Android has solidified its position as the dominant mobile operating system (OS) on the market in large part due to its open nature. Any company can license Android and install it on their hardware.
Similarly, the Google Play Store has enjoyed the reputation of being much easier to publish apps to than the Apple App Store. Unfortunately, that has resulted in a number of instances where malicious apps have slipped through the review process.
Now, in an effort to combat rogue apps, Google is launching Google Play Protect, a suite of services designed to protect Android phones. The company says the software “is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger.”
Play Protect uses machine learning to identify new threats and will proactively remove them. The software also scans for bad behavior from existing apps, letting you know when one accesses data or services it shouldn’t.
Play Protect also includes features to help users whose phones are lost or stolen.
“To help in these times of need, we’re launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect. With Find My Device you can locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches.”
Google’s announcement is a welcome one, and should be a significant security improvement for Android users around the world.