While security is probably not the sexiest feature to highlight when launching a new smartphone, Google knows there’s a segment of buyers who are looking precisely for that when considering getting a new device. Now that we already know what are the other more exciting features of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, they are turning our attention to what makes these two new smartphones the most secure Made by Google devices as of the moment: the Titan M chipset.
Titan M is an enterprise-grade security chip system that is part of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL that helps secure your on-device data as well as the whole Android operating system itself. Google highlights four ways that it is able to protect your phone from the bad elements out there. First off, the chipset is integrated into Verified Boot, their secure boot process. It helps make sure you’re running the correct version of Android and those nefarious elements will not be able to move your device back to a less secure version of Android without you knowing it.
The chipset is also now used to verify your lock screen passcode so it limits the number of logon attempts and only allows for decryption once it is successfully verified. It should make it more difficult for potential attackers to “gain the secrets” when trying to decrypt your data. Even third-party apps on your phone are also protected by Titan M, especially those that use sensitive transactions. You can use the StrongBox KeyStore APIs to store private keys in the chip system.
Titan M also enables the Android 9 Protected Confirmation so you can protect the most security-critical operations through an API. Lastly, it has insider attack resistance which ensures the firmware will not be updated unless you enter your passcode. The “bad actors” will not be able to bypass your lock screen in order to update your Android firmware to a malicious version.
Google says they have put a lot of investment into putting this industry-leading security features into the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Hopefully, this will please those who pre-ordered and are planing to get the new smartphones as it goes on sale this October 18.