Each and every day, we are humbled by the trajectory of Android and our partners.

With a year-on-year growth rate of more than 250%, 850,000 new Android devices are activated each day, jetting the total number of Android devices around the world past 300 million. These numbers are a testament to the break-neck speed of innovation that defines the Android ecosystem.

Last year at Mobile World Congress (MWC), we announced that there were more than 150,000 apps in Android Market. That number tripled to more than 450,000 apps today, with over one billion app downloads happening every month. Think about the astonishing number of songs Shazam’ed, places Qype’ed and foursquare mayorships! To celebrate the hard work and success of our developer community, we’ve built special “app pods” into our Android stand at MWC. Many of these featured apps demonstrate the latest Android innovations, such as Android Beam, which lets you share content like web pages, videos, directions, and apps—just by touching two Android phones back to back.

The Android Stand on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2012

If you walk around the Android stand, it’s also evident that our hardware partners are thriving. There are 100+ devices on display at the conveyor belt bar, which is just a small portion of the 800+ Android devices that have launched to date. And what better sign of innovation than the Bling Bot—powered by the >Android ADK—which can bedazzle your Galaxy Nexus backplate with perfect precision.

We’re just getting started at Mobile World Congress, so keep checking and the +Android page on Google+ for updates.

As I was sitting on the ferry commuting to Google’s Sydney office this morning, two thoughts occurred to me. First, Australia is beautiful. If you’ve never been here, you really should visit. And second, it’s amazing how productive I can be with just my Android phone and an Internet connection. I was responding to email, reading news articles, and editing documents—just like I do at the office. Only the view was better!

We want to give everyone the chance to be productive no matter where they are, so today we’re releasing a new update to the Google Docs app for Android. We've brought the collaborative experience from Google Docs on the desktop to your Android device. You'll see updates in real time as others type on their computers, tablets and phones, and you can just tap the document to join in.

We also updated the interface to make it easier to work with your documents on the go. For example, you can pinch to zoom and focus on a specific paragraph or see the whole document at a glance. We also added rich text formatting so you can do things like create a quick bullet list, add color to your documents, or just bold something important. Watch the new Google Docs app in action:

If you want to hear about the latest Docs news or send us feedback on the new app, visit Google Docs on Google+.

Gotta run—I’ve got another ferry to catch!

In 2008, we launched Google Chrome to help make the web better. We’re excited that millions of people around the world use Chrome as their primary browser and we want to keep improving that experience. Today, we're introducing Chrome for Android Beta, which brings many of the things you’ve come to love about Chrome to your Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone or tablet. Like the desktop version, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices.

With Chrome for Android, you can search, navigate and browse fast—Chrome fast. You can scroll through web pages as quickly as you can flick your finger. When searching, your top search results are loaded in the background as you type so pages appear instantly. And of course, both search and navigation can all be done quickly from the Chrome omnibox.

Chrome for Android is designed from the ground up for mobile devices. We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet. You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web. One of the biggest pains of mobile browsing is selecting the correct link out of several on a small-screen device. Link Preview does away with hunting and pecking for links on a web page by automatically zooming in on links to make selecting the precise one easier. And as with Chrome on desktop, we built Chrome for Android with privacy in mind from the beginning, including incognito mode for private browsing and fine-grained privacy options (tap menu icon, ‘Settings,’ and then ‘Privacy’).

Sign in
You can now bring your personalized Chrome experience with you to your Android phone or tablet. If you sign in to Chrome on your Android device, you can:
  • View open tabs: Access the tabs you left open on your computer (also signed into Chrome)—picking up exactly where you left off.
  • Get smarter suggestions: If you visit a site often on your computer, you'll also get an autocomplete suggestion for it on your mobile device, so you can spend less time typing.
  • Sync bookmarks: Conveniently access your favorite sites no matter where you are or which device you’re using.
Chrome is now available in Beta from Android Market, in select countries and languages for phones and tablets with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. We’re eager to hear your feedback. Finally, we look forward to working closely with the developer community to create a better web on a platform that defines mobile.

(Cross-posted from the Chrome blog and the Official Google blog)

By Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering, Android

The last year has been a phenomenal one for the Android ecosystem. Device activations grew 250% year-on-year, and the total number of app downloads from Android Market topped 11 billion. As the platform continues to grow, we’re focused on bringing you the best new features and innovations - including in security.

Adding a new layer to Android security
Today we’re revealing a service we’ve developed, codenamed Bouncer, which provides automated scanning of Android Market for potentially malicious software without disrupting the user experience of Android Market or requiring developers to go through an application approval process.

The service performs a set of analyses on new applications, applications already in Android Market, and developer accounts. Here’s how it works: once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags. We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyze new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.

Android malware downloads are decreasing
The service has been looking for malicious apps in Market for a while now, and between the first and second halves of 2011, we saw a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android Market. This drop occurred at the same time that companies who market and sell anti-malware and security software have been reporting that malicious applications are on the rise. While it’s not possible to prevent bad people from building malware, the most important measurement is whether those bad applications are being installed from Android Market - and we know the rate is declining significantly.

Android makes malware less potent
In addition to using new services to help prevent malware, we designed Android from the beginning to make mobile malware less disruptive. In the PC model, malware has more potential to misuse your information. We learned from this approach, designing Android for Internet-connected devices. Some of Android’s core security features are:

  • Sandboxing: The Android platform uses a technique called “sandboxing” to put virtual walls between applications and other software on the device. So, if you download a malicious application, it can't access data on other parts of your phone and its potential harm is drastically limited.
  • Permissions: Android provides a permission system to help you understand the capabilities of the apps you install, and manage your own preferences. That way, if you see a game unnecessarily requests permission to send SMS, for example, you don’t need to install it.
  • Malware removal: Android is designed to prevent malware from modifying the platform or hiding from you, so it can be easily removed if your device is affected. Android Market also has the capability of remotely removing malware from your phone or tablet, if required.

No security approach is foolproof, and added scrutiny can often lead to important improvements. Our systems are getting better at detecting and eliminating malware every day, and we continue to invite the community to work with us to keep Android safe.