Google Play Protect is upping its game by scanning apps in real-time

a smartphone with the google play logo on it
(Image credit: Shutterstock / rafapress)

Google Play Protect has been steadily improving, protecting users from malicious and dangerous apps on the app store, and this latest upgrade will add even more features.

According to the newest Google System Updates changelog, Google Play Protect continues to be one of the best features of Android devices, as it will be performing real-time threat detection for the Android OS through app updates. This means that it will scan any apps downloaded outside the Play Store at the time of installation. 

Of course, outside of this new layer of protection, Play Protect will continue to check apps uploaded to the Play Store for any malicious code. This is no small feat either since, according to a report from 2020, Google scans over 50 billion apps per day and in that same year stopped 790,000 dangerous apps from publishing on the Play Store.

Mishaal Rahman, a well-known Android expert and researcher, pointed out on Twitter that Google Play asks you to submit a form to Google for analysis when you sideload an app that hasn’t been checked over by Play Protect, which is most likely used to gather data to facilitate this new real-time scanning feature. 

However, real-time app scanning hasn’t been rolled out to all users just yet, but since it’s a part of the September 2023 changelog then it should be publicly available by the end of the month. The Play Protect changes will be available after update 37.5 and the current version is 37.4.

Google continues to protect Play Store users 

This isn’t the only time Google has updated its app protection features. In July 2023, the tech giant enhanced its developer verification process on Google Play by requiring devs to submit their unique nine-digit D-U-N-S number, assigned by Dun & Bradstreet, to verify their business. This is on top of devs being required to provide legitimate email addresses and phone numbers to confirm their identity.

In some cases, devs may even need to submit company documentation for further approval, but since Google didn’t stipulate what that documentation would be, it’s most likely on a case-by-case basis.

Considering how many fake apps escape the massive scanning efforts of Google and make their way to the Play Store, all of these new security measures are absolutely necessary in order to keep users, their devices, and their personal data safe from malicious scammers and trojans that still litter the app.

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Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.