Android 15 Could Include App Quarantine Feature to Protect Users From Malicious Apps: Report

Apr18,2024


Android 15 is expected to arrive on Pixel smartphones later this year and a developer preview and first public beta release have revealed several features of Google's upcoming operating system (OS) update. Google is reportedly working on a useful new feature that can help users isolate a malicious app once it is detected on their smartphone. If this feature is added to the final Android 15 release, the operating system may be able to 'quarantine' apps just like antivirus programs on Windows.

Spotted by Android Authority on the latest Android 15 beta, Google is working on the ability to allow a system app – like Google Play Services or the Play Store – to isolate apps and enforce certain restrictions on them. Once an app is quarantined, its capabilities will be severely limited, which may prevent it from taking adverse actions on the user's device.

As of publication, the code for the App Quarantine feature is present on Android 15, but it has not been enabled yet. Based on current code, the feature will reportedly stop a detached app from showing notifications, hide its window and pause activities, stop it from ringing the device and prevent other apps from using some of its services. Will stop you from interacting with.

android 15 app quarantine android authority android 15

Alleged quarantined apps interface on Android 15
Photo Credit: Android Authority/Mishaal Rahman

Google is reportedly working on a “QUARANTINE_APPS” permission that can only be granted to apps signed by the same certificate that Google uses to sign the Android operating system – which effectively blocks the Play Store (or Google Play Services) limits the ability to quarantine apps.

It's worth noting that while anti-malware software for Windows computers is also able to isolate apps, Android is more secure than Windows and apps don't have access to many parts of the phone without receiving permission from the user. As a result, quarantined apps will still appear in the app drawer on Android 15, but tapping on the greyed-out icon will inform users that the app is no longer available, while two buttons will be displayed – Ok And non-quarantine appsAs per publication.

There's no word on whether this feature will be available with Android 15, as it was first seen in the developer build of Android 14 in 2022. If Google decides to enable the functionality on Android 15, it appears that only Play Store or Google Play Services apps will be able to make quarantine work. However, it can come in handy when Google's Play Protect malware scanner detects an app that is exhibiting suspicious behavior but is not a known threat.


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