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Android Advanced Protection now limits non-Play Store app installs

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Google has announced some changes to its Advanced Protection which is available for those wanting a bit more security on their devices. The changes include automatically turning on Google Play Protect and limiting app installations from sources outside the Play Store, however, apps already installed will remain on the device.

While forcing Google Play Protect to be enabled is a good move from the company, limiting apps from outside the Play Store could be a little bit more controversial. According to the firm, by preventing the installation of non-Play Store apps, users will benefit from “rigorous testing” which Google conducts before permitting an app to be uploaded to the Play Store.

Commenting on blocking apps from non-Play Store sources, Roman Kirillov, Engineering Manager, Android Security and Privacy, said:

“Advanced Protection is committed to keeping harmful apps off of enrolled users’ devices. All apps on the Google Play Store undergo rigorous testing, but apps outside of Google Play can potentially pose a risk to users’ devices. As an added protection, we’re now blocking the majority of these non-Play apps from being installed on any devices with a Google Account enrolled in Advanced Protection. You can still install non-Play apps through app stores that were pre-installed by the device manufacturer and through Android Debug Bridge. Any apps that you’ve already installed from sources outside of Google Play will not be removed and can still be updated.”

For those users that want more control over their device, there’s still the option to withdraw from Advanced Protection. Alternatively, if you’re not yet enrolled in the program and wish to be then head over to the Advanced Protection Program homepage where you can find out more information and enroll.

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