Google protects you: Play Protect is finally on a slow rollout to mainstream users


We've been hearing about Google Play Protect — Google's solution for device protection — since this year's I/O. And while some beta testers have seen it earlier, the feature seems to currently be on a slow rollout to all users.

What is Play Protect? It's basically an anti-malware tool, which monitors app behavior and gives them a firm slap if they try something funny. To be clear, the Play Store has had various levels of scan for a while now. However, Play Protect ups the ante a bit.

The new service is not only a ghost scanner that checks apps that are live on the Play Store. Once Play Protect reaches your phone, you will actually be able to see its icon and get reports from it. Play Protect will live in the Play Store app and will periodically scan apps on your device and compare results with how the same apps are behaving on other devices. If it finds something out of the ordinary, you will be warned and prompted to delete the offending app. You can also initiate a scan on demand from the Play Protect tab in the Play Store slide-over menu. It's a nice touch, considering that the past few times that actual malware did get inside the Play Store and on to users' smartphones, it was because it was cleverly disguised in innocent, working apps.

Play Protect will also scan 50 million apps in the Play Store per day and mark the "verified safe" ones with its green badge, so you can download with confidence. The new security tool will also become an invisible part of Google's mobile Chrome browser — it will monitor the websites you visit for suspicious activity and raise a red flag when it suspects something wrong going on.

Additionally, the “find my device” feature from the Android Manager seems to be moving to be a part of the Play Protect branding. However, we don't see anything new about its functions at this stage.



source: Google via Reddit

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19 Comments

1. fatTony

Posts: 114; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

Scanning 50 billion devices a day? Call me a cynic, but I can't help but wonder how many of those scans are done for advertising purposes. I still very much remember the whole Gmail thing.

2. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Where it got wrote 50 billion devices? You mean over a billion devices or 50 billion apps? Get a glasses or contact please before comments anything.

5. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

He's obviously exaggerating, but his point is still valid.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17135; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

He doesn't. The 50 billion number was scanning apps in the Play Store, not on phones.

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Google has actually been doing this for the past few years But now Google is making more public and known, probably so average users dont install unnecessary anti virus apps

19. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Yup, as stated in post #4.

7. fatTony

Posts: 114; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

You don't seem to get sarcasm, but since we're sending people to do things before commenting, how about you go back to high school and fix your grammar before commenting?

4. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Yeah, this was already a setting integrated into the google settings app, it's just getting a results GUI. I proudly keep that turned off on my OnePlus, don't need a spyware "protecting" me, I can think for myself.

6. iushnt

Posts: 3066; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Advertising is not really a bad thing considering the quality of eco system. Apps and services google is being able to provide.

8. fatTony

Posts: 114; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

I don't mind advertising, but when it blatantly crosses the line between convenience and violation of privacy, it has to be tamed. Imagine the wealth of information they can gather about us if they're able to discern the apps we have on our phones. And no, I'm not okay with them scanning my emails. I'd rather pay a fee.

10. tedkord

Posts: 17135; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm fine with them scanning my emails, since they're scanned for keywords, not entire content, and no person sees it.

11. cmdacos

Posts: 3890; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Yep. No personal information is at risk and all in all makes the user experience for me that much better.

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6519; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Is this even a big deal anymore now that people are so willing to hand over their biometric data through fingerprint and iris scans?

13. cmdacos

Posts: 3890; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Who is handing over any of that? It's all stored locally.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Scanning emails is also done to prevent spam hitting your mailbox. There are of course other ways of preventing spam, but scanning emails as well is even better.

18. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

fatTony, rather than complaining and living in dissatisfaction why don't you just use a device you are comfortable with. Get a Windows 10 Mobile or an iPhone. Better still you could also get a yesterday Symbian phone. No one is around to spy on you with Symbian. I am perfectly happy with Google privacy standard. I read them.

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Pretty sure Google already knows which apps reside on your phone, long before this new feature.

3. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1345; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

This is a good and long over due step by the big "G".

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Google has actually been doing this for the past few years But now Google is making more public and known, probably so average users dont install unnecessary anti virus apps

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