Google has a new form of encryption called Adiantum, designed to bring inventory encryption to cheaper Android devices without affecting performance. Currently, devices such as low powered Android Go smartphones, smart watches, and TVs fall under Google's performance encryption requirements. With Adiantum, Google says every Android device can be encrypted, which means that privacy will not only be for those who can afford it.
Encryption is an important defense against anyone, whether it be criminal or snooping authorities who want to access your personal information without your consent. Adiantum is designed to encrypt your Android device's storage and keep documents or files stored on your device private and secure.
The majority of Android hardware is currently encrypted using the AES standard, but cheaper phones, such as those equipped with low-end processors built around the ARM Cortex-A7, lack AES hardware support, for example. Google says Adiantum is five times faster than Android's typical AES encryption on low-power devices. The nerds can read all the gory details of the evolution of the new encryption mode in this blog post.
Adiantum is scheduled to be released with Android Q, the successor to Android Pie, due later this year. Don't expect the new technology to speed up mid-range or flagship devices, however; Google says AES is still the faster encryption standard when hardware support is available, and it will continue to be a requirement for phones that support it.
"Our hope is that Adiantum will democratize encryption for all devices," wrote Eugene Liderman, director of mobile security strategy at Google. "Just as you wouldn't buy a phone without text messaging, there will be no excuse to compromise the security of the blame for device performance. Everyone must have privacy and security, regardless of their phone price."