Android malware exists – there’s no sugar-coating that – but for the majority of users, it’s a remote threat at best. So long as you’re installing apps from trusted sources and keeping on top of any security updates that come your way, you’re in great shape. But just because Android security is already decent doesn’t mean it can’t get even better. A new update going out in the next few weeks will help do just that, making an important change to Google’s “Verify Apps” feature.
Right now, Verify Apps does a quick check of apps when you install them. It scans them – even sideloaded apps – for any code that looks like it’s trying to exploit a security vulnerability or otherwise compromise your system and alerts you of the risk.
That’s well and good, but it’s almost like a town where the policemen only attempt to stop troublemakers at the city limits, and don’t actually do any policing of what’s going on within. In order to stay on top of apps that might be going out of their way to avoid Google’s scanning, Verify Apps will reportedly mature into a system that looks for malware on an ongoing basis, and not solely at the time of installation.
This should arrive as an update to Google Play Services, so it will be available on devices going all the way back to Android 2.3 Gingerbread.