Google has announced that they will be increasing their security features for Android run smartphones and tablets. These new measures will include a new app verification service that extends past the initial download, and continues to monitor its source and content.
It was only of days ago that Google had to remove an app from their Google Play store. One of the top security apps being sold, it charge $3.99 for what was essentially a completely useless app. According to developers who discovered the scam, it did literally nothing but change the skin on the security icon to a check mark.
While this was probably a deciding factor in when they would announce the increase in security for apps, it isn’t likely to be the reason. Third party downloads are usually fine, but can still hold numerous risks. From malware that infects the computer and mirrors information to send back to the developer, to buggy software that can screw with your device thanks to bad coding, plenty has to be checked.
Now Google is saying they will help with that.
Building on Verify apps, which already protects people when they’re installing apps outside of Google Play at the time of installation, we’re rolling out a new enhancement which will now continually check devices to make sure that all apps are behaving in a safe manner, even after installation, a statement read.
Verify Apps has been around for awhile, and it is a good thing as Google Play is a bit lax in their policies regarding checking content. Hence the Virus Shield debacle. And anyone who has an Android has had the experience of paying for and downloading an app, only to have it not work. Google does not offer any assistance, but instead instructs you to contact developers who will likely never get back to you.
The hope is that such issues may be resolved by monitoring the apps from both Play and third parties post-installation to catch problems that come in the future. This could also protect against trojan style attacks that might burrow in the app and wait before activating their more sinister features.
But Google says users shouldn’t be too worried.
Even though the risk is miniscule, we’re committed to making sure that the best available security protections are available to all Android users.
Well, that is a relief. I guess we only have to worry about the apps you verify in your store now, huh?