If you own a flagship smartphone, it likely has a processor inside that has little issue with the heavy workload of encryption. However, if you have a lower-end smartphone, its processor might be too weak to handle encryption without seriously dragging down performance.
Because of this, smartphone encryption is becoming something only those with means can afford. Google wants to change that.
Enter Adiantum (not to be confused with adamantium), a new encryption protocol that works well on lower-end hardware. Google hopes Adiantum will take the place of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) on cheaper hardware.
Those of you with an appetite for highly-technical language can find out more about how Adiantum works at Google’s security blog. However, if you’re a layman you will likely get confused fairly quickly.
Google’s ambition, though, is pretty straightforward: encryption shouldn’t just be for those who can afford high-end smartphones. Everyone, whether they are using a $1,000 Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or an $80 Android Go phone, should be able to enjoy the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing your sensitive data is encrypted.
Additionally, Adiantum could be beneficial on non-smartphone hardware that also can’t handle AES, such as smartwatches, wearables, TVs, etc.
Read more about encryption here.