Microsoft Defender Preview, an app and a service that promises to protect Windows OS as well as Android devices, is now live. It is essentially a cross-platform preview version of Windows Defender, the free antivirus solution that’s as good as some of the premium or paid options.
Windows Defender is included with every installation of the Windows operating system. Windows 10 had it, and even Windows 11 has the default protection suite activated. The same online threat mitigation service is now available for Android smartphones as well. Moreover, a singular Microsoft account ties all the Windows devices and Android devices together.
Microsoft Defender Preview is currently available for free on the Microsoft Store for Windows devices, as well as Google Play Store for Android devices. In case a user exclusively uses only Windows devices, there’s no need for the app. However, if a user owns and uses up to four devices, with some running Windows OS, and smartphones with Android, then the app could be useful. Microsoft had listed the app on the stores quite some time back, but the company activated the service this week, according to Mark Hachman at PCWorld.
Microsoft Defender Preview is identical to Windows Defender, an anti-virus service that’s already installed on all Windows 11 computers. But on Android devices, the app offers a lot more visual information. It is an always-on service that monitors weblinks accessed on an Android device. The service also looks at files downloaded on the device to ensure they aren’t malware. If it finds something suspicious, the app sends a notification.
Being an always-on service, Microsoft Defender Preview needs users to grant the “Accessibility Services” permission. It periodically performs scans in order to lessen the impact on battery life.
Needless to say, Microsoft Defender Preview needs a Microsoft account. Creating one is easy and free, but once the service exits the “Preview” phase, users will need a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription to continue. Windows Defender Preview for Windows 11 and Android is only available in the US for now.