Xiaomi 'Pure Mode' to ban sideloading apps
Xiaomi's own custom Android skin, MIUI, is soon going to introduce a new mode that blocks sideloading apps from anywhere outside the official Google Play Store. The mode is named "Pure Mode" and aims to enhance Xiaomi device security by preventing any potentially malicious applications from accidentally gaining access to the phone.
Not to worry: 'Pure Mode' is fully optional!
The good news is that activating "Pure Mode" will be entirely up to the user, as they will have the option to turn it on or off at will. Rather than limiting MIUI users, Pure Mode only seems to be being developed as an extra safeguard to enhance security for those who prioritize it.
While Apple has always banned app sideloading from anywhere outside their own App Store (unless an iPhone is jailbroken, which is another story), Google's Android has always been more lenient in that matter. Android users have never been denied the ability to download custom APK's at their leisure, straight off whichever mobile internet browser they are using.
An extra security measure
While this freedom is wonderful and only one of the many reasons people may prefer Android to iOS, it also opens up Android devices to malware accidentally downloaded through a disguised APK.
Google Play-approved APK's, on the other hand, have all been verified and guaranteed to be perfectly safe. The flexibility to do as you will online has always carried a certain amount of risk with it, whether on mobile or on PC.
In the announcement related to the beta release of Pure Mode, Xiaomi reports that of all the APKs downloaded to Xiaomi devices daily, 40% don't go through any security screening. And 10% of those, Xiaomi declares, "have been identified as risky applications by Xiaomi's security audits."
Over the years that Xiaomi has been evolving MIU, the company has tried hard and been fairly successful in setting itself apart from stock Android and other skins by having its own special themes and features. Pure Mode is only going to be another one of these singularities, and likely a nice-to-have for many safety-conscious Xiaomi users.
It will be released in China first, global launch uncertain
The new Pure Mode function is going to be making its way to a select group of Chinese users first, as it is still being perfected by the developers. The China-only beta testing period began yesterday, and will run until September 10. During this time, it will be rolling out to 1,000 users daily, as reported by XDA Developers.
Once the beta testing period is over and Pure Mode is fully developed, it's likely that a new update will extend use of the new feature to users around the globe in the months to come. However, there's also a possibility it could remain exclusive to China—there has been no word from Xiaomi on the matter so far.