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Android 15 may come with quarantine feature for malicious apps: Here's how it will work

Android 15 app quarantine feature will be similar to antivirus programs on Windows. It will prevent malicious apps from performing adverse activity on users’ devices. The feature was also spotted on the developer build of Android 14 but was not released to the public.

Written By: Om Gupta New Delhi Published on: April 19, 2024 12:54 IST
Android 15
Image Source : ANDROID Android 15

Google is working on the next version of its Android operating system, Android 15. The upcoming operating system is currently under beta testing and is expected to be unveiled later this year with several new features. Some of the key features of the OS have leaked via developer previews and the first public beta release. Now a report suggests, the company is working on a new feature to help users isolate a malicious app on their smartphone after it is detected. With this feature, Android 15 will be able to ‘quarantine’ apps similar to antivirus programs on Windows.

As per a report by Android Authority, the latest Android 15 beta has the ability to allow system apps such as Google Play Services or the Play Store to isolate apps and apply restrictions on them. This will effectively quarantine the app, limiting its capability and preventing it from taking adverse action on the user's device. 

According to the report, the latest Android 15 beta has code for app quarantine feature but the feature is yet to be enabled by the company. Once functional, it will prevent a quarantined app from showing notifications, hiding its windows, and stopping activities. It also prevents it from ringing the device and prevents other apps from interacting with some of its services.

Reportedly, "QUARANTINE_APPS" permission can only be granted to apps signed by the same certificate used by Google to sign the Android operating system. This effectively limits the ability to quarantine apps to the Play Store or Google Play Services. 

If an app is quarantined, it will still be visible in the app drawer on Android 15. However, tapping the greyed-out icon will inform users that the app is unavailable and will display two buttons, "OK" and "Unquarantine app." It's uncertain whether this feature will be available with Android 15 as it was first spotted in a developer build of Android 14 in 2022. 

If Google decides to enable the functionality on Android 15, it appears likely that only the Play Store or Google Play Services will be able to perform the app quarantining functions.

ALSO READ: Apple iOS 17.5 Beta 2 enables iPhone app installation via developers' websites

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