users will never use. But the ability to do so is something anyone should want as a right. If you dont sideload, you have nothing to fear. This is nothing more fear mongering at the finest. Even with android the only way to get malware via sideloading is sideloading cracked/patched/fake apps that are infected. The downside of trying to pirate crap for free.

Allowing Sideloading will never effect your personal security or privacy unless apple themselves have provided users with devices that are a security risk to each other once one gets cracked.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 713   +1,268
Allowing Sideloading will never effect your personal security or privacy unless apple themselves have provided users with devices that are a security risk to each other once one gets cracked.
We're all like 99.99% sure that's not the case: They just don't want you to sideload a competitor for Facetime, for iMessage, etc. And they specially don't want you to sideload Fortnite and not get 30% from all their sales.

Apple should be glad I think they're actually quite competent at creating their OS and that I think it would be inherently secure with the option to manually sideload apps was added: I think the people doing the actual code are competent and the talking heads making all the billions are the ones that just make stuff up like "47 times more malware!" to keep their brand prison they like to call "ecosystem"
 

psycros

Posts: 3,494   +4,179
Android is a hellhole of malware and Google doesn't care because they still get to spy on you. As much as I hate to admit it, Apple's elitist approach is better for average users. Besides, its only a tiny fraction of Android users who sideload stuff (at least in western countries where Google and big phone manufacturers make most of their money).
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,099   +3,257
Well if you want to jailbreak you nearly always need to run years old versions of iOS... There is not keeping up to date with a jailbreak.

Thing about sideloading is that it is an option than 90% of users will never use. But the ability to do so is something anyone should want as a right. If you dont sideload, you have nothing to fear. This is nothing more fear mongering at the finest. Even with android the only way to get malware via sideloading is sideloading cracked/patched/fake apps that are infected. The downside of trying to pirate crap for free.

Allowing Sideloading will never effect your personal security or privacy unless apple themselves have provided users with devices that are a security risk to each other once one gets cracked.
if you’re running an older device (iPhone X or older) ANY version of iOS can be jailbroken.... and if not, iOS 14.3 and below can be jailbroken....That’s not “years old“ version of iOS - try a few months...
 

mountains

Posts: 30   +50
Let me add my voice to the multitudes that believe having the OPTION to sideload is critical. There are things I like and dislike (a lot) about both major platforms. However; I just can't consider the Apple side without having a choice in what I install on it. This is the number one deal killer for me.

Does it add risk? Perhaps a tiny amount, but if the user sticks to the open source world (like F-Droid) its not really an issue. Like anything, there are good and bad ways of doing it. There are also pretty good ways to scan apps for problems if you know what you are doing.

BTW, some of you here had some pretty good comments! Dimitriid, I particularly like your argument that we should be even allowed to put our choice of O/S on our devices. Thanks all!
 

waclark

Posts: 51   +43
snip

Those who don't need training wheels, or bumpers in bowling realize that it is significantly more difficult today to catch a virus from an Android app if you utilize common sense then it has ever been.

Apple will continue to over blow this issue because their user base believe that limiting your rights and access "just keeps you safe".

For you and me, it's a no brainer. But consider there are lots of folks out there, old and young, who don't necessarily know how to avoid malware. There is some satisfaction knowing that when I buy a product it won't blow up in my face and kill me. Not that malware will kill you, per se, but it could be catastrophic having your identity stolen and your personal data plastered all over the Internet.

They way I look at it is if you don't like Apple's walled-garden then go Android. Forcing Apple to open up isn't really fair to them or their customers that chose those phones because it is a closed environment. And given that we have the ability to jail-break iPhones I really don't see a problem.
 

mgilbert

Posts: 30   +68
IOS is fine for those in technological diapers, who don't know what they're doing, and couldn't care less about learning, but for those of who actually want to use our devices the way we want, and who want to get the most out of them, we'll stick with Android. So, IOS is more immune to malware - well, so is a rock...
 

mgilbert

Posts: 30   +68
Android is a hellhole of malware and Google doesn't care because they still get to spy on you. As much as I hate to admit it, Apple's elitist approach is better for average users. Besides, its only a tiny fraction of Android users who sideload stuff (at least in western countries where Google and big phone manufacturers make most of their money).

It's not better for average users, but total novices who have no desire to learn.
 

waclark

Posts: 51   +43
IOS is fine for those in technological diapers, who don't know what they're doing, and couldn't care less about learning, but for those of who actually want to use our devices the way we want, and who want to get the most out of them, we'll stick with Android. So, IOS is more immune to malware - well, so is a rock...
Nice try with the insults. Makes your whole argument invalid.

Most people don't want to have to "learn" something when buying a commonplace device like a cell phone. They want to turn it on, make some calls, send some IMs, maybe watch a movie or play a game. And they don't want to have to worry that some app is scraping their bank account info out of their messaging app.

So Android can be configured in a million ways, so can a box of Legos. What's your point? I find it humorous when people have to denigrate others to justify their choices. Enjoy your Android phone, they're pretty good.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 658   +1,229
Damn, I know that companies lies, but this dude is not only lying, but insulting everyone by thinking that all are as stupid as the rabid cult members, like the ones at Ars.

The only reasons they dont allow sideloading is because they wont be able to make money out of apps and stores installed that way.

Simple as that.
 
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