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Android 15 may offer a new way to protect your devices from malicious apps

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Android 15 may offer a new way to protect your devices from malicious apps

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Android users already have a good level of protection with Google Play Protect, which is built-in to the operating system and constantly scans for malware to protect your device. However, even the best defense systems can occasionally miss a threat, and according to new code found on the Android 15 beta, the newest version of Android aims to bridge this gap by potentially introducing a powerful new feature: app quarantine.

Think of app quarantine as a middle ground between allowing a potentially harmful app to run free and completely removing it from your device. If a piece of software exhibits suspicious behavior, Android 15 may automatically place it into quarantine. This effectively isolates the app, preventing it from causing harm while you investigate or wait for an official verdict from Play Protect.

While in quarantine, the app will still appear on your home screen and in your settings. But a quarantined app is heavily restricted from doing things like showing notifications, running any background activity, ringing your device, or interacting with other system processes.

Quarantined apps page initially found on Android 14 QPR2 Beta 1 | Source: Android Authority
As discovered by Android code expert, Mishaal Rahman (via Android Authority), Android 15 is leveraging a new system permission called “QUARANTINE_APPS.”  This permission will be strictly limited, and most likely only used by Google Play Store. This means that the Play Store could become the gatekeeper, deciding which apps should be isolated for your safety.
The groundwork for app quarantine appeared in late 2022, within a developer build of Android 14. However, there’s no guarantee it will arrive with Android 15, or when a wider rollout might happen. We’ll need to wait and see if Google Play Store starts utilizing these new permissions.

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Implementing this app quarantine sounds like a smart move for user security. It offers a flexible solution to deal with apps that might not be outright malicious but exhibit questionable behavior. Of course, Google Play Protect has other areas for improvement, and there’s always more work to be done in keeping Android devices safe.



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