When an app is using your phone's location via GPS, the top of your screen shows Location Accuracy for your Android device (a.k.a. Google Location Services) and on your mobile network, and you haven't turned off ELS, your phone will.
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Open play. Step 4: Check that you can find your device Open android. Sign in to your Google Account.
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Learn about user profiles. If you have more than one device, click this device at the top of the screen. Watch a video about finding your device Find My Device. Was this helpful? Yes No. However, root access can be obtained by exploiting security flaws in Android, which is used frequently by the open-source community to enhance the capabilities of their devices, but also by malicious parties to install viruses and malware.
Android is a Linux distribution according to the Linux Foundation ,  Google's open-source chief Chris DiBona ,  and several journalists. With the release of Android Oreo in , Google began to require that devices shipped with new SoCs had Linux kernel version 4. Existing devices upgraded to Oreo, and new products launched with older SoCs, were exempt from this rule.
On top of the Linux kernel, there are the middleware , libraries and APIs written in C , and application software running on an application framework which includes Java -compatible libraries.
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Development of the Linux kernel continues independently of Android's other source code projects. Following the trace-based JIT principle, in addition to interpreting the majority of application code, Dalvik performs the compilation and native execution of select frequently executed code segments "traces" each time an application is launched.
Bionic itself has been designed with several major features specific to the Linux kernel. At the same time, Bionic is licensed under the terms of the BSD licence , which Google finds more suitable for the Android's overall licensing model. Android does not have a native X Window System by default, nor does it support the full set of standard GNU libraries.
In current versions of Android, " Toybox ", a collection of command-line utilities mostly for use by apps, as Android does not provide a command-line interface by default , is used since the release of Marshmallow replacing a similar "Toolbox" collection found in previous Android versions.
Android's source code is released by Google under an open source license , and its open nature has encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open-source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which deliver updates to older devices, add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems. See List of custom Android distributions.
Historically, device manufacturers and mobile carriers have typically been unsupportive of third-party firmware development. Manufacturers express concern about improper functioning of devices running unofficial software and the support costs resulting from this.
As a result, technical obstacles including locked bootloaders and restricted access to root permissions are common in many devices. However, as community-developed software has grown more popular, and following a statement by the Librarian of Congress in the United States that permits the " jailbreaking " of mobile devices,  manufacturers and carriers have softened their position regarding third party development, with some, including HTC ,  Motorola ,  Samsung   and Sony ,  providing support and encouraging development.
As a result of this, over time the need to circumvent hardware restrictions to install unofficial firmware has lessened as an increasing number of devices are shipped with unlocked or unlockable bootloaders , similar to Nexus series of phones, although usually requiring that users waive their devices' warranties to do so.
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Internally, Android identifies each supported device by its device codename , a short string,  which may or may not be similar to the model name used in marketing the device. For example, the device codename of the Pixel smartphone is sailfish. The device codename is usually not visible to the end user, but is important for determining compatibility with modified Android versions. It is sometimes also mentioned in articles discussing a device, because it allows to distinguish different hardware variants of a device, even if the manufacturer offers them under the same name.
The device codename is available to running applications under android. They are reportedly able to read almost all smartphone information, including SMS, location, emails, and notes.
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GCHQ has, according to The Guardian , a wiki -style guide of different apps and advertising networks, and the different data that can be siphoned from each. The documents revealed a further effort by the intelligence agencies to intercept Google Maps searches and queries submitted from Android and other smartphones to collect location information in bulk.
Leaked documents published by WikiLeaks, codenamed Vault 7 and dated from —, detail the capabilities of the Central Intelligence Agency CIA to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare , including the ability to compromise the operating systems of most smartphones including Android. Research from security company Trend Micro lists premium service abuse as the most common type of Android malware, where text messages are sent from infected phones to premium-rate telephone numbers without the consent or even knowledge of the user.
Other malware displays unwanted and intrusive advertisements on the device, or sends personal information to unauthorised third parties. In August , Google announced that devices in the Google Nexus series would begin to receive monthly security patches. Google also wrote that "Nexus devices will continue to receive major updates for at least two years and security patches for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store.
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Google was starting from scratch with zero percent market share, so it was happy to give up control and give everyone a seat at the table in exchange for adoption. As such, security has become a big issue. Android still uses a software update chain-of-command designed back when the Android ecosystem had zero devices to update, and it just doesn't work". And a bunch of broken promises". They also wrote that "About half of devices in use at the end of had not received a platform security update in the previous year", stating that their work would continue to focus on streamlining the security updates program for easier deployment by manufacturers.
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Patches to bugs found in the core operating system often do not reach users of older and lower-priced devices. For example, Samsung has worked with General Dynamics through their Open Kernel Labs acquisition to rebuild Jelly Bean on top of their hardened microvisor for the "Knox" project. Android smartphones have the ability to report the location of Wi-Fi access points, encountered as phone users move around, to build databases containing the physical locations of hundreds of millions of such access points. These databases form electronic maps to locate smartphones, allowing them to run apps like Foursquare , Google Latitude , Facebook Places , and to deliver location-based ads.
In , the Which? This conclusion stemmed from the fact that no security updates were issued for the Android versions below 7. Google refused to comment on the watchdog's speculations. Android applications run in a sandbox , an isolated area of the system that does not have access to the rest of the system's resources, unless access permissions are explicitly granted by the user when the application is installed, however this may not be possible for pre-installed apps.
It is not possible, for example, to turn off the microphone access of the pre-installed camera app without disabling the camera completely. This is valid also in Android versions 7 and 8. Since February , Google has used its Google Bouncer malware scanner to watch over and scan apps available in the Google Play store.
Before installing an application, the Google Play store displays a list of the requirements an app needs to function.
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After reviewing these permissions, the user can choose to accept or refuse them, installing the application only if they accept. An opt-in system is used instead, in which users are prompted to grant or deny individual permissions to an app when they are needed for the first time. Applications remember the grants, which can be revoked by the user at any time.
Pre-installed apps, however, are not always part of this approach. In some cases it may not be possible to deny certain permissions to pre-installed apps, nor be possible to disable them. The Google Play Services app cannot be uninstalled, nor disabled. Any force stop attempt, result in the app restarting itself. Permissions can still be revoked for those apps, though this might prevent them from working properly, and a warning is displayed to that effect. Nova wrote that "The Android operating system deals with software packages by sandboxing them; this does not allow applications to list the directory contents of other apps to keep the system safe.
By not allowing the antivirus to list the directories of other apps after installation, applications that show no inherent suspicious behavior when downloaded are cleared as safe. The study by Fraunhofer AISEC, examining antivirus software from Avast , AVG , Bitdefender , ESET , F-Secure , Kaspersky , Lookout , McAfee formerly Intel Security , Norton , Sophos , and Trend Micro , revealed that "the tested antivirus apps do not provide protection against customized malware or targeted attacks", and that "the tested antivirus apps were also not able to detect malware which is completely unknown to date but does not make any efforts to hide its malignity".
In August , Google announced Android Device Manager renamed Find My Device in May ,   a service that allows users to remotely track, locate, and wipe their Android device,   with an Android app for the service released in December. On October 8, Google announced new Google Play store requirements to combat over-sharing of potentially sensitive information, including call and text logs.
The issue stems from the fact that many apps request permissions to access user's personal information even if this information is not needed for the app to function and some users unquestionably grant these permissions. Alternatively, a permission might be listed in the app manifest as required as opposed to optional and app would not install unless user grants the permission; user can withdraw any, even required, permission from any app in the device settings after app installation, but few users do this.
Google promised to work with developers and create exceptions if their apps require Phone or SMS permissions for "core app functionality". The new policies enforcement started on January 6, , 90 days after policy announcement on October 8, The API level requirement might combat practice of app developers bypassing some permission screens by specifying early Android versions that had more coarse permission model. The source code for Android is open-source : it is developed in private by Google, with the source code released publicly when a new version of Android is released.
Google publishes most of the code including network and telephony stacks under the non-copyleft Apache License version 2. Associated Linux kernel changes are released under the copyleft GNU General Public License version 2, developed by the Open Handset Alliance , with the source code publicly available at all times.
The reason, according to Andy Rubin in an official Android blog post, was because Honeycomb was rushed for production of the Motorola Xoom ,  and they did not want third parties creating a "really bad user experience" by attempting to put onto smartphones a version of Android intended for tablets. These applications must be licensed from Google by device makers, and can only be shipped on devices which meet its compatibility guidelines and other requirements. Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation have been critical of Android and have recommended the usage of alternatives such as Replicant , because drivers and firmware vital for the proper functioning of Android devices are usually proprietary, and because the Google Play Store application can forcibly install or uninstall applications and, as a result, invite non-free software; although the Free Software Foundation has not found Google to use it for malicious reasons.
Google licenses their Google Mobile Services software, along with Android trademarks, only to hardware manufacturers for devices that meet Google's compatibility standards specified in the Android Compatibility Program document. Moreover, open-source variants of some applications also exclude functions that are present in their non-free versions, such as Photosphere panoramas in Camera, and a Google Now page on the default home screen exclusive to the proprietary version "Google Now Launcher", whose code is embedded within that of the main Google application.
Apps that do not use Google components would also be at a functional disadvantage, as they can only use APIs contained within the OS itself. In March , it was reported that Google had begun to block "uncertified" Android devices from using Google Mobile Services software, and display a warning indicating that "the device manufacturer has preloaded Google apps and services without certification from Google". Alibaba Group defended the allegations, arguing that the OS was a distinct platform from Android primarily using HTML5 apps , but incorporated portions of Android's platform to allow backwards compatibility with third-party Android software.
Indeed, the devices did ship with an application store which offered Android apps; however, the majority of them were pirated.