Back at its I/O developer conference in May, Google's Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson made the somewhat bold claim that "Android was built with security in mind from day one" citing the mobile operating system's application sandboxing as evidence. However, the company announced its intention to make Android's security features "more visible and accessible" by introducing Google Play Protect.
While the ability to verify apps has existed in Android for a while, starting out as a manual scan and evolving into an automated scanner running as a background process, Google's latest security initiative will now put the feature front and center as a card within the Play Store. Provided that everything is okay, users will see a green notification along with the time of the last completed scan. Should a malicious app be encountered, it will automatically be disabled or removed however it remains unclear as to how this would be conveyed in the user interface.
Play Protect is now starting to show up on devices running Google Play Services 11 and comes after the tech giant's widely publicized struggle with malware over the years. With Android ransomware attacks having grown by 50% over the course of a year and 2.1 million devices downloading malware from the Play Store in 2015, there's no doubt that Google has to get on the front foot with regards to OS and device security.
Source: Android Police