Impressions from the Made by Google Event

Today, I tuned in to watch the “Made by Google” event, and below are some of my quick thoughts on what was unveiled.

The new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones look cool. They are the first phones to include a radar sensor, which is impressive. The new sensor allows people to control their phones through simple gestures and swipes through the air. It also dramatically reduces the amount of time it takes to face unlock, as the radar-based technology can tell when you’re reaching for your phone and get ready to scan your face before being brought into view.

As a security professional, I couldn’t help but think about the privacy concerns of this new feature that detects motion, but it was reassuring to hear that Google built in privacy from the start. The Motion Sense feature can be turned off at any time. Data collected from the sensor is also processed and stored on the device’s Titan M security chip, and never saved or shared with other Google services.

The Titan M security chip powers privacy and security features across Google’s hardware portfolio, including the new Pixel devices. For example, Verified Boot ensures that the most current, secure version of Android is running and prevents malware from gaining access to a device’s lower software-levels after an upgrade. The Titan M chip also powers strong encryption features and creates private keys for third-party apps and payments.

It was great to see Google introduce further updates to its Titan M security chip and offer more controls to protect sensitive data today. For example, Google introduced new options for disabling mics and sensors, and deleting Google Assistant data.

In conclusion, there were a lot of new devices and features introduced today. We’re excited to manage, secure, and provide zero sign-on capabilities to the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL devices. We expect to see a lot of these phones in our customer deployments beginning later this month.

To learn more about Android device management, please visit here.

James Plouffe

Strategic Technologist

About the author

With 20 years of experience, James has provided IT and InfoSec services and insight for customers ranging from mid-size enterprises to the Global 10. He also served as a technical consultant for seasons 1 – 3 of the award-winning “hacker” drama, Mr. Robot, on USA Network.