Google Play Protect’s increased caution towards sideloaded apps


1. Google Play Protect has been effective in protecting Android app users from mobile malware since 2017.
2. Sideloading apps from sources other than the Google Play Store can potentially expose users to malware.
3. Play Protect will start scanning sideloaded apps automatically upon installation, ensuring better security for users.
4. Google will ask users to submit sideloaded apps for testing in order to gather data and improve the detection of malicious apps.
5. Users can access the new Play Protect options for sideloaded apps in their settings under “Security & privacy” and “App security.” However, these options may not be visible yet.

Google Play Protect: Keeping Android Apps Safe

Google Play Protect has been protecting Android users from mobile malware since 2017. Although some bad apps slip through, the company has successfully prevented a vast number of malicious apps from affecting users. With a new update, Google Play Protect will now scan sideloaded apps immediately upon installation, enhancing user safety even further.

The Risks of Sideloaded Apps

When you sideload an Android app, you are downloading an app that is not available on the Google Play Store. While the Play Store offers a plethora of apps, sideloading allows users to access apps that may have been removed or previous versions that were preferred. However, these sideloaded apps do not receive the same protection as those on the Play Store. They may contain malware that could harm your device. Therefore, it is crucial to only download sideloaded apps from trusted sources.

Automatic Scanning of Sideloaded Apps

Google Play Protect scans apps on the Play Store for malware before installation. However, this protection does not extend to sideloaded apps, requiring users to manually trigger a scan. However, a recent discovery by Mishaal Rahman revealed that Play Protect will soon offer automatic scanning for sideloaded apps upon installation. This feature is valuable as it provides an added layer of security for sideloaded apps, ensuring they are trustworthy.

Submitting Sideloaded Apps for Testing

In addition to automatic scanning, Google will introduce another feature that prompts users to submit sideloaded apps for testing. By doing so, the company will gather additional data to improve its detection of malicious apps. Both the automatic scanning and app testing features are optional and can be accessed in the settings under “Security & Privacy” and then “App Security.” Please note that these features may not be visible on your device yet.

Craig Diaz
Craig Diaz
Craig Diaz is the driving force behind AndroidStatus. Craig has earned praise for his vast knowledge and infectious enthusiasm. He is an indispensable member of the AndroidStatus team, devoted to brining our readers insightful information about the Android ecosystem.


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