Google has announced its plans to make Android more secure for end users with an update that is rolling out today. The update will extend the functionality of the “Verify Apps” feature found in the Google Settings app on devices running Android 2.2 and above with the ability to constantly monitor installed apps for malware and suspicious activity.
Previously, Verify Apps would only scan apps while they were installing, and only if the user was doing a manual install instead of getting it from the Play Store. After the update to Google Settings rolls out, that will no longer be the case, and the security service will continue to monitor a device to make sure everything is behaving as it should. This will help in ensuring that even if the OS’ virus scanner misses a malware or other dangerous exploit in an app during its installation, there will still be a possibility of tracking it down if the exploit manifests itself later on, especially for apps installed from the Play Store.
According to Google, the Verify Apps system has been used over 4 billion times since its debut, but very few people have ever encountered a warning. That will probably change now that the service will run continuously – naturally, it won’t be stopping people from downloading bogus apps that make it to the Play Store and spend some time fooling users before being taken down, but it’s yet another important step Google will have taken to make the world’s dominant mobile operating system a safer one to use.