Last Updated: October 20, 2023, 08:00 IST
Google has been extremely strict about people sideloading apps on Android phones, even though users have the freedom to do so. Over the years, the company has warned about the possible ill effects of sideloading apps that may be malware in disguise.
But that stance is changing now as Google is ready to help people determine if the apps they are sideloading have any danger signs and should be removed or can be used without any issues.
Google is using its existing Play Protect to monitor and scan for these sideloaded apps and tell users if these are safe to use on the phone or will be blocked straightaway. Sideloading is part of Android’s open source nature and Google never had any say on what apps are installed this way or whether they are safe to install.
The new measures will be changing that and some people might feel that Google will have the control on sideloaded apps and deny access on your device if one or two conditions are violated. Scanning sideloaded apps could help Google weed out a lot of malware that makes its way to the Play Store which is then downloaded by millions.
The Play Protect has become a reliable tool to safeguard users from such apps but there is an off chance that a malicious code passes through all the checks. The new scan process will start with India for Android users and the technology will rely on data screened at the code-level of the apps.
Google has generally cleaned its hands on sideloaded apps by simply stating it is the user’s responsibility to download apps from genuine sources. In fact, earlier this year, Google said it will give a warning to users who install apps from different app stores but won’t stop them from doing so or even scan these apps for any malicious code.
It is good to see Google change its position on sideloaded apps and wants to ensure that Android users have the right to install apps from any app store, as long as it meets the security criteria from the company.