Google is making budget handsets more secure with a new form of encryption

Image credit: Google (Image credit: Google)

Google has launched a new form of encryption called Adiantum, which it has specifically developed to make budget smartphones more secure.

Higher powered smartphones tend to come with hardware which provides additional security for users, but cheaper devices often miss out on the more advanced hardware, which is why Google is now stepping in.

The search giant made the Adiantum announcement via its blog with Eugene Liderman, Director of Mobile Security Strategy, Android Security & Privacy Team, saying "encryption isn't always practical, since it would slow some computers, smartphones and other devices to the point of being unusable."

The encryption offered by Adiantum shouldn't slow down budget phones with lower powered chipsets and less RAM at their hearts.

It won't just feature on smartphones though, as Google's plan is to bring Adiantum to more devices, such as smartwatches and internet-connected medical devices.

Not available just yet

If you're wondering where Google got the name for its new form of encryption, it's revealed in a more detailed post on the company's security blog.

"Adiantum is named after the genus of the maidenhair fern, which in the Victorian language of flowers (floriography) represents sincerity and discretion." So there you go.

It doesn't sound like Adiantum will be available to current budget Android phones though, with Liderman noting that it "will make the next generation of devices more secure than their predecessors."

Google hasn't provided any clear timescale as to when we can expect Adiantum to land in its first devices, but they could well arrive this year.

Via Mobile World Live

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.