Google is introducing a new Play Protect feature to bolster Android security by scanning sideloaded apps for malicious code. While the Play Store is generally considered a secure source for Android apps, the risks associated with sideloading apps from external sources have prompted Google to enhance its protections.
Android’s Play Store is known for its relatively secure environment, with Google actively filtering out potentially harmful apps. However, sideloading—installing apps from sources other than the Play Store—poses a risk, as it bypasses the Play Store’s built-in protections. This move by Google is a response to the rising threat of malware spreading through sideloaded apps, particularly those acquired via messaging platforms.
By introducing real-time code-level scanning for sideloaded apps, Google aims to address the security vulnerabilities associated with app installations outside the Play Store. This user-centric approach empowers Android users to make informed choices about the safety of sideloaded apps, enhancing overall device security and mitigating the risks posed by potentially malicious code.