It seems that with the public release of Android 5.1, many enthusiasts have been digging through the new features to see what there is to see. One of the things that John Freml from Pocketables found was rather interesting — Google Connectivity Services, which appears to provide the framework for a public VPN service.
By digging around behind the scenes, John managed to view some prompts and screens from the new VPN service, but sadly yet, it isn’t quite functional. You can see the screen-grabs below:
Once you reach the VPN connection request screen, though, the process stops — there’s nothing behind it, not yet anyway. This could be a new service in the offing for when Google might get into public wireless services, or it could be a more general service for people to use regardless of their carrier or their location. Whether everyone would want their traffic flying through Google’s servers is something else, though.
VPNs do have their application for the average user these days, with many of us using insecure public WiFi hotspots, or even hotspots at work, where traffic could theoretically be listened in upon, and your online activities monitored. By running a VPN, your Internet traffic is encrypted, and all a would-be eavesdropper would be able to see is encrypted packets running to a foreign server — in other words, nothing useful.
I know I definitely use a VPN when using any public WiFi, and you probably should too, but if Google gets in on the game, it’ll make it just that little bit easier for everyone else!