Security firm Bitdefender today announced the release of Antivirus Free for Android, which is now available on Google Play. The company also offers a full-featured security app, Mobile Security & Antivirus, for $9.95 per year.

Antivirus Free, which proimses "close to zero impact on battery life and device performance," offers cloud-based scanning functionality, with automatic scanning upon installation of any new application, as well as on-demand scanning. Mobile Security & Antivirus adds anti-theft functionality, application permissions audits, and Web browsing security.

The company says its own research has found that Android malware increased by 27 percent in the last six months alone. "We've seen an uncontrolled explosion in Android malware in the last year, so we’ve created a solution to counter that trend," Bitdefender Chief Security Researcher Catalin Cosoi said in a statement. "We would like to see it as widely employed as possible, so we made it easy to use, light on the battery and lethal to Android malware."


Antivirus Free joins a wide range of other security apps currently available for the Android OS.